A disabled grandmother has said she feels like a prisoner in her council home due to issues with damp, rats and holes in the flooring.

Anita Tyrell, of Brentford, West London, claims she has been waiting six years for her house to be made wheelchair accessible and can hardly make it down the stairs of her home.

She says her sons have breathing problems because of the damp, which she claims is so bad a surveyor has labelled the house “uninhabitable”.

Speaking to MyLondon, she said: ““I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I just want to lead a normal life.

“I have rats in my house, one jumped out on my grandson. I have breathing issues as do my sons because of asthma and the damp is making it worse.

Anita, of Brentford, West London, said she has been waiting six years for her house to be made wheelchair accessible (

Image:

Siobhan Newman <[email protected]>)

“I have contacted the council for years about the issue. I just want a wheelchair and can’t have one because the council doesn't sort out my house.

“My sons have bad breathing because of the dampness. A rat jumped out of the cupboard onto my grandson. I am so fed up and frightened.”

The family claim they have taped material to the skirtings to disguise the crumbling wall underneath, and placed scented flowers, pots, candles and plants throughout the house in order to "mask the horrible smell of damp”.

There are reportedly holes caused by rats throughout the floors and ceilings, and Anita fears her home could collapse due to the damage.

There are reportedly holes caused by rats throughout the floors and ceilings (

Image:

Siobhan Newman <[email protected]>)

Anita, a mum-of-five, has osteoporosis, arthritis and breathing problems, among other conditions. She says the only time the council has had people over to try and work on the house was when they turned up unannounced.

On one occasion, they turned up to knock down a wall when her son was asleep on the other side, she claimed.

Anita said: “There are lots of problems with this house. I am a proud woman and I keep the house clean and try to hide all of the smell and damp walls.

“I can’t be expected to live like this. If they start knocking down walls with all the dust and rubble, and I’m still in this house, because of my breathing problems I could die.

“I need to be re-housed while the work is carried out or they at least need to give me some warning before they turn up at my house and want to start work straight away without warning me.”

The proud mum-of-five got her family to cover the walls in material to hide the damp and crumbling state (

Image:

West London Gazette)

A private surveyor was asked to assess the damp in July.

Their report read: “The problems affect all of the rooms on the ground floor. Sorting this out will cause a huge deal of inconvenience and disruption.

“By normal standards the property is not fit for human habitation. This is due to the dampness, which requires urgent work.”

Anita claims nothing has been done since the survey.

Councillor Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “Hounslow Council is committed to ensuring all of its housing tenants are looked after through high standards of service. On this occasion, there is a backlog of repairs that need urgent attention at the property before any adaptations can take place.

“Our teams have ordered pest control services to deal with the tenant’s reports of infestation, and a surveyor will soon be on sight to do a full survey this week. The Council has been in regular contact with the tenant to advise her of the situation.

“The Council is happy to re-house the tenant if the Surveyor, after completing a full report, feels it is necessary to move the tenant while the urgent works take place.

“We apologise for the backlog of repairs that are currently in our system due to the pandemic but we are doing our utmost to ensure that we are catching up and focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.”

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