Disabled mother, 45, claims she’s been repeatedly hospitalised since moving into ‘horror’ rented home after falling through the floor and a ceiling collapsing on her head
A mum says she was repeatedly hospitalized after moving into her ‘horrific’ tenement, including falling through the floor and a ceiling collapsing on her head.
Disabled mother-of-three Victoria Parkhill (45) lives in the sheltered housing after an accident left her with a broken neck.
She says the house has rotten floors, flooding and bad mold which meant she had to eat and sleep in the living room.
Victoria had lived in the property in Watchet, Somerset, since October 2010 when she moved in after an accident in which she broke her neck.
She hoped the new home would meet her accessibility needs, but she said ‘everything that could go wrong, did go wrong’.
Victoria Parkhill (45) says the musty and dilapidated house has left her family extremely ill
The floor of a wet room rotted after mold was not addressed, resulting in the floor suddenly collapsing – Victoria had a violent fall
Victoria had to go to A&E after falling through the rotten floor of her wet room. The disabled mother of three was back in hospital soon after when her ceiling fell
A downstairs wet room built for Victoria to shower is moldy and covered in rust, she says.
When Victoria notified her housing association, she said they had sent workers to paint over it.
But the underlying problems went unsolved, resulting in the rotten wet room floor suddenly collapsing and Victoria taking a violent fall to the floor.
She split her head open and was taken to hospital.
The mum-of-three was back in A&E shortly afterwards when her ceiling collapsed on top of her.
Victoria said the incidents left her with a damaged disc and ongoing problems with her back.
The 45-year-old said: ‘I cried every day. I feel like I have the weight of the world – my children are very sick, terribly weak.
“It was hell.”
Victoria was left with serious injuries after she claims problems with her rental home were not dealt with
The family’s Christmas was ruined after a leaking tap flooded the kitchen, damaged appliances and knocked out the electricity
But the violent fall was only the beginning of Victoria’s problems with the house.
Her family’s festive season was ruined when Victoria’s 8-year-old daughter, Isla, woke her up screaming ‘Mummy the house is flooded!’
A leaking faucet upstairs filled the ground floor with a foot of water overnight, knocked out the electricity, destroyed appliances and destroyed the kitchen.
Victoria said: ‘I’ll never forget waking up and seeing water pouring out of a tap that wasn’t even on. It was terrible, my ankles were in the water.
‘But it’s now day 43 since this flood – and they haven’t done a single thing.
“The floors still have water underneath – it’s absolutely devastating and the smell is just disgusting.”
She said Magna Housing Association, which owns the property, failed to attend to the waterlogged ceiling for more than a month, until it deteriorated to the point where plaster rained down on Victoria and her dog in early February.
While a Magna surveyor agreed they would fix the ceiling, they provided no date, and made no attempt to fix it before it partially fell off, she says.
The crumbling plaster ceiling prevented the Victoria, her 15-year-old son and daughter, 8, from eating in the dining room, forcing them to eat their meals in the living room.
She said Magna refused to fix much of the damage, leaving Victoria and her family with waterlogged floors, warped doors and a damp home.
Victoria said the incidents left her with a damaged disc and ongoing problems with her back
The disabled mum says it’s been 43 days since the flood and claims Magna still hasn’t fixed the problem leaving Victoria with waterlogged floors and a ‘disgusting’ smell.
While a Magna surveyor agreed they would fix the ceiling, they provided no date and made no attempt to fix it until it partially fell, says Victoria
The damp house is now exacerbating a long-term damp problem in the property, which has left 8-year-old Isla sick from school, and 28-year-old Ashley sleeping downstairs with his young daughter when she comes to visit.
Victoria said: ‘My daughter missed half the term with a bad cough and cold, she is now on antibiotics.
“My son is terribly weak – we slipped through the net and should have been put in sheltered accommodation.”
Magna supplied the family with a dehumidifier, but it did little to tackle the thick black mold growing around the windows and walls of the property – which stubbornly returns despite regular cleaning.
In an attempt to air the house the wet room window is left open, but as a result ivy is now invading the property and has to be cut back from the internal walls.
Victoria said there was no hope of winning the battle against the mold when water came up from under the floorboards.
She said the situation made her cry so much that she could not speak.
She said: ‘I lost as much money as just my floor.
‘My carpets still stink upstairs and yet I’ve tried not to be one of those people who claim ridiculous things are greedy.
‘I’m so weak – it’s terrible I feel like I don’t know where to start.
‘The kitchen is falling apart which was gifted to me in 2014 to help me be more independent with cooking but it’s just ruined.’
She added that a Magna housing officer was ‘shocked’ that her family had not been offered alternative accommodation after the flood.
Victoria said she was left ‘extremely concerned’ after she claimed Magna ‘suddenly got rid of her calls’ – and felt she was treated ‘appallingly’ by the agents.
She said: ‘For these powerful companies, the little person doesn’t matter, the tenant doesn’t matter – I’ve been reporting this for years. ‘
In a statement from Magna they said: ‘We are really sorry that Ms Parkhill has outstanding repairs to her home which have taken longer than we would normally expect.
‘The wet room was initially installed in 2011, and was then extensively refurbished by Magna in 2021. It is in a separate part of the house and is not related to the recent leak.
Ms Parkhill contacted our out of hours team at the end of December to report a leak from the upstairs bathroom, to which we responded the next day.
‘We were able to fix the leak and replace a spotlight that was damaged, use a wet vacuum cleaner to clean the affected area and provide a dehumidifier.
‘However, it was only after Ms Parkhill contacted us again on January 18 that we visited the following day to inspect the water damage to the ceiling and floor downstairs.
‘It should have happened sooner and we have apologized to Ms Parkhill for not happening.
‘We then arranged to return on Friday 2nd February to start the repairs but were unable to gain access to the property as a family member was ill. We have now confirmed that the repairs will be done the week of February 19.
“We have been in contact with Ms Parkhill over the past week to discuss any outstanding issues and any other support she and her family may require.”