Northumbria student claims her flat was so mouldy it made her ill

The 20-year-old is now looking for somewhere else to live after being released early from her tenancy

A former Northumbria University student alleges her flat was covered in mould that much, it left her ill.

Shortly after moving into her home in Heaton, Hannah Turney, a 20-year-old former law student, noticed problems with the boiler, windows and condensation, which she flagged up with the letting agency, Prem Lets, and nothing happened.

Miss Turney said the mould made her ill and was told it was her responsibility to buy and clean the walls with bleach.

Speaking to ITV News, she said: “She came round and told me to bleach it and leave my window open in the middle of winter and keep the heating on, which obviously isn’t the best advice as I’d tried to bleach it two times already and it came back the next day.

“You kind of wake up, you look at it and you don’t really want to be in your bedroom. It’s not a relaxing place to be and then when you’re feeling pretty ill all the time, as well, it’s hard to get any energy to go anywhere or do anything.”

Just before Christmas last year, Miss Turney had enough and decided to write a formal complaint to Prem Lets.

Photo Credit: ITV News

The letting agency claim there was so no complaint made about the mould until 20 December, contractors had been refused entry to the property and had already signed a new 12 month contract in November, they said to ITV News.

She responded by saying: “It wasn’t actually me who signed the contract, it was my roommate. She doesn’t really have the issues that I have with the mould in her room.

“The boiler has constantly been breaking. Every time me or my flat mate have emailed, we’ve emailed about the windows, we respond. The contractor came and he didn’t give us the chance to get to the door before he’d already gone. It’s not acceptable that they are telling us that we didn’t report this, when they’ve come and done flat checks and even if we hadn’t, they’ve seen it for themselves.”

As her bedroom walls were covered in mould and felt the property was unhabitable Miss Turney had been seeking compensation but her request had been denied.

Hannah, who has finished her studies and is now working, plans to move in with her girlfriend, once they find a flat together.

Photo Credit: ITV News

In a statement to ITV News, Marie Rutherford of Prem Lets, said: “Issues with the tenant’s boiler were raised and rectified in August 2022. Tenants first reported concerns over mould in their property on 20th December 2022, we attended the property on this date and identified areas of condensation.

“We made arrangements for contractors to attend the following day, however they were refused entry by tenants. Tenants have since delayed contractors attending the property on multiple occasions to allow us to address this issue.

“We have cooperated with Newcastle City Council and will continue to work with them and the tenants to resolve any issues they may have. The landlord has agreed to release tenants from their current tenancy immediately.”

If you are currently struggling with housing issues, you can seek help via NUSU here, or via NSU here.

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Feature Image via ITV News.