Hammersmith & FulhamNewsWestminster

Wet walls, mould and loose windows add up to misery for White City family

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

A family living in a mould-ridden White City Estate flat have claimed their baby was born with a cold due to the poor condition of their home.

The family, who are living in Hammersmith and Fulham but are under the care of Westminster City council, added a health inspector told them the property was not safe for their young child.

A Westminster City council spokesman said the local authority was ‘very concerned’ about the family’s living conditions, and that it was working with the provider, Notting Hill Genesis (NHG), and the landlord, to arrange repairs to the property.

Fardus Miah, 39, and Tania Jahan, 34, moved into the flat in December 2019, having been in temporary accommodation in Leyton.

The pair, who have three children, said they began struggling with disrepair not long after settling into their new home.

“The wall and windows were loose, water dripping from the ceiling in the kitchen, due to the maintenance of the property itself. There would be a flood coming through, leaking everywhere,” Mr Miah said.

The family, who communicate with either Westminster or NHG but not directly with the landlord who owns the property, said they have been repeatedly requesting repairs be done to their home.

Other than some works completed around a year ago, however, which kept the damp at bay for just a few days, they say nothing else has been done.

Mr Miah said: “I know it’s not safe. The first few months were okay, but after we came to winter, autumn, that’s it. Everything changed.”

The couple welcomed their third child, Younis, in December 2022. Ms Jahan claims that when he was born, Younis had a cold due to the conditions in their home.

She added that a health inspector from the local GP surgery visited and told the family they needed to move out, with the accommodation not suitable for a young child.

In a letter sent to Westminster City council from a health visitor at the Parkview Centre for Health and Wellbeing, a health visitor wrote: “There is extensive damp throughout the property, black mould is present on the walls and the ceilings of every room, including the hallway.

Fardus Miah said the house was draughty and cold due to damage to the windows (Picture: Facundo Arrizabalaga)

“In some rooms the damp is so bad that the walls are wet. This is not just a health hazard but also poses an issue for the safety of the parents and the children.

“The damp has impacted the electrical circuits in the property. The electrical sockets in the hallway and kitchen are not working due to the wet walls.”

The family was issued a letter by NHG late last year saying the landlord wishes to take back the flat, although they have yet to be formally evicted. They say they have asked Westminster to rehouse them, though have been told until they are evicted, they cannot be provided new accommodation.

A Westminster City council spokesman said: “We’re very concerned by the conditions this family are living in and have been working with Notting Hill Genesis, as well as the landlord, to arrange much needed repairs to the property as soon as possible,” they said.

“We are in touch with the family and urgently searching for appropriate alternative accommodation in the meantime.”

A Notting Hill Genesis spokesman said: “We sincerely apologise for the distress caused and are doing everything we can to support the family as we understand the serious implications on the baby’s health.

“When the family moved into the property in December 2019 it was inspected and found to be safe, suitable accommodation.

“Last year, we completed extensive works to keep the home in good order, and raised the issue of the leak from the roof. More recently, we have arranged for the mould to be treated, for urgent repairs to the cupboards and for any other health and safety concerns to be identified.”

Pictured top: Fardus Miah, Tania Jahan and their family in their White City Estate flat (Picture: Facundo Arrizabalaga)

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