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Mother says council is ‘waiting for us to die’ in flat so riddled with black mould that it is even in her daughter’s SHOES

  • Beverley Simms and daughter Shenika Francis have blasted Camden Council 
  • They moved into their Kentish Town home, in north London, in October 2021
  • Since, toxic mould has spread to bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom 
  • The pair have faced illness and have accused the council of ignoring their fears  

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A horrified mother feels that the council is ‘waiting for us to die’ in a flat so badly ‘riddled with mould’ that it is even in her daughter’s shoes. 

Beverley Simms, 61, is desperately pleading for Camden Council to act and re-house them before her symptoms of living with mould and fungus get worse. 

She fears that if she is not moved out quickly, as her doctors have demanded, she may face the same tragic fate as toddler Awaab Ishak, two, who died in December 2020 after being exposed to toxic mould in his home. 

Beverley and her daughter Shenika Francis, 24, moved into their council flat in Kentish Town, north London, in October 2021.

The scale of the mould in the family's north London home is vast, having spread into the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and living room (pictured)

The scale of the mould in the family’s north London home is vast, having spread into the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and living room (pictured) 

Beverley Simms, 61, and her daughter Shenika Francis, 24, have lashed out at the level of mould plaguing their home, with Beverley (left) saying it feels like the council is 'waiting for us to die'

Beverley Simms, 61, and her daughter Shenika Francis, 24, have lashed out at the level of mould plaguing their home, with Beverley (left) saying it feels like the council is ‘waiting for us to die’

They told MyLondon that that when they viewed the flat, there didn’t seem to be any problems and it was all ‘painted up’.

It wasn’t until a few months later, when they noticed mould growing in the bathroom, that their nightmare began.

Beverley insisted she alerted the council in January 2022 but claims they were forced to wait until April for someone to visit – by which point the fungus had spread to the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.

Showing shocking pictures of black mould in their shoes, on the ceiling, and caked around windows, Beverley admitted the pair were now worried about their health. 

The mould is also on their clothes and mattresses, they say. Beverley has resorted to keeping possessions in plastic bags in a desperate bid to protect them.

And in April, they noticed the floor was slippery and wet. They believe it must be rising damp. 

Following a visit from a workman later that month, Beverley assumed the council was on top of the issue. But eight months later, she says, there had still been nothing done to remove the mould. 

When the fungus continued to encroach on their bedrooms, Beverley and Shenika, who works with special needs children, were forced to sleep in the sitting room and to move all their clothes there too.

And at one point, Beverley claims there was mould on her tongue as it ended up on her toothbrush.

Now she says they have discovered mould on the settee they are sleeping on.

Aside from the mould on her tongue, Beverley has also felt dizzy and had issues with vomiting, while she and her daughter have both had headaches. She claims all of these are symptoms of living with mould and fungus.

A doctor’s note says it is ‘very important Beverley is moved as soon as possible’ as the ‘severe mould’ in her flat is ‘causing stress and distress as well as exacerbating her symptoms of vertigo and heart palpitations’.

Beverley said it feels like Camden Council is ‘waiting for us to die’ and has been thinking about the heartbreaking case of Awaab Ishak, the toddler who died from prolonged exposure to mould.

At one point, Beverley claims there was mould on her tongue as it ended up on her toothbrush. She is pictured in her Kentish Town home

At one point, Beverley claims there was mould on her tongue as it ended up on her toothbrush. She is pictured in her Kentish Town home

Beverley also claims to have felt dizzy and had issues with vomiting - issues she blames on the mould. She and her daughter have also both had headaches

Beverley also claims to have felt dizzy and had issues with vomiting – issues she blames on the mould. She and her daughter have also both had headaches

The family has been forced to bag up clothes in a bid to protect them from the mould

The family has been forced to bag up clothes in a bid to protect them from the mould

Beverley and Shenika say they only recently became aware the property had mould before they moved in. 

Shenika found an email sent to her, not Beverley, which said mould and fungus was being wiped down and painted over – in a move that left Beverley furious.

Beverley is now questioning why her daughter was emailed by the council and not her. 

‘Why would they make us move somewhere they know it would happen again?’ she asked. 

Beverley and Shenika have been offered another property, but they claim the council is refusing to do all of the repairs they have requested and hasn’t been clear about when it will be available. 

Beverley says it is also a downgrade as, in their current flat, she has a king-sized bed whereas the new place has single beds and two-seater settees. 

They also want compensation as they bought many things new for the flat and believe it isn’t their fault that their belongings have been destroyed, but Beverley claims Camden Council has refused.

A Camden Council spokesperson said their focus is to move Beverley and Shenika to their new home. They admitted that addressing the causes of the damp and mould has been ‘complicated’ because the council is the leaseholder for the flat, but isn’t the freeholder of the building.

They said: ‘We are here to help Ms Simms and her daughter. Our focus right now is helping the family move to another home permanently as soon as possible. We have found a new home, decorated it and are offering to provide basic furniture, so that when the home is ready, the family will be able to move in straight away.

‘Addressing the causes of the damp and mould has been complicated by the fact that Camden Council is not the freeholder of the building, but we are treating this matter as a priority and are in regular contact with the family.

‘We want all our tenants to live in warm, safe and well-maintained homes and we are being proactive on addressing damp and mould. Over a year ago, we set up a dedicated damp and mould team, who take emergency action and stop problems at source. 

‘We are now redoubling our efforts by increasing the number of people addressing this problem, reaching out to all our tenants, and we will be working side by side with tenants and their representatives to ensure every tenant has a comfortable home.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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