Vulnerable tenant ‘mentally broken’ as mould grows on walls of new-build home

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of h

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of his bungalow at Orchard Croft in Diss. Picture: Neil Powell - Credit: Neil Powell

A tenant suffering with asthma has been left “mentally drained” by what he claims is a lack of action over mould growing in his new-build home.

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of h

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of his bungalow at Orchard Croft in Diss. Picture: Neil Powell - Credit: Archant

Neil Powell, who also has a functional neurological disorder, claims to have been treated “disgracefully” by his landlord and the property developer.

The 48-year-old first reported problems at his bungalow on Nightjar Close, Diss, on September 28, when he noticed water marks on the living room walls following stormy weather.

The next day his landlord and the property’s owner, Sage Housing, sent a roofing contractor to perform a temporary fix - but the mould and water marks only worsened in the ensuing days.

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of h

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of his bungalow at Orchard Croft in Diss. Picture: Neil Powell - Credit: Archant

More than two weeks later, Mr Powell, who lives in social housing built by Persimmon Homes, says nothing has progressed and fears for his health.


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“I have been on the phone so many times and it seems nobody wants to do anything,” he said.

“This thing needs a proper fix, but I know that is potentially going to cost thousands. I’ve been told the issue is that the cavity sleeve is missing and water is just leaking through.

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of h

Neil Powell has been left "mentally broken" by a lack of action over mould growing on the walls of his bungalow at Orchard Croft in Diss. Picture: Neil Powell - Credit: Archant

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“This whole situation absolutely broke me last week, and on Friday I was crying my eyes out.

“I am physically and mentally drained, and upset because I feel invisible. If I was the landlord I would be jumping up and down, saying to Persimmon ‘why aren’t you doing anything about it?’”

Mr Powell has lived in Norfolk for the past decade and moved to the Orchard Croft estate in May 2019.

Water marks on the wall of Neil Powell's bungalow on the Orchard Croft estate in Diss. Picture: Neil

Water marks on the wall of Neil Powell's bungalow on the Orchard Croft estate in Diss. Picture: Neil Powell - Credit: Archant

Persimmon Homes say a roofing contractor has “confirmed there is not a problem” with Mr Powell’s roof.

They added: “An appointment has been made for a bricklayer to attend on October 16 and, once we have his report, we will book in any work necessary.”

And a spokesman for Sage Housing added: “We share the customer’s frustration and have spoken again to the developer. They assessed the problem on Tuesday and will take immediate steps to rectify it.

Neil Powell moved into his bungalow on the Orchard Croft estate, Diss, in May 2019. Picture: Neil Po

Neil Powell moved into his bungalow on the Orchard Croft estate, Diss, in May 2019. Picture: Neil Powell - Credit: Archant

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we arranged for a contractor to visit and offer a temporary fix until a permanent repair was made.”

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