Family’s fury at grandmother’s damp house

Marlene Payne of Prospect Terrace, Rothwell in her bedroom, with the mould her wall.
Marlene Payne of Prospect Terrace, Rothwell in her bedroom, with the mould her wall.
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A family fear their grandmother’s life is being put at risk as damp-ridden bedrooms have forced her to sleep on her sofa for a year.

Furious relatives say Marlene Payne, 74, is living in conditions “you wouldn’t let a dog live in” at her flat on Prospect Terrace, Rothwell, despite repeated calls for help to Leeds City Council.

Every night Mrs Payne - who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma - sleeps in her living room, as breathing is too painful in both of the bedrooms. They say the situation has become more desperate as the weekend’s deluge saw water streaming down the walls upstairs, fusing the electics.

Now council bosses have told the YEP they are treating Mrs Payne’s case as a priority and vowed to fix a roof leak by the end of this week.

But granddaughter Kelly Walker, 34, said the family want her rehoused locally, with disabled access, in a ground floor flat. She said: “Sleeping on a sofa wouldn’t be good for anyone, let alone a 74-year-old. I’ve noticed over the past few months her breathing has deteriorated. She has a lot more choking fits. It’s like black fur on the walls. If she slept up there then I feel given another few months she wouldn’t be here any more. That’s how bad it is. You wouldn’t let a dog live in those conditions, never mind a member of the family.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “Having been made aware of a leak in the roof at Mrs Payne’s property, an inspection was undertaken promptly by Leeds City Council’s contractors.

“We hope all council tenants will contact us when they have repairs jobs that need to be undertaken. Since we became aware of this matter we have treated it as a priority. We have now established that the leak is adjacent to repair work previously completed on the roof in March of this year and steps have now been taken to quickly fix this problem, weather permitting, by the end of the week.

“As part of the inspection, an area of mould was identified in the second bedroom, and we will also be resolving this problem for Mrs Payne as part of our immediate work. Once these repairs have been completed, an assessment of potential follow up work is also set be undertaken. We will be working closely with Mrs Payne to resolve any further issues at the property, which includes discussing any damage that might have been made to any personal possessions due to the leak.”

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