High Pit council tenant Dean Clifford claims his house is "stinking" due to damp problem

A council tenant struggling with damp in his home says the problem has still not been solved, and he has spent months being “fobbed off”.

By James Robinson
Monday, 18th July 2022, 5:20 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 5:27 pm

Dean Clifford lives with his mother and sister – who both have disabilities – in the High Pit area of Cramlington.

His mother has lived in the same property since 1968, but in recent months the family have been beset with a damp problem which has got so bad, Dean’s sister has said she wants to leave their home.

In a story we published last month, Dean said the issue was so severe he had suffered health issues and feared for his elderly mum’s life.

Mould in the living room of Dean Clifford's home in Cramlington.

The council responded by saying it would meet with Mr Clifford to try and solve the issues.

Since then more work has been carried out – but Dean says some problems still remain and he is now struggling to contact the council.

He said: “They have carried out some work and I have to say they’ve done a wonderful job, but I’ve taken photographs and there is mould actually growing behind the plaster on the membrane of the wall.

“It’s not a very good situation. We called last week and still haven’t had anybody call. The house is stinking.

“We’ve been told to just live our lives and they will get to us when they do. We’ve just been fobbed off left, right and centre.

“We haven’t heard anything all week. It’s a sorry state of affairs. My sister is talking about leaving the house.”

Dean added that mould in parts of the house such as the bathroom is “turning blacker and blacker”.

He added: “It’s an absolute nightmare.”

Northumberland County Council has said it is working with the family to resolve the issue.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: “We are working closely with the family to try and bring this matter to a close. We have carried out extensive work to the property to treat the dampness and are satisfied that the problem has now been resolved.

“Noting the tenants’ view that they believe that dampness remains a problem, we are however in the process of commissioning an independent survey of the property which will hopefully provide reassurance to the tenants.”