Mum and young son’s bathroom ‘flooded with wee’ because council ‘didn’t fix leak’

A mum and her young son’s bathroom was “flooded with wee” because the local council didn’t fix a number of different issues, it’s claimed.

Sonia Destouche, 48, has lived in her council property since 2014 but has been plagued with issues such as mould, damp and ant infestations ever since.

She lives in the one-bed flat in Walthamstow, east London, with her seven-year-old son and claims they both now suffer with asthma thanks to their living conditions.

Sonia was paid a visit by workers earlier this month who she says were sent by the council to clear the mould and damp in her property – but she claims this work has been left incomplete.

“He (the council worker) started doing the kitchen, but we couldn’t see what he was doing, so I don’t think he cleaned the damp, I think he just painted over because it’s coming through a bit, and then he did the bedroom and then he said he was gonna come back Monday to do it,” she told MyLondon.

But Sonia says he didn’t return to the property, and she was then faced with another problem when her bathroom started flooding.

“One man came and fixed the pipe from outside and told me it was not that pipe that was leaking into the bathroom, it’s got to be from somewhere else,” she added.

I was told they would send some other guy so I had to call the MP to see if they could get someone to investigate the property.”

She faced further issues when she could “smell urine” in her flooding property, which she says can be smelt throughout the flat and believes leaking is coming from her ceiling.

She also believes that urine is flooding her bathroom.

However, she claims that all she has been told will be done is that her kitchen and bathroom will be painted again on October 18, but she is desperate to leave the property altogether and has even got a lawyer involved.

“My lawyer has been emailing the housing department asking to put me in a hotel, because I had to go to the doctors with chest pain from my asthma,” she said, going on to claim that Waltham Forest Council has failed to respond to requests from her lawyer.

“I am around my friend’s house because the house the whole house smells of urine badly,” she added.

“My lawyer, she is trying to get me out, to get them to move me out because the property is getting worse. She said that when she saw the first pictures of it, it wasn’t too bad. But now she’s seen the rest of it, it’s getting worse and worse in the house. The property is no good for anyone to live in, it’s inhumane.”

Sonia says she has reached breaking point after being affected by numerous issues for eight years, which she claims are now impacting both her and her young son’s health and schooling.

She says her son is currently taking time off while the issues at their home are ongoing, and his school have intervened and tried to help their case.

Last month, Sonia said that mould has grown throughout the flat, leaving some parts of the walls completely black. She also claimed to have witnessed ant infestations, which she believes are able to get in through cracks on the ground floor.

Sonia explained that she currently sleeps in the same bed as her son in the living room due to the bedroom being particularly badly affected.

She previously explained that she has been supported by her neighbours, who have all been left shocked by the state of her home.

She is also in contact with Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, who is aware of her case.

Sonia said: “My neighbours come here, I’m crying. I’m stressed out. I can’t sleep at night, because I keep looking to see if there’s any ants coming. About two months ago I woke up from my bed. I opened the patio door and the whole carpet was full of ants, all over the floor there, and the kitchen.”

Cllr Ahsan Khan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration at Waltham Forest Borough Council, told MyLondon: “We have been in contact with the resident to arrange a visit to the property to assess the problems this month. We offer pest control services to all council tenants that can be quickly and easily booked through our website.”

Over the latest issues Sonia has faced, he added: “We continue to work with the resident to address any outstanding issues at this property.”