A young mother is terrified for her son’s health after being placed in a mould invested flat for two years.

Janai Webb, who lives in a property in Oxford road, Reading has been dealing with a black mould problem since she moved into the building in late 2020.

At the time, she was heavily pregnant, homeless, and thought that the newly renovated flat which 'Bracknell Forest housing' offered to her in Reading was ‘perfect and entirely what her family needed.’

Not long after she began to notice mould coming through the walls, and was told that it was because of un-opened vents despite the lack of vents in the property.

Reading Chronicle:

Natalie Farrell, her mother in law said: “It got really bad and on the day that my grandson was born was on the December 11 2020, they had to take the windows out of the flat to have them replaced because they thought it was due to the fact the sealing round the window wasn’t good enough.”

Weeks later the mould re-appeared despite the new windows and the family noticed that new born, Arlo, started to get unwell.

After 'a year of hell', mother and son were offered a new ground floor flat from Reading Borough Council, but only after receiving confirmation that there had been a surveyors check and any mould problems had been sorted within the building'.

Ms Farrell added: “Again within weeks of moving, we contacted the landlady saying this mould is coming through thick and fast and it’s actually worse than the flat upstairs.

“The mould comes every day and it is that bad that it’s pure fur. All the paint and plaster has come off the wall. My grandsons pictures, cots, prams, all the babies clothes, even their rucksacks and suitcases have been ruined.”

According to surveyors the level of dangerous toxins coming off the mould is nine out of ten making the property extremely dangerous for a 14 month-old unable to fight off the toxins.

“My grandson is in and out of hospital due to the spores and the mould in the property and he has GP letters and everything to say that the chest and breathing problems are because of the mould,” she said.

“We have been told, if this continues it might be a lifelong illness because of infections in the chest and will affect him for the rest of his life as he’s developing. That’s obviously a massive worry.”

The damage that the black mould has caused has been classed as ‘way out of the expertise of a handyman’ and the only thing that can be done is to bleach the walls every day.

A trench is currently being built around the house to drain the building of its water, however according to builders that are currently working on the property, the building should not have been approved as ‘liveable.’

Janai Webb said: “As well as Arlo’s conditions I have also been diagnosed with a condition which affects my breathing and tightness in my chest. I was told this is because of the level of toxins and the bleach I have to use on the walls.”

“There are 6 flats in the building but there is only me and number three that gets it, and a little bit in number two. It’s mostly the downstairs flats however the one I used to be in upstairs had an outside wall so it got it a little bit.”

"The past two years have just been so tiring and repetitive. Going back and forward to the council and landlady trying to get this sorted. I'm so concerned about Arlo and how it is affecting him."

Reading Chronicle:

A spokesman from Reading Borough Council, who are one of the authoriries dealing with the issue within the property said:

“Ms Webb’s tenancy in the flat in question is with a private landlord. Reading Borough Council’s Private Sector Housing Team, which investigates complaints in the private rented sector and seeks to improve housing standards in the borough, has been in dialogue with both Ms Webb and the landlord and can confirm improvement work has taken place, and is ongoing.”