Six-year wait on council to replace mouldy bathroom

Janet Elder's bathroom is thought to be 30 years old and mould grows back no matter how often it is cleaned.
Janet Elder's bathroom is thought to be 30 years old and mould grows back no matter how often it is cleaned.

A vulnerable Kirkcaldy pensioner has been stuck in a council home which is plagued with mould, after Fife Council backtracked on a five-year-old promise to fix it.

Janet Elder’s bathroom in Torbain is in desperate need of renovation, with black mould growing on the walls and ceiling.

Pictures of Janet Elder's Bathroom

Pictures of Janet Elder's Bathroom

A firm tasked with finally adding an airvent recently was also reluctant to touch the ceiling because ithad been advised by the council that it may contain asbestos.

Despite regular cleaning, the mould quickly grows back in the bathroom, which is showing severe signs of age.

An attempt to cover the room in a special industrial anti-mould paint saw the spores reappear in just 24 hours. Janet’s family have even tried to have it replaced privately, but contractors were unwilling to take the job on as it is a council property.

She said: “I feel like I’m living in someone else’s caravan.

The inside of the cistern.

The inside of the cistern.

“My granddaughter just had a son, I can’t even bring him to the house with it like that. I don’t want folk coming in here to see it like this.

“It was an older guy who lived in here before and the place needed work.

“I was told when I moved in six years ago I was told I’d get a new kitchen and a new bathroom because it was already 30 years old.

“The kitchen was only done in October.”

The mould grows in quickly.

The mould grows in quickly.

Janet says that when black flakes came out of taps when running a bath, a council staff member told her to just rinse it way.

The council claims it tried to fit the bathroom in 2016, something Janet and her family have no record of, and other tradesmen have had no problem accessing the house.

Joan Lamie, Fife Council’s housing manager for Kirkcaldy said: “This property was due to have its bathroom replaced in Six-year wait on council to replace mouldy bathroom 2016 but unfortunately our tradesmen did not gain access to the house, despite making several visits to start the work.

“We have been working with the tenant for some time to address various repair issues. Arrangements were made for a specialist contractor to survey the house earlier this year. It was noted that the house was poorly ventilated.

The bathroom is thought to be about 30 years old.

The bathroom is thought to be about 30 years old.

“We have since arranged for a new extractor fan to be fitted and checked the central heating system. The contractor also advised that Ms Elder open window vents and move some furniture away from the walls where they were blocking heating and ventilation.

“Housing officers are in regular contact with Ms Elder and her family members however, since our failed attempts to replace the bathroom in 2016, they have not asked for this to be considered again. We’ve now asked for this address to be included in a future bathroom replacement programme.”