WHEN Elizabeth O’Neill received an offer for a new home in 2010, she thought it would mark the start of a new beginning for her and her children - however, a decade spent fighting the mould infestation that has taken over every room in her home has since taken its toll.
A single parent to three boys, Elizabeth said she was excited to move out of her two bedroom home into the four bedroom Berneslai Homes property on Westville Road, Old Town.
However, the problems began when she first moved in, as she noticed the house constantly felt damp.
Gradually over the next few years she began noticing black mould appearing in her bathroom and dining room - which quickly spread to other rooms throughout her home.
She made her first complaint to Berneslai Homes in 2013 - but revealed nothing has been done to rectify the issue following subsequent complaints, and it is now taking its toll on her health.
“There is now mould everywhere,” said Elizabeth, 55. “It’s on our clothes, furniture, and the bathroom is nearly rotten from it.
“I have lost count of the amount of times I have redecorated and replaced furniture because it became ruined from the mould - it’s really not acceptable and I can’t believe nothing has been done about it.
“In my opinion, the whole house needs stripping back to the bricks - there’s only so much Mr Muscle I can spray around the house before it becomes a bigger issue.”
Elizabeth suffers from anxiety and depression, as well as health issues which she says have been exacerbated by the constant presence of mould in her home.
She now suffers from breathing difficulties, tremors, and constant joint pain which are painful to the touch.
The situation got so bad that her youngest son was forced to move from his bedroom to sleep in the living room to avoid the mould.
“My son has really bad asthma and it was making him ill sleeping in his mouldy room,” she added. “He moved to sleep in the living room because of it.
“When he went away to university, his asthma did seem to improve, but when he came home for the summer it got worse again and he keeps getting chest infections.
“It’s also freezing in the winter so that doesn’t help, either.
“I am in constant pain now and I just want it to stop. I want to be comfortable, warm and dry in my home - that’s not too much to ask.
“This whole situation is really making me ill - I can’t live like this anymore.
“Berneslai Homes need to come and sort the problem or find me a new home.
“I am really angry that my constant complaints aren’t being taken seriously, how mouldy does my home need to be before they will take notice?”
A spokesperson for Berneslai Homes said: “Inspections are carried out to look at the possible causes of mould in a property and to which rooms are affected with mould.
“The causes of most mould issues in a property is down to a lack of ventilation or insulation or an increase in the air moisture content due to cooking, or drying clothes internally.
“All aspects are looked at for the cause of the mould and works arranged as needed to deal with the mould.
“We have been dealing and treating the mould issues found at the time, when the tenant has reported a problem to us.
“Extensive works are been carried out at this time to the property, to deal with the mould issue and other issues that have been.”