Care Worker Forced To Leave Home Because Of Rats, Damp And Mould

A tenant who has been living in hotels for three months while her housing association decanters her property might not be rehoused until Christmas.

Clarion Housing moved care worker, Louise Plunkett, into a hotel on July 7 after she was hospitalised with breathing problems while living among damp, mould, and vermin that was so bad, she had to sleep on her sofa for nine months. The 34-year-old Mitcham resident had been complaining to Clarion for almost a decade, but was getting nowhere with the housing association – which manages 125,000 properties across the UK and is Europe’s largest housing association.

Louise’s property is plagued with mice and rats, both dead and alive, that chew through her clothes, destroy her furniture and shred important documents. She had no choice but to move into her living room and salvage the little clothes she could and live out of a bin bag.

Clarion previously told MyLondon they had been in weekly communication with Louise since February 2021, and had apologised to her and paid compensation for a delay of services in the past. However, Louise denies that she ever received an apology and was paid just £25, which she believes was compensation from Clarion.

Louise says she is one of many Clarion residents who are being moved into hotels while the housing association decanters or completes repairs in properties. She told MyLondon: “This is not an isolating incident, this is taking place with every other resident that Clarion is taking control over – why are they failing? “You don’t get to sit at the table saying you are helping me yet I’ve got neighbours sitting in their property with damp and mould, I’m so angry about this. “The humiliation myself and other Clarion residents are being put through is disgusting, we can’t keep living like this. It’s inhumane.”

Louise still has to pay £575 rent per month despite not living there because of health risks. Every time Louise returns to her Mitcham property to clear out her possessions, she has terrifying dreams of the rats and mould she has lived among. She was transferred from a Mitcham hotel to another in Wimbledon after a series of unsafe incidents involving outsiders trying to get into her and other people’s rooms.