A Surrey NHS worker says she has endured more than two years of living with fungi spores and black mould which now covers almost every surface of her home. Larisa Orlova claims her landlord has left her to live in “hazardous conditions” for more than two years before fully acknowledging the issue and scheduling works to be carried out.
The housing company claims it was only made aware of an issue with a leaking water tank in September 2020. The 49-year-old emergency care nursing assistant said she felt as though she was in her “own horror movie, with black mould covering the walls” at the property in Hersham. She even had a mushroom growing from the ceiling earlier this year.
Larisa said the mould started appearing in the property in the autumn of 2018. She said she tried to report the issue to PA Housing using her online account, but claims she was not able to. Every time she tried to report it, she says she received the following message: “This is your responsibility. As a tenant, you are responsible for adequate heating and ventilation of your home. “She says she called PA Housing as well, but she explained that she was offered the same advice. She said she bought an expensive dehumidifier, but this only increased her electricity bills.
She said a surveyor was sent to the property in 2018 after she managed to report the mould issue and an extractor fan was installed in the bathroom, however this did not help. “The smell is musty and I am gasping for fresh air. You feel like you need fresh air and fresh oxygen because the air is filled with fungi spores.”
The mould has reportedly progressively spread to cover most of the property, and in the summer of 2019, Larisa said she had woodworms – larvae of wood-boring beetles – in the bathroom. She said she has had to throw numerous items away, including clothes and her son’s laptop, due to mould growing on them. She said the fungi is multi-coloured. A photograph of a digital hygrometer, an instrument used to measure humidity, shows the humidity in the property reached 87% at one point.