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Four floods in a year for mum and son living in ‘squalid’ privately rented Homerton flat

PUBLISHED: 12:47 23 July 2018

A portion of the ceiling collapsed in this Homerton High Street flat collapsed after flood damage but has since been repaired, Picture: Bianca Baker

A portion of the ceiling collapsed in this Homerton High Street flat collapsed after flood damage but has since been repaired, Picture: Bianca Baker

Archant

A young mum whose privately rented Homerton flat has flooded four times in a year says her nine-year-old son could have been crushed when the ceiling collapsed.

Wallpaper peeling off in Homerton High Street flat after multiple floods. Picture: Bianca BakerWallpaper peeling off in Homerton High Street flat after multiple floods. Picture: Bianca Baker

Bianca Baker, 28, and her son Caden, say they are living in “squalor” in the one-bed in Homerton High Street and that the floods have damaged their home and possessions.

The latest leak happened in May but the most severe flood was last year, when the sitting room caved in moments after Bianca had been inside.

“Three seconds before, I was standing where the ceiling collapsed,” she said. “I was that close.

“Luckily I had recently moved my sofa, which would have been directly beneath it.

Wallpaper peeling off in Homerton High Street flat after multiple floods. Picture: Bianca BakerWallpaper peeling off in Homerton High Street flat after multiple floods. Picture: Bianca Baker

“So we have to give thanks that there were no children there at the time – it could have ended disastrously.”

Bianca, an outreach and partnership officer who works in Dalston, also claimed: “The walls are falling apart, the skirting boards are coming apart, the ceilings have cracks in them, I told the landlord that one day the property will just fall down.”

She added that the floods had ruined rugs and her bedsheets, claiming she has replaced most of the damaged items out of her own pocket.

But her landlord David Hager, of Mofter Investment, said he’d paid for all the flood damage, and denied the walls or skirting boards were in disrepair.

He said: “There was one severe flood when the ceiling fell in because of a blockage on the top floor flat.

“All the problems she has now at the flat, my builder is waiting to do the repairs.”

Bianca told the Gazette she had been forced into the private sector from temporary accommodation because she couldn’t get on the housing waiting list.

“I was living in crowded accommodation with a kid so I had to move into private accommodation,” she said.

“I grew up in a horrible place in Manor House and this is my first ever flat, so when I got this place I wasn’t fussed that it was a one bedroom.

“I’ve lived in squalor all my life and I thought I could escape it here, but the flat just came with a load of issues.”

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