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Why does my family have to live like this?

UNACCEPTABLE: Roxanne Wong has been living with a leaking roof

A CONCERNED mum is locked in a battle with her private landlord who she claims has refused to fix a leaking ceiling.

Roxanne Wong is now forced to keep a large bucket on top of her fridge to catch the water which gushes down from the bathroom whenever it is used.

But the burst ceiling is just the latest in a catalogue of dramas at her terraced home in Erdington, Birmingham, which she has rented from the private landlord for the past five years.

The damp is so bad that the mum-of-five says the house smells “as if it has not been lived in for 40 years” and she claims no one comes to assess what needs to be done.

“I have gone to my neighbourhood office with videos of the problems and rung my private landlord countless times but nothing is ever done,” complained 42-year-old Wong, a self-employed beautician, who left Kingston, Jamaica, for Birmingham 17 years ago.


“The damp is now everywhere in the house. My 10-year-old daughter’s room is dreadful and I fear for the health of my six-year-old son who has asthma. He has developed a bad cough since living in this house. It’s rapidly becoming a health and safety issue living here.”

She has now sought help from her MP Jack Dromey, the Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington. His assistant Mark Shurmer said: “This is a private rented property and we are in touch with the Private Tenancy Unit to try to resolve this. It is an ongoing case.”

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: “There are a number of issues involved in this case, one of which is access to the property by the tenant. This is essential in order to assess the property and determine what repairs are needed.

“The local authority is mediating between the tenant and the private landlord to resolve these issues swiftly.”

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