Disabled couple stuck in flat so mouldy they stop leaks with umbrella

A family-of-four has been stuck in a flat coated in thick mould with a roof that ‘rains’ for nearly four years.

Parents Gulus, 56, and Seyho Celik, 69, have wedged an umbrella on the ceiling of their bathroom to avoid getting wet when they use the toilet.

The couple are both severely physically disabled and in severe pain most of the time.

They cannot use the stairs so are largely trapped in the third-floor property in Redbridge, London which has ‘no electric’.

The family’s housing company and local council are said to have offered ‘unsuitable’ temporary housing.

Speaking to MyLondon, their daughter said: ‘First of all, they had mice everywhere. They (the housing company) didn’t take care of that, even though we told them so many times.’

She added that water began pouring from the ceiling just a few weeks after they moved in.

‘The biggest problem is the mould and the leaking. The roof was supposed to be fixed but they kept finding excuses of why the roof can’t be fixed – they can’t find someone to do it, there’s a problem with the property’, she said.

‘One of the rooms we can’t use because of the leaking and the mould. My sister couldn’t use her room so she’s sleeping in the living room.

‘But then the mould started happening in the living room. So literally every room in the house has mould. It’s like it’s raining all the time inside.’

Gulus has a condition named fibromyalgia, which causes severe pain all over the body, while Seyho has problems with both of his knees. 

The couple only leave the flat to go to hospital appointments and have asked the council for ground floor accommodation or somewhere with a chair lift.

But their daughter says it ‘wasn’t easy’ to even get their current flat and they had to live in a hostel for a few months beforehand.

Gulus said: ‘We are not looking for place for pleasure, we just want a safe and healthy place for all of us.’

A Spokesperson from Let Sell Property, which manages the property, said: ‘Let Sell Property is only merely the managing agent acting on behalf of the Leaseholder of the flat.

‘The Roof works has been an issue which is currently being dealt between the Leaseholder and the freeholder with the leaseholder’s solicitors involved.

‘We have always tried working alongside with the tenant by offering them alternative accommodation however they have refused to accept any other accommodations offered.’

Waltham Forest councillor Louise Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Prevention, told Metro.co.uk: ‘The Council is aware of the family’s concerns and we continue to work with them to find a stable, long-term solution.

‘We understand their frustrations and apologise for the delays in finding a resolution.

‘We are in contact with the external housing provider to ensure issues with disrepair are dealt with.

‘We are considering all options available to us to resolve the problems and help the family.’

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