Northampton mum's 'living hell': Leaky ceiling collapses into flat where mushrooms grow in the mould

  • Watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Callum Fairhurst

A mother-of-two says she endured "a living hell" as a water leak filled her home with mould and led to part of her kitchen ceiling collapsing.

Adele Batchelor, 32, said she moved into the property near Northampton three years ago with her son Cohen, 10, and daughter Imogen, 7. She says the leak began around 18 months ago.

She said: "It's been absolutely horrendous. Not just for myself, but for my two young children.

"I don't have any words. I did, months ago - I was angry, I was upset, I was confused, I was annoyed. I've been that unwell now, to the point I've actually got used to it."

Adele Batchelor says the problems started 18 months ago Credit: ITV News Anglia
Mould forming on the ceiling - Ms Batchelor said this growth resembled mushrooms

She told ITV News Anglia that despite visits from plumbers to the home in Little Billing, water continued to build in the ceiling and the mould kept growing.

She said there were even what appeared to be mushrooms growing. Eventually part of her kitchen ceiling collapsed.

Part of the ceiling collapsed on to the kitchen floor

Ms Batchelor claims the problems have led her to having several health issues. 

"It's destroyed me, mentally, physically and emotionally. It's destroyed me... just not knowing whether we're coming or going."

"The children have even been frightened to go upstairs because they think they'll fall through the ceiling at times. It's been quite an ordeal."

Ms Batchelor says she has had several trips to hospital because of breathing difficulties Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ms Batchelor's home is managed by Northampton Partnership Homes.

In a statement to ITV News Anglia, a spokesman said it understood the issues caused by the leak and had made "repeated visits" to resolve the issue.

Gary Duckmanton, assistant director at Northampton Partnership Homes, said: "We were first made aware of a problem with leaks from the bathroom in October 2020, when our plumber attended and rectified a leaking bath waste pipe. During this visit, no further defects were identified.

"The tenant subsequently reported concerns in August this year, when we attended within our usual timescales and identified separate defects to the bath and boiler which had contributed to a build up of water above the kitchen ceiling, causing it to collapse.

"We visited Ms Batchelor to assess the problem and made sure the ceiling was safe, before dealing with outstanding issues with the boiler and bath. The repairs to the ceiling have been arranged for completion [Thursday] morning."

But the company said it was unaware of reports of damp and mould, and had not been told about Ms Batchelor's hospital visits or health problems - a point she disputes.

NPH said it would now treat any leaks, damp and mould and redecorate.