Family make their home in a hotel after condemning housing association property as a 'death trap'

  • Watch Richard Payne's report.

A family of five from Somerset are worried they'll be homeless for Christmas after leaving a housing association property they say is a "death trap."

James and Jade Partington said they have been living in a hotel with their three young sons for the past week after being told their house was unfit to live in and at risk of partial collapse.

They moved into the three-bedroom property near Radstock last May but discovered:

  • Crumbling plaster falling off the walls in most rooms

  • Exposed wiring

  • Rooms without carpets

  • The ceiling of an outhouse which a builder has propped up to prevent from collapsing

The ceiling of the house has been propped up with metal supports. Credit: ITV News

Jade Partington, 33, told ITV West Country: "For us, it is a death trap. To find out how dangerous the outhouse is to the point builders won't work on it without more crowbars is scary. The bedroom wall has fallen in.

"There's dust everywhere. You have a bath or shower and you feel dirtier than before you got in. We caught our youngest grabbing the plasterboard and putting it in his mouth.

"We knew the place needed some TLC but when we took the wallpaper off and discovered the problems underneath, we were shocked."

The house has bare floors, crumbling plaster and exposed wiring. Credit: James Partington

The family said they hope alternative temporary accommodation can be found but don't know where they'll spend Christmas.

Mrs Partington said constant reporting of problems with the property, which costs around £500 a month, have been ignored.

James Partington, 39, added: "I feel we've been duped a lot of the time, just fobbed off with different reasons. It's just like putting a Bandaid on a massive cut in a sense.

"The worst parts were originally there, so I don't understand how we were allowed to move in without it being sorted first."

Aster Housing Association told ITV West Country they were "very sorry for the inconvenience."

A spokesperson said: “We’re working on repairing the home and while the works are ongoing, we’re providing a range of support. This includes alternative accommodation that meets the family’s needs and expenses to cover food and other essentials.

“Our surveyors have assessed the property and although the home and outhouse are structurally safe, our customer understandably did not want to remain in the property while the works are being carried out.

“We’re confident that the customer and their family will be able to move back into their home before Christmas. In the meantime, our team is in regular contact to ensure they have the support they need.”