A woman suffering with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) claims she has been left to live in a damp, mouldy bungalow for months, which has made her condition worse and is affecting her mental health.

Sheila Taylor, 61, lives in a property in Longton Close in Blackburn, which is managed by Together Housing.

She says that as well as the issues with damp, which has caused mould on her cupboards and wardrobes, leaving hinges and doors rusty, and damaging the electrics on her mobility scooter, she has also experienced problems with rats, which have been scurrying in her loft, keeping her awake at night.

Lancashire Telegraph: Damp on the wallsDamp on the walls (Image: Public)

Ms Taylor said Together Housing have known about the issues for some time, and instead of rectifying the damp, have “painted over” the problems, and left her with little to no insulation in her loft.

Together housing said pest control and an inspector are visiting this week, and ventilation has already been installed at the property.

Ms Taylor said: “I’ve had ongoing problems with damp in the bedroom, all my wardrobes are covered in mould.

“I have COPD and the nurses who come out to check on me have said they are very concerned about the damp and humidity levels in the house as they are up to 81 per cent. I keep getting chest infections and on top of that I’ve had rats.

“They run across the floorboards in the loft and there’s hardly any insulation up there it’s so cold in the house.

“Together Housing put a bigger radiator in for me but I can feel a draft from where all the damp is coming in.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rusty hinges and fittingsRusty hinges and fittings (Image: Public)

“The damp has been like that for about six years but they just keep painting over it. And now everything is turning rusty – my washing machine, my scooter.

“They’ve offered to rehome me but they said they can’t promise me there won’t be any rats in the new place either.”

Ms Taylor said she’s had to buy new clothes because of the damp, and when Together Housing came to remove her insulation last year, there were rat droppings all over the place.

She said she’s had solicitors involved and has also contacted the council but nothing seems to be moving ahead.

Lancashire Telegraph: Damp and mouldDamp and mould (Image: Public)

She went on: “It’s has a tremendous effect on my mental health and I just don’t know what else I can do.

“The rats might be coming from next door as the tenant leaves bin bags out all the time, but Together Housing should be dealing with this too, and having a word with the tenant.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Damp and mouldDamp and mould (Image: Public)

Angela Stuttard, group director of property at Together Housing Group, said: “Together Housing was sorry to hear about our resident’s concerns with damp, rodents and rubbish.

"We take these concerns extremely seriously and have been working closely with Ms Taylor and the local authority over the past few months.

“We have arranged for pest control and a drainage inspector to attend later this week to advise on the potential causes of these issues and examine effective approaches to address them. 

“Professional damp experts have already carried a full assessment of the property and we have installed a positive input ventilation unit and kitchen extractor fan to help with ventilation.

“We have also arranged to inspect a bedroom wall that was previously obscured by furniture and had developed mould.

Lancashire Telegraph: Damp and mouldDamp and mould (Image: Public)

“It is important that residents with any concerns about repairs including damp, mould or condensation let our specialist team know as soon as possible so that they can inspect their properties, advise them of preventative measures and take any action that may be required.

“Residents can report their concerns to our team directly through a specific form on our website and will typically receive a response within three working days.”