Teen carer forced to sleep on sofa as water ‘runs down walls’ of council flat

Steph Mason discovered her flat was leaky shortly after moving in (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

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A teen carer has been left sleeping on the sofa of her council flat as 'water runs down the walls'.

Steph Mason, 17, has had a leak in the roof of her home in Newcastle for more than a month.

She claims she is now ill as a result of the conditions in her home, reports Chronicle Live.

She moved into the property in June last year, and says she sunk her savings into decorating and creating a nice home for herself.

Around a month ago she noticed water leaking from the ceiling in her bedroom.

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Water drips from the ceiling of Steph Mason's flat
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

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Since then Steph says the leak has spread and water is now running down the walls in the bedroom, hall, kitchen and bathroom.

The only room left unscathed is the living room, where Steph is now sleeping to escape the damp.

Now Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), which runs the property on behalf of the council, have apologised for the delay and said the repair work was “more complicated than originally envisaged”.

The leak left the home's interior damp
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

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Steph said: “It started off in the bedroom, then the passage, then it went to the bathroom, then the kitchen, so it’s been going through the house and getting worse. It’s running down the walls.

“I can’t live in my bedroom so I’ve been living in the sitting room, but it joins onto the kitchen and I’m frightened it will start in there.”

Steph, who works as a carer, moved into the flat six months ago.

Water trickles down the Newcastle flat's walls
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

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She said: “When I moved in there was no floor down so I paid for carpets. I’ve put all the money I could get into it, and now it’s all ruined.”

Steph said she has been experiencing cold-like symptoms and a “wheezy chest” since the leak started.

She added: “I definitely think that’s the reason because I wear full PPE at work.

Steph was unhappy at how long she had to wait for repairs
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

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“I can’t afford to be ill – I work with vulnerable people, I don’t want to make them ill.”

Until the first week in January, Steph said the only person who came to look at the damage was a joiner, who “took one look and said there was nothing he could do”.

She said: “I rang them again over the New Year because it was getting worse in the bedroom – it was dripping on my head, it was really bad.

Steph has complained to Newcastle City Council
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

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“The woman I spoke to said she could see I’d made numerous phone calls but there was nothing she could do because all the contractors were off over the New Year. But it had been going on for a month by then.”

A YHN spokesperson said: “We are aware that the repair to Ms Morgan’s roof has taken longer than expected and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience or upset this has caused.

“The work needed is more complex than was originally envisaged and as a result has taken longer to complete, but we have arranged for the repair to be completed on Monday and will do whatever is necessary to resolve this for her then.”

Steph confirmed that although roofers had attended the flat on Monday, the repairs could still take a few weeks.

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