Leeds man fears his ‘flat will kill him’ after waiting 2 years for help from council

A Leeds man with bad health problems fears he will die before the council improves ‘mouldy and crumbling’ flat.

Patrizio Carrara, 26, first reported problems with the poor condition of his Moortown flat to Leeds City Council in January 2019.

But after almost two years, he says he is still waiting for repairs to be made.

LeedsLive first reported the issues with Patrizio’s flat earlier this year. Seven months later, he claims nothing has been done to fix the issues and mould continues to grow in and around the property.

The council says it cannot comment on Mr Carrara’s case but stresses it is “absolutely committed to providing safe” homes for the city’s residents.

Mr Carrara said: “At first, I noticed brown marks on the kitchen ceiling, which got bigger and bigger until virtually the whole ceiling looked like I’d thrown Coca-Cola on it.

“It then started coming through in the hallway, with pieces of the ceiling actually coming away.”

Mr Carrara says he has repeatedly spent time in hospital over the past two years. He suffers from severe asthma, a skin disorder known as hidradenitis suppurativa and a complex bowel disorder.

He fears some of these illnesses are being made worse by the state of his home and that he was even hospitalised after the ceiling fell on him.

Patrizio’s living conditions continue to worsen

He said: “I was even hospitalised with breathing issues at one point after part of the ceiling came down on me.

“Parts of the ceiling have now fallen down on multiple occasions. I have reported all of this to the council. Nothing has been done.”

He had been told by his doctor to shield for 12 weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “I suffer with severe asthma, so am classed as being at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.

“I was therefore told to self-isolate for 12 weeks, but I didn’t feel safe doing so at home – the mould and damp were already making my asthma worse before this crisis so I was deeply concerned that, should I catch the virus, my home could potentially kill me. But still, nothing has been done.

Patrizio Carrara, 26

“I don’t understand – why won’t they help me? Are they just going to wait until I die?

“It’s like they have totally disregarded me.”

Mark Montaldo of CEL Solicitors, who is representing Mr Carrara, said: “Many of the families we are currently helping have lived with these issues for years before seeking legal advice, despite repeatedly asking for help from their landlords.

“We understand that repairs will have to be put on hold until the current crisis is over, but we want to ensure that landlords are formulating proper action plans now so they can urgently rectify these issues as soon as they are practically able to do so.

“In the meantime, we would urge them to review rent and ensure a reduction or totally rent suspension is in place for these families until the situation is resolved.”

Gaping hole in his property which has not been fixed or seen to

A spokesperson from Leeds City Council said: “We are absolutely committed to providing safe, quality homes to our tenants, and this is more important to us than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we are unable to comment on this specific case, we continue to carry out essential repairs and maintenance to our tenants’ homes as well as a range of other support options.”

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