Doreen Harrison has been confined to the living room on the ground floor of the Bootle property since a period of illness two years ago, with no access to the bathroom or bedrooms
A woman has slammed landlords for the “horrendous” conditions her 100-year-old mum is living in with holes in the roof, leaking ceilings, damp walls and no access to washing facilities.
Doreen Harrison has lived in the house in Bootle, Merseyside, for 74 years and raised her children there. It’s where she had hoped to die, but this may not be possible for much longer given the current state of the privately rented property. According to her daughter, also called Doreen, the house is putting her mum’s health at risk.
Ms Harrison is currently confined to the living room on the ground floor and has stayed in this room since a period of illness two years ago. She is unable to walk upstairs and has no access to the bathroom or bedrooms. The daughter offered to cover the cost of a stair-lift as long as the landlord provided a shower, which is essential as her mum was unable to get in the bath. Doreen claimed she received the following reply from the landlord: “Well, you only live down the road. Can’t she go to your house?”
Doreen looks after her mum and works full-time and is finding the impact of her mother’s deteriorating health and ongoing housing problems, a huge toll on her mental health. Over the years, the concerned daughter has raised numerous and serious disrepair issues regarding the property but claims she has either been “ignored” or subjected to “lies” by the landlord.
Two years ago part of the ceiling in the back bedroom came down due to a severe leak. Doreen said it took the landlord approximately six months to fix. At the time, she raised the issue as soon as it happened and claims the landlord told her there was “nothing” he could do and she should “call the fire brigade.”
The day the Liverpool Echo visited Doreen was cold, rainy and blustery. Damp could be seen and smelt in the bedrooms, wet ceiling plaster was spattered across the bedroom floors and wind was whistling through the gaps between the windows. Before we left, Doreen had one final question. She said: “What sort of human being would keep a 100 year-old woman living like this?”
Doreen said the latest issue occurred in December last year when roof tiles crashed into her mum’s backyard. As a result, a prominent hole is visible on the roof and water has started coming through the ceilings of the front bedroom and the landing. The resulting damage shows a large hole in the bedroom ceiling with one part crashing onto the carpet and a constant “tip tapping” can be heard as water leaks onto the loft hatch.
For the sake of her mum’s health, Doreen refuses to tell her mother about the damage. She said: “My mum doesn’t know anything about the roof because she wouldn’t sleep at night.” Two months later the roof is still in a state of disrepair and during this period Merseyside was hit by horrendous storms and freezing conditions. Doreen said the landlord had done “nothing” to get the roof fixed and the damage repaired.
The freehold of the property is owned by Wallace Estates. However, they have leased this property out and are not responsible for maintenance or upkeep. While Wallace Estates confirmed their ownership of the freehold and an existing leasehold agreement they could not share who the leaseholder is.