Dollis Hill teen's bedroom ceiling collapses three years after mum first complains to council about leak
PUBLISHED: 12:53 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:53 25 June 2019
A teenager boy's bedroom ceiling came crashing down three years after his mum first started complaining to Brent Council about damp and rainfall in his room.
Keano Ramdeen managed to rescue his games console on Thursday afternoon last week as water dripped onto his bunk through a little crack.
Minutes later the family heard a "loud bang" and "whoosh of water" coming from the room, before finding a gaping hole directly above his bed.
Days earlier, the 15-year-old had chosen to sleep in the bathtub, fearing the state of his room.
His mum, Anucska Case, said: "I've been sending emails back and forth to the council since 2016. Every time it rains in his room I take videos and send it to them."
In protest she stopped paying her rent, amassing a £2,000 debt, which she is now paying off. She's since been told the council should have taken her to court when the debt reached £500, to stop it getting any higher.
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The 40-year-old learning support assistant was given the flat by Brent Council in 2015 after living in temporary accommodation with her two kids for 12 years, moving from "one damp flat to another".
Following Storm Katie in 2016 Anucska, who has a daughter Trinity, spent a year on the sofa while Keano slept in her bed.
It would regularly "rain down the wall and down the curtain" in Keano's room and "mould was growing in the corners".
Last year the council repainted the room and installed a radiator. "But they still didn't address the main problem which was the leak in the roof and now it's come to this," said Anucska. It could have crashed down on Keano's head."
Keano, who is now sleeping on the sofa, said: "It's more comfortable in my room because it's my own private space but the mould was growing so I passed out in the bath instead - put my cushions there, my blanket, I was fine. I got used to the damp in the other places we lived in. It's annoying we can't move out of this one."
Brent Council did not say why no action was taken on the leak, or why it allowed the family to get into such high arrears. But housing chief Cllr Eleanor Southwood said: "I am so sorry to hear about Ms Case's experience and the impact this has had on her family. Our repairs team have visited to make the house safe and we'll be carrying out permanent repairs [this] week. We are in contact with Ms Case and are committed to getting this sorted out as soon as possible."