A woman says she feels forced to leave her home due to the level of damp in her property which has resulted in part of the ceiling collapsing. Dominique Davies, who is nine months pregnant and has another young child, says she decided to move out of the rented property due to safety concerns.

The 28-year-old said she first reported issues in May 2023 but alleges little remedial work has been done to fix the worsening problem. The issue came to a head on Sunday, March 17 when she said she returned to her home to find rubble and debris everywhere after a corner of the attic had collapsed into one of the bedrooms.

Ms Davies has lived in the property for nine years with no problems but claims she reported damp in one of the bedrooms of the three-bedroom terraced house in Port Talbot last year.

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The tenant claims several rooms in the house show signs of damp however the problem is largely concentrated to one bedroom. She says that the room has not been occupied since last year when Ms Davies' mother moved out but the expectant mother claims she has been trying to get the problem resolved for months as it will be soon needed with her new arrival.

Landlord David Hadley said he was initially contacted about an issue with the house in May 2023, but heard nothing more about the issue until months later in December. The landlord says the problem will be rectified with a new roof and he is endeavouring to get it fixed as soon as possible but is restricted while he waits for builders to become available. Mr Hadley said environmental health found the property safe to live in.

The property landlord says that work on the property's roof is taking longer than he intended

Ms Davies said: "My mother moved out early last year and as soon as she did I started noticing little things in the room but it was livable. You try and forget about it, it’s your house at the end of the day.

"Come May, a mushroom had started growing which I alerted him [Mr Hadley] to. He got one of his associates to come out and assess the attic, they said the attic was dry but I don’t see how it could have been given that I can now see up the attic [with the hole]. Now it’s spread throughout the house. I kind of just carried on living with it which was daft."

In response, Mr Hadley said a "knowledgeable work colleague" found the issue "appeared to be a geminating seedling" and said nothing else was found in the attic.

One of the bedrooms in the property was covered in debris after part of the roof collapsed

Ms Davies says she feels that if the problem was dealt with in May when she first reported the problem it would have been resolved before the winter weather which seems to have escalated the issue. Mr Hadley says he believes Ms Davies' timeframe for the work to be done is "unrealistic” and says that the wet winter has made it difficult for work to commence on the property.

The landlord said that the "process took longer than I would have wished" while trying to get the work done in the small time frame before Ms Davies' due date. He said: "Sadly, this proved impossible, but the work has been booked, will be completed as soon as is possible." For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter

Ms Davies decided to move out in late February 2024 due to the alleged level of damp in the house and says she has been staying with friends while her daughter stays with her mother. While she awaits for the property to get a new roof, she claimed that she has been provided with dehumidifiers but when she returned to empty them on March 17 found the ceiling had collapsed.

Describing the moment she found the hole in the ceiling, she said: "I went back to empty the dehumidifiers and take a shower and when I walked up the stairs that’s what I was greeted with. It’s just been left to rot. I’ve sent him so many updates, photographs, formal emails, I never wanted it to come to this.

"It’s not just the bedroom, it’s the downstairs dining room as well. It’s an old house don’t get me wrong, but there is the bathroom ceiling that’s leaking, my car seats have been wrecked with it leaking onto it, my bed is in a mess now with the ceiling coming through.

"How this hasn’t sent me into early labour I don’t know. You’re trying to get through the pregnancy, making sure everything is alright, I'm constantly thinking, well, if we move today, is the stress too much? Is it upsetting?".

Dominique claims that while one of the bedrooms is the main source of the problem her living room is also damp

Ms Davies says she initially contacted Mr Hadley in May. When he emailed about a change to her tenancy agreement in December she claims she raised the condition of the property then. Since December she says she has regularly contacted Mr Hadley.

The private landlord said he was not contacted around damp issues in the bedroom until December. After a delay getting a site manager to the house, an inspection of the roof was completed at the end of January which recommended the chimney was removed and the roof replaced.

The landlord said two rooms in the house have been affected, and described the living room, bathroom, kitchen and cloakroom as "unaffected". He said work has been done to remove damaged wallpaper and treat black mould, but claimed that a larger industrial dehumidifier for the affected rooms has been "refused", adding that replastering can't be started until the roof is repaired.

Ms Davies said: "January was when it really started to kick off, obviously I was losing the will to live at this point as I was running out of time before the baby was coming.

"Someone else came out [to look] and straight away said new roof so back in January we knew we would need a new roof." Ms Davies claims that Mr Hadley only started getting quotes this month. The landlord says the quotes have been going to him directly as the owner of the property.

"It is the bedroom that my mother was using but now that I am having the baby that’s the bedroom I was going to use. February I kept him in the loop with pictures, all of February my Whatsapp is me hounding him with pictures." Ms Davies claims it was around this time Mr Hadley agreed to a new roof and it was also agreed with the neighbours in the terrace that they would also get a new roof.

Dominique, who is nine months pregnant, has decided to leave the property

Ms Davies says she hoped the problems would have been resolved earlier. Mr Hadley says he accepts the situation is "less than ideal" and "all work identified by Environmental Health will be completed within their set time scale". He says that this can only be done if Ms Davies allows access to the property. Mr Hadley said this was being prohibited, but as of the time of writing, Ms Davies says she has now allowed this. Mr Hadley claims rent has been witheld by the tenant for March.

She said: "He could have claimed [on insurance] for a lot of this had it been sorted then and it probably would have cost peanuts compared to what he is going to have to pay out now," said Ms Davies. "To put me through this when it could have been sorted by last year." She says she thinks it is "shocking" that the property has been allowed to deteriorate to the scale it has.

Ms Davies says she has felt that communication has been lacking and that she has not received any news on quotes or when the work will begin.

Mr Hadley says that he has tried to resolve the issue promptly and says that he is "sorry for the distress that this has caused Domineque particularly in light of her advanced stage of pregnancy but hope we can work through this difficult situation as best we can."

Ms Davies says she is concerned about the stress this situation has brought upon her and her family while she is in the late stage of pregnancy, as well as being separated from her daughter as they are staying apart.

"I don’t sleep, I think about my daughter, I’ve had a letter off the midwife, off the school, how do you manage that. I keep saying it’s fine but it’s not fine."

Mr Hadley says that all the roofers he has contacted regarding a new roof since it was agreed in January have a "significant waiting list" over which he is "powerless".

He said: "I have rented my parents home, and the home that I grew up in for over 14 years. Since May 2012 it has been rented to members of the same family, currently Domineque, before that to Domineque and her mother, and prior to that another family member. In that time, a good relationship has existed between us.

"I am saddened that Domineque has now sought to decry my name over an issue (a roof replacement) that cannot be rectified quickly. Roofers have visited, quotes received, previous customers visited, and a roofer appointed. Unfortunately, all roofers I contacted have had a significant waiting list, over which I am powerless.

"I am sorry for the distress that this has caused Domineque particularly in light of her advanced stage of pregnancy but hope we can work through this difficult situation as best we can."