The Kings Norton family in condemned apartment “so cold and damp” they live in coats and dressing gowns

A young mother and her two children are “to live in their coats and dressing gowns in a freezing and damp apartment” in Birmingham.

Emma Reynolds, Lewis, three, and daughter Leah, 8, spend day and night wrapped in extra layers at their ‘unfit’ property in Shannon Road, Kings Norton.

The 25-year-old claims she wakes up every morning to a “big puddle” on her bedroom floor from the dripping window and has to throw out some of the children’s wet toys.

Read more: Police release major update after ‘two injured in Boxing Day attack’ in Kingstanding

She claims their “horrendous” living conditions worsened her son’s respiratory disease and exacerbated his bone condition, leaving her “in agony”.

Ms Reynolds told BirminghamLive: “I started having problems about a month after I moved in. I first noticed black mold in the room and literally water on the floor.

“I thought there was a leak or something, so I just cleaned it up and left it. Then the next day it came back.

“Every morning there is a big puddle of water in my room. It comes from the windows, it flows from the windows.”

The mother-of-two has lived on the property for eight months and said last month she spent more than £ 400 for electricity to heat the ‘frozen’ house.

“We have to wear our coats and dressing gowns because it’s so cold here. We have storage heaters, but they’re not that hot so it’s freezing here,” she said.

“When I have them it takes a lot of electricity, as I put in £ 40 two days ago and have £ 15.

“It is still freezing due to the humidity. It is expensive, I spent well over £ 400 in December, we are constantly filling up with electricity.”

Emma Louise Reynolds’ health, and that of her son Lewis, begins to deteriorate after being relocated to a moldy apartment

Birmingham City Council, which owns the property, intends to raze the ‘unfit’ building over the next two years – with some apartments inside already empty before demolition.

“I sent an email to the town hall and I haven’t had a call for a long time, I said: ‘If you don’t want to move, can I go to another apartment in this building?’ One that doesn’t have mold and moisture because some of them are empty, ”Ms. Reynolds added.

“They just said no. They’re letting nobody else in, so I don’t understand why.

Mom says she had to remove part of her carpet because of mold

“Apparently they are not suitable for a living, which is why they are knocked down.”

The mother, who says she is “fed up” with living like this, fears it will take “centuries” until she moves because she has not been told when the demolition is due.

She sent photos of the mold and dampness to city council, but says they still refuse to move her to another property.

“I moved the sofa today and didn’t even realize it, it’s also black mold growing on my sofa,” she explained.

“I threw out children’s toys because of it. It had a play kitchen and it had mold in it, I had to get rid of it.

Interior view of Emma Louise Reynolds’ house

“I had to replace a dresser because there was mold in the back.

“I had to pull the rug out, I also had to pull up half of the rug and remove the wallpaper.”

Although she tried to clean the black mold from her apartment with hot water and various products, she said: “The next day I wake up and everything is here again”.

Food stored in his moldy kitchen also quickly gets wet and needs to be thrown out.

Emma Louise Reynolds and her son

“It’s horrible. I had a box of tortilla wrappers and I picked it up and it’s all wet underneath,” she said.

“My son has respiratory tract disease and since we’ve been here I’ve been to the doctor all the time because his chest is getting worse and he had to take steroids.

“I suffer from depression the way it is and worry about the health of my children because of it. I have bone disease and some days I can’t walk properly.

“I have pain in my legs and arms, and the humidity makes it worse. I go to bed one night and I am in agony.”

After being approached by BirminghamLive, Birmingham City Council apologized for the problems and promised to deal with the mold.

An authority statement read: “We are sorry for the problems this tenant has had with the mold in their apartment.

“The block should be demolished in the next few years.

“In the meantime, we have brought in a contractor to deal with the mold and will work with the tenant to relocate them in accordance with our allocation policy.”

Do you have a story to tell? Contact me by email at

Sign up for our Birmingham Politics Weekly email updates for the latest political news.


Leave a Comment