A LEASEHOLDER has accused a property management firm of being “massively incompetent” after his tenant had to move out of her flat because of mould. 

Alan Stonelake rents out a flat in Tower Road, Bournemouth, which he pays £200 a month to freeholder Sovereign Housing Association to maintain the building.

However, in the summer, he was told that mould was becoming an issue because of a leak in the roof and that he would need to fix it.

He said Sovereign refused to pay for the repair work, saying instead it could be claimed on the building insurance which comes with £100 excess.

Bournemouth Echo: Damp has spread across the ceilingDamp has spread across the ceiling (Image: Daily Echo)

His tenant, Deolinda Rodriguez, 49, has had no option but to move in with her daughter in Parkstone, Poole

Alan said: “The mould has spread across half the ceiling, but it’s also gone down the walls and they’re now peeling. 

“She has had to move out and in with her daughter and it’s not fair on her... I offered to pay for her to stay in a Travelodge but she declined. 

“I’d like to get her back in her flat before Christmas, but I don’t have my hopes up as it could be ready in about six weeks.” 

Alan has hired a dehumidifier which is costing him £200 a week, plus electricity.

He has cancelled Deolinda’s rent for the month (around £680) and stopped paying Sovereign’s £200 service charge. 

Bournemouth Echo: Deolinda has had to move out into her daughter's houseDeolinda has had to move out into her daughter's house (Image: Daily Echo)

Now, Alan said he wants to “let the public know what Sovereign are like”. 

He added: “It’s Sovereign’s responsibility, but they told me it was mine which doesn’t seem fair; it was apparently an issue with the building.  

“I wrote to the CEO but didn’t get a reply from him and instead an email from his secretary explaining it was with the complaints department; every time I try to speak with somebody, I get passed around.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Alan is renting out a dehumidifier for £200 a weekAlan is renting out a dehumidifier for £200 a week (Image: Daily Echo)

Deolinda, a chef from Portugal, said the mould and damp has made her asthma worse and she has no option but to move out. 

She added: “Alan has helped me with everything and I can’t say a bad word about him. If this was fixed before the winter, it wouldn’t have been a problem. 

“But it’s because of all the rain we have had that it’s got worse.” 

When contacted by the Echo, Sovereign said that as soon as it became aware of a leak in the roof, it fixed it.

A spokesperson added: "We are contacting our customer to apologise and to arrange an assessment next week of damp within their property so that we can repair any damage.

"We have also offered to reimburse them for the cost of the dehumidifier."