Bloke ‘sleeping in his car since Christmas’ as bedroom under 3 inches of water

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A bloke says he has been sleeping in his car since Christmas as his freezing bedroom is under three inches of water.

Robert Doveston, who is asthmatic, claims it is causing damp and mould in all the rooms in his house which is making him ill.

It is so cold if he leaves milk out overnight in the kitchen it freezes, BirminghamLive reports.

Robert, of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, believes the problem stems from his garden being next to a railway embankment.

He says rainwater fills into a void which, once saturated, starts getting into his council home – leaving up to five inches of water up the back wall.

Robert says he took his issues to a solicitor but Birmingham City Council will no longer speak to him and he now can’t get hold of his solicitor.

He added he is frustrated he does not know the results of a hearing on April 23.

The council said it is an ongoing legal case so it can’t comment.

Robert also suffers with the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and uses a walking stick.

He said: “I've been sleeping in my car since Christmas Eve 2020 because I couldn't take it anymore.

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"I can't sleep in my bed because of the damp in my bed. When I step inside my home, I can't breathe, it's making me ill.

"I moved in last September and only had a few minutes to look around due to Covid rules and I just thought it needed redecorating."

He says the previous tenant had left some mechanical disability equipment in the bedroom which was removed in November and the bedroom floor collapsed.

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Robert said: “I fell through and cut my leg.

“When the council contractor came to repair the flooring, he came out covered from head to toe in mud, and said it had come from under my floorboards and that it was soaking wet under there.

"You could see water under there, moving across the floor – there’s around 3inches of water under my bedroom floor."

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Robert said he drives his car to nearby Sutton Park to sleep overnight so he doesn't disturb the neighbours.

He says the recent downpours have left his garden flooded, with more water coming into the property.

The tenant continued: "The damp work has been carried out and has failed. I put clothes on an airer to dry and they are just as damp two days later.

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"There’s only one radiator. I’ve put in extra heaters which are expensive but ice still builds up on the windows.

"The condensation is enough to freeze the front door lock, I’ve had to pour water on to unlock it.

"Even the toilet has had an ice skin across the top of the water.

"I leave milk out in the kitchen overnight and it freezes – it’s colder than the fridge.

"There’s no insulation in walls or floors and the loft insulation is over 20 years old.

"But the council says there’s nothing wrong with the property and that it’s fine to live in."

The council declined to comment further.

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