Tenant describes mouldy 'hell' of living in house co-owned by Ashfield District Council leader

A tenant living in a rented house co-owned by the leader of Ashfield District Council has criticised his care of the property, saying it is covered in mould

Gavin Hufton, 35, lives in a property on Stoneyford Road, Stanton Hill, with his partner and two children.

Their co-landlords include Ashfield District Council leader Coun Jason Zadrozny.

The family have rented the home for six years and say they have continually complained to Coun Zadrozny about its condition.

Gavin Hufton points out the mould in his rented house co-owned by Ashfield District Council leader Coun Jason Zadrozny

Reported issues include the boiler not being fit for purpose, “bodged” repair jobs on windows and mould patches covering the property.

Coun Zadrozny (Ash Ind) denies not ensuring the home is kept in good condition and says any problems raised by Mr Hufton and his family have been addressed.

He added any concerns have been dealt with in a ‘diligent and professional manner’.

Mould is present in most rooms throughout the terraced house, including in the bedroom of Mr Hufton’s two young children.

The family say they often attempt to remove it but it regularly returns.

The family have been issued an eviction notice because the council leader and his co-owner, Simon Wilkinson, intend to sell the house.

They are now looking to find a new home.

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However, Mr Hufton has described his family as living in ‘hell’ for the past six years.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The mould is growing red trees through it, there’s no other way to describe it – it’s vile.

“The bedroom window used by my kids can also only open by a couple of centimetres so we can’t ventilate the room.

“I want people to see what they’re making hardworking families live in.

"I’ve got two young boys; they shouldn’t be left to live like this.”

Coun Zadrozny insists the property is of a high standard following work organised by himself and Mr Wilkinson.

The eviction notice, he says, was issued because his co-owner is looking to retire and wants to sell the property.

He also claimed damage within the home, including the mould, is ‘tenant-caused’ and could be related to clothes being left to dry indoors.

But the family deny this, saying they are instead using a condenser dryer in the kitchen.

In a statement on behalf of himself and Mr Wilkinson, Coun Zadrozny added: “We served notice on the tenants and instead of giving them the statutory one-month notice, we extended that to three months to give them additional time to find a property suited to their needs.

“Since the tenant moved in six years ago, we have responded to each and every complaint in a diligent and professional manner.

“This has resulted in a new boiler, new gas main connections, new roof, damp proofing and new front and back doors.”

He added: “We wish the tenants well and I would be pleased to support them in their search for a new home.”

Mr Hufton has contacted both Lee Anderson (Con), Ashfield’s MP, and Ashfield District Council, seeking support with the home.

Mr Anderson has called for the authority to investigate the property.

Paul Parkinson, the council’s director of housing, said: “The tenant has reported potential issues of disrepair to the council.

“As is our normal procedure, our officers will be inspecting the property before deciding on any appropriate next steps.”