A young mum-of-two says she wants to move out of her home after a contractor found the remains of a cannabis farm in her attic.
Insulation materials, cannabis leaves and missing beams were found in the roof of the Leicestershire properly when Samantha Holness called in a plumber to take a look at a leak.
Before moving into the Braunstone property, Samantha, 23, was advised by her housing association, EMH Homes, the attic was out of bounds on health and safety grounds.
Now after the shock discovery she says she’s more worried for the safety of her family amid fears that the ceiling may cave in.
The 23-year-old told LeicestershireLive: “The contractor came out and said ‘Do you know there’s a load of insulation in the loft and dried leaves on the floor? Someone’s been growing weed in this house’.”
Samantha rang EMH Homes straight away who she said told her it would be dealt with.
She claims it took several weeks before someone came to get rid of the insulation and equipment used to grow cannabis.
Beams in the attic had also been removed by previous tenants, leaving the attic unsafe.
Samantha said: “A full health and safety check should have been done before we moved in – how could they not know that was in the attic?”
Several weeks later, an electrician revealed that the attic had not been completely cleared out.
“He said it’s not the first time he’d seen something like that,” Samantha said.
First family home
“This is my first family home, we’ve only been here four months and I’d rather just move to a different area.”
The new tenant is now worried for the safety of her family and claims there are concerns the ceiling could fall through.
Samantha said “My children are only 18 months and six months old.
“Because beams have been removed in the attic I keep getting worried that if the leak gets worse the ceiling will fall through.”
It has now been four months since the family moved in and they are “still experiencing problems”, Samantha said.
Ongoing leaks, dampness and a faulty boiler have added to the family’s problems.
After not having working central heating in the house for three weeks, Samantha says one of her children is now suffering from mild bronchilitis.
“The service we have received from EMH Homes has been terrible,” Samantha said.
What the landlord says
Adrian Cheetham, Director of Property Services for EMH Homes said: “It is standard practise for Housing Officers to advise new tenants not to use loft space as it can increase the risk of fire and reduce the efficiency of any insulation provided, and it appears this advice was given to Ms Holness at the time of her signing for her new home.
“When the plumber attended for the reported leak, he identified that there was some foil-backed insulation in the loft from a previous tenant and that some non-structural timber braces had been removed.
“As neither of these issues warranted an emergency response, the works were scheduled to be completed as routine maintenance.
“It does appear however that when the subcontractor attended to clear the loft of the foil-backed insulation not all of it was removed, and we have arranged for the job to be completed. A separate contractor will be replacing the braces to the roof timbers.
“All the issues raised by Ms Holness will be fully addressed within the next few days, and a follow-up visit arranged to confirm everything is to her satisfaction.
“We understand that this may not have been a welcome experience for Ms Holness, but at no point was there an identified health and safety risk that would have required a more timely response from emh homes.”