A Heysham mum-of-two has endured over six years of hell caused by a derelict house next door being left to rot .
Katy Mitchell, 34, who lives on Hampton Road with her husband Max and two sons Alfie, 10 and Henry, two, is at the end of her tether and said: “I’m frustrated and mad as hell”
Her troubles started when a squatter set fire to a mattress in the house, which firefighters extinguished. But due to the huge amount of water pumped into the house to put the fire out, damp is still coming through the walls over six years later.
For a year and a half scaffolding was erected on the house, which Katy reported as a death trap, with children climbing on it and onto the roof and hanging off the metalwork.
Flytippers regularly dump household items, rubbish and clothes in the yard of the derelict house attracting vermin and meaning her house is full of flies.Her sons keep getting chest infections due to the damp. Whilst she was having essential repair work done on the house, she was burgled. Pigeons and rats have infested the house next door and rats can sometimes be heard under her floorboards.
Squatters have taken up residence three times and have had to be removed.Boards up on the door and windows have regularly been kicked in.
Katy said: “I’ve spent thousands redecorating and sorting the damp problem out but have been told until the house next door is renovated the problem will keep coming back.I feel ashamed of the house next door.
“I refused to have a picture taken at my house on my wedding day due to the state of next door.I own the house so the council have no obligation to move me to other premises despite the damp conditions.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to sell my house whilst the property next door is left to rot.Over the years I’ve rung the council and police so many times.
“It’s been one thing after another.”A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “ The council is aware of this property and has been in regular communication with its neighbour.
“The company that own the property went into liquidation in 2016 and the property was disclaimed shortly after.
“Following various works to clear the fly tipped rubbish from the rear yard and secure broken windows, the council has accumulated a debt against the property which allows it to enforce the sale.
“It is hoped that the property will be available for sale on the open market in the near future and purchased by someone who will carry out the much needed repairs as soon as they can to bring the property back into use.”