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Woman says she is desperate to move out over maggots invade sons bedroom in Ealing

A West London mum has been left ‘paranoid’ after she noticed maggots had infested her son’s room with no idea where they’re coming from. Jean Morris, says that she has been experiencing issues with her housing for over 18 years with days of her week taken up with trying to get her landlords to act.

Towards the end of last year, Jean and her son made a horrifying discovery. Maggots had infested his room, crawling over the floor, his desk and shelves.

To their disgust maggots were even found in his bed both on top and underneath the covers. The incident which started in October 2023 and only seemed to clear in January has left deep scars on Jean and her son’s psyche.

Her son explained: “So I am sat down one evening, and I’m sat in my chair in my room and I noticed something dropped in my lap and it’s crawling. So I killed that, thinking it was a one-off and then come back and sit down Then I go to sleep, wake up, go gym, come back and they are all over the bedroom floor.”

After a clean-up effort, Jean says she approached the housing association for help to find out what the source of the creepy crawlies was and how best to deal with them. “I went to the housing [association], and I explained this to them and they said do you know where it’s coming from? Obviously no I don’t know where it’s coming from. This is part of the problem because we don’t know where it’s coming from.

Woman says she is desperate to move out over maggots invade sons bedroom in Ealing Harrow Online
Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

“So I said to them, could you send the environmental officer out? ‘Oh, well, not at the moment but we’ll send someone to come and have a look at it.’ This was like October, November. No one’s come.”

During the infestation the mum gave up her room to her son and began sofa surfing, sleeping at friends’ homes and catching what little sleep she could for a month, even protesting her predicament with the housing association by sleeping in their office.

“I took my sleeping bag, my pillow, and my slippers, and the receptionist said what are you doing and I said ‘Well, I’m gonna have to stay here. Because when the maggots first happened, I was sofa surfing. So even though I stayed down here on the sofa, and I’m thinking this is killing me, I’m getting two hours kip. This is not liveable.”

As the maggots transformed into flies and began to dissipate, vacating the space they had at one point rendered uninhabitable, the unfortunate truth of their brief stay has set in. Despite, the problem seemingly fixing itself, the mystery of how the unwanted house guests managed to infiltrate the home has left many longer-lasting issues for Jean and her son.

Jean says the incident has shredded her sanity, with her taking up residency in her son’s room in case similar invasions take place. She told LDRS: “We can’t investigate when we don’t know where it’s coming from. That’s the worry. So I’m paranoid. My son’s got my bedroom. And I’m in his bedroom. But every night before I go to bed, I’m checking the floor because I just don’t know what is gonna happen.”

The house’s lower living room is littered with the pair’s possessions boxed up or hanging from curtain rails, all because of fear about another infestation. “I’m exhausted,” she says.

“I’m still exhausted. Because being in my son’s room and I’m thinking to myself, this is not normal. I’m glamping in my own property, you know, this is crazy. And the worst part about it is when I was lying on the sofa, I could smell the damp from the floor. Which has been affected in my asthma as well as anything else.”

Woman says she is desperate to move out over maggots invade sons bedroom in Ealing Harrow Online
Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

Although the maggots might be the most shocking thing to happen in the household Jean, sees constant reminders that her home is not a place she feels relaxed in. To her, even after living there for 22 years, her house is not really her home – it is a place where she lacks control, where her comfort and well-being are controlled, not by her, but by her landlord.

Sleeping in her son’s room, Jean said she is reminded of how the room lacks insulation and becomes cold extremely easily. Lying on her sofa to avoid the horrors of a maggot infestation reminds her of the mould and dampness the house suffers from.

Even the simple act of walking to her car risks injury and after all these reminders that her house is not a sanctuary but a worksite is enough for her. All of this as well as an ongoing dispute with a neighbour has spurred Jean towards the decision to move.

Showing LDRS a scar on her leg Jean explained that her mother, friends and even she had fallen while using the treacherous path, which crucially connects her back door parking space to the house. She said she complained about the problem almost 2 decades ago and nothing has been done, forcing her to make makeshift repairs using bricks.

“Every Tuesday and Wednesday I am down at the housing office talking to people,” Jean told Local Democracy Reporting services, “this whole thing is driving me insane.”

Jean said her issues started 18 years ago after living in her 2-bedroom Ealing home for four years with her son. Paving slabs in her garden began being covered with standing water eroding her steps and causing them to be dangerously unstable.

“There’s a lot of there’s a lot of stuff that’s been going on continuously for the last 18 years,” she said. Jean says that trying to get her housing association, Peabody, to make necessary repairs has been a nightmare.

Woman says she is desperate to move out over maggots invade sons bedroom in Ealing Harrow Online
Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

The mum of one says she has had a hole in her roof for the past 10 years, something she has repeatedly flagged to her landlords. “It’s a small one I heard but it’s still there. So it’s just really difficult because where does the heat go? Yeah, you know, you put the heat on and it goes straight out. That’s not been dealt with in probably about 10 years.”

“I’ve known about it for a long time because I’ve told the contractors every time they come around, they said that the information they got was reported back. Whether they’ve done that or not, I don’t know.” Since Peabody merged with Catalyst, Jean’s previous housing association, in April 2023 she says things become even worse.

Peabody says it is aware of Jean’s desire to move and encourages her to continue to bid for a suitable home. In the meantime, the company has said it intends to make repairs to her home.

A spokesperson for Peabody said: “We’re really sorry for the time it’s taken to make the repairs needed to Miss Morris’s home. We’ve completed a full inspection and we’ll be finishing all the remaining repairs next week to bring it up to a good standard.”

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