TWO young woman say their damp flat is so mouldy they wake struggling to breathe in the morning.
Ella, 22, and her flatmate claim they've been plagued by health issues since moving into their privately-rented property in Manchester earlier this year.
The smell is so bad they spray their clothes with Febreze before going into work, the women told the Manchester Evening News.
Shortly after moving into the city centre apartment three months ago, Ella said they noticed a strange odour.
Within weeks, the property, which costs £890 a month to rent, was covered in black mould.
There are spores across the kitchen ceiling and under the women's beds, while their clothes and shoes have been ruined, they say.
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Ella reached out to the letting agent – but despite freezing their rent payments, no further action has been taken.
She said she was unable to view the flat before moving in, and has urged all young renters to insist on a visit ahead of making any payment.
"When we moved in, straight away there was this smell," she said.
"There was mould in our wardrobes as well which we had to wipe down.
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"I started taking photos and contacted the agency. They said they would get someone to take a look.
"I had to keep calling them to get someone out. Meanwhile, I have had to wash my sheets constantly because they stink.
"The damp mould is getting on our clothes as well."
In recent weeks, mould has taken hold in the bathroom. Light fixtures are coming away from the ceiling, she said.
"It looks really bad and it stinks," she said.
"We are both working professionals and I literally have to sit in my car and spray myself with Febreze before I can go in.
"My flatmate woke up the other day and said she was struggling to breathe.
"We both wake up with a sore throat and blocked nose every day.
"We are both just very poorly. At first we thought it was just a cold, but for both of us to wake up every day feeling like we can't breathe is not right."
The women say their rent payments were frozen after they threatened to get a solicitor.
However, when they asked if they could be temporarily moved somewhere else, the letting agent "flat out refused", Ella said.
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"I think they'll just get new tenants in and paint over the mould," she said.
"That flat itself was perfect for what we needed but we didn't think it was going to be such a horror."
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