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By teresa griffiths from Havant, Hampshire
Definitely take action. This mold can be very unhealthy for your family, especially the children . Call the courthouse, your DHS OFFICE or housing authorities. No one should be forced to live in these circumstances. There will be people who can help. Do not fear this landlord. He is greatly at fault.
I live in Scotland and am married to a retired council officer (historic building conservation). He says he's not sure if you can take this to the Trading Commission but he strongly urges that you contact your local Legal Aid, your GP. Take photos and ask your doctor if the children's health is being compromised. Ask your MP for assistance in making your private landlord sort this right away.
He feels you have a good case. Based on the photograph you posted here he feels there is a structural defect causing extreme damp and that there may be other defects (wiring) in conjunction with the damp besides the mould. Your family could be in danger of fire, for example, in addition to the health problems.
The mould on the walls of your children's bedroom(s) should be carefully photographed to include a time and date stamp. Don't give up on this. Document everything you do.
Meanwhile, after, you've photographed everything, use white distilled non-brewed vinegar, full strength, to kill the mould. The mould will come back but it will help cut down some of the health problems.
Good luck, this is really awful and I wish you all the best in getting this solved!
Check your lease carefully for hidden clauses about the condition of the cottage before you move forward with any legal action.