A single mum in Kingston was left living with hundreds of pounds of arrears and a home in need of repairs after a perfect storm of issues collided over her council flat. 

Kyla Reddick, 23, lives with her son at a council-owned flat in the Millfield apartment block in Kingston. 

She told the Comet that myriad problems with her home have not been fixed despite lengthy correspondence with Kingston Council. 

"I've tried to speak to the council about this and they refused to do anything about it. 

"Even when you go in and speak to them head on they don't always tell you what the situation is," she said.

Surrey Comet: Damp seen in Kyla Reddick's Kingston council flatDamp seen in Kyla Reddick's Kingston council flat

The issues began before she moved into her current council flat in late 2016. 

Forced to wait on four-month repairs to the new place after securing her spot there, Kyla was told to stay in her previous private rent lease via the council after she received a phone call about her situation. 

"While I was waiting with my newborn son to move into the new place, I was told to squat in my old property by someone assigned to my case from the private sector until the new place was ready," she said. 

After eventually moving to the newly repaired flat, Kyla received a letter from the council saying she owed around £800 of rent arrears.

Kyla said RBK opened a housing benefit claim against her for the first four months she had been assigned to the new council flat, even though she was told not to move in because of the repair work. 

RBK confirmed the arrears case involving Kyla in conversation with the Comet. 

"The tenant received a court summons in April 2019 for rent arrears. 

"The matter was adjourned as an agreement on repaying the debt was reached. 

"She was also offered an appointment for budgeting advice, but did not attend and therefore the case was closed," a spokesperson for RBK said. 

Surrey Comet: Disrepair in Kyla Reddick's Kingston council flatDisrepair in Kyla Reddick's Kingston council flat

While the rent arrears have not gone away, even more pressing concerns have arisen. 

Forefront of these is the state of disrepair the current council flat is in. 

"My primary concern is the damp and mould in my property, the bay windows that are not locking," Kyla described. 

"Someone was sent to take a look but they were not fixed. We have damp in the bathroom.

"Contractors came out but nothing was actually changed. 

"My son is almost three and is learning to climb, he's very curious, and I don't want anything to happen to him. 

"It's very drafty, the damp and mould have come through, and it's cold," she added. 

Her son has asthma attacks plus other health issues like acid reflux. 

Damp is widely thought to exacerbate asthma.

Surrey Comet: Damp seen in Kyla Reddick's Kingston council flatDamp seen in Kyla Reddick's Kingston council flat

RBK said they offered advice on this, confirming that "condensation" was present at the property: 

"A member of our Housing team visited the tenant last week and provided ventilation advice to help with condensation that was identified in the home," a spokesperson said.

It is unclear whether this will be sufficient to quell the rising sense Kyla has that her current situation is not tenable for much longer. 

"I want to move out and get a two-bedroom house to help my mum," she said. 

Kyla's mum Abegail, 52, is currently homeless and staying with her daughter.

She previously suffered a heart attack and has been denied support from the Job Centre. 

Since being contacted about the case by the Comet, RBK said on January 30 that Kyla had "been invited to a meeting with the Housing Office" to discuss her options.