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My landlord left me in a leaky apartment for a year

Photo by Christopher Goodwin on Unsplash

I am a Southern Housing tenant and, a year ago, reported a leak in my bedroom ceiling. It was after three months of calls and emails to United Living, Southern Housing’s repair service provider, that surveyors arrived and discovered a hole in the recently replaced roof. It took another four months of pushing from me before a repair was made. Within a week, the leak had worsened. A month later, the same contractor returned to repeat the job, but a week later it was leaking again. The contractor was called back. No work started.

This is shocking. Avoidable carelessness allowed your flat to deteriorate so badly you faced losing your home of 25 years. Your physical and mental health has also deteriorated due to the damp, mould and stress. United Living repeatedly relied on a contractor that was clearly not up to the job and, you claim, communications were dire. You say the housing association batted you back to United Living, whose preferred strategy was silence.

The work finally began with the new roofing firm just after you contacted me and 11 months after you first reported the leak. Southern Housing claims, without offering detail, the repair was “large-scale and unusual” which is odd since the leaking roof was only a year old. It also claims that, due to Covid, roofing contractors and supplies were in short supply.

But it wasn’t the shortage of contractors that was the main issue – it was the fact it kept botching the job. It says: “We do recognise the need for improved communications between our team, our contractors and the tenant. We’re reviewing how we can improve this in the future. Any compensation will be arranged via our complaints process.”

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