July 26, 2021

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Our future home

Unwell gran, 60, suggests her residence is so ‘unsafe’ her doctor requested her to leave it

6 min read


a person standing in a kitchen


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An ill grandmother has been requested by her medical professional to transfer out of her residence due to its possible effects on her wellbeing immediately after her landlord unsuccessful to make a collection of repairs, it is claimed.

Carol McGuinness, 60, who has rheumatoid arthritis and respiratory problems, said she has been complaining to the housing affiliation about extreme disrepair troubles at her 3-bed room terrace property in Liverpool for close to 5 many years.

Carol and her son Michael, who also life there and has heart failure, claimed there have been 58 difficulties in whole with the assets, which include a rat infestation in her backyard, moist, leaks, defective electrics, mould and cracks. There has also been blocked drainage, a hole in the ceiling, faulty radiators and broken home windows, they allege.

Carol and Michael say that although repairs ended up becoming carried out, they were moved into momentary lodging which they identified is a “former drug den”, which was in even worse affliction.

Legal motion

They say currently being pressured to isolate and shield in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic in a house in these types of lousy problem has massively impacted equally of their psychological wellness.

Last calendar year the mother and son took legal motion, but the housing association, inspite of shelling out compensation and promising to take care of the problems, unsuccessful to have out the will work, according to CEL Solicitors, which specialises in housing disrepair.

Your Housing Team has apologised and claims all repairs described in 2019 had been accomplished and the tenants have not long ago raised new fix requests which they intend to deal with.

Carol reported: “After in the beginning transferring back household and the performs beginning up, it all stopped once again, and my health practitioner advised me it simply was not safe for me to stay there.”



Carol McGuinness and son Michael McGuinness say their home has been in a state of severe disrepair issues for around five years (Photo: Michael McGuinness)


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Carol McGuinness and son Michael McGuinness say their home has been in a condition of significant disrepair concerns for around 5 yrs (Photograph: Michael McGuinness)



a view of a dirty door: The mother and son say there has been damp, leaks, faulty electrics, mould and cracks in the property (Photo: Michael McGuinness)


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The mom and son say there has been damp, leaks, defective electrics, mould and cracks in the property (Image: Michael McGuinness)

Social housing reforms

Extensive-awaited social housing reforms had been declared very last November, more than three several years just after the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster.

The Constitution for Social Housing Residents’ white paper sets out what tenants can hope from a landlord, which include to be secure in their dwelling and to know how the landlord is undertaking in parts these types of as repairs, complaints and safety.

It’s been promised that tenants will be dealt with with respect and have their voices heard by landlords, for instance through frequent meetings, scrutiny panels or getting on its board.

It also promises a strengthened housing regulator by way of a “new arm” to ensure robust oversight of landlords in these parts.

The Government has not still presented any indicator about regardless of whether these variations will be introduced into effect.

Even though the reforms are welcomed by numerous, campaigners say the serious shortage of social housing desperately requirements addressing. The constructing of new social rented homes has considerably reduced over the previous 10 years, contributing to the sharp increase in homelessness and people today living in momentary lodging.

The amount of households in England in need of social housing is 1.6 million, in accordance to The Nationwide Housing Federation, and just more than 6,000 social properties have been developed involving March 2019 and April 2020, the lowest level since the 1980s. Housing charity Shelter has warned that “any new dawn for social renters ought to appear with significant investment decision in new properties too”.

It is also argued that tenants of the 4.5m privately rented homes in the United kingdom need better defense.



New reforms promise tenants will have a good quality property , with landlords ‘keeping your home in good repair’ (Photo: Michael McGuinness)


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New reforms guarantee tenants will have a great good quality house , with landlords ‘keeping your property in great repair’ (Image: Michael McGuinness)



Carol and Michael were paid £2,000 in compensation for the delays in repairing the work but say they are still fighting to have them done (Photo: Michael McGuinness)


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Carol and Michael ended up paid out £2,000 in payment for the delays in repairing the work but say they are however battling to have them performed (Photograph: Michael McGuinness)

‘I just really do not sleep… My mental health and fitness has experienced significantly’

Just after transferring into the non permanent accommodation in December 2019, Carol moved out following a month due to the fact it was “unsafe” and is now briefly remaining with her sister. Michael ongoing to live there for a 12 months before getting pressured to transfer back again into their first household.

Michael, 33, stated: “The non permanent household was shocking – there were being cages about the home windows, so there was no clear fire exit. On our 3rd evening there was approximately a fire when the electric metre exploded.

“The law enforcement advised us it was a drug den and anyone had tampered with the metre. There was drinking water operating down the partitions, flooring difficulties, and the heater was in no way operating.

“One of the windows was coming out of the frame and we had 3 tried burglaries though we were there. There had been no true makes an attempt to convert it back again into a safe, acceptable household. My mum’s health practitioner stated he wouldn’t permit her continue to be in that home possibly.”

Michael says Your Housing Group promised yet again to complete the repairs by Oct last year, which still have not been carried out satisfactorily, he statements.

The housing association paid out Carol £2,000 in payment, but Michael suggests the income doesn’t offset the pressure. “In our original house the place I am now, there are rodents in my bed room and I just do not sleep. My mental health and fitness, and my mum’s, has endured significantly as properly lately and on top rated of physical difficulties.

“The housing association say we are boosting new repairs but this just isn’t true. Repairs they say they carried out have not been. There are two tunnels outside the house of the back again gate that are providing the rodents accessibility through the property which they say have been filled in but there is surely no cement in them. All we get is broken guarantees.”

Scenarios like this ‘are not a rarity’

CEL Solicitors say the disrepair troubles at Carol’s house drop underneath the Properties (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which arrived into whole drive in March previous calendar year, developing a authorized obligation for the two social and private landlords to guarantee their qualities are risk-free, healthful and free from hazard.

Repairs paralegal Gavin Spruin claimed: “Unfortunately, situations like Ms McGuinness’s are not a rarity. Housing associations are putting some of the country’s most vulnerable people at hazard by allowing for this to occur and refusing to make, or needlessly delaying, crucial repairs. This is not something we will stand for and we will proceed to keep landlords to account.”

Jacque Allen, Your Housing Group’s chief operating officer, stated: “We have formerly carried out repairs that the buyer described via to us in 2019 and all these repairs were being concluded. Our client has a short while ago elevated new mend requests and we have currently organized for a surveyor to take a look at the home and assess any functions that are needed.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and upset brought about to our consumer, we will have out any vital repairs that are recognized and keep on to hold our shopper updated.”

Do you have a real life story? E-mail [email protected] isles.

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