September 18 2014 Latest news:
by Emma Lake
Sunday, July 13, 2014
For the last seven months, a pipe has leaked into Andrew Roberts’ ground-floor flat – damaging wallpaper and plaster and forcing him to live with an unpleasant smell.
The 31-year-old said that, despite numerous requests to property managers Havering Council, no action has been taken to repair the leaking soil stack.
Andrew said that the pipe in question carries waste water, including that from the toilets, sinks and showers of the flats above him in Turpin Avenue, Collier Row.
He said: “I have a weak chest and I am just getting over a chest infection – this black mould is not helping.”
Andrew first noticed the leak in his kitchen in January. Since then, he has collected several buckets of water.
He said the leaking liquid had caused black mould to grow in the kitchen and wallpaper to peel away.
The persistence of the leak is also now visible through brickwork from the exterior of the property, he added.
Council workers have visited the block of flats to investigate the leak but no work had been completed.
He said: “It’s now seven months since I first reported the problem. If they had sorted it out when I first phoned them, it would not be in the situation we are now with the damage.”
Cllr Damian White, deputy leader of Havering Council and cabinet member for housing, said: “There is quite clearly a leak in Mr Roberts’ building but, after visiting the block several times, it has been difficult to find out where it’s coming from. However, this matter has been going on for longer than it should and we will be sending out another surveyor in the next couple of days to get this issue finally resolved.”
Andrew said he took pride in his home and liked to keep it clean – something he felt he was unable to do while the leak was causing mould to grow.
He questioned why it had taken the council so long to pledge to take action.