'Spray air freshener': Woman's burst waste pipe housing battle with council

Robyn Taylor

Robyn Taylor is calling on Havering Council to fix the burst pipe as she can't stand to live with the smell of people's waste any longer. - Credit: Robyn Taylor

A woman living in Gidea Park has called on Havering Council to fix a broken waste pipe or move her to alternative accommodation so she isn’t forced to live with the smell of “people’s waste”.  

Robyn Taylor has lived in Tallis Court for a year and claims ever since moving in a soil pipe running under the house keeps “bursting”. 

The 40-year-old said that she gets an overflow of sewage which she claimed had led her to lose a lot of her belongings.  

Robyn, who is diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and is currently awaiting a back operation, said the property “also doesn't have proper disabled access”.  

She claimed that the council have not assisted her despite daily calls to complain about the housing issue.

Robyn's Home

Damage allegedly caused by the burst pipe to the flooring in Robyn's home. - Credit: Robyn Taylor


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A spokesperson for Havering Council said: “We are urgently investigating the matter with the private landlord who we lease the property from.  

“In the meantime, we are helping Ms Taylor to find alternative accommodation while the issue is resolved.” 

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Unable to stay in her home due to the smell, Robyn is currently staying with her grandma.  

She said: “I want them [the council] to fix the pipe so that I’m not living with the smell all of the time of people’s waste.  

“I have had to spend my disability allowance on replacing floors and repainting, and it’s costing me all my money which I should be spending on food and my disability. 

“I’m having to pay builders myself to get everything fixed all the time. My laminate flooring needs to come up because it stinks.”  

After calling the council, Robyn alleges that she was told over the phone to “just spray some air freshener and disinfectant”.  

She said: “They don’t understand. There are flies in here and they’re telling me to just spray air freshener."

Robyn said she would ideally like the council to move her into alternative accommodation permanently.  

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