'Just appalling’: Single mum in Harold Hill accuses engineers of breaking precious items amid five-week heating issues
- Credit: Teresa Penfold
A single mum-of-two has branded her experience “appalling” when she was left with heating issues in her Harold Hill home for more than a month.
Teresa Penfold, 51, who lives with her 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, said her heating first went in February this year.
Due to the family contracting Covid, they were unable to get anyone to look at the issue until February 26, when a fix was carried out by K&T Heating, the contractor used by Havering Council.
The problem persisted, however, and an engineer re-diagnosed the problem on March 29, with another due to come out on March 31.
Instead, the fix was pushed back to April 4, with Teresa saying poor communications from K&T left her feeling “extremely upset and angry”.
By this stage, she had been having issues with the heating for around five weeks, during which time the south east was hit by an Easter cold snap that saw snow fall in London.
A spokesperson for Havering Council said it did everything it could to help resolve this issue, and K&T Heating said it is investigating Teresa's complaint.
Problems escalated on April 4 when - despite telling K&T she would be unavailable - two engineers arrived and were let in by her son, Teresa said.
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Teresa had just got out of the bath and was getting dressed when the engineers went into the loft and damaged boxes of precious items, including old children’s toys, she alleged.
While the heating was eventually fixed, Teresa said the experience was “just appalling”.
“They didn’t communicate with me when I came out of the bedroom,” she said.
“They were just utterly disrespectful, and I just feel extremely vulnerable.”
A spokesperson for Havering Council said it did everything it could “to help resolve this issue for the resident”.
They added: “We are investigating the further allegations relating to unauthorised access and damage to property, and will speak to the resident directly as part of the investigation. We cannot comment further on the investigation at this stage.”
A K&T Heating spokesperson said it was unaware of the damage caused and will need to investigate, but was told by the engineer that he communicated to the residents at all times.