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Residents claim that Homes In Havering ruined their Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 December 2010

John Culverhouse was left without water and heating

John Culverhouse was left without water and heating

Archant

TWO residents have accused Homes in Havering of ruining their Christmas after problems with their flats.

Sarah Kelly, 29, from Highfield Road, Romford, says she had her Christmas Day destroyed when council workmen flooded her home.

John Culverhouse, 75, from Dudley Road, Harold Hill, was forced to spend four days in a cold flat in the run-up to the festive season after his boiler broke down.

Sarah discovered water pouring “like a water feature” from the ceiling of her flat on Christmas Eve morning.

The downpour was caused when contractors for Homes in Havering left a shower uncapped in an upstairs flat during works the previous day.

Sarah was due to spend Christmas Day at home with daughter Yasmine, eight, and her partner of two years, Jamie Priestly, 37.

“I’d been out of the flat for no more than two hours when I came back – and the only way to describe it was like it was raining inside,” said Sarah.

“This was meant to be the first special Christmas together – just the three of us, but it was ruined.

“Any other time of the year I might just have been able to cope, but not at Christmas. I kept bursting into tears. There are little traditions my daughter and I do each year that we weren’t able to do.”

HiH sent a bunch of flowers to Sarah as goodwill gesture and offered to pay for a microwave oven so the couple could cook Christmas dinner.

But the trio spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day relaying between relatives in Collier Row, Grays and Norfolk.

HiH also apologised to Mr Culverhouse after he had to endure four days sleeping in his coat and hat after his boiler broke on Saturday, December 18.

He said: “It is a disgrace because they left me for those days without any form of heating or hot water.

“They didn’t even provide me with a portable heater.”

Mr Culverhouse first noticed a problem with his boiler on December 18 after he couldn’t get the heating on.

He said when he reported the problem to Homes in Havering he was told that they would be able to fix the boiler the next day, but instead engineers came out on Wednesday, December 22.

A Homes in Havering spokesman said: “Following a repair request we contacted our contractors and asked them to attend Mr Culverhouse’s property as emergency on December 21, unfortunately this appointment was missed, for which we apologise for.

“Our contractors attended the property on December 22 and identified a blockage in the condense pipe which was removed and Mr Culverhouse was left with his heating and hot water fully restored.”

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