“I have had three strokes, I shouldn’t be living in this.”
An Isle of Wight woman, whose ceilings have been ‘ruined’ twice in the last 12 months due to water damage, is calling for Southern Housing to do more.
Susan Henderson, 63, lives in Alresford Lodge in Shanklin and has had a leak entering her property from the flat above for the past few months.
It is getting “worse and worse”, she said and has caused water damage and mould to grow on the ceilings in her bedroom and hallway — and this is not the first time it has happened.
Earlier this year, a leak appeared and the damage spread through her flat, but when Southern Housing took “no action”, Mrs Henderson took matters into her own hands and fixed the ceilings.
Southern Housing said it was unaware Mrs Henderson had repaired her ceilings the first time and previously advised her she could make a claim through the building’s insurance.
Now, with a second round of water damage spreading in her flat, Mrs Henderson, who works for Age UK Isle of Wight, has said she cannot afford to fix it again.
Mrs Henderson, who owns her flat in a block of Southern Housing properties, said she could not afford the £250 to £300 excess she would have to pay on an insurance claim, as well as any increase in service charges or insurance.
“Southern Housing should have come out and fixed it the first time. I have said I am not paying for it, I don’t see why I should.
“I told them I have had three strokes, I shouldn’t be living in this and I haven’t caused it, it just doesn’t seem right to me.
“I have lived here for 36 years and I have never had this problem before.”
Mrs Henderson said she had no clue what was causing the leaks, it was “just a nightmare”, and despite phoning Southern Housing “all the time”, was failing to get a response until the media became involved.
The housing company said it first took action to investigate the leak at the end of September and had a plumber visit in October but was unable to access the flats.
Southern Housing said it had been told by the resident in the flat above Mrs Henderson’s they were not aware of any leaks but agreed to have a look when a further report was made.
If any repairs are required to the flat above, Southern Housing has said it would take action to complete them.
A building supervisor has now visited Mrs Henderson to inspect the ceilings and arranged to visit the neighbouring flat to carry out a further inspection to understand the cause of the staining to the ceilings so it can take appropriate action.
Southern Housing has said Mrs Henderson can make a claim for any excess via its complaints process and it would be determined by the insurance team.