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Housing Association property flooding


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Hi,

hoping someone can help, although things seem all over the place and not sure where to start. I tried getting help from another site but they weren't too helpful.

 

I moved into a HA property (temporary accommodation) almost two years ago on a homelessness scheme and allocated a support worker and basically its been pretty much hell since then, from having property I left there stolen, to having rats (which took several weeks if not months to sort out), threats by another tenant in the building, having mail stolen, an ongoing boiler issue which remained unresolved at the time of the flooding and some other stuff which I gave up on reporting such as damp.

 

Last month during the heavy rains, my basement flat flooded (mainly via the toilet). Eventually an emergency plumber arrived and had to pump out the water built up on the outside drain which was blocked. It had been blocked for quite a long period of time with the HA doing nothing about it, despite complaints from others.

 

The water company have been nothing short of unhelpful and sticking to their explanation of what happened as long as it absolves them of any liability, including claiming in their notes (when an engineer attended the day after) that he checked the drains using CCTV and there was no blockage! only for them to alter the notes after I spoke to a senior engineer and told him this was impossible.

 

I have been moved into temporary, unfurnished accommodation and have extra costs associated including travel. My Housing officer has already told me they will not compensate me but I don't want to accept this.

 

It's also been almost 3 weeks since the flooding and the property has not been disinfected but tomorrow I am due to go there to try and box up whatever is salvageable although I am now not sure if, given the time, that items which weren't directly   touched by the water will be safe to take, so I would appreciate any advice on this.

 

This whole episode has really taken it's toll on me and I am wondering where I should start. Should I put in a complaint to the HA before attempting any legal action? what kind of evidence would I need.

 

I think section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 seems to cover this issue but I am unsure.

 

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated

 

 

 

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Hi

 

Irrespective that you were given this property via the homelessness scheme in your area you would more than likely have signed an agreement for that property so forget about the homelessness an you then became a Tenant of that Housing Association and have the exact same rights as any other tenant of that Housing Association.

 

I do have compassion for you in this situation as you have been trying to get your life back in order and it as been one obsticale after another then this flooding which due to it being raw sewege has more than likely detroyed what belonging you had.

 

What I am going to say now you won't like to hear but with Housing Associations the contents of a Tenants property is for that individual Tenant to ensure they have proper 'Contents Insurance' for situations similar to yours and most Housing Association should advertise/let Tenants know this responsibility.

 

Were you ever informed of the above requirement when viewing/signing the agreement for the property by either the Housing Association/Support Worker? (if the answer is NO then bear than in mind as this is ammunition to use against them)

 

Now anytime you write to the Housing Association on this matter you make sure and title your letter as a 'Formal Complaint' and to keep a good paper trail of everything and ask the post office for Free Proof of Posting.

 

You also need to make sure that you take photographic evidence of all the damage to the property not just your own belongings.

 

Now as state you now need to make a Formal Complaint in writing explaining everything that and what you have been told to date and that you require the following:

 

1. Clarification as to how many complaints have been made in your building due to drainage issues whether it be an individual properties toilets/sinks/baths/showers/kitchen sinks/washing machine drainage etc. 
( just to clarify you ar not asking for that individual/Tenant data but the statistics of how many compliaint's on this matter)
2. Clarification as to who is responsible for the Drainage outside the building (refer to the exact blockage area outside the building) whether it is the Housing Association/Council/Water Company.
3. Copy of your Compensation Policy (not the leaflet)
4. Copy of your Complaints Policy (not the leaflet)
5. Copy of your Customer service Charter/Policy (not the leaflet)
6. Copy of your Public Liability Insurance (not the leaflet)
7. Copy of Repairs an Maintenance Policy (not the leaflet)

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Hi Stu,

 

thanks for responding and the advice, as troubling as it feels right now, I do want to have a go at the process so will have a go at a complaint, and hope you can have a read over before I send it.

 

I attended the property today with the intention of salvaging what I could, but there were so many flies and the smell so bad, someone mentioned that it's risky due to bacteria growth or something and i may have been able to save more stuff if the place had been disinfected much sooner. So just grabbed my TV and made the tough decision to let the rest go rather than risk future issues arising.

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Hi

 

You are more than welcome to the advice as I know your situation is difficult at this time.

 

If you wish to post your written complaint here for me to have a wee look over it that is not a problem at all just make sure and put in it what I advised as well as what has happened.

 

Whoever advised you about the risk due to bacteria since this was raw sewage and flood water they are correct but even if they did get in sooner it would still have been too late if raw sewage was in the flood water those items/belongings would have been contaminated.

 

I assume your support worker is fully aware of your present situation as well?

 

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Thanks for this Stu,

 

I went and did an inventory with Housing officer today and all seemed to go ok...but of course the hard part is to come.

 

It seems like so much is going on now and it's getting a bit confusing! Apparently the water company have been busted in the excuse they gave for the main overflow and other HA's (either them or their insurers) are making a claim against them. 

 

Having been caught outside the property today (where heavy rainfall began again) there was another mini river above the drainage, so it still has not been repaired, and apparently no one (contractors) can or will access the manhole which is located in a utility cupboard (under floorboards and carpet) and the waste has not been cleared from there either.

 

Seems like there is so much more information out there, which I need to try and get hold of and then digest.

 

As for the support worker, they are aware, and apart from the early advice that i find solicitor, that's the last I have heard and my calls go unanswered .

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