Manchester Mother Receives £5,000 Payout Over Uninhabitable Council Home

A mother-of-three in Manchester has received a £5,000 payout after enduring an uninhabitable council home filled with damp, mould, and unrepaired leaks.

The family’s plight highlights significant failures in the housing provider’s response to multiple complaints, leading to a prolonged period of distress for the residents.

Council Home Issues:

The family, consisting of four members, was relocated to a four-bedroom property in Wythenshawe by Manchester City Council, despite knowing about existing issues such as a rotten kitchen floor and damp in four rooms.

Persistent complaints from residents, pushing the housing provider nine times for repairs, went unresolved for an extended period, with a roof leak taking 67 weeks to fix.

Forced Relocation and Ombudsman’s Findings:

As the problems persisted, the family had no choice but to stay with relatives in an overcrowded house while the issues were being investigated.

The Housing Ombudsman’s findings revealed widespread, serious failings on the part of the landlord, leading to a young family essentially being left homeless due to inhabitable conditions.

Ombudsman’s Critique and Delays:

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway criticized the extensive delays, lack of competency in inspections, poor quality works, and inadequate coordination that contributed to the serious adverse effects on the household.

The landlord’s response, hindered by its handling of the resident’s pre-action letter, suspended repairs instead of resolving the complaint.

Family’s Struggles:

The family’s struggles included complaints about mould, unsafe garden paths causing injuries, water issues in the kitchen floor, and leaks through the roof affecting multiple rooms.

The housing provider failed to address the underlying causes, disregarding the family’s wellbeing and safety.

Ongoing Repairs and Compensation:

Following the Ombudsman’s intervention, the council was ordered to calculate the costs of repairs undertaken by the resident and reimburse them.

The council claims to have carried out all repairs on the home and added additional insulation as requested, acknowledging the need for improvements in its housing service.

This case sheds light on the challenges faced by residents in council homes and the responsibility of housing providers to ensure livable conditions.

The Ombudsman’s critique emphasizes the need for prompt and effective responses to complaints to prevent similar failures in the future.

The compensation awarded to the family acknowledges the hardships they endured due to the uninhabitable conditions.

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