Flooded out of her own home

PUBLISHED: 12:06 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 May 2010

Margaret Anthony

Margaret Anthony

A HOUSING association has apologised to an 84-year-old widow, who has had to move out of her home while she waits for damage to be repaired after a leak from the flat above. Margaret Anthony, of Slade Way, Chatteris, spent Christmas with her family in Mar

A HOUSING association has apologised to an 84-year-old widow, who has had to move out of her home while she waits for damage to be repaired after a leak from the flat above.

Margaret Anthony, of Slade Way, Chatteris, spent Christmas with her family in March and returned to her flat on Boxing Day to find water pouring through her kitchen and lounge ceiling.

Her daughter, Margaret Hill, said when she contacted Granta Housing Society's emergency line, she was told the leak could not be repaired unless Granta was contacted by the upstairs tenant, who is believed to be in Malaysia and sub-letting the flat to another couple while away.

But Granta said the leak was reported to its staff on December 28 and the same day a letter was hand delivered to the flat requesting access within 24 hours.

Mrs Hill said: "When we contacted Granta Housing it was tea-time Boxing Day, and they said they couldn't come out unless the upstairs tenant called them.

"Water was coming through the ceilings, the walls were damp and the carpets soaked. When we found out about the problem, we turned off the electrics, put the heating up and buckets are out everywhere. Mother is now staying with us, and her two cats have gone in a cattery.

"She still wants her independence, but her flat has been flooded five times this year. Last New Year's Day we had a similar problem, and yet it has happened again.

Mrs Anthony added: "I've been living here 19 years in May. The flat is in such a good spot and I like it here."

Sean Wallace, director of housing operations, said: "If access hadn't been granted to the flat with the leak, we would have forced entry and rectified the problem. However, access has been granted, and our contractor has rectified the problem. An order has now been raised to re-decorate Mrs Anthony's flat where required.

"The issue about the possible sub-letting will be fully investigated, and we will not hesitate to take legal action if this flat turns out to be sub-let.

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