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  • FIRST POST
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 8th Nov 18, 10:30 AM
    • 8,661Posts
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    50Twuncle
    Let down by council....
    • #1
    • 8th Nov 18, 10:30 AM
    Let down by council.... 8th Nov 18 at 10:30 AM
    My 90 + year old Parents in law - who live in a local authority house had a water supply problem
    To start with - the riser pipe that leads into the kitchen "rusted" through - it was made of iron - this caused water to leak into the kitchen and soak the suspended floor
    They called out the council who told them that it was the responsibility of the water company who told them that it was the responsibility of the council (ie neither accepted responsibility) and gave them the contact details of an emergency plumber who they called out and he charged them 140 and turned off the supply and in doing so - damaged the stop !!!! !!!
    They were left with no supply for three days - just a few bottles of water to drink
    Their son (my brother in law) phoned the council again to ask what was happening and was told that, if the elderly couple hadn't "upgraded" their kitchen - 48 years ago - then the council would have accepted responsibility for the whole works and it would have been completed on a "same day" basis - but since my parents in law had replaced the original (1950's cabinets) in 1970 at THEIR expense - it was classed as a modified kitchen - so was not the councils responsibility !
    They managed to get another plumber to replace the stopcock but still need the riser pipe replaced !
    My mother in law had a heart op - 6 months ago and my father in law has health issues himself.
    This is an appalling way to treat old people...
Page 1
    • macman
    • By macman 8th Nov 18, 12:48 PM
    • 42,781 Posts
    • 18,031 Thanks
    macman
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 18, 12:48 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 18, 12:48 PM
    The supply pipe is the responsibility of the homeowner from the meter or boundary-so in this case down to the LA. Not the water supplier.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 8th Nov 18, 1:41 PM
    • 7,714 Posts
    • 6,278 Thanks
    daveyjp
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 18, 1:41 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 18, 1:41 PM
    Is it still a Council house? i.e. owned and managed by that organisation?

    A lot of the local authority stock was subject to stock transfer decades ago and they are now owned and managed by a separate organisation.

    A formal complaint should be raised to their landlord and get local councillors involved - its what they are there for.
    • _shel
    • By _shel 8th Nov 18, 2:40 PM
    • 1,604 Posts
    • 2,793 Thanks
    _shel
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 18, 2:40 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 18, 2:40 PM
    Yes if you make alterations to the property you become liable for the maintenance of it. Every housing association I've lived with has had that rule.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 8th Nov 18, 3:12 PM
    • 23,972 Posts
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    Fire Fox
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:12 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:12 PM
    Is their landlord the local Council or a Housing Association? Are your in-laws registered on the landlord's system as vulnerable (encompasses a wide variety of physical or mental health issues, not simply age)?

    Do your in-laws have an advocate within the local Council or Housing Association, or who otherwise knows the system? Referrals to Social Services often come from the GP or other health professionals. Relatives can involve relevant charities or local councillors. Do be aware that the older generations often refuses extra support.

    It is unlikely the employees involved so far know the full story, also unlikely they have the power to override this rule. This is where being recorded on the system as vulnerable, and having an experienced advocate comes in.

    Do also get your in-laws registered as vulnerable with other organisations, such as gas and electricity suppliers. Anyone you can think of really!
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 8th Nov 18, 3:46 PM
    • 1,046 Posts
    • 1,204 Thanks
    HampshireH
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:46 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:46 PM
    Yes if you make alterations to the property you become liable for the maintenance of it. Every housing association I've lived with has had that rule.
    Yep same for those I have previously worked for/alongside. If it hadnt been modified then they would have sorted it all out.

    Usually when permission is sought in writing this is included in the response, even if it was a long time ago.
    Last edited by HampshireH; 08-11-2018 at 3:51 PM.
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 10th Nov 18, 10:11 AM
    • 8,661 Posts
    • 2,056 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:11 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:11 AM
    Is it still a Council house? i.e. owned and managed by that organisation?

    A lot of the local authority stock was subject to stock transfer decades ago and they are now owned and managed by a separate organisation.

    A formal complaint should be raised to their landlord and get local councillors involved - its what they are there for.
    Originally posted by daveyjp

    Yes - they've been living in it for over 60 years !
    Paying their rent without fail every week
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 10th Nov 18, 10:18 AM
    • 8,661 Posts
    • 2,056 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:18 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:18 AM
    Is their landlord the local Council or a Housing Association? Are your in-laws registered on the landlord's system as vulnerable (encompasses a wide variety of physical or mental health issues, not simply age)?

    Do your in-laws have an advocate within the local Council or Housing Association, or who otherwise knows the system? Referrals to Social Services often come from the GP or other health professionals. Relatives can involve relevant charities or local councillors. Do be aware that the older generations often refuses extra support.

    It is unlikely the employees involved so far know the full story, also unlikely they have the power to override this rule. This is where being recorded on the system as vulnerable, and having an experienced advocate comes in.

    Do also get your in-laws registered as vulnerable with other organisations, such as gas and electricity suppliers. Anyone you can think of really!
    Originally posted by Fire Fox

    No they are not and wouldn't appreciate being told that they are - for example - their electricity and gas are both standard tariffs to different suppliers (they had an open fire until recently - with a back boiler for hot water) - the house was "UPGRADED" by the council with cheap double glazing (with airvents) and a gas central heating system (with not enough and badly placed radiators)
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 10th Nov 18, 10:59 AM
    • 1,435 Posts
    • 206 Thanks
    littlerock
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:59 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:59 AM
    A flat in a housing association is not the same as a council flat. Is there really a rule that if you replace your kitchen cabinets in a council house then the council is no longer responsible for maintenance of any of the services to the flat? Particularly if the council has also updated the property recently themselves? I do not understand why the council is disclaiming responsibility for the water supply to the flat on the ground your parents replaced the kitchen cabinets, did they also replace the sink and water supply pipes at the same time?

    This article about landlords responsibilities by Shelter might be helpful.
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/repairs_and_maintenance_in_council_and_housing_!!! ociation_homes

    Perhaps they could advise. https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help
    Last edited by littlerock; 10-11-2018 at 11:07 AM.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 10th Nov 18, 2:17 PM
    • 25,115 Posts
    • 65,755 Thanks
    pollypenny
    Absolutely agree that this is disgraceful, callous treatment.

    As well as those mentioned, I'd contact your MP to complain.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 10th Nov 18, 4:42 PM
    • 23,972 Posts
    • 27,132 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    My 90 + year old Parents in law ...

    were left with no supply for three days - just a few bottles of
    water to drink

    ... if the elderly couple hadn't "upgraded" their kitchen ...

    My mother in law had a heart op - 6 months ago and my father in law has health issues himself.

    This is an appalling way to treat old people...
    Originally posted by 50Twuncle
    No they are not [registered with the landlord as vulnerable] and wouldn't appreciate being told that they are ...
    Originally posted by 50Twuncle
    And therein lies the problem for many families. Older relatives that are so independent they do not get the support or special consideration they need.

    If your in-laws are unwilling to work with the system, you may find an advocate's hands are tied.

    the house was "UPGRADED" by the council with cheap double glazing (with airvents) and a gas central heating system (with not enough and badly placed radiators)
    Originally posted by 50Twuncle
    The landlord of social housing uses their own traders who sign up to codes of conduct, are appropriately qualified and registered, who work to Building Regulations.

    Some council/ housing association tenants do much the same, but many do not. The eye-watering cost of setting right DIY bodge jobs are what cause these rules to be imposed in the first place.

    Trickle vents in new windows are commonplace now and encouraged by Building Regs ('background ventilation'). Without sufficient ventilation, residents often struggle with condensation damp and black mould. This is a major health hazard.
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
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