Social housing tenants’ anger over rats and leaks

Taiwo Ajayi
4 Min Read

Social housing tenants have said they are “fed up” of being blighted with issues in their homes, including rats, electric shocks, leaks and broken lights.

Residents in Coppice Close in Castlefields, Runcorn, claim their lives have been turned upside down by urgent repairs being neglected by landlord Onward Homes.

Disabled mother-of-four Tammy Anderson, 41, who has lived at her property for nine years, said rats had gnawed on wiring and “one of the kids got an electric shock when they pressed the light switch”.

Onward Homes apologised and said it was “working to put things right” for tenants.

Water leaking from Ms Anderson’s shower damaged the light in the kitchen below and The leaks also led to her having to rip up carpets on the landing and stairs.


Ms Anderson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she had to use paper to patch over a hole in the bedroom ceiling left after workmen put rat poison down.

“The rats had bitten through the wiring and one of the kids got an electric shock when they pressed the light switch,” she said.

“There are rats running above the ceiling, you can hear them in the walls sometimes too.”

She also claimed contractors sent out by Onward often did not keep appointments.

“There’s times when they’ve said they’ve been out while we were out the house, but we’ve checked the doorbell camera and nobody has been,” she said.

Housing problem
Image caption,Tenants say rats have led to problems with electrics

Neighbour Natalie Glynn said she was waiting for a light to be repaired in her kitchen which was damaged by a leaking boiler.

The community nurse added that her bathroom shower also leaked and caused damage in her home, leading to her being forced to cook in her kitchen by lamplight.

READ ALSO: Federal Ministry of Housing Allocates 8,925 Affordable Houses

She also said the contractors were unreliable, adding: “I have to take time off to stay at home for them to come out and they just don’t turn up, or turn up without telling you they’re coming and I’m at work.

“I’ve checked on the doorbell cameras and they’ve not been. I’m just fed up with it.”

Another resident who did not wish to be named, said she had been in hospital through stress following damage from a leaking roof.

A statement from social housing landlord Onward said it was “very sorry for the distress and inconvenience” and it was “working to put things right.”

It added: “We will aim to carry out these repairs as soon as possible and we will keep in contact with them to understand what extra help they might need from us.

“After these are complete, we will visit to ensure each customer is satisfied with our work.”

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