Council accused of waiting for model tenant, 94, to die rather than fix her “disgusting” home

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A COUNCIL have been accused by the family of a 94-year-old of waiting for her to die rather than fork out for repairs to her water-damaged home.

Doris Thomas, who sewed parachutes for servicemen during the Second World War, has been a model tenant for over half a century, according to her family.

But the great-grandmother is forced to sit in her “disgusting” council home in Cardiff which has been left “damp and dangerous” by a botched extension, they claim.

Doris who is immobile and forced to remain in her home all day, has been told she will have to wait until January for any further repairs.

Grandson Darran Pine, 47, alleges the city council is “just biding their time, waiting for her to pass”.

Plaster has come away from the window

Pictures show peeling plaster around Doris’ living room windows and tiles which have come away from the wall in the kitchen.

Elsewhere cracks are visible in the ceiling and walls of her home, which are believed to have been caused by water ingress.

Darran says the subsidence of the extension has produced a gap in the side of the house, “so big you can see daylight through”.

He says Doris has been forced to use tea towels at her windowsills to soak up excess water and forked out £350 of her own money to replace carpets.

He posted a status on social media on Tuesday saying: “Cardiff council I am writing this in here for people to see as it seems like the only way to get you to take notice.

“My 94-year-old Nan has been a tenant of yours for most of her life and been in her current house for over 50 years.

“She has had three different Inspectors out, God knows how many different tradesmen and they all say not my job cant fix that.

“This is disgusting that a 94-year-old woman has to live like this. You should be ashamed of yourselves.”

He added: “If this was a private landlord you would be telling them they have to sort it or they would not get their rent payments. This needs sorting now.”

Darran says the council’s fix hasn’t worked

Fiona Bradley responded online: “Oh my God your poor Nan being left to live in that! Good luck with complaining etc.”

And Janet Green said: “Keep trying Darran. Tell them you will go to court for an inhabitable property. They do the same to private landlords.”

Doris has lived in the property on her own for about 25 years since the death of her husband Bob, who served with the British Army in Italy during the Second World War.

Speaking today, Darran said: “I personally think the council are just biding their time, they are just waiting for her to pass because it will be easier then for them to just go in and gut it.

“It’s not nice thinking that way but they are making you think like that.

“There was a man on her street who went into assisted living and as soon as he moved there have been council workers every day and they have totally gutted the place.

“Nobody know what it’s doing to her health, it can’t be very good for her. She’s in the living room all day and you just don’t know about the dampness she is breathing in.

“She’s been a model tenant her whole life. Even to the point of saving them money when everyone was getting their kitchen or bathroom done, she said she didn’t want hers done because hers were fine.”

The kitchen has become “dangerous” to use

A Cardiff Council spokeswoman said: “Since January 2019, there have been a total of 16 requests for repairs made by the tenant and initial inspections for all of these requests have been carried out within Cardiff Council’s target time.

“In some instances the works required have been completed during the first visit. In other cases a further visit by an appropriate tradesperson has been necessary.

“Our records do not show that any of the works have been outstanding for six months.

“A crack to the render of a small extension at the property has been filled, this did not give rise to any significant concerns.

“It is unfortunate, that some minor works which have been inspected recently will not be completed until the new year.

“However the Responsive Repairs Section are experiencing high volumes of repairs and they must be carried out in priority order taking into account safety and the impact on the tenant.”

Darran and Doris

Today Darran strongly refuted the council’s position.

He said: “All the problems have been reported at the same time, as they were all related to each other.

“January to November is 11 months and things are still not repaired. I would say that’s longer than six months.

“I like how they call the state of the house ‘minor works’ and they carry them out to priority according to ‘safety and impact on tenant’, so they think this is not really affecting my nan? Unbelievable.”

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