Pensioner's five-month wait before council would fix his leaking flat

Mould grew through Mr Parry's house for five months.
Mould grew through Mr Parry's house for five months.

A pensioner had to wait five months for Northampton Borough Council to fix his leaky flat.

Tony Parry, 79, had to stand by while mould grew in his airing cupboard and on his ceiling while waiting for Northampton Partnership Homes to fix a water leak above his flat.

Melbourne House, on Melbourne Road.

Melbourne House, on Melbourne Road.

He was forced to ask a county councillor for help before the housing community for Melbourne House, on Melbourne Road, would visit him.

Mr Parry, who worked for Royal Mail for 30 years, said: "The first leak started in the corner of my bathroom and the mould has spread everywhere. My carpet was waterlogged at times and all my towels and bedding were damp and mouldy.

"Just imagine the smell in here two months ago, and having to squelch through the corridors in your bare feet."

Mr Parry first thought the leak was a problem with his boiler as the dripping water smelled of ethylene, an anti-freeze used in boilers.

Jill Hope, county councillor for Sixfields, was contacted by Mr Parry for help.

She said: "There's no going around the fact that no one acted on this for months.

"They have an emergency repair line, but if this does not count as an emergency then when does? When here we have a man who couldn't leave his house because he needed to stay and empty out the pots under the leaks?

"What upsets me is I put a call in to the council and they promised someone would visit and no one did. Are they so overwhelmed with repairs that they can't deal with this one?

"He's like a flood victim. This is not the way to deal with people. Someone must take responsibility for this."

A spokesperson from Northampton Partnership Homes said: “We’d like to apologise to Mr Parry for the upset this has caused him.

"We inspected a leak following his initial reports last year which was found to be coming from the bathroom of a flat on the floor above him. The leak was intermittent and this was fixed at the time.

"In January we were made aware of another leak more serious and our repairs team responded the same day to fix this. The leak was fixed on 23 January. Today (1 February) we met with Mr Parry and we talked about how we can help support him going forward”.

Mr Parry said: "They might have gone upstairs but they didn't come to visit me, and water runs downhill. My flat has been damp and the mould has been growing for five months but they haven't responded.

"It's been a stressful five months. I don't bear malice to anyone and I try to get on with people. I understand how bad other people's problems are and if there are no funds then there are no funds. But if I'm the one being hurt by it then the council should rectify it.

"They only came to see me after I mentioned I had called a councillor, and they must have thought, 'Oh, this man is serious.'"

"I've been given this insurance form to fill out. Does that mean they accept responsibility or not? They just don't talk to me. I'm the one who's been affected and I feel completely ignored."