Northampton tenant has had no hot water or central heating for almost a month

A Northampton man who needs to take a bath every day to keep his chronic pain at bay has been without a working boiler for more than three weeks.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 8:29 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:18 pm
Michelle Thompson and son Declan

Declan Thompson, 21, rents his house in Blisworth Close, Briar Hill, from housing association emh Homes.

When his heating stopped working on December 11, he contacted his landlords who came out and condemned his 18-year-old boiler two days later and diagnosed a fault in the immersion heater.

But he is still waiting for both repairs and a replacement boiler, forcing Declan to go without baths, showers and central heating.

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Michelle Thompson and son Declan

His mum Michelle, who is also his live-in carer, said: "It's a living nightmare. He's had ongoing pain all over for years. He's on morphine, but the baths really help him to keep the pain down.

"On top of everything else, he's had stomach flu too.

"To not have hot water for nearly a month now is just not good enough."

Michelle and Declan have a small heater for the hallway and an electric fire in the living room and their meter shows they have racked up hundreds of pounds in extra bills.

"Running the fire alone has cost us almost £200 extra. Even then, it's freezing as soon you switch it off. How can they treat us like this?"

Adrian Cheetham, emh Homes' director of property services, said it was doing everything it could to ensure Declan and Michelle have their heating and hot water restored as soon as possible.

He said: "We offer them our sincere apologies, and will be contacting them to see if there is any additional support they may require."

Mr Cheetham said the contractor who condemned the boiler left them with heaters, and agreed to have a new boiler fitted on January 7, which was "the earliest possible date". He said this could be brought forward in the event of a cancellation.

But Mr Cheetham said the issue with the hot water was separate to the heating problem.

He said: "It was discovered that the immersion heater was not working, and we arranged with another of our contractors for it to be repaired so that Ms Thompson and her son would have hot water as well as heating.

"Unfortunately, due to the Christmas holidays and with us being due to change contractors in the New Year, there has been a delay in carrying out the repair.

"We regret that this has happened, and offer Ms Thompson and her son our fullest apologies.

“We will be reviewing our arrangements with our new contractors to ensure that this does not happen again.”