Admin error left Northampton pensioners living in damp homes

John Pickford has been asking for help for four years. Since the Chron stepped in NPH have said they will now help. Pictures taken by Kirsty Edmonds.
John Pickford has been asking for help for four years. Since the Chron stepped in NPH have said they will now help. Pictures taken by Kirsty Edmonds.

Two pensioners in their eighties have been calling for Northampton Partnership Homes to fix a major water leak in their flats.

Neighbours Rita Peach, 88, and John Pickford, 84, have been living in their Kingsthorpe flats for a combined time of 48 years.

Rita stood next to her wardrobe which has bowels on top to catch rainfall. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Rita stood next to her wardrobe which has bowels on top to catch rainfall. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

But as of four years ago, the pair said they have experienced numerous major water leaks in their homes, which they want the housing association to fix.

The water leaks start when there is heavy rainfall, the pair say.

It has caused much upset among the pair and has ruined wallpaper and possessions.

They say they have both notified NPH and are urging them to send out a roofer, with scaffolding, to fix the suspected problem with the roof.

Water has been coming in John's bedroom now for years. He said he's had to move furniture around to avoid getting his bed wet. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Water has been coming in John's bedroom now for years. He said he's had to move furniture around to avoid getting his bed wet. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Currently, John has a fridge drawer and a washing up towel perched on his bedroom windowsill trying to catch drips, while Rita has soggy towels and two towels on top of her wardrobe.

John said: “The water was piling on my bedroom windowsill. I kept fetching towels from the bathroom and trying to stop it.

“I don’t want to cause trouble but I can’t live with this. It’s all going rotten, the whole lot, every time it heavy rains.

“I’m getting too old to lug beds about.”

Rita is concerned that the wall behind her wardrobe is wet.

She said: ”I’m worried in case there’s another storm, what if part of the roof collapses?

“My clothes were all soaked in the wardrobe. My granddaughter took a picture of the water pouring through the roof and it was like a fountain.

“I lay in bed and it pours everywhere. It’s a mess. When the weather comes on the teatime news I daren’t look.”

But NPH has apologised and admitted an admin error has delayed fixing their problems which has led to years of upset.

Gary Duckmanton, assistant director of repairs and maintenance, said: "We were first made aware of the problems with Mr Pickford in August this year when we carried out an inspection and identified the repairs needed to fix the roof. When Mr Pickford contacted us to chase up the work, we realised that an admin error had been made and the repairs were not booked.

"We are truly sorry for the impact this has had on our tenants and agree that August - October is an unacceptable length of time to wait for this kind of repair. We do not however have records of any complaints prior to this and we were not aware that Mr Pickford had been experiencing problems for so long.

"The repairs are now booked for next week and I will personally follow up with Mr Pickford to establish whether further works are needed inside his home."