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Loraine Estate flooding: Mum’s fury at Islington Council for not fixing Holloway flat after water pipe burst

PUBLISHED: 08:17 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:48 24 May 2018

Jennifer Read is forced to live in one room after a water tank in the loft above her Loraine Estate flat burst and flooded the property. Picture: Polly Hancock

Jennifer Read is forced to live in one room after a water tank in the loft above her Loraine Estate flat burst and flooded the property. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A single mother is demanding that the council fixes her flood-damaged flat – and foot the bill.

Holloway's Loraine Estate. Picture: Polly HancockHolloway's Loraine Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Jennifer Read’s fifth floor flat in the Loraine estate, off Holloway Road, was one of nine properties affected when a water pipe burst on March 3.

The leak soaked the walls, ceilings and carpets, leaving Jennifer and her 11-year-old son Zak to share a cluttered sleeping space for three months.

“I’m a single mum and my son’s got learning problems,” she said, “so living like this has just made our lives so much harder.”

Jennifer, who has lived in the property for 11 years, also claims the council is refusing to replace her carpets, that there is asbestos in the ceilings and that the flat isn’t insulated.

“I get ice on my son’s windows,” she said. “He’s scared his bedroom ceiling will fall in on him.”

Jennifer said Zak has been sleeping on a blow-up bed on the floor, surrounded by the boxes they’re living from.

Jennifer Read, pictured with a letter from Islington Council, is forced to live in one room after a water tank in the loft above her Loraine Estate flat burst and flooded the property. Picture: Polly HancockJennifer Read, pictured with a letter from Islington Council, is forced to live in one room after a water tank in the loft above her Loraine Estate flat burst and flooded the property. Picture: Polly Hancock

The council put their cooker and washing machine into storage in April, leaving them to live off takeaways.

On March 5 she received a letter from the council stating: “As the flood was an unforeseen event, any loss or damage to your contents are unlikely to be covered by the council.”

Jennifer, who pays her service charge, believes such “unforeseen events” are exactly the type of scenarios that the council should fork out for.

“I was on home swap for two-and-a-half years but no one wants this estate because it’s riddled with drugs, mice and rats.”

An Islington Council spokesman said: “We contacted all affected residents as soon as possible, including Ms Read, and loss adjusters from our insurer promptly assessed the properties.

“They found evidence of damage from this leak in Ms Read’s lounge and one bedroom, and this weekend we completed all works to bring the property back up to standard, including replacing both ceilings.

“Unfortunately in these circumstances we do not replace tenants’ belongings, including furniture and carpets, and always advise our residents to ensure they have their own insurance for this.”

The spokesman added Jennifer might be eligible for help towards her damaged belongings through the Resident Support Scheme.


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