Croydon Council was declared bankrupt in November 2020, being served with a Section 114 notice after ongoing financial difficulties came to a head.

As a result, major budget restrictions were brought in, meaning many of the council’s housing tenants waiting for repairs to their homes were thrown into a state of ‘limbo’.

Among those affected is CEL client Johanna, who lives in a three-bedroomed terraced house owned by the local authority. We shared her story with local press to help raise awareness of her plight.

Johanna, who wishes to be known by her first name only, had been promised that essential repairs would be made to her home, after first raising issues such as severe damp more than a decade ago.

The council had repeatedly blamed condensation as the cause of the problem, according to Johanna, but failed to solve the issues, leaving the walls of her hallway ‘soaking wet’.

Our team of experts stepped in in 2018, with Croydon Council agreeing to carry out the necessary repairs and relocate Johanna to a hotel while work was being done. However, following the council’s bankruptcy announcement, grandmother Johanna was left packed and ready to move out, but with no confirmation of when – or if – the repairs will be ever made to her three-bedroomed terraced house.

Jessica Hampson, director and owner at CEL Solicitors, said: “Right across the country, local councils are allowing their tenants to live in homes that are absolutely not fit for habitation – from mould and damp to fire safety issues, these properties are putting some of the most vulnerable in society at risk.

“While the recent bankruptcy announcement at Croydon Council will undoubtedly have a ripple effect through the local authority’s services, we must remember that tenants like Johanna have been complaining and waiting for a very long time for something to be done.

“Not only did Johanna have to wait until our team got involved for the council to take note and make steps to rectify the problems at her home, but now she is completely in the dark as to what is happening with her repairs. It’s likely that Johanna’s story is just one of many relating to residents now plunged into massive delays for having comfortable, liveable homes.”

To read the full article and to see Croydon Council’s response, visit: This is Local London

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