Council house leaves man out of pocket

Liam Speakman with his eight-month-old son, James
Liam Speakman with his eight-month-old son, James
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A WIGAN family are trying to bill the council after a series of “botched” repairs on their rented home.

Liam and Katarzyna Speakman moved into a rented house, owned by Wigan and Leigh Homes, in Ashbourne Avenue, Whelley, in February and so far, they have had to fork out £155 for a fence which was destroyed by the previous tenant, plus spent money on filler to fill in holes left during repair work.

We have an eight-month-old son and we don’t want to leave him downstairs for fear of something falling on his head

Laim Speakman

And to make their financial matters worse, the couple were overcharged for their rent and are owed more than £700.

They also say they fear for their safety as the living room ceiling - which may contain asbestos - is bowing.

Liam, a chef at Case de Cuba in Wigan, said: “We have an eight-month-old son and we don’t want to leave him downstairs for fear of something falling on his head.

“A few weeks ago we noticed the ceiling sagging and someone came out to survey it and an electrician came to sort the lights but he refused to do it, saying that there was asbestos in the ceiling and so could not be disturbed.

“Before this, a new bathroom was fitted, but there was a leak and that had to be repaired twice.

“Then another pipe leaked upstairs and the floorboards and skirting boards were ripped up.

“A plasterer came and plastered all the walls in the living room and I have had to buy filler to fill in the holes they have left and now I will have to buy paint to re-do the living room as the plastering is a mess.

“Also we had to pay £155 to get the fence repaired, when the previous owner had damaged it. And then we were overcharged rent and so we were told we were entitled to £740 back and it would take four to six weeks, but it has been eight.

“We should not have to pay to sort out the council’s botched repairs. Whatever I spend, I want back.”