A draughty dispute

Sandra McGuire, of Boyswell House, Scholes
Sandra McGuire, of Boyswell House, Scholes

A COUPLE claim an expensive housing upgrade has left their home less comfortable than before work took place.

Alasdair Chisholm and partner Sandra McGuire are demanding prompt action is now taken by Wigan and Leigh Housing to allay problems with cold and draughts allegedly caused by the standard of workmanship in a dispute going back more than 12 months.

He says that problems arose after the housing ALMO informed him that the property’s windows and door were going to be replaced - against his will - in the flat in Boyswell House with more energy efficient UPVC units.

First the wrong windows were installed and a new set had to be put in just a fortnight later.

But this replacement set have subsequently proved to be ill fitting, draughty and leaky as well as difficult to open.

However, Wigan and Leigh Housing hit back today by insisting that they have had difficulty gaining entry to the property to evaluate the validity of the complaints and that is the heart of the reason for the delays, not foot-dragging.

Matt Roberts, director at Wigan and Leigh Housing, said: “We take reports of problems within our properties seriously and always do our best to seek a solution.

“We are satisfied Wigan and Leigh Housing has acted properly with regards this case.

“We have visited the property to assess the repairs required.

“However, our attempts at completing the works, as diagnosed by our surveyors, have been prevented.

“We are taking measures to reach a solution but require access to the property to carry out the work.

“This has been made clear to the tenants and we will continue to try to resolve this situation with them.”

Mr Chisholm denies that he or his partner are responsible for the delays and said that he had granted access to officials on behalf of WALH to check the windows on four occasions since March 2012.

He said that the window problem was investigated by ward councillors George Davies and Lol Hunt who were both assured by WALH that it would be sorted out.

But no progress has been forthcoming despite assurances that problems with the flat’s front door would be resolved “by Christmas Eve at the latest”.

He accuses WALH of failing in its duty to provide him with “safe and weather-proof” accommodation.

He said: “It is a truly appalling way to treat tenants.

“Our relationship with our landlord has never been satisfactory and every opportunity has been taken to make our tenancy difficult.

“We have attempted to deal with WALH in a reasonable manner since last spring but to no avail. But I don’t feel that my landlord’s response has been reasonable and there are absolutely no admissions or even hints of shortcoming on its part.”