A Hatfield woman has claimed issues with her council house were only resolved after seeking legal action. 

Ellie Stinson moved in to a Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council house in Primrose Close with her two children last April, and was told there were a couple of problems with the house.

Ellie said: “There was a canopy above the front door which was a health and safety problem, and they told me not to use the side entrance of the house or the front entrance because it could fall anytime and cause damage to the children and the shed in the back garden was also broken. Those were the main issues when I moved in.  

"Then a lot of things started to happen, such as a leak in the kitchen. I notified the council, and they did not come to repair it.

"Doors started falling off hinges, the cupboards were falling off and the flooring had come up off the floor in the kitchen and I kept complaining but they never did anything. 

“Multiple surveyors came, but they never started any work. So I sent them a heads up, letting them know if nothing happened I would be seeking legal advice. 

“They finally started doing something when my solicitors first contacted them. The solicitors sent their own surveyors and then the repairs finally started.” 

A WHBC spokesperson said that "wet wipes" were found to be the cause of drainage and blockages at the address. 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Ellie was told not to use the side or front entrance to the house as the canopy could fall at any moment.Ellie was told not to use the side or front entrance to the house as the canopy could fall at any moment. (Image: Ellie Stinson)

Ellie’s oldest daughter suffers from chronic lung disease and said mould and damp in the house has affected her health. 

“My daughter has a weak immune system and she has a lung condition so all these issues in the house made it worse. She has had viral and bacterial infections and it is affecting her a lot," Ellie added.

"When the doctors looked back on my daughter's records, she has been admitted more times when we lived in this house compared to when I lived somewhere else previously.

“They ripped the flooring and left loads of screws and nails on my floor and then left and never came back. But then again once I got back in touch with the solicitors, they started work again,” she said. 

Ellie and her family were moved into temporary accommodation on Monday, October 17. Ellie said: “They had to rip off the whole floor in the kitchen, so it wasn’t safe for my children to be there while the work was being done so they decided to put us in a hotel. Welwyn Hatfield Times: The flooring in the kitchen had to ripped out completely after the leak.The flooring in the kitchen had to ripped out completely after the leak. (Image: Ellie Stinson)

“I just want them to get thing done so I am sick and tired of waiting. They don’t understand the stress it has put on me and my family.” 

A spokesperson for the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council said: “There have been multiple call outs for drainage and blockages at the address since the tenant moved in. Wet wipes were found to be the cause and no fault has been found with the drainage. 

“A leak in the kitchen was reported in June. When the surveyor visited six days later, access was not possible. This was rearranged for early July as part of a legal disrepair claim. Various jobs were raised following this visit, but there were further delays while we awaited the results of an asbestos survey and report, environmental clearance, and confirmation there were no pests in the property. 

“The scheduled work has now been completed. This includes new flooring, plastering an area behind the kitchen sink, and replacing plasterboard in an airing cupboard. The tenant returned to her property on Friday morning. We appreciate that staying in temporary accommodation while this work was carried out has been stressful, but in this case has been unavoidable. 

“We are as confident as we can be that the tenant experiences no further issues as we work with our new contractor, Morgan Sindall, to continue improving our housing maintenance and repairs service across the borough.” 

On Friday, November 4, Ellie and her family were able to move back into their house.