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‘From one hazard to another’ - Single mother accuses Redbridge Council of moving her into dangerous flat that’s falling apart

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 September 2020

A single mum of three has accused Redbridge Council of moving her into an unsafe property before doing proper checks or allowing her to see it before moving in. Picture: Sophie Khan

A single mum of three has accused Redbridge Council of moving her into an unsafe property before doing proper checks or allowing her to see it before moving in. Picture: Sophie Khan

Archant

A single mother with three children said Redbridge Council moved her into an unsafe home which was falling apart and only intervened after the Recorder got involved.

The carpeting was coming apart and neither toilet was working in the property and she felt it was dangerous for her three children to stay there. Picture: Sophie KhanThe carpeting was coming apart and neither toilet was working in the property and she felt it was dangerous for her three children to stay there. Picture: Sophie Khan

Sophie Khan, 31, has been on the housing waiting list for almost 12 years and last week the council moved her and her children - aged six, five and three - into a flat where the toilets weren’t working, the water dripped out of the taps and the place appeared to be coming apart at the seams.

Her five-year-old son has special needs and was injured after falling down the stairs in her last flat which prompted the move.

She told the Recorder: “They have moved me from one hazard into another. Everything about the property is on the verge of breaking down.

“This place is a danger to my children.”

Sophie has been on the housing waiting list for 12 years and said the council has moved her from 'one hazard into another' since then. Picture: Sophie KhanSophie has been on the housing waiting list for 12 years and said the council has moved her from 'one hazard into another' since then. Picture: Sophie Khan

She felt the property was so unsafe she had her children stay at her mother’s house while she pleaded with the council to help her.

The council said it is not legally obligated to show tenants temporary accommodation in advance.

A council spokesperson said: “We were very sorry and concerned to hear about the condition of the temporary accommodation that had been allocated and have spoken to the managing agent to demand they carry out the necessary cleaning and repairs to the property as soon as possible.

“We’ve also made them aware that we’re far from happy with their performance regarding this property and will be withholding the rent until significant improvements are made.

“There is no legal requirement to show tenants temporary accommodation in advance, and given the number of people we are helping and the current housing crisis, it is unfeasible.

“Nonetheless, we fully expect properties to be in good condition for our residents.”

After the Recorder looked into the matter the council offered Sophie temporary housing in Chadwell Heath which she is moving into this week.

The Recorder reached 
out to estate agent UK Housing, which managed the Ilford property but it declined to comment.


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