A Leeds University student has told The Gryphon that he was unable to live in his Hyde Park bedroom for over three weeks in September and October because his estate agent failed to repair a roof leak.
Ummar Kas, a first-year Environmental Sciences student, has claimed that the roof leak damaged his mattress, caused parts of the ceiling to fall down, produced damp in his bedroom and worsened his chest infection.
Speaking to The Gryphon, Mr Kas said ‘I contacted them [Aston Properties] first on 21st September. It had rained the night before and my mattress had been directly under the leak…it was soaking wet. They said they were busy and that a roofer would be sent around within 2-3 days’
‘But nobody came around [to my house] and I had no contact with them [Aston Properties] …I slept at a friend’s house that week’
‘I called the following Monday [28th September] because a part of my ceiling had actually broken off…[but] they seemed to have forgotten my call from the previous week’
Mr Kas has said that, after the phone call, in which he claims that he threatened legal action, Aston Properties changed his mattress and fixed the roof leak.
Mr Kas claims ‘My room was still very damp…I slept in my room one night that week, however the damp caused my chest infection to worsen so I had to remain downstairs or at my friend’s house for the rest of the week’
‘The end of that week saw a lot of rain, and the room was leaking again, now through the hole they had patched up and through another crack in the ceiling. I rang on the Monday [5th October] to explain that it had been leaking throughout the day. They said that they would send someone the next afternoon but there was still no sign of anyone to repair’
Mr Kas claims he had no response from Aston Properties from Monday 5th October, except through Twitter after he posted a video recording of the leak, until the company finally fixed the leak last weekend.
‘On Tuesday 6th October, after having about 30 retweets, Aston finally took notice and responded on their Twitter account saying someone would be sent over and that work would be done. They also offered me gift vouchers on their Twitter account’
Aston Properties were invited to comment but did not respond.
Giving his opinion on the situation, Mr Kas said ‘I guess we’ll find out when it next rains whether it has been solved’.
Mr Kas added ‘I can’t imagine a wet ceiling is good for the electrics in the house’.
When contacted Aston Properties told The Gryphon: ‘With reference to a roof leak at this property we confirm we have acted promptly and efficiently in rectifying this problem. When the problem was reported to us we instructed a roofing company to inspect the property. There was a slight delay due to inclement weather and the roofers not being able to get on to the roof as it would have been unsafe to undertake the repairs, however as an interim measure tarpaulin was laid across the area to prevent further damage and leaking during the bad weather. The tenant was kept fully informed of this during the procedure. As soon as it was safe and dry for the roofers to re-attend and undertake the necessary repairs these were carried out, and the roof area where the damage related to was repaired satisfactorily by competent roofing contractors and the tenant was duly informed. We have dealt with this repair in the same way we have undertaken other roof repairs and all other repairs, that being as follows, a problem is reported by the tenant, contractors are instructed, investigations take place by the contractors and a quote is provided to us, we authorise the repair and instruct the contractors to undertake the repair. This is the standard procedure which is carried out. This chain of events was carried out successfully and as soon as possible by us and in line with the weather and contractor availability. We have no interest whatsoever in delaying repairs as this is not cost effective to us. We have not in any way neglected the repair and have dealt with this in an extremely professional and responsible manner. We are sorry if the tenant feels disgruntled about the repair, however we have merely acted upon their instructions to inspect and undertake appropriate and successful roof repairs which they have reported to us. Unfortunately we cannot predict when repairs emerge on our properties, we can only act upon the tenants instructions and carry out the works as soon as possible for them and on a satisfactory basis thereafter which was categorically the case here.’