Hartlepool housing tenant’s kitchen ‘nightmare’ over work needed on floor

A housing tenant was left at the end of her tether after her kitchen floor was pulled up and left uncovered for two weeks.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 8:45 am
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 8:48 am
Nicola Hewitt inspecting the exposed kitchen floor prior to the new layer of concrete being laid. Picture by FRANK REID
Nicola Hewitt inspecting the exposed kitchen floor prior to the new layer of concrete being laid. Picture by FRANK REID

Nicola Hewitt, of Norfolk Close, Hartlepool, says she was unable to use her kitchen due to the smell and upheaval while she waited for a new layer of concrete to be laid.

Her housing association Home Group arranged for several layers of flooring, including the original layer of tiles, to be taken up after Nicola said she wanted to put down new laminate flooring.

Nicola Hewitt standing on the exposed kitchen floor of her Norfolk Close home. Picture by FRANK REID

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The tiles were also tested for possible asbestos but the housing association says it was found to be safe.

Nicola, 51, criticised Home Group for a lack of communication throughout the process and the time taken to put down the new concrete surface called a screed.

She says when she rang up to ask when it would be laid a week after the tiles were taken up nobody knew anything about it.

But Home Housing say they responded as soon as they were alerted and completed the work within their usual time scale. The screed was laid on Tuesday last week.

Nicola, a support worker for disabled children who lives with partner Mick, said: “I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall. When they came to take up the tiles I thought they were just coming to have a look otherwise I would have emptied the kitchen.

Nicola claimed when she rang a week later to ask when the new concrete would be laid there was no record of it.

“If I hadn’t insisted on ringing again I don’t think they would have done it,” she said. “It has just been farcical from the beginning.”

She added: “I couldn’t use my kitchen. The fridge was in the middle of the floor and the smell was horrendous.”

Home Group defended their actions, maintenance manager Janet Hambleton said: “Immediately after being alerted to the issue at our customer’s home we responded to make sure we could rectify the issue as soon as possible.

“There were no safety issues for our customer and we have since completed the repairs within the tight timelines we set ourselves to prevent as much disruption to our customers as possible.”