A DISABLED woman is outraged after her housing provider allegedly ripped up her flooring then refused to replace it.
Caroline James, who suffers from lung disease, now wants compensation for the “hazardous” half job.
The 57-year-old claims the stress of the situation has left her needing hospital treatment on several occasions.
Caroline, who has lived alone in the bungalow for nine years, told TeessideLive: “I’ve had a look into claiming on the insurance but my own home insurance only covers accidental damage so I can’t claim off of that.
“I rang up Beyond Housing and the lady I spoke to said that I could try to claim on theirs but that she didn’t think they would pay out because it isn’t their problem.
“But in my eyes, it is their problem.”
Caroline, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), said the ordeal began following a home assessment earlier this year.
She was reportedly told by an inspector that the joists under her floor were rotten due to water damage and, as a result, the boards needed to be replaced.
After “months and months” of back and forth, workmen finally arrived to complete the job on September 26.
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They allegedly “ripped up” a section of the flooring before declaring there was no clear sign of any rotting or damage and leaving.
But Caroline says they took the laminate with them – leaving hazardous floorboards and wooden panels – and there is no sign of it being re-covered.
“[The workmen] had been in touch with their boss that morning to say ‘she’s got flooring down, are we allowed to take it up’? and they said yes,” she said.
“I was then told the man from the insurance would ring me at around 5pm the next day, but I never received that call.
“I phoned myself only for the person on the other end to tell me that they shouldn’t have taken off the flooring and that they wouldn’t be able to help.
“It’s not as though I can replace it myself either because they took my flooring with them when they left.”
A spokesperson for Beyond Housing said: “We apologise to Ms James and are working closely with her to ensure the original concerns she reported have been addressed to her satisfaction.
“We value all customer feedback that helps us to improve our services and thank Ms James for bringing this matter to our attention.”
What are my rights in social housing?
TENANTS whose properties are managed by the local authority can request repairs be carried out under the “right to repair” scheme.
Many social housing landlords also opt in to this, but they don’t have to, according to Citizens Advice.
It is important to check tenancy agreements and handbooks to see where you stand.
If a right to repair scheme is in place, qualifying work includes everything from loss of electric power, blocked sinks and leaking roofs.
But if it’s not, there are other ways to ensure necessary work is carried out.
Citizens Advice has a full guide, but the most important thing is to gather evidence to support your claim.