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Exeter residents raise concerns over mouldy flats in Southgate and Watergate

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 28, 2014

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Exeter residents in Southgate and Watergate say that their flats are mouldy after cavity wall insulation was installed.

Local resident, Marian Snow has said: “Due to the council inserting cavity wall insulation about six years ago and the wet weather, we have mould growing on our walls and my wardrobes are damp and my clothes have turned white.

“The flats smell awful and some of us had only decorated last year.

“Also, leaseholders in Southgate have received notification that the council are undertaking repairs and re-decoration to these blocks and have been informed that our share is £1,038.01 each but on asking leaseholders in Watergate just below us, a block of flats identical to ours, who had their block renovated last year, I have been told that they have received no such bills.

“The damp problem has been on-going since December last year and we have had various people around looking at it and some taking pictures, some leaseholders have received letters concerning it and some haven’t.

Mrs Snow added: “Two years ago we were told that we had to have new flat doors and that we would not have to pay but then I know of one leaseholder who had to pay £200.

“It really seems to me that the council is in a financial fix and we leaseholders are suffering.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “Work is underway to establish the full extent of the problems caused by the damp ingress and identify the best way of dealing with them. This will be a significant programme of work, however, and we need to get it right.

“Leaseholders in Southgate are currently being consulted on the estimated costs of external decoration and maintenance work in accordance with their leaseholder agreements.

“This is not related to the damp ingress works (which have yet to be agreed by the council) but is part of the general maintenance programme, but will need to be co-ordinated with the damp ingress works in due course.”

The spokesman added: “Leaseholders in Watergate have not been billed for their works as yet because we are awaiting the final costs, but they will be recharged again in accordance with the leaseholder agreements.

“We are not aware of any leaseholder being charged for a new front door.”

The spokesman further stated: “None of this has anything to do with the council being in a “financial fix”.

“Any recharges made are in accordance with agreements and the damp ingress works will be a major project which needs to be properly planned and costed.

“We regret the problems that the wettest weather for 250 years has caused tenants and leaseholders alike and we are working to tackle them as quickly as we can, but any delays are being caused by the complexity of the project not financial issues.”

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