Ex-serviceman 'treated like a fool' by district council over damp issues

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:53 12 December 2019

William Carnell with the lino which has come away from the floor because of damp. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

William Carnell with the lino which has come away from the floor because of damp. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

Archant

After waiting for months for the district council to correct long-standing damp problems, a West Hill pensioner said he feels like he is being treated like a fool.

The damp underneath the lino in the utility room. Picture: Karen CarnellThe damp underneath the lino in the utility room. Picture: Karen Carnell

Ex-serviceman William Carnell, 73, of St Mary's View, moved into a district council bungalow with his wife Karen in June and since then, moisture has seeped into their property through cracks and holes in the external walls.

The couple say the damp has caused damage to floors, doors and windows at the rear of the property and the district council has sent contractors out to fix the issues on a regular basis.

The district council say they are investigating the issues the couple are facing and are in touch with Mr Carnell.

Mr Carnell, who served in the catering corps during his time in the military, said the problem is now starting to affect the front of the bungalow.

A crack in the rendering which Mr and Mrs Carnell have complained to the council about. Picture: Karen CarnellA crack in the rendering which Mr and Mrs Carnell have complained to the council about. Picture: Karen Carnell

He said: "The water is coming in and things are only going to get worse.

"The council has a duty of care to its residents and an obligation to provide water-tight buildings.

"What I want is a dry, safe home.

"As a senior citizen and ex-serviceman I expect to be treated better than this.

Damp patches on the wall of Mr and Mrs Carnell's property. Picture: Karen CarnellDamp patches on the wall of Mr and Mrs Carnell's property. Picture: Karen Carnell

"I feel like I've been treated like a fool."

The couple, who moved to West Hill from Sidmouth, have complained in the past about cracks in the asbestos soffits and raised concerns about the rain getting in and causing damp.

They also told the council the floor in their utility room was 'damp and mouldy' with the lino lifting up due to the back door not being repaired.

Mr Carnell said some of the work inside the property has been completed, and he has been given anti-damp paint to help relieve the problem.

However, the damp issue is now starting to affect the front porch and rendering.

He said the damp is starting to affect his health, believing it to be the cause of persistent cold and chest infections.

Mr Carnell added: "I am 73 years old, I am one of the healthiest 73-year-olds you will see but I've started coming down with colds."

An East Devon District Council spokesman said: "We are in contact with Mr Carnell and are investigating his concerns."

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