Dampness is driving council tenants to distraction

editorial image

COUNCIL housing tenants in Girvan are getting cross over the condition of their homes as complainants about damp reach the fifth year of their fight.

Lifelong Girvan man Roddy Leitch, 31, who has been at number 22 for seven years, said a number of his neighbours are protesting against their treatment by South Ayrshire Council, who they say have proven unable to provide them with a dry place to live.

Mr Leitch himself has been battling with the council over damp in his property for up to five years, and claims measures to tackle it have been half-hearted.

Despite central heating installation being scheduled for March, Mr Leitch’s home is still served only by two storage heaters - which he says he is struggling to afford to run.

And without even modern heating in place to help reduce the dampness, he the problems are getting worse.

Mr Leitch says he and his partner are desperate to do some DIY and improve their home, which they also share with his 12-year-old daughter one weekend a fortnight. But working around basic problems like damp is a waste of their time and money.

He also has safety concerns over a false wall - installed in the kitchen in an effort to stabilise the wall on which his kitchen cupboards are mounted - which is becoming dislodged, and says the wall of the bedroom where his daughter sleeps has been black with damp at times.

“It’s unliveable,” he said. “The conditions are quite inadequate.

“I can’t really have my daughter in that room because of the dampness, and I am generally unhappy with the extent I have had to go to sort the problem out. It is falling on deaf ears.

“I just want to see them make an effort to try and sort the problem out.”

Kenny Leinster, South Ayrshire Council’s Head of Community Care and Housing. confirmed complaints have been received from tenants of the Saughhill Road flats about suspected dampness, and claimed thorough investigations by a specialist contractor have subsequently been commissioned.

In addition to completed work in one property he said remedial work has been undertaken in another, and additional modernisation is scheduled to take place in about six weeks time.

“Before this happens, gas central heating will be installed and, in advance of that, we are undertaking further surveys at the property to make sure proposed works will resolve the issue of dampness,” he said.