Family compare council house to ‘living in a kennel’ as they raise concerns over hygiene levels

A “disgusted” family have said they feel like they are “living in a kennel” after moving into a council house.

Zoe Winter, 31 and Luke Eddison, 25, arrived at the property six weeks ago and moved into the maisonette on Friday, March 18 2022 with their three children aged one, four and five.

The couple wanted to move home initially so they could have three bedrooms, after their previous home in the same area only had two.

Now the City of Lincoln Council have claimed that due to the move being a mutual exchange process, it is the tenant’s responsibility to repair any damage from previous tenants within the Hartsholme Estate.

However, the council did state that it will be conducting any routine repairs it is responsible for.

Zoe and Luke’s bathroom was photographed as evidence

Ms Winter told Lincolnshire Live: “The hygiene issue of the kitchen is not to my standards and I wouldn’t even have a dog in there, it’s disgusting. There is black and grease at the top of the units that I’ve tried scrubbing. We’ve had to have the ceiling plastered because of a leak that was here previously.”

She added: “It looks like a child has tiled it [the bathroom] and there is dirt everywhere that I have cleaned but I can’t get it off. I have a bath and get out and still feel dirty.

“My autistic child doesn’t like the bathroom and I won’t allow my children in the kitchen because it’s a health and safety hazard.” Ms Winter said that when she looked around the property, she wasn’t able to have a thorough look due to a previous tenant living there.

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She said: “It was more just a quick look and I have a child with separation anxiety so when I looked around I had my daughter with me and couldn’t go through the cupboards.” Mr Eddison said: “It feels like I live in a kennel. I wouldn’t even put a pig in there. A pig has a better living state than what we do.

“It’s downright depressing to live in this house. I hate getting out of bed because I have to come downstairs to the kitchen.

“I see my partner go round scrubbing and scrubbing but she can’t sit down and enjoy the house.” Mr Eddison said he has been out of work due to his mental health, and that since they have moved into the property it has worsened.

Zoe and Luke are unhappy with the state of their council house
Zoe and Luke are unhappy with the state of their council house

He added: “My son didn’t have a shower for five days because of no shower curtain. It’s depressing for all of us because you expect to be able to get a shower.

“You can’t have one because it will just leak over the floor and cause a hole in the ceiling.”

A spokesperson for the City of Lincoln Council said: “The tenant moved into their property through a mutual exchange process, which is when two tenants arrange to swap properties, through their own agreements. Part of this process requires both tenants to have inspected each others’ homes and agree to accept the tenancy for each dwelling in its current condition.

“In accordance with all tenancy agreements, the council will carry out any routine repairs required. However, in a mutual exchange process, it is the incoming tenants’ responsibility to repair any damage caused by the previous tenant and to clean the property if required.

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“All parties were made aware of this prior to the exchange taking place, and accepted the properties in their current condition. We have visited the tenant’s property to conduct the routine repairs we are responsible for, with future planned visits.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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