Rogate couple’s anguish after snow damage

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A Rogate couple say they have reached the end of their tethers following a six-month battle to get their roof fixed after damage from heavy snow.

Steve and Joanne Stocker have lived in Hugo Platt since the house was built 18 years ago and are now tenants of Affinity Sutton.

“We’ve brought up our two girls Molly, 18, and Emily, l7, here and never defaulted on our rent, but now we hate coming home in the evenings. We never know what we are going to find and this has taken away all the pleasure from living here,” said Mr Stocker.

They are still waiting, after 16 years, for a new floor after a sewer close by started leaking and sewage seeped under the kitchen floor, rotting the floor boards.

But their latest troubles flared in January after the heavy snowfalls.

“The first thing we noticed was our stuff in the loft was soaking wet and the insulation was damp,” said Mr Stocker. “Then the ceiling in Molly’s bedroom and in the bathroom went mouldy – we have to clean them every weekend.

“Molly can’t put her clothes in her cupboard any more because of the damp.”

Mr Stocker, who works in property maintenance, says the problem was caused by neglected valleys on the roof which had never been cleared out, exacerbated by the heavy snow.

He immediately contacted Affinity Sutton , but according to Mr Stocker it began six months of buck passing, being “palmed off” and ignored.

“I reckon I have lost a week in pay for time taken off for meetings and sometimes they didn’t even turn up,” said Mr Stocker. “We have had meetings with people who then disappear and a new person turns up to deal with us and then they go missing as well.”

Two weeks ago they were finally told the scaffolders were arriving. But then they were cancelled: “Affinity Sutton made out I had cancelled which was completely untrue. Finally the roofers turned up last week, but on Monday night they left,” said Mr Stocker, without weatherproofing the roof.

Julian Chun, director of property services for Affinity Sutton, said: “We are very sorry for the inconvenience and disruption caused to Mr Stocker and his family. Our contractors, Rydon, assured us the roofing work would be completed on Wednesday and they will be visiting Mr Stocker this week to assess the damage to his ceiling and flooring.”