Since January 2019 the Leeds City Council tenant has been trying to get action so the damage is sorted once and for all. The problems, the results of a leak – cause unknown – and widespread damp, have been examined several times. “People do inspections, write notes, but it doesn’t get beyond that and I’m not allowed to find a fix,” Patrizio told Crusader after Covid and safety measures over 2020 led to further repairs being put on hold.
A former Britain’s Got Talent contestant, Patrizio still loves to sing, but multiple health problems recently have taken their toll. “My living conditions are making things worse,” he says.
The issues fall under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 that came into force in March.
Law firm CEL Solicitors has taken up on Patrizio’s case along with 130 similar ones involving eight different landlords
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“Patrizio is one of potentially millions of tenants living in properties not fit for purpose,” explains CEL’s owner Jessica Hampson.
“As lockdown came in earlier this year, any promises of repairs were delayed, despite Government guidance stating that both essential and non-essential repairs could still be carried out unless the tenant was self-isolating.”
A September 15 deadline to complete Patrizio’s repairs was missed and now CEL has issued court proceedings against the council for breach of agreement.
If the case goes ahead, an outcome is expected by summer 2021.
But Patrizio desperately hopes it will not come to this.
Having moved out temporarily because the health risks, in April he was paid £1,150 compensation, with CEL deducting £182 for its services.
“But if only proper repairs could be organised it would save my health and everyone money,” he said.
Following Crusader’s inquiry to Leeds City Council, Patrizio reported last week that “another team turned up and put some PVC on the ceiling”.
CEL confirmed his view this was another temporary fix.
A council spokesman said: “Leeds City Council is absolutely committed to providing safe, quality homes to our tenants, and this is more important to us than ever during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We can confirm that compensation has been agreed with the tenant and the leak has been fixed. We are working hard to complete the outstanding repairs as soon as we possibly can.”