Concerns over delay in fixing ‘danger’ roof

The Oxford Times: Darren Hadland with some of the tiles that fell from his roof Darren Hadland with some of the tiles that fell from his roof

A FATHER has told of his anger at a delay in repairs to the roof of his housing association home after several tiles fell from the property smashing on the ground outside his front door.

Darren Hadland said about 10 tiles had fallen to the ground around his home in Merton Court, Eynsham, prompting fears that children playing outside or a passer-by could be hit by them.

But, after three months of battling, he says it was only when he told Cottsway Housing Association that he was contacting the Oxford Mail that the organisation agreed to repair his roof.

Mr Hadland claims that on Wednesday, after telling Cottsway that he’d called this newspaper, he was told that Cottsway would send crews with scaffolding to get up on the roof and assess the situation. They were due to be on site yesterday.

Mr Hadland said it was dangerous to leave the roof unrepaired, because tiles could have dropped on people at his front door or children playing in the street.

The 39-year-old said: “We don’t have a front garden, so at the front of the house is a public footpath, and there’s a risk the tiles will fall on someone.

“If it was my house I would have had the work done pretty much the week after it happened, because I wouldn’t want it on my conscience if it hurt someone. Cottsway have taken three months and for me they’ve been dicing with danger.”

Insurance claims assessor Mr Hadland said he first realised there was an issue when he found an 18in ridge tile and three smaller slate tiles on the ground outside his home at the end of January.

They had fallen from the top of a dormer window and some tiles were balanced on the edge of a gutter. Two housing officers visited within the space of six weeks and said scaffolding was needed to look at the roof.

But Mr Hadland, who lives with his girlfriend Nicki Green, 31, a cleaner, and her 11-year-old son Ryan, said more tiles fell from his roof after that and he collected two ridge tiles and eight slates off the floor.

Cottsway Housing head of operations Sue Lakin said: "We set ourselves high standards for the completion of repairs and we apologise to Mr Hadland for the delay in completing these works.

"We have high customer satisfaction levels with repairs, and complete the overwhelming majority  - 99 per cent - within target timescales.

"We did attend the site quickly following bad weather, but on initial inspection discovered there was a need for scaffolding to complete the work which resulted in an unusual delay.

"The work has now been completed successfully."

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