A couple who endured squirrels rampaging in the roof and rainwater running down the walls of their leasehold flat have at last had their complaints vindicated, thanks to the intervention of Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.
Ade Bankole, 38, and his wife Otitokan Oluwo, 35, had been complaining to Peverel since October last year without success. Rivulets of water were clearly seen running down the walls of their flat, which has been damp for months. Furniture and recent decoration to the flat were completely ruined.
Now an independent surveyor has confirmed that there is a hole in the roof, as the couple had been arguing for the past six months.
The Bankoles, who are from Nigeria, could see that the roof was damaged at the 14-unit Crowthorne Lodge in Bracknell, where they own a top floor £134,000 leasehold flat.
They even produced photographs showing the water rivulets and missing tiles, and employed a contractor who reported that there was a hole in the roof.
This was flatly contradicted by local contractor TCH Roofing and Property Maintenance, employed by Peverel, who unaccountably reported on February 25:
“After my very intensive inspection, I can categorically state that none of the water staining in the two bedrooms and the main living area are in any way being caused by the external roof damage.”
It was a point the contractor was eager to emphasise:
“… Once again I can state that under no circumstances is there any damage to the roof or the external walls of the building causing these internal problems, it is all being caused by condensation and if needed I will confirm this in any way that maybe required …
“I do hope this is all that is needed at present …”
After LKP took up the Bankoles’ appalling treatment on March 26, Peverel undertook to send in an independent surveyor and a senior manager.
The report from Aedas Building Consultancy makes clear that water in the flat was due to … the hole in the roof. Squirrel droppings also were found in the loft.
“The nature and pattern of the internal staining to the internal walls is not consistent with condensation build up. It is consistent with a penetrating source of water,” says the report.
Aedas also pointed out the danger of “vermin” to electrical wiring, as squirrels have been known to start fires.
Why the Bankoles had to put up with a miserable, cold and damp winter that ruined the décor and furnishings of their flat – and who is to pay for this – are the unanswered questions.