Dagenham father pleads to be re-housed from leaky flat

Ben Clarkson's flat is suffering from water leaking from the flat above him. He has a leaking ceilin

Ben Clarkson's flat is suffering from water leaking from the flat above him. He has a leaking ceiling, plasterboard that has come off and young children who are suffering. Ben Clarkson with his daughter Lillie Cullen 3 and his son Charlie Cullen who is 10 weeks. - Credit: Archant

A father-of-three is pleading with Barking and Dagenham Council to move his family out of a flat suffering from water damage caused by a leak in the property above.

Ben Clarkson says his New Year was marred by the fact he has no lighting in his kitchen, living room or his children’s bedroom as a result of the leak in his two-bedroom flat at Parkside House, in Belfarm Avenue, Dagenham.

Ben, 24, says although the problem has been going on for a year, it began getting worse on January 5.

When he contacted the council, it took engineers several attempts to gain access to the flat above where they discovered the cause of the leak.

Mr Clarkson said: “I believe it was due to the element in the immersion heater over-boiling and it was making it overflow.

“The engineers switched it off but, when they left, it was switched on again and my ceiling is still leaking.”

The leak has left Mr Clarkson with a microwave that no longer works, a bucket on the floor to catch the drips as well as no light in several rooms as the engineers disconnected his lighting as a precaution.

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To add to his problems, his two-year-old daughter Lillie Cullen suffers from asthma and his nine-week-old son Charlie Cullen has recently developed bronchitis.

Mr Clarkson said: “The council needs to move us out of this flat because this is going to be an ongoing problem with the ceiling and it won’t help with my children’s health.”

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: “We were contacted by Mr Clarkson on Monday, January 6 with a complaint about water coming from the flat above.

“Access was gained to the flat above and a leak was repaired by lunchtime on the same day.

“On Wednesday, January 8 we identified that water was still coming into the property and we arranged for a plumber to visit, who identified a problem with a fridge freezer which has been addressed.

“We do not have any record of previous complaints of leaks or damp at this property.

“A surveyor will be visiting the flat to assess the extent of any water damage.”