Bathroom blues for tenants in Norwich after being told they can’t have a bath

A bathroom A bathroom

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
8:53 AM

Unhappy tenants have hit out at Norwich City Council over their bathrooms, branding the authority inflexible over whether homes are fitted with showers or baths.

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An elderly woman who would rather have a shower than a bath and a young mum who says a shower is no good for bathing her baby have called on the authority to make the swap.

But the city council says it cannot be constantly changing baths for showers and vice-versa.

It says, while it would install showers for disabled people if assessments deem that appropriate, tenants were made aware of what sort of bathroom properties had before they moved in.

The 81-year-old woman, who has arthritis, said: “I 
live on my own and cannot safely get in and out of a bath; a shower is what I really need.”

And the young mum, who has a wet room with a shower, but would rather have a bath for her one-year-old son, said the council should be more flexible.

She said: “I moved in about 17 months ago and they never told me they wouldn’t change the wet room. I had a surveyor come round saying there were going to be some bathroom upgrades.

“Then I received a letter saying I’d be getting one. But when the contractors came round and saw it was a wet room, they said they didn’t have a contract to change those.

“It’s so frustrating. At the moment I am using an inflatable bath for my son, but he’s getting too big for that.”

James Wright, Liberal Democrat group leader at City Hall, said: “I would have thought that there were enough positives to make the city council change their minds on this issue.

“In Eaton, where the upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms are taking place, we have come across cases where tenants are unable to have straightforward facilities that will help them with day-to-day living.”

But a city council spokesman said: “Any adaptations that have been made within a property will always be discussed with the prospective tenant, and ultimately it is always the individual’s choice whether they choose to accept the property or wait for another one to become available, if they have a personal preference.

“Tenants are welcome to replace the bathroom at their own expense with our written consent, but as a council it does not make financial sense for us to change bathrooms back and forth.”

He said, as part of the “Norwich Standard”, showers over baths were being installed as standard in bathroom upgrades.

The majority of council homes would have showers over baths installed by the end of 2017.

Do you have a story about a local council matter? Email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

11 comments

  • June that's rubbish, I know a young couple with a child and another one on the way, he works full time but they can't afford to buy a home of their own, council won't give them any where so they have to rent privately, if it wasn't for buy to let where exactly would they be living? They're not the only couple in this position I'm sure. I say if you can afford to buy a property to let out then go for it.

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    melalmighty

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

  • And there you have the reason why so many want to be home owners rather than tenants in spite of high house prices . When you own your property its up to you what facilities you have,not the council or a landlord. Its sad so many will be denied this right, due to in many cases the obsession of many to own properties they can rent out .Buy to let was worst thing ever to happen to the housing market. it made rich people of a few and has imprisoned many in somewhere they live in but have no control over.

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    june muskett

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • To be fair to the Council, the tenants knew what the facilities were before they accepted the tenancy. Try making these demands in the private sector and see just how far you'd get.---------An unnecessary piece of council bashing here. oH, and a picture of a bathroom too, for those who can't imagine what one is. lol

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    marty r

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • I'd like a holiday to Barbados, but that is not forthcoming either.

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    Barny

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Okay, I'll try again, seeing as my first comment was censored (presumably because I criticised the reporting). It's irresponsible to show a picture of a luxurious bathroom (above) as this leads the likes of blister & Andy T thinking that is the type that will be installed, when that is actually far from the truth. It just fuels the ignorant view that council house tenants are all "benefit scrounging scum" (as they are perceived), when in fact the majority of tenants are working and paying rent… Not that that should make any difference to what choice of bathing facility you would like or indeed need!

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    Smark67

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Typical ungrateful tenants , they should think themselves lucky to have a new bath or shower and be living in subsidised accommodation

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    blister

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • It's better than being homeless....!

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    Andy T

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • I personally prefer a shower and I may have difficulty getting in and out of a bath, I think it is down to personal preference. Bathing a baby in the sink is ok while they are a baby but can you imagine bathing a 2 + year old in the sink? A simple bath and over bath shower has got to be more cost effective for landlords surely?

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    melalmighty

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Is that with or with out the washing up as well? :) elf n' safety an all that!!!

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    FredJ

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • You can easily wash small children in the sink.

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    Disgusted of Norwich South

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • Thanks for showing a picture of a bathroom… Wouldn't have known what one looked like otherwise! Typical to show a more luxurious one though,giving the impression that it would be anything like that this sort the Council might install for those ungrateful benefit scrounging scum tenants! What has happened to responsible reporting these days, on both local and national levels??

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    Smark67

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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