'They're blaming me' - Social housing tenant angry over state of flat

Mr Gallant claims the conditions at his flat are 'uninhabitable' and as a result he can no longer stay there 

Mr Gallant said he was being blamed for the "uninhabitable" conditions in his flat - Credit: Archant

A vulnerable tenant has hit out at social housing giant Clarion for "blaming him" for the state of his formerly-uninhabitable Norwich flat.

Theo Gallant, 27, checked himself into a hotel in April on account of the "disgusting" conditions in his Chantry Road home.

A Clarion spokesman said the wellbeing of their residents was their "top priority", and when they gained access to Mr Gallant's flat they carried out all repairs they were responsible for and provided advice about how to avoid issues in the future.

The social housing block on Chantry Road near Chantry Place is run by Clarion Housing Group

The social housing block on Chantry Road near Chantry Place is run by Clarion Housing Group - Credit: Google

The litany of issues he has reported in recent years include black mould and water ingress on the windows — most of which are either broken, or were screwed-shut by Clarion because of faults in previous years — a broken boiler, toilet flush, kitchen sink and electric vents in the kitchen and bathroom, and staining on the ceiling from the flat above.

He said the "final straw" was when sewage began coming through the bath tap, creating a "foul smell" and making the flat "uninhabitable". 

He returned to the flat in July, seeking compensation from Clarion for repair delays and the impact his living situation had on his mental health, which he says has rapidly deteriorated since he moved there in 2015.

Horrible bath in Chantry Road social flat in Norwich

Sewage spilled out into the bathroom and ruined all of the items in the room, which Mr Gallant was unable to wash due to his broken washing machine. Instead he left them in the bath and then left the flat altogether - Credit: Archant

However, Clarion said when a surveyor attended on June 3 to assess the situation, they instead arranged temporary accommodation for him while work was complete.


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The spokesman said: "We completed the repairs we were responsible for. These included installing a new waste pipe to the sink to prevent further leaks, repairing the bathroom light and completing a mould wash in the lounge.

"The build-up in the bath is not sewage but a result of wet towels left there over time. This is the resident's responsibility to clean."

Black mould surrounds the windows which are screwed shut in Mr Gallant's flat

Black mould surrounded the windows which are screwed shut in Mr Gallant's flat - Credit: Archant

Black mould surrounds the windows which are screwed shut in Mr Gallant's flat

Black mould surrounded the windows which are screwed shut in Mr Gallant's flat. Clarion recently completed a mould wash in the lounge to deal with the mould - Credit: Archant

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Mr Gallant had to pay £300 to a private contractor to help him tackle what he maintains was sewage all over his bathroom. 

He said: "They're blaming me for a lot of the problems and saying it's my own neglect, but I don't understand how. It's very confusing.

"I can't open the windows to ventilate because most of them are broken or screwed-shut.

Windows in the living room are still broken at Mr Gallant's house

One of the windows still works in the living room, but due to faults is unstable and is at risk of falling out - Credit: Archant

"And I used those towels in the bath to wipe up the sewage to begin with."

He added: "Clarion is getting away with putting vulnerable council tenants in very poor quality accommodation, without proper support.

"My flat is sorted now, but it's only a matter of time before the problems resurface."

The broken sink in Mr Gallant's kitchen which has led to flooding on occasions

The broken sink in Mr Gallant's kitchen which has led to flooding on occasions. This has now been repaired by Clarion - Credit: Archant

The Clarion spokesman said: "We will continue to work with Mr Gallant to ensure he is comfortable in his home."

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