Council finally repair disabled Edinburgh resident's broken boiler after 40 days in freezing flat

The help only came after she contacted the Evening News for help

Friday, 20th December 2019, 11:45 am

A disabled council tenant has finally had her boiler fixed after being left with no heating or hot water for six weeks – but only after contacting the Evening News for help.

After 40 days in the cold in her Lochend home, Rachel Lindsay, 31, was visited out of the blue by a repairs contractor equipped with the vital spare parts she had been told would not be available until after the New Year.

She told the Evening News that she had received last-minute notice from a contractor who showed up yesterday at her front door to rectify the problem.

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Rachel feared she would be left with no hot water and penniless over Christmas

Rachel feared she would be left with no hot water and penniless over Christmas after accusing Edinburgh City Council of dragging its heels over the outstanding repair work.

She had contacted officials 40 days ago regarding the broken boiler but had been left with no heating or hot water in her flat. The council supplied electric heaters but Rachel found them too costly to run. And due to a skin condition, she requires regular baths, not showers.

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Rachel said: “I phoned the council about issues regarding my boiler just over a month ago.

Rachel has had to spend nights wrapped in a duvet and her days at her mothers house because her house was too cold for her to tolerate

“Their contractors had come out and tried to fix it on a couple of occasions but each time the boiler packs in after they leave. I have a disability and require hot water so that I can use a bath. I also suffer from a skin condition that means the cold temperatures are a real nightmare.”

Rachel has had to spend nights wrapped in a duvet and her days at her mother’s house because her house was too cold for her to tolerate.

She added: “The council supplied me with electric heaters but they cost a lot of money to run and it has meant I can only really heat one room at a time.

“It got to the point where I ran out of money on my electricity meter and did not have the funds to be able to top it up.

“I have had to go to my mother’s during the day to stave off the cold and when at home I have to wrap myself in duvets. I just really hope the council can compensate me so I am not out of pocket over Christmas.”

After the Evening News had contacted the council officials, a contractor abruptly appeared at Rachel’s home offering to fix the boiler.

Rachel says she has not had an offer of compensation for the money spent on the electric heaters.

Last night, a council spokesperson, said: “Our tenant’s heating was fixed but unfortunately it developed another fault and we’re waiting for a part to repair this. We’re also speaking to our tenant about additional costs incurred and we will offer compensation as appropriate. Faults in the home are always frustrating, particularly at this time of year, but we do carry out around 10,000 repairs and improvements every month.

“Current tenant satisfaction with this is 92 per cent. We know there are times when we don’t get it right but we always work to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.”