Edinburgh Council tenant left with no hot water for more than a month says ordeal has 'severely damaged' her mental health

Robyn said she blames bungling Edinburgh City Council contractors who had failed to fix an issue with her immersion heater after several attempts

Friday, 10th January 2020, 11:45 am

A young council tenant with serious mental health issues has been left with no hot water for more than four weeks in her flat in Little France.

Robyn Kane claims tradespeople including plumbers and electricians have carried out “cowboy” work on her boiler since December 7 – leaving her without hot water over the Christmas period.

The 22-year-old says her mental health has been severely damaged by the negative experience, not knowing when workmen are coming or going, leaving her anxiety to flare daily and sparking regular panic attacks.

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Robyn Kane claims tradespeople including plumbers and electricians have carried out cowboy work on her boiler since December 7

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Robyn said she blames bungling Edinburgh City Council contractors who had failed to fix an issue with her immersion heater after several attempts. She said that over the Christmas period, the workmen had told her that she would require a new boiler installation – severely damaging her newly renovated kitchen, that she says she does not have the money to replace.

Robyn said that matters had been made worse when she was told that she would have to give up her husky, Echo, in order to be moved into temporary accommodation whilst the work was carried out. Robyn relies on Echo to help her cope with her mental health issues.

She said: “This ordeal has taken a toll on my finances and social life as well as severely damaging my mental health. I have been confined to my home, with strangers coming in and out without any control, as well as not being able to clean myself.

“If I lived in America my dog would be classed as a therapy dog as he helps me handle my mental health conditions.”

Robyn first contacted the council on December 7 with a request for a plumber to be sent to her property.

But three days later on December 10 an electrician came to test various elements, and after discovering that the readings were coming back as unsatisfactory, he carried out minor repair work and raised a job for a plumber to replace the heater’s complex blending valve.

However, when the plumber arrived on December 16, he said that she would require an electrician.

At this point she felt as though she were being passed from pillar to post, not knowing what the issue was or when it would be resolved.

In the latest developments, Robyn had four council employees at her flat earlier this week.

She said: “They told me there was no issue with the boiler and that it would not be replaced – they said that the hot water was being produced without issue.”

Robyn added: “I sometimes feel as though they are talking down to me when they come to inspect the boiler. The water is lukewarm and is not warm enough for me to be able to wash or to do my dishes. I just want this problem resolved rather than being told one thing one day and another the next.”

A council spokesperson said: “We carry out 10,000 property repairs and improvements every month for our tenants and customer satisfaction is really high at 92. Yet, sadly, there are times when repairs are more complex. This is one of those cases.”