Heating woes for couple at Christmas

Tony Mattison, housing repair problems
Tony Mattison, housing repair problems

An elderly couple say they have endured a miserable festive season after engineers failed to fix their leaking heating system.

Tony and Maureen Mattison live in a bungalow on Cromford Close, Langley Mill, rented from housing association, Futures Homescape.

Their central heating stopped working on December 23 and, despite calls to Futures and four visits by engineers, the great-grandparents spent the festive period with just two temporary electrical fan heaters and no running hot water.

The cold seriously affected retired cleaner Maureen as she suffers from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Former property agent Tony, 71, said: “The cold really does affect her condition and she also damaged her shoulder on holiday in September which has made matters worse. She was ill before Christmas too. You know when you roll all the things together it really feels like we’ve been jinxed.”

Mr Mattison is angry at having to wait so long between engineer visits, despite calling the housing association’s emergency out-of-hours service on December 23.

A leak to the pipework in a bedroom meant the heating system lost pressure and would not work.

A plumber initially fixed the heating system on Saturday, December 28. But within hours it had broken again.

An engineer visited on Thursday, January 2, but it was not until January 7, that the leaking pipe was mended and the heating was working again.

Futures has said the couple will receive a payment for having to run the electical heaters and it will also look into damage caused to the couple’s bedroom carpet.

On Tuesday, January 7, workers took just over two hours to fix the problem by replacing a leaking elbow joint on a piece of piping in the bedroom.

Tony said: “If they had just looked behind there in the first place, it would have 
taken two hours, not two weeks!” He added: “I understand there’s probably other people in the same boat.

“But to me a housing issue like this is an emergency.

“Thankfully our daughter had us round for Christmas Day and New Year.”

The couple have also had to contend with a sodden carpet in the bedroom and they have been continually using towels to mop up the water.

Maureen, 70, has also not been able to take a hot bath, which would usually help alleviate arthritis symptoms.

“It must have cost us a fortune drying the towels in the tumble dryer,” Tony added.

Operational resource 
manager at Futures Homescape Denis Kelleher, said workers were sent to the Mattisons’ home when the break-down was first reported.

He said: “When, a week later, they reported their heating wasn’t working again we delivered fan heaters to their home the same day. They will 
receive a supplement to cover the cost of running these. An electric fire, which was 
reported broken on January 2, was also replaced the following day.

“We will look at the damage to Mr and Mrs Mattison’s carpet and be in contact with them about this.”