A tenant says he’s been living in a ‘nightmare’ trying to get rehoused from his flat for two years.

James Smith who has lived at the Timbrell Street property in Trowbridge for seven years described his flat as ‘unlivable in’ and claims the flooring is so bad he is worried about falling through the ceiling below.

In 2018, Wiltshire Council inspected the flat and placed an order requiring repair works to be carried out – but the 48-year-old feels the flat is still not fit to live in.

“It’s been a nightmare to be quite honest,” said Mr Smith, who has had heart trouble and suffers from literacy problems.

“I just can’t bear being here. I spent three-and-a-half months out of here last year because of it all.

“I came back and said that I wanted to meet the housing officer here because they’re saying that they’ve done the work.”

Mr Smith said when he returned to his home he found workmen had left paint on his curtains and sofa, as well as putting silicone sealant around his plug sockets to prevent them being affected by water coming in from the windows because of a loose tile on the roof.

He claims none of the work listed in the order had been carried out, and ever since has been fighting to be re-housed.

“I’m saying to the council that I don’t want to be in here because I’m scared in my own home,” said Mr Smith.  

“I’ve done everything right and it’s all been brushed under the carpet.”

Mr Smith said shortly after his return his foot went through the floor, and it was only the carpet that saved him from injury. When he contacted the council again he was told ‘nothing was on the system’.

“I’ve had to do it all through Citizen’s Advice – they didn’t give me any help on the council,” he said.

“I tried getting out, but they said that I have to go on a bidding system.”

His attempts to find a new home through the council, which pays the rent on his privately-owned flat through the benefits system, have met with failure.

Adam Wright, director of Wrights Residential which manages the Timbrell Street property said that when they took on the property, there was already an on-going case with Wiltshire Council. 

“In terms of his window, it’s a listed building. His window was leaking and it was effecting his flooring because it’s a listed building there’s actually an on-going planning application in order for it to change. 

“We have had a maintenance guy go out and do everything we can with the window. 

"His floor had sunk so he had new flooring put in and an issue with drainage which we had someone out to deal with.

“Anything he’s (Mr Smith) reported we’ve dealt with as best we can and as quickly as we can. 

“The council are going out on July 13 who will do a report for us to go through, and again if the council is saying there’s stuff for us to get done, we will get done.

“He doesn’t want people coming into the property, especially with the lockdown its been hard to do inspections and we can’t do inspections against people’s wishing if they’re self-isolating.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “In 2018, we inspected the property and the private landlord has since carried out the works we required.

“We have provided the resident with appropriate advice in regards to their housing options, and following the easing of lockdown rules, both the resident and their landlord were given notice of a formal inspection of the flat later in July.”