Man’s water bill nearly triples as boiler in housing association home is broken

Ricky Bartlett claims he has had water “pouring” through his boiler for almost one year. Mr Bartlett said he first noticed his boiler was “playing up” in June last year and promptly raised the issue with his housing association, Pobl. He said a boiler repairman from an external firm later inspected his boiler and advised it was outdated and needed replacing, and passed this information back to Pobl.

But Mr Bartlett claimed Pobl did not arrange for the boiler to be replaced, and he said he had been unable to manage a leak under his sink and from the boiler due to issues with his back. As a result, he claimed the boiler had been pouring out gallons of water every day – significantly upping his water bill from around £13 a month to £30 a month.

Pobl told WalesOnline it did carry out urgent repairs but Mr Bartlett had since raised further issues and they would be investigating.

Mr Bartlett, of Swansea, south Wales, estimated around 30 litres of water were pouring out of his boiler each day. He said he was desperate for the leak to be fixed and his boiler replaced so he could pay for the water he actually used, not the wastage. His problems also come amidst a cost of living crisis which has seen fuel bills rocket, and other prices rise sharply.

He claimed: “My boiler started playing up about 12 months ago, they [Pobl social housing] sent gas people from PH Jones [a heating and boiling repair company] and they said the back of my boiler needed replacing and they were asking for a new boiler [for me]. I’m classed as disabled and I needed to get under the sink to turn the water off [but I couldn’t do it because of my disability] and the leaking water then rotted my kitchen cupboard.”

Mr Bartlett claimed Pobl arranged for part of his kitchen cupboard to be removed, due to the water damage, but did not arrange for the leak to be fixed. He claimed he’d asked Pobl to help with the issue on multiple occasions but had never been helped.

“The water I’m losing each day is about 30 litres [due to the leak]. My water bill was £13 and now it’s £30 a month,” he added.

After speaking with Mr Bartlett, WalesOnline contacted Pobl for information. It later contacted Mr Bartlett to discuss his leaking boiler. Mr Bartlett said he had received an initial phone call from Pobl, as a result of WalesOnline’s enquiry to the company, and was awaiting its guidance on when it would arrange for the boiler to be changed or the leak fixed.

A spokesperson for Pobl Group said: “Pobl trades team attended the property following reports of a leak to carry out urgent repairs, returning later to replace kitchen units that had been damaged by water.

“Mr Bartlett has recently contacted us again to report further issues and we will be liaising with him to investigate fully. This will include looking at the issues around his water bills as a priority. We would like to offer apologies to Mr Bartlett for any inconvenience.”

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