Hammersmith & FulhamNews

‘Why can’t they sort out my home once and for all?’

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

A 69-year-old Fulham resident said she is at the end of her tether after six years in a council house that “has never felt like home”.

The issue has been the constant need for repairs and the fact Sue Roberts has had to move out twice from her Bagleys Lane home while work has been carried out.

Hammersmith and Fulham council has apologised for the inconvenience but says it has spent £140,000 trying to get the flat up to scratch following ‘decades’ of underinvestment in the property and substantial structural issues.

Ms Roberts, her son and three grandchildren moved into their Fulham home in 2018, although problems including leaks and cracked ceilings soon became apparent.

They were first moved by the council in 2021 into a property Ms Roberts said was cramped and also suffering from damp.

It was in this flat in early 2022 that Ms Roberts’ mother, Winnifred ‘Winnie’ Wilson, who was suffering with cancer and had been living with them, passed away at the age of 91.

Ms Roberts said she was heartbroken her mother died away from her own home.

“The whole thing has cost me my health,” she added. “We have had six years of hell.”

The family moved back into their home in March 2022, although they had to leave again four months later after the council said more repairs needed completing. This new property also suffered from damp.

When the family moved back into their home in August last year, Ms Roberts said she soon became aware of new problems with the property. These included a hole in the brickwork to the back of the house, and damage to areas including a step at the building’s entrance and piping.

Workers had also damaged some of her personal items, the most distressing of which was a beloved family sideboard.  This has had to be repaired by a specialist, paid by the council. Sofa and curtain rails previously damaged were also replaced.

She said: “Can you imagine moving out, moving in. In between we’ve lost mum. We haven’t even had time to grieve for mum, because we’re constantly moving with boxes around and around.

“Would you not think in August last year, we’d walk into a pristine finished home? No, not at all.”

Ms Roberts added the issue has been compounded by the changing cast of builders and contractors working on her home. The result, she said, has been a ‘lack of respect’ for the property. “We don’t want gold taps, we just want a job done well so it lasts a number of years.

“We’ve never felt at home.”

A Hammersmith and Fulham council spokesman said: “Substantial work was required to renovate this spacious four-bedroom period Victorian property before Ms Roberts moved back in last summer. The property suffered from decades of under investment in it and some substantial structural issues.

“The council spent approximately £140,000 to ensure we were providing a safe, decent and warm home of the highest quality. We recognise that this work took longer than it should have, and we apologised and compensated Ms Roberts for this at the time.

“A few further repair issues with this old property have been identified. We apologise for these issues and we are working with our contractor to quickly and effectively resolve them.”

Pictured top: Sue Roberts at the home that never seems to be trouble-free. (Picture: LDRS)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.