St Albans mum's floods of tears

PUBLISHED: 08:01 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 06 May 2010

Tina with daughters Jessica and Sophie

Tina with daughters Jessica and Sophie

A SINGLE mother of two is fighting for compensation after a burst water pipe left her home uninhabitable. Tina Bashford, aged 25, discovered a flooded kitchen, living room and bathroom when she returned to her home in Olive Close near Burnside in St Alba

A SINGLE mother of two is fighting for compensation after a burst water pipe left her home uninhabitable.

Tina Bashford, aged 25, discovered a flooded kitchen, living room and bathroom when she returned to her home in Olive Close near Burnside in St Albans on the afternoon of August 23.

Tina, who lives with her two daughters aged five and six, said that the water came half way up her shin: "I found myself wading through up to 10 inches of water and I was dismayed to see how the burst water pipe had ruined my whole lower floor, from marking my cream sofas to ruining the floor and fireplace."

Tina's landlords, the Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association, sent a quantity surveyor to the house the next day and, after he concluded that the house was inhabitable, the family of three was moved to temporary accommodation in a mobile home 10 minutes walk away in Hill End Lane.

But despite agreeing to pay for repairs to the ceiling, laminate flooring and lower kitchen cupboards, the housing association told Tina last week that they couldn't offer her any compensation for damage caused to her personal possessions because she did not have contents insurance.

Tina said that she was outraged by the decision: "Because I'm with a housing association, I would've though it was obvious that I can't afford contents insurance. And because it was their water pipe that burst, surely that makes them liable for the damage caused?"

She added: "It's a complete disaster - how on earth am I supposed to afford a new sofa, fridge and cooker? My girls are extremely distressed and they cry every night because they want to go home to their toys and beds. I really am at a loss as to what to do."

Communication Manger at the Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association, Emma Crump, said that she sympathised with Tina's plight but added: "It's standard practice for all housing associations not to insure contents and we advise all of our tenants to get insurance as soon as they move in."

She added: "However, we can consider Tina's claim for compensation under our Compensation Procedure, which takes into account factors such as how the damage was caused. All Tina needs to do is provide us with details of what was destroyed and the process should take between a week and ten days from then.

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