Dorset residents who fell victim to the St Valentine’s Day storm have criticised Aviva for their response to the damage it caused, according to the Dorset Echo.
Homeowners claim that the insurer failed to take quick enough action after the roof was blown off a block of flats in West Bay.
Five of the 24 properties in the block are said to have been badly affected, with the residents of two having to be moved to temporary accommodation.
A temporary roof was put on the building the day after the storm, but residents claim this has not protected the property fully and water is still getting into the property through the temporary structure.
Landlord Nic Flanagan, who rents out one of the affected properties, told the Dorset Echo: “I spent more than £20,000 doing this flat up. I think had they put a proper roof on after the storm, there would be less damage.
“I had brilliant tenants who did all they could to limit the damage but this has now been going on for a month. People’s welfare is being ignored.”
John Holker, who rents out his flat to tourists, said rain water was still causing further damage to his property and affecting his business.
“The ceiling in the living room is bowing down because of the rain coming in,” he told the paper. “I had four bookings between now and June and I’ve had to ring them all to let them know the state of the place. Obviously, they have all cancelled.”
“The frustrating thing is that no one has given us a timescale,” he added.
Dorset County Councillor for Bridport Ros Kayes said the situation was ‘shameful’.
“The state of some peoples’ homes down there is simply abysmal and they’ve received pretty short shrift from those supposed to help them,” she told the Dorset Echo. “The worst thing of all is the failure of the insurance company to take responsibility for re-housing those people whose flats have been judged by a surveyor to be uninhabitable.”
A spokesman for Aviva told the Dorset Echo that it was sorry for the delays and that it was working to accelerate the repair process.
“We are very sorry about the service received by the residents of Heron Court following the recent storm claim. We will be offering to pay for alternative accommodation for those affected and we will be contacting them directly to confirm this.
“We have conducted a survey to establish the full extent of repairs needed, and we will accelerate these repairs so that people are back in their homes as quickly as possible.”
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