Disabled dad desperate to leave ‘ceiling collapse’ flat

David says he just wants to move

A disabled dad says he is desperate to move out of his Cliftonville flat because the ceilings keep falling through.

David Harris, 52, says the ceiling in his bathroom has fallen through twice as well as ceilings in the bedroom and front room and a leak in the kitchen ceiling.

David say the constant issues and repairs are impacting his health. He has problems with his hips and legs and lives with dissocial personality disorder. He is currently undergoing lung cancer tests.

The damaged ceilings have been caused by flooding above him and, the letting agent says, a cracked pipe due to the boiler thermostat being cranked up without the valve then being closed. Repairs have been carried out but David says the issue is ongoing and he needs to find somewhere more suitable but says help to do that is lacking.

The dad and stepdad-of-12 has been at the property in Ethelbert Crescent for just over three years.

He said: “I’m on the housing list but can’t get anything, everything says no dogs but I have a dog and that gets me out and helps me to deal with things.

“I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. I’ve already had a breakdown and ended up in hospital.”

Thanet council served an improvement notice on the London-based landlord of the building, which is managed by Lovetts Margate, in January following an inspection the month before.

The notice highlighted a category 1 hazard of exposed insulation quilt excess cold and category 2 fire safety hazards.

A council spokesperson said: “We inspected the property using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) on 21 December 2022, accompanied by the tenant and a representative of the agent. We subsequently served the landlord with an Improvement Notice on Wednesday 11 January 2023.

“The notice requires that a missing section of ceiling is reinstated by Sunday 19 February 2023.”

Works have been carried out but now there is a hole in the kitchen ceiling. A workman has been sent to the address but was denied access with David saying he was unhappy with damage left behind after previous repairs.

David says he does not know where to turn for help to move, adding: “The time I’m losing is critical to my health. Do I have to die to get noticed?”

David says only the bedroom ceiling has been repaired and he doesn’t understand why he can’t be offered another property,

Lovetts Margate say the landlord has made numerous repairs and agreed to more work being carried out. They add that the damage is not caused by structural issues but by human error and steps have been taken to remedy this as well as to help David.

David says he has contacted the MP and county councillor and is now planning to ask his ward councillor for help.


  1. I have just spoken on the phone to the resident and I am now currently looking into how David can be assisted. The council and the the letting agent are aware of housing issues at the property so hopefully the situation can be improved quickly.

  2. If the ceiling is old lath and plaster.And is just being patched up that’s never going to solve a problem. Biggest problem is the mess to take it down Tenant would have to move out while work is being done

  3. That says then .I don’t want the work done let the ceilings collapse then il be rehoused. Yet the landlord sends someone out to sort problem and you run to the papers to complain.

    • For your information the leaks were caused by upstairs and the landlords bad workmanship caused the leak and the damage caused by work I had done in the bedroom ruined the carpets as no ground sheets used I don’t know you and by the use of fake name obviously you like kicking a disabled man when he’s down

  4. To the naysayers and critics on here. It is clear that the ceilings need repairing. The landlord may need to provide temporary accommodation. As for the leaking from above that is another issue. Clearly the tenant has protected characteristics and as such two commenters are breaching the law, the Equality Act, in their accusations.

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