Disabled mum enduring leaking home despite her dog’s valiant efforts

Cheryl Smith with her sons Harry and Taylor have been putting up with a leaking home for nearly a month. Pictures: Kate Shemilt
Cheryl Smith with her sons Harry and Taylor have been putting up with a leaking home for nearly a month. Pictures: Kate Shemilt

A disabled mum whose faithful dog alerted her water coming into her living room on New Year’s Eve is still waiting for it to be fixed.

Despite the valiant efforts of Reggie the Jack Russell in spotting the rainwater before too much damage could be done, Cheryl Smith was told the problem would not be fixed for more than a month.

Had Cheryl's dog Reggie not alerted her to the leak she would not have spotted it for hours

Had Cheryl's dog Reggie not alerted her to the leak she would not have spotted it for hours

Cheryl, who lives in a Hyde Housing home in Caernarvon Road, Chichester, said: “A bay window in my front room sprung a leak on New Year’s Eve.

“I phoned an emergency number and they sent a plumber out, but he said ‘there’s nothing I can do’.”

Cheryl, who lives in the three-bedroom home with her husband and two children, was then told the leak would continue until February 2 – more than a month later.

“I think it’s unacceptable. Every time it rains it is half a bowl of water coming in.

Hyde Housing have yet to fix Cheryl's window, which has been leaking since New Year's Eve

Hyde Housing have yet to fix Cheryl's window, which has been leaking since New Year's Eve

“I had to take all my curtains down soaking, the TV’s had to be pulled out.”

The leaking water is also affecting Cheryl’s asthma.

Speaking to the Observer, Cheryl hit out at Hyde Housing. She compared the promptness in which they ask for rent with the long delay in fixing the water leak.

The situation could have been even worse were it not for Reggie, Cheryl’s faithful pet.

She added: “Reggie found the leak. He was licking all the water up.

“If it wasn’t for my dog I would not have spotted it for another four or five hours after it started.”

During those hours many of Cheryl and her family’s things could have been ruined.

Vicki Sanderson, head of responsive repairs at the Hyde Group said: “We would like to apologise sincerely to Mrs Smith.

“We thought we had temporarily fixed the leak and had agreed to return on February 2 to complete the repair.

“We didn’t realise the temporary repair had not worked as this was not logged on our system. If this is an error on our part we apologise.

“We always aim to deliver a good service to our residents but clearly our service has fallen short on this occasion.

“We will be contacting Mrs Smith urgently to arrange to visit as soon as possible.”