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Dad and four kids forced to live off takeaways as dirty water pours into kitchen

By Charlotte Hadfield & Hannah Mackenzie Wood

A single dad and his four children can no longer use their kitchen and have been forced to live off takeaways after dirty water started pouring from the ceiling.

Tony Mckenzie and his four daughters, aged between four and 23, have been living with the leak in their Everton home for the last 15 months.

The issue started back in February 2021 when water start dripping down form the bathroom upstairs and into their kitchen, with the leak now so bad that it is no longer safe to cook using the stove or oven.

The property is owned by social housing company Torus, who Mr Mckenzie says he has called on numerous occasions about the issue.

After being contacted by the ECHO, Torus apologised that "standards have fallen lower than what we expect at Torus" and said workers had now been sent to the family's home to "discuss the situation" and "deal with the immediate priority of stopping the leak in the bathroom".

Mr Mckenzie, who works as a manager for Morrisons, said: "This has been the way it is now for one year, three months. When we want to shower we have to wait six or seven hours before we start cooking because if we shower we can't cook.

Mr Mckenzie said he's often unable to cook as the dirty water pours directly onto the stove. (Andrew Teebay / Liverpool Echo)

"We don't cook when the water is going down - there's no way, you couldn't cook, water is going onto the cooker. We buy takeaways, sometimes I bring takeaways home from work.

"Sometimes the kids go and shower at their sister's house - that's how much we have to do to avoid the water coming down."

Mr Mckenzie said Torus initially sent an engineer out to his home to assess the leak and a hole was cut out of his ceiling to release the water that had gathered there. Since then, workers have put plastic wrap over the bathroom tiles and removed lightbulbs that had filled with water to prevent the family from being electrocuted.

The hole in the kitchen ceiling of the family's home. (Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

In a letter sent to Mr Mckenzie, and seen by the ECHO, on April 1, Torus apologised for the delays in carrying out the works, which were described as "non-emergency repairs". A photo taken by Mr Mckenzie this morning (Thursday, May 12) shows a section of the kitchen ceiling has collapsed.

Other photos show several buckets the family have had to put around the kitchen to catch the dirty water coming from upstairs. Mr Mckenzie said the leak has now also spread to the hall and has become a slip hazard.

A section of the kitchen ceiling which collapsed this morning. (Tony McKenzie)

Mr Mckenzie said: "We feel depressed. We really, really feel depressed. We are paying a lot of money in rent, £520 a month. My six-year-old daughter, she fell in front of [the workers] - she was passing through them and water was everywhere.

"The engineer was removing lights, the water is getting into the lights now, and when she was trying to walk past in the kitchen she just fell."

A spokesperson for Torus said: "We sincerely apologise to the customer; on this occasion, standards have fallen lower than what we expect at Torus. On Wednesday, our Assets Team visited the customer to discuss the situation, whilst our plumber attended to deal with the immediate priority of stopping the leak in the bathroom.

"The customer’s Neighbourhood Officer also has visited to provide additional support if needed and to be a single point of contact. Our team have also been out on site to investigate a permanent solution, carrying out a survey of works needed and are working with the customer to agree a resolution.

"We can assure the customer that action will be taken quickly to resolve and put any damage right."

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Dive Deeper:
Single dad and kids living on takeaways as dirty water runs into kitchen
Housing provider Torus said "standards have fallen lower than expected" after the ECHO intervened
Family can't cook as dirty water pours into kitchen onto oven for more than a year
Single dad Tony Mckenzie has had to turn to takeaways on some occasions
Pretty thatch cottage with a second front door leading to a hidden annexe
Such a cutie with a bonus waiting for you inside
I tried the 'miracle' mould removing spray loved by Mrs Hinch fans and it's transformed my bathroom
The plain white bottle might have looked underwhelming, but the results were 'worth every penny'
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Stunning Edinburgh townhouse hits the market with gorgeous detached guest flat
A spacious Edinburgh townhouse with five bedrooms, three bathrooms and even its own detached private flat has hit the market…
Take a look inside this £1million period manor house built in 1864 with stunning private gardens
Built in 1864, the stunning Manor House in Weardale is on the market
Get all your news in one place