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Family can't cook as dirty water pours into kitchen onto oven for more than a year

By Charlotte Hadfield & Steven Smith

A single dad says he and his children have been left "depressed" after suffering with a leaking ceiling for more than a year. It has left dirty water pouring into his kitchen onto his oven, meaning he can't cook.

Tony Mckenzie told the LiverpoolECHO about the shocking conditions at his home in Everton, which he and his four daughters, aged between four and 23, have had to endure for the past 15 months. He said the problems began back in February 2021.

Water started to leak from the bathroom above the kitchen. Now, Mr Mckenzie, 47, says it has got worse and is soaking the oven.

The dad has contacted social housing provide Torus, which has responsibility for their home, countless times. Now, after being contacted by the ECHO, the company has apologised.

It said "standards have fallen lower than what we expect at Torus". The firm 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, told the ECHO: "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.

"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.

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 having 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 on Thursday (May 12) 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
Dad and four kids forced to live off takeaways as dirty water pours into kitchen
Tony Mckenzie and his four daughters, aged between four and 23, have been living with the leak for the last…
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
Devastated landlord finds mountains of rubbish, unbearable stench, and piles of poo in flat rental from hell
Warning: This report contains graphic pictures taken by a photographer who described it as the worst place he'd been in…
Landlord finds mountains of rubbish and unbearable stench in flat rental from hell
Lee Locking claims it will cost him a few thousand pounds to get the flat in Swansea back to a…
Get all your news in one place