Horrific home drove me to take an overdose

PUBLISHED: 12:12 12 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 06 May 2010

Sarah Kennet

Sarah Kennet

A DISABLED woman tried to take her own life after she moved into a new home. Sarah Kennet, of Stirling Close, Stevenage, moved into a house managed by Stevenage Homes – which has recently taken over the borough council s housing stock – and claims it was

A DISABLED woman tried to take her own life after she moved into a new home.

Sarah Kennet, of Stirling Close, Stevenage, moved into a house managed by Stevenage Homes - which has recently taken over the borough council's housing stock - and claims it was in a severe state of disrepair.

Mrs Kennet, 41, who suffers from diabetes, epilepsy, rotar cuff tendonitis and uses a walking stick for an injury sustained to her left leg, said: "I didn't even know where to start.

"I was horrified with the condition and the state of the place.

"There was damp up the walls and the humidity level was over 80.

"Several radiators were leaking and the seal around the bath was broken which meant I couldn't shower and had to try to lower myself into the bath.

"I tried to open the window in the front room and the window just fell apart and was hanging off its hinges.

"The kitchen was falling to pieces and there have been a number of electrical mishaps. It was a catalogue of disasters."

Mrs Kennet, who lives alone, said she contacted Stevenage Homes but they refused to help.

She said: "With one thing after another and not getting any joy out of Stevenage Homes and their absolute refusal to do anything I just didn't know where else to turn so I took an overdose.

"I took half a box full of sleeping tablets and washed it down with an overdose of fast-relief insulin.

"It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. I sat logically and thought about it.

"I think the reason for my overdose in the end was that everywhere I turned in the property there was another problem. Whatever I touched, it fell apart.

"My mum found me. I had collapsed on the floor apparently, but I don't remember anything. I had forgotten she had keys to the house and hadn't intended to be disturbed for the rest of the day.

"I think it's important for Stevenage Homes to know how much going back on their word, passing me from person to person and going round in circles has affected me."

A Stevenage Homes spokesman said: "We have already repaired some of the problems and agreed to address the rest, as we have told the family.

"We have also agreed to go beyond our obligations under a mutual exchange tenancy arrangement by decorating the kitchen ceiling and retiling parts of the kitchen at our own cost.

"Ms Kennet viewed the property and was made fully aware of the principles governing mutual exchange arrangements before agreeing to the mutual exchange.


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