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Homeowner in compensation claim over hole in roof

A Farnborough man who claims he has spent thousands on heating bills due to a hole in his roof is seeking compensation from a housing provider

Aaron Starbuck is unhappy with the construction of his flat

A man from Farnborough wants more than £4,000 compensation from a housing provider after it was discovered there was a fault in the construction of his flat.

Aaron Starbuck, 26, has been living at the Redrow development at Ashton House for four years and has always had issues with his heating, with the flat unable to retain heat.

After investigating the issue with Redrow and housing provider A2Dominion, it was discovered his flat had not been built to the correct specification and there was a hole in his roof, causing the flat to lose heat.

Mr Starbuck said: “When I first moved in, I was quoted £55 for utility bills and over time it kept going up and up until it peaked at £95.

“I thought I would turn down my heating as I had no reference as to what I should be paying and just assumed that energy bills would always be going up.”

Mr Starbuck saw a mortgage advisor last year, who was surprised at how much he was paying for his electricity and said it could not be right.

Upon further investigation Mr Starbuck discovered the heating systems that were put into the development were designed for Swedish homes and the flats were unable to retain as much heat, causing immersion heaters to stay on for longer and bills to rise.

Ashton House, Pond Road, Farnborough
Ashton House, Pond Road, Farnborough

Mr Starbuck told Redrow and A2 Dominion, who investigated and confirmed that there was a hole in his roof which was the cause for the flat’s heat loss, and they said they would check the heating systems to see if they had been installed correctly.

John Turner, A2Dominion’s assistant director of property services, said: “We are aware of the issues at Ashton House on Pond Road, a scheme which A2Dominion acquired in 2009, after the homes were built.

“The issues have been caused by a problem with the way the building was originally constructed and have been identified as being accountable for heat loss from the flat.

“We regret that these issues have occurred and are working closely with the tenant to resolve the problems and to reimburse any losses he has incurred whilst at the property.”

Mr Starbuck issued a compensation claim to Redrow last month for the overpayment of his utility bills however, as the flat was purchased through a part rent-part buy scheme, provided by A2Dominion, Redrow said they were not prepared to offer compensation.

He has now sent a claim to A2Dominion to compensate the excess energy costs and the housing provider is considering the application amid hopes the heating issue will be resolved by the end of January.

Mr Starbuck said: “In my situation I cannot sell my home because I would have to disclose there is a heating issue which would lower the sale value. I have around £6,000 of extra payments which I have not had reimbursed and will have to pay a solicitor, which might cost £10,000, with no guarantee the issue will be resolved.”

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