A family at war with the council over their rat-infested and dangerous home are being blamed for the damage.
Amanda Eaton, 39, James Perry, 46, and their sons Dean, 15, and Jimmy, 20, told the Enfield Independent they had no choice but to leave their £20-per-week council home in Bush Hill Park two years ago when dry rot, rats, and wood worm made it uninhabitable.
They said they have been pleading with the council and Enfield Homes to repair their home of seven years and make it safe to live in once more, but claim their cries have fallen on deaf ears.
However, Enfield Homes, which manages the two-bedroom property on behalf of the council, alleges the family inflicted some of the damage to the home in Third Avenue themselves and accused them of blocking access when work was scheduled to be completed.
To make matters worse, they say workmen now cannot enter the property for health and safety reasons as the family’s pet Rottweiler has fouled all over the property.
A statement from Enfield Homes said: “We believe that the family may have caused some of the damage in the property themselves, but we have always been prepared to repair the property.
“Over the last two years work on the house has been continually frustrated by the family who have not cooperated in allowing workmen to enter.
“Enfield Homes repair service has numerous work sheets which unfortunately have not been completed.
"While there has been a willingness to make good the property the tenant has refused to cooperate.”
According to the housing body, the family was offered a fully furnished two bedroom flat – not a one bedroom flat in Edmonton as claimed – temporarily while the work was carried out, but they refused to accept.
The statement said the family had already been evicted from one hotel and Enfield Homes had “no obligation” to offer them anything else, but they did so as Christmas was looming.
They go as far as to claim the property is “foul” with excrement and workmen cannot enter until the hygiene situation is resolved.
The statement said: “This additional health and safety problem requires full sanitizing and fumigation before any works can start.
"We are therefore asking the family to remove the dog, clean the property, sanitize and provide clear access for our contractors.
“Ms Eaton will be given a reasonable time scale to do this.
"If it is found that the dog has been maltreated in any way this will be referred to the council’s animal warden.”
The family are currently living with relatives and 15-year-old Dean stopped attending school when they left the property two years ago.
The couple’s younger children, aged seven and ten, were sent to foster care in November 2011 as they were unable to offer them safe housing.
Ms Eaton, who says the pet is staying with a friend, said: “What do you mean the dog’s fouled? We haven’t got any floorboards so where is the dog going to foul? That’s absolute rubbish.
“We haven’t been stopping them, they have got a key to the front and the back door. They went round yesterday and counted the stairs then disappeared.”