The likely impact of Croydon Council’s issuing of a Section 114 notice, that “effectively” means the council has declared bankruptcy, was underlined in the case of a single elderly resident recently.

Council flat resident and grandmother Johanna from Croydon had been promised essential repairs would be made to her home, after first raising issues including severe damp more than a decade ago.

And while the council continue to vow undertake “major works” to her home, with the hallway soaking wet from damp, they are yet to follow through on their promise.

The Section 114 declaration, and news that the council now faces financial collapse without major budget restrictions, has only reenforced matters with no end in sight to the problem.

This Is Local London: Internal damage in Johanna's home attributed to the sodden conditions. Internal damage in Johanna's home attributed to the sodden conditions.

“The problems at my property have been ongoing for more than 10 years – I’d repeatedly told the council about the issues but nothing was ever done,” Johanna said.

“Inspectors would come out, assess the problem and conclude that it was down to condensation or the foundations of the house, but it was clear that there was something that needed fixing.

“The damp was coming through the wallpaper leaving it saturated, so I’ve forked out a lot of money over the years to keep redecorating and trying to mask the issue,” she added.

After contacting legal firm CEL Solicitors to help her resolve the crisis, Johanna was told to pack up her things and prepare to move into temporary accommodation while the repair work was done.

Yet it has not even started, leaving her in a home that is frequently soaking wet, with most of her things boxed up.

The firm said they anticipated the council’s recent financial woes to exacerbate existing housing issues like Johanna’s.

“While the recent bankruptcy announcement at Croydon Council will undoubtedly have a ripple effect through the local authority’s services, we must remember that tenants like Johanna have been complaining and waiting for a very long time for something to be done,” Jessica Hampson, director at CEL, said.

“Not only did Johanna have to wait until our team got involved for the council to take note and make steps to rectify the problems at her home, but now she is completely in the dark as to what is happening with her repairs.

“It’s likely that Johanna’s story is just one of many relating to residents now plunged into massive delays for having comfortable, liveable homes,” she added.

Johanna meanwhile reflected on her current situation: 

"I’m completely in limbo, because I’m surrounded by all of my things in boxes, not knowing what’s happening next.

"I’m desperate to have the issues repaired – the walls in my living room are soaking wet and I just want to be able to enjoy my home," she said. 

Responding to a request from the Croydon Guardian, a spokesperson for Croydon Council confirmed that they had committed to undertaking work on the property to resolve the issue but that it was yet to be completed:

“As a result of local flooding the council has completed significant works to address the flood risk.

“We have also agreed to carry out major works to (Johanna’s) home and although this has been delayed, we plan to begin work as soon as possible and will continue to keep (Johanna) updated,” a spokesperson said.