I faced being homeless after my landlord told me to pay £5,000 to repair THEIR roof or else… it was terrifying

A SINGLE mum has told how she almost became homeless after her landlord told her to pay £5,000 to repair THEIR roof.

Lorraine Smith, 45, was told by MHS Homes that if she did not fork out the amount she would be slapped with a repossession order for the flat she shares with her two children.

In a panic, she handed over £1500 of her savings and told the housing association that she could pay the rest in monthly installments of £150.

But she was told that this would be unacceptable as it would take two years for her to pay the debt off for her home in Rochester, Kent.

However, the group eventually said that she would be offered a “mutually acceptable arrangement".

Lorraine told KentOnline: "I was so frightened by this I paid £1,500 in fear, but I have no other means to pay unless it's monthly payments added to my service charge.

"I'm happy to pay and not disputing the bill. But it is the way it has been handled.

"I earn £8,000 a year; how am I supposed to find £5,000 out of the blue?"

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The company's operations director, Stephanie Goad, said: "We informed leaseholders in August 2020 that essential works would be carried out to their property, and that [they] would be responsible for their share of the costs of these works.

"This is part of their leaseholder agreement with us. We’re committed to working with Mrs Smith to agree a mutually acceptable arrangement and urge her to remain in contact with us."

Lorraine, who works two jobs – a NHS receptionist at Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, and a teaching assistant at St Andrew's School, Rochester – said the stress has been affecting her health.

She suffers from vasovagal syncope – which results in a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate leading to blackouts when triggered by emotional distress.

She explained: "I'm still really angry with what they have put me through. I have had sleepless nights and suffered huge stress, worry and depression which has affected my children."

Lorainne is not the only resident who was hit with the bill as her neighbour Olive Medhurst received the same letter for payment of the roof work carried out in 2020.

The pensioner said: "I'm very cross at the way this has come about.

"Nothing like this has happened in the past. We would normally be given a period of about two years to pay.

"I'm lucky I had the money. But how can you expect people to conjure up £5,000 out of nowhere?"

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