Tenant ponders legal action over home that is ‘falling to pieces’

Cherrie Mackenzie and Ed Miller in their Kenilworth Avenue home
Cherrie Mackenzie and Ed Miller in their Kenilworth Avenue home

A BURNFOOT tenant has contacted solicitors over the condition of her Scottish Borders Housing Association home.

Cherrie Mackenzie, who lives in Kenilworth Avenue with her two-year-old son and partner Ed Miller, is desperate to get her house brought up to an acceptable living standard.

The 26-year-old revealed a long list of defects including windows needing new seals, a sunken kitchen floor, loose door frames and cracks in the ceiling.

Local councillor Stuart Marshall, who has taken up the couple’s fight, said: “I was horrified to actually witness the ceiling being lifted up from the walls with one hand by Mr Miller, and to make this matter worse, it’s actually the child’s bedroom.”

Miss Mackenzie also told of issues with the boiler breaking down on a regular basis, despite continuous visits by Saltire engineers.

She told the Hawick News: “This has been going on for over two years. The house is just falling to pieces. Last year the chimney started falling down, we’ve had power cuts a few times and where the toilet flush is you can actually pull the whole thing off the wall.

“We’ve had so many people out to fix the boiler, but it’s always the same.

“They say they can’t get the parts and some say we shouldn’t even have that boiler because it’s so old.

“They [SBHA] just never do anything.”

Miss Mackenzie revealed she has applied for several other properties throughout Burnfoot in an attempt to leave her current home, but hasn’t been successful.

As well as contacting Councillor Marshall, she has also been in touch with local solicitor Rory Bannerman and MSP John Lamont.

“I don’t know what else to do,” she said.

And Councillor Marshall has demanded urgent action. He said: “Given how busy an area that the shops have become, I certainly don’t think it’s a suitable home for a young family.

“These poor people, who are actually in credit to SBHA with their rent, do not deserve to be living in a home that requires so much repair work.”

A spokesperson for SBHA said: “As the tenant knows, some are ongoing repairs which are scheduled, eg, water penetration damage and boiler repair. The association will be sending a maintenance officer to visit the tenants to inspect and discuss their issues, and schedule the items as repairs.”