WATCH: Portsmouth family tell of leaky toilet hell

A FAMILY from Portsmouth has hit out at a letting agency for the time it took them to repair their leaky toilet.

Joe Chester and his family claim they had to wait a week for engineers to fix a leaky pipe that was gushing water into their living room.

A video, recorded by the 37-year-old dad-of-two, shows water leaking from the burst pipe in Mr Chester’s toilet into a bucket.

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The salesman, who has lived in the house in Buckby Lane, Anchorage Park, for three years, said he approached Leaders, in North End, to fix the issue.

But he claims the letting firm ‘fobbed him off’ – something the company denies, with a spokesman saying they acted ‘as quickly as possible’.

Mr Chester said: ‘The whole situation has been a nightmare.

‘I didn’t know what to do. I was at my wits end.

‘I tried to call into Leaders’ office in North End but nothing happened. Nobody was ringing me back. It wasn’t until I called their head office that something was done.

‘I couldn’t use my own bathroom for a week, I was having to shower at the gym.’

The pipe has since been repaired.

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But Mr Chester said he and his two young children, Maisie, three, and Zachary, five, and partner Victoria, will be moving out of the property.

‘It has left a bitter taste in our mouth,’ the Royal Navy veteran said.

The pipe burst after rats gnawed through it. The rodents also damaged other waste pipes in the home, which have also been fixed by Leaders.

The letting firm claimed the property had never had an issue with rats before and added that during a recent inspection they found the home had been littered with food debris which may have attracted the pests.

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Ian Cope, Portsmouth branch manager at Leaders, said: ‘As soon as Mr Chester advised us of the leaking pipe we sent a contractor to repair it.

‘The contractor found that the pipe had been chewed through by rats.

‘We immediately arranged for a pest control specialist to deal with the problem, but despite four attempts by the pest control firm to bring the problem under control, the rat problem still persists and the pipes are being chewed through repeatedly.’

He said the toilet pipe had been replaced twice, with a bath waste pipe, dishwasher pipe and washing pipe also having been replaced.

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The firm will also be replacing the carpet which was ruined by the leak, and contractors have visited to measure up for the new carpet.

Mr Cope added they had dealt with the problems ‘as quickly as possible’ and that Portsmouth City Council – which had been called by Mr Chester to investigate – was ‘satisfied’ the company had done ‘everything possible, as quickly as possible’ to fix the issues.

‘But unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the pest control firm, the rodent problem is still ongoing,’ Mr Cope added.

‘On our last inspection of the property there was evidence of food debris around the property which has not helped the situation.

‘Since the rodent problem was discovered we have written to the tenant to request that all food be placed in suitable storage and work surfaces to be kept clean.’