A Dundee tenant with a serious lung condition has been forced to live in a freezing home with a boarded up front door for the entire winter.
Karen Longmuir, 51, says landlords Home Group Scotland have blamed Covid-19 restrictions for the six-month wait to have her entrance repaired.
It had been damaged by emergency services when Karen, who has Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), suffered a medical issue in September last year.
But despite repeatedly calling them to explain the situation was putting her health and safety at risk, Karen says the temporary fix remains in place.
It means bitterly cold air — including during the sub-zero temperatures last week — continues to seep inside her Whitfield home.
It also means she has to awkwardly enter and exit through the back door, which she says could be dangerous in the event of a fire.
She said: “They’re blaming everything on Covid. It’s not good enough and I feel like I’m being fobbed off.
“They say there’s a supply problem and the door is stuck at customs. There can’t be a national shortage of doors surely? Any carpenter can sort out the correct dimensions.”
Cold air exacerbating illness
Classed as clinically vulnerable, Karen is currently shielding to protect herself from the virus.
COPD means sufferers often struggle to breathe freely and medics say those afflicted are particularly susceptible to Covid-19.
Extreme cold air can worsen symptoms, as can wind and humidity.
Times have been very tough for Karen, she says, and believes Home Group have shown a lack of empathy.
“I have been really struggling physically and mentally these past few months,” she said.
“I can barely leave the house and to be living with a boarded up front door all this time has just made it all so much worse.
“Anybody could come along and unscrew it and get inside too, it’s just not safe.
“I’m not sleeping great and I’m exhausted. My living room is just a few feet away from the front door so I can feel the draught constantly, it’s horrible.”
William Mulheron, maintenance and contract manager at Home Group, said: “I’m really sorry to hear about the ongoing problem our customer has had with her door and can only offer my sincere apology for the length of time it’s taken to resolve.
“We are currently experiencing severe delays to the manufacturing of windows and doors due to our supplier needing to furlough a large proportion of their workforce as a result of Covid-19.
“While we hope to have a new door installed in the next week, we have taken measures to ensure the property is secure and that the customer has access to her home through a rear door which meets all fire safety regulations.”