A leaseholder has branded Enfield’s housing department a “farce” after they took four and a half months to fix a leaking pipe.

David Malleson, of Parsonage Lane, emailed and phoned the authority “at least 80 times” since discovering damp in his council flat kitchen on May 28.

After his plumber identified the problem was from a water pipe, and the responsibility of the council rather than the tenant, Mr Malleson was left waiting until it was fixed last week – 16 weeks after he first reported it.

The council have now apologised for the delays.

Problems remain in the flat, which Mr Malleson has shared with his brother for six and a half years, most notably a large hole in the kitchen wall exposing the pipe.

He said: “The whole episode has been a farce from start to finish. The council have repeatedly not followed up what they promised to do.

“My point is, it's a dereliction of duty and should have been resolved months ago. It's lucky it was summer and not a cold winter spell. If the leaseholder had been a vulnerable member of the community, and not in a position to keep fighting, what would have happened?

“I have made an official complaint and intend to pursue every avenue for redress, including a full apology and a meeting with the relevant officials.”

Mr Malleson said he was in contact with the council and repair workers throughout the summer, but it was a “classic situation of phoning the contractor on advice of the council, the contractor say phone the council, and vice versa.”

He said many emails went unanswered, and often when he spoke to the council call centre with a reference number, they would not know about the work.

Now, he says he and his brother are dealing with the fallout with the remaining damp and how much work is needed to fix the kitchen.

He said: “It has been pretty touch. We only expect the fairly modest lifestyle which comes with being the leaseholder of a modest council flat, but we have not been able to have that.

“I have taken time off work for pointless visits that haven’t solved anything, it has taken hours away from my time.

“The damp has apparently gone through from the pipe into my neighbour’s flat too, but they got a different reference number for repairs, which seems to have led to confusion.”

Enfield Council’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Ahmet Oykener, said they had finally repaired the leak on September 29.

He said: “The Council accepts that there has been a protracted leak issue affecting flats in Parsonage Lane and apologises for the inconvenience this has caused.

"Unfortunately repairs and reinstatement have been subject to delays due to a number of factors including difficulty in accessing the work area, poor and incomplete work carried out by our contractors and delays in obtaining specialist sub-contractors.

"This was undertaken and since then a surveyor has also been deployed to assess the damage to Mr Malleson’s property. Once the area affected has dried out we will rectify the damage, including the decoration, as a goodwill gesture.

“The service received by Mr Malleson fell short of that which he should have received, and the issues that led to this have been raised with our contractors in order that both the Council and its contractors can learn from this incident. Once again we apologise for the delays and inconvenience suffered in this case.”