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‘Who will fix the leaking ceilings?’


Steve Benwell has holes in his ceiling and rain dripping onto his stairs

A FATHER has been left with leaking ceilings, broken windows and tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of work outstanding after the crash of a building firm.

Steve Benwell said he and wife Paula have no idea what to do.

The couple have paid Brighton firm DMB Solutions more than £60,000 since March for a loft and kitchen extension, which they said was scheduled to be completed by the autumn.

They made a £10,000 payment just last month, but DMB subcontractors were told on New Year’s Day that the firm has folded – and since then nobody at DMB has answered phone calls or emails.

Now Steve joins dozens of other Sussex residents wondering how projects for which DMB have been paid will be completed.

He said: “Right now we’ve got pots on our staircase ready to catch the water, if it rains with any wind at all then the water just flows straight through our loft space straight down into our staircase.

“We’re living in a place that’s not really fit for human habitation.

“I’ve got my 11-year-old son sleeping on the floor in our bedroom, because his bedroom has a hole in the ceiling.”

He said the project had been fraught with difficulties since the start.

“We signed the contract in March. The work was supposed to take 26 weeks, that was for the whole project including the kitchen work. Obviously we’ve gone well beyond that now, we haven’t even touched the kitchen, we’ve only got half a finished roof, let alone a loft.

“So we’re currently left in a situation where we’ve got a leaking roof, holes in the ceiling, water damage in every bedroom and a broken window to boot.”

Steve, who manages the Job Centre in Edward Street, said he and his wife Paula could not imagine how to begin to pay for the works which still need doing.

They have lived in their home, in Shoreham, for 11 years and said this was their first major investment in the property.

He said: “The money is just massive. Sixty grand was very hard to come by.

“There’s no opportunity we can just stump up that money again. We don’t know what to do now.

“We really feel at the end of our tether.”

Yesterday calls and emails to DMB Solutions and its managing director James Powell went unanswered.

Trading Standards and Citizens Advice have both received numerous complaints from home owners across Sussex in relation to DMB.

Source: The Argus