21 Dec, 2019 @ 16:48
1 min read

British pensioner lives with ‘broken front door’ for THREE MONTHS after heeding advice to leave house in ruins following September’s gota fría floods

British Pensioner Without Front Door 1

A BRITISH pensioner has been living without a working front door for three months after being told he can’t repair his house following September’s gota fría floods.

80-year-old Jim said he felt ‘afraid’ leaving his house after all his doors and doorframes became swollen with floodwater in Catral.

He said he left the house in a state of disrepair over fears that insurance assessors needed to see the damage.

“We have absolutely no security,” Jim told the Olive Press.

“I can’t close my front gate because the electric’s gone and I can’t lock the front door. 

“We just don’t know if we should repair anything in the house.”

British Pensioner Without Front Door 1
NO CLOSURE: Jim’s front door became swollen with floodwater and now won’t close

Jim said a dehumidifier working ‘24 hours a day’ has taken 200 litres out of his bedroom and the same from his living room.

His wife has meanwhile fallen ill requiring an inhaler twice a day for ‘breathing problems’.

He added they were still sleeping in the same beds swollen with floodwater since September, while the walls of his bungalow have black marks ‘5ft high’.

“We just have no idea what to do,” he said.

HIGH WATER: Flood water in Jim’s house following the deadly gota fría in September

A spokesperson for Spain’s Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros (CCS) told the Olive Press they ‘advise people to maintain their houses in the damaged condition’.

“But if a repair is urgent then the claimant must have photographic evidence of the damage and an invoice of the repair costs.

“A front door in this case would be considered urgent.”

Jim is unlikely to receive any payout from the Consorcio, however, as he admitted he lacks home insurance.

“If you have made the choice not to insure your home, of course you will not be eligible for Consorcio cover,” leading expat insurance broker, and Olive Press columnist, Jennifer Cunningham said.

“Local town halls do have emergency funds available, but applications must be in by the end of December.”

READ MORE: Flood victims in the Vega Baja can apply for up to €4,500 emergency aid – here’s the form

READ MORE: DEAR JENNIFER: Insurance claims hit whopping 59,000 with 332 assessors mobilised after September gota fría, writes Jennifer Cunningham

Richard Garland, manager of Help Vega Baja, added residents in need of repairs could also make a claim to the charity.

“A lot of people have had to dig into savings to get their houses fixed,” he told the Olive Press, saying the charity has workmen to re-fit doors and plaster and paint damage walls.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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