Emergency house repairs, no money

Very very long story short, my dad is really very ill, his house is in terrible shape due to his neglect and his mental and physical health.

He had no running water apart from a slow trickle due to his sink tap had a leak, he lived like this for years (i wasn’t aware it was this bad). I paid £460 to have sink replaced via local council handman service and I thought this was really expensive (I might be out of touch) and thats all the money I have.

My dad has no money whatsoever, the water has now been turned on and my dad pipes in his toilets are leaking, its pouring through his front room ceiling and its close to collapsing. I’ve turned all the water off to the house, leak has stopped but he has no water. He has carers going in 2 times a day and obviously can’t live like he did before and needs running water.

Is there anyway the council would help? He owns his own house.

I will contact his social worker and ask of they can help but I don’t know what to do. I have a disability myself I havent been able to work for over 2 years and live on my husbands wage.

The leak is well beyond my capabilities amd emergency plummer would cost an absolute fortune.

My dad is just saying “oh well” and has no real concept of how bad it is. Its all getting way too much for me and making me quite ill.

Anyone have experience of what happens in situations like this ?

Hi Liz,

welcome to the forum.

The CAB have information here Help with home improvements - Citizens Advice

Age Uk also have this https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/factsheets/fs67_home_improvements_and_repairs_fcs.pdf however, I haven’t read it so am not sure if this one covers repairs to a home you own.

If neither of these are any good then I suggest you contact the helpline

You can email us at > adviceline@carersuk.org > and we will respond to your enquiries within 10 working days, although it can often be sooner.

Our telephone helpline providing information is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm - 0808 808 7777


I’m really concerned that carers are going in twice a day, so that means they haven’t done anything, and neither did the social worker who assessed his need for carers?!?!?!

In my area there is an organisation who can sort this sort of situation out, I think it’s called “Staying Put”, or similar. Housing grants may be available too. Dad might also be able to have a loan based on the value of the property. However, in the very short term, the house is clearly “unfit for habitation” and dad needs to move into some emergency respite care until it is sorted.

When we bought our cottage in 1976, it didn’t even have a flush toilet, just an outhouse, a bucket, and a board over the bucket to sit on with a hole over the bucket. We had a substantial grant to improve the house and make it habitable again. It’s been our cosy home ever since.

Talk to the Housing Officer at the local council.

Home improvement agencies
Home improvement agencies (HIAs) are not-for-profit organisations run by housing associations, local authorities and charities. They can help people who own their own homes, or who live in privately rented accommodation, and who are elderly, disabled, or on a low income to repair, maintain or adapt their home.

Go down the page …

For example, an HIA can:

arrange for repairs to be carried out to your home
help you to get funding for repairs to be carried out to your home
give you advice about a range of issues which affect your living conditions
organise the fitting of small aids and adaptations to help you live independently in your home
install security measures to your home such as door and window locks, door chains and viewers
You can find more information about organisations near you from Foundations.

Do you have a local face book for your town. I know on mine people post all sorts of free requests. There maybe a kind hearted (qualified) individual who might help for free in an emergency.

Hello There, I think the social worker needs to help you with this one. They may be able to help re some type of loan or grant, there are actually pots of money available that people dont know about generally. Or you could look into some type of equity release possibly against the house? if not. I think £450 for a sink is a lot as well. Its so hard with Tradespeople I always get 4 quotes at least now. Could you start by doing this and write them all down? Then you will know exactly how much money you will need to sort everything out.
After its all sorted join Homeserve where you pay a small amount each month and then all plumbing jobs are done for like £30.00 excess or so. Is he claiming everything he is entitled to benefit/pension wise?
If you cant get anywhere with them or get fobbed off say you want to speak to the manager.The council most certainly does have help available for emergencies. Good luck with it all.