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I swapped my home for house of HORRORS'

PUBLISHED: 11:14 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:35 23 August 2010

PROBLEMS: Marvin says he didn’t sign for the mice!

PROBLEMS: Marvin says he didn't sign for the mice!

A YOUNG family has been left with no gas and electricity, windows that do not close, carpets stained with dog mess, mice and a garden full of foxes after swapping their home in the council s mutual exchange scheme. Agency worker Marvin Allerhead and his

A YOUNG family has been left with no gas and electricity, windows that do not close, carpets stained with dog mess, mice and a garden full of foxes after swapping their home in the council's mutual exchange scheme.

Agency worker Marvin Allerhead and his family put their name down for a mutual council house exchange at the Civic Centre, Gravesend, last year. They wanted to move into a place with an extra bedroom to give their three-year-old son and 15-month-old daughter their own rooms.

However, after moving last month to their new house in Winchester Road, Gravesend, the family has been hit with a string of problems.

Mr Allerhead said: "Since we've moved in it has been one disaster after another. The whole house was full of dog poo on the carpets and everywhere. I have had to pull them all out."

The 31-year-old signed the necessary forms for the swap in November after a brief viewing of the house but did not notice many of the problems. He has since discovered the house has mice, several of the windows and the patio door do not close properly and there are foxes living in the garden.

After a fitter ruled the heating system was dangerous, the gas was turned off and, on Monday, dodgy wiring meant the electricity had to be turned off. The family have been without heating and hot water for weeks as council contractors have only just arrived to fix the problem this week.

Mr Allerhead said: "I did sign for the carpets but I didn't sign for the mice, I didn't sign for the windows and I didn't sign for fire. The council has done us a favour letting us have this house and there officers are sorting things out now, all I want is what I feel I deserve."

Gravesham Borough Council claims it always tries to ensure its properties are maintained to a good standard and in this instance the property was in good condition when it was last inspected in November and just before Christmas.

A council spokesperson said: "The council has acted promptly to fix the central heating and several other repairs have been done. Heating systems can and do go wrong and the council always acts to fix them as a priority. In house swaps, routine repairs are not normally carried out within six months of the transfer unless they are pointed out during the inspection. However, some of the repairs at the property have been carried out already."

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk

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