Spending time in a hotel is meant to be a relaxing experience, but for one Aylesbury couple it has become a living nightmare that is damaging their health and relationship.
Lorraine and Amy Burman have spent more than a year over two spells living in a hotel because of damp problems in their flat.
The pair have not spent one night in their home since entering a civil partnership in July as work continues to try to unearth the cause of their woes.
Their ceremony was planned from the room, and with no cooking facilities they have resorted to boiling hot dogs using a kettle.
They each have a £10 daily food allowance, but say they have put on weight from constantly having to eat hotel food.
Lorraine said: “It’s been a nightmare. You are just stuck in one room all the time and we are both going stir crazy. We have to spend all our time sat on the bed. We are not as close as we used to be because of all this.”
Teacher Amy said: “We feel like we can’t relax. We don’t know if we are going one minute or the next.”
After buying the £140,000 flat in Summers House, Coxhill Way, in 2007, the couple first notice problems with damp in 2009. As matters got worse they were moved into a hotel in April 2011, where they stayed for six months. The couple asked for the hotel not to be named.
They noticed damp problems again in November 2011 and returned to the hotel in February. The bill to insurers for their stay is likely to be more than £30,000.
A surveyor’s report commissioned by insurers Cunningham Lindsey revealed damp levels in excess of 75%, with normal levels between 16% and 22%.
Kier Homes managing director John Anderson disputed the report’s claim that damp proof course and air bricks are below ground level, saying they had been covered by bark chips. The claim is now being handled by the National House Building Council.
Mr Anderson said: “We will do what we can to try and solve what is a dreadful problem.”
Council worker Lorraine said: “We are desperate to get this sorted so we can start our wedded life in our own home.”
Aylesbury MP David Lidington said: “I have every sympathy for the Burmans. I hope that the issue will soon be resolved and that they will be able to move back into their home as soon as possible.”