A delay in fixing a “dangerous” water leak by Redbridge Council has left a mother-of-one with an estimated £1,400 billl for damage to her property.

Amina Abou-El-Fotouh, 35, noticed a leak in her living room at her home in Althorne Gardens, South Woodford, in November and reported it to the authority as her landlord.

She said a council surveyor then visited the property and decided the necessary work was dangerous, high priority and would need to be carried out as soon as possible.

But despite Miss Abou-El-Fotouh making frequent calls to council, the leak was not repaired and gradually worsened.

Then last month plaster on the wall gave way, damaging her property, including furniture and her phone.

The problem, caused by faulty guttering, was eventually fixed on January 28, but today the council has refused to compensate Miss Abou-El-Fotouh for the damaged goods.

She said: “I am asthmatic as is my daughter and the situation is making us both ill.

“My sofas are destroyed and they have an offensive damp odour and paint stains where parts of the wall and ceiling have come down.

“The curtains are covered in mould spores and damp stains and also smell very bad.

“My picture frames of my family are smashed and I have no house phone due to the phone smashing.

“I was told if I let the sofas air should be ok - this is an insult.

“The way Redbridge council has dealt with this has been disgusting – there would be no damage if it wasn’t for the two months we had to wait for the damage to be fixed.”

In an email received by Miss Abou-El-Fotouh today, John Barclay, resident liaison manager, said: "Whilst having every sympathy for the situation that has occurred I unfortunately cannot arrange payment for the items that you are claiming for."

The Guardian is awaiting a comment from the council council.