A Scottish couple experienced a nightmare when their ceiling collapsed overnight while they were asleep. Cleo Black, 28, and Kalyani Singh, 27, were alerted to their ceiling collapsing in October, following several months of enduring a persistent leak. The couple, who reside in Edinburgh, claimed they informed their letting agent DJ Alexander about the leak, thought to be originating from the flat above theirs, as far back as July.

Reports suggest that the estate agents made efforts to reach out to those responsible for the upstairs property. However, adequate repairs were not undertaken even after four months. Consequently, approximately 15-20 kilograms of rubble fell into the kitchen, creating a large fissure in the ceiling.

Together with additional members of Living Rent, the couple subsequently staged a protest outside the Wemyss Place base of DJ Alexander. The company’s CEO subsequently apologized and offered them £2,550 as compensation.

In a conversation with Edinburgh Live, Cleo recounted: “The leak initiated in July and the volume of water varied regularly. Sometimes it was merely a drip, but at other times the water was gushing like a running tap, for which we had to place buckets. It hampered our electric connections and hindered our cooking.

Cleo Black and Kalyani Singh
Cleo Black and Kalyani Singh
(Image: Living Rent / Edinburgh Live)

“In October, while we were in bed, we heard the noise of the ceiling falling. My wife was due to get up for work just 15 minutes later. She could have been hurt if she had woken up earlier and been in the kitchen. We were, no doubt, lucky that neither of us was in the kitchen at that time. The incident became a source of immense stress and fear for us, as we were taken by surprise.”

Following the incident, it fell on Cleo to clean the damaged area and ensure their cat was safe before reaching out to DJ Alexander to address the situation. An emergency repair team was called, and the hole was temporarily covered with a chipboard.

Kalyani expressed, “This incident has caused us continual stress over the state of our home, adversely affecting our daily routines and straining our finances. DJ Alexander could have effectively avoided this if they had promptly addressed our concerns.”

The kitchen ceiling caved in in the morning
The kitchen ceiling caved in in the morning
(Image: Living Rent)

Cleo added, “Our mental well-being was gravely affected during this entire phase as we had to handle the unpredictable and continuous leak. The leaking was not only unhygienic but also led to unsafe living conditions for us and our pet. The entire episode of feeling neglected by the letting agency added to our stress. Our oven and stovetop became unusable due to the position of the leak, leading to electrical problems and a potential fire hazard.”

Izzi Brannen, a member of Living Rent, expressed her disbelief at the situation, “It’s shocking how landlords often consider themselves above the law. To live in a home with a constant leak is bad enough, but being neglected to the point where your ceiling collapses is unacceptable behavior. It’s appalling that Cleo and Kalyani had to tolerate this for so long.”

DJ Alexander communicated to Edinburgh Live: “It’s a complex situation due to the leak originating from a property above which is managed by a different agency. We have apologized and the tenants have received compensation, which we believe they are satisfied with.”