Laurie Penny from North London had no idea what would happen to her house when she popped out to the shops for a few hours. When she returned she found that each and every patio tile had been carefully removed from her back garden.
It wasn’t the work of thieves, however. The furniture had been neatly stacked to one side, and scaffolding had been set up to access the area, MyLondon reported.
She noted: “Thieves don’t generally tidy up afterwards. Or stack the furniture so neatly.”
Understandably confused, Ms Penny asked Islington Council what had happened via social media.
Addressing the council directly, Ms Penny tweeted: “This is awkward, but yesterday, I had a patio that I quite liked. This morning I popped out to the shops for a couple of hours, and now it’s…well, um, it’s gone.
“I know you’re busy, but could you tell me who took my patio, and perhaps also why?”
The council promised to message Ms Penny, and then confessed to snatching the patio. They clarified they had done so to renew their waterproof membrane following a serious leak at the property.
However, they added Ms Penny should have been informed, and apologised.
A spokesperson for Islington Council said: “Islington Council is committed to ensuring that everyone in the borough has a place to live that is safe, secure, and comfortable. Due to a serious leak at this resident’s property, it’s been necessary to remove patio tiles at the property and renew the waterproof membrane.
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“The resident should have been contacted by the contractor in advance of the work taking place but, regrettably, this did not happen. The council has reached out to the resident to apologise, to discuss any concerns, and to reassure her that the patio will be fully reinstated.”
They added that the work to replace Laurie’s patio was nearly complete and should be done so by Monday, September 5.
Ms Penny told MyLondon: “It was a hilarious mess up, but it has a happy ending. By next week I should have a new patio!”