A pensioner fears she will have to leave her home after being hit with a bill for over £7,000.

Sheila Rose, 69, of Mickleham Close in St Paul’s Cray is a leaseholder in her flat.

She lives off a pension from the state and the NHS that totals £229.75 a week. Part of this money pays for her mortgage.

She said she was told by her freeholder, Affinity Sutton, that she needed to contribute to repairing the roof of her block of flats - a bill which came to £7,084.24.

She said Affinity Sutton told her the money had to be paid within 12 months.

Ms Rose says that she will not be able to make the payments and now she is scared that she will have to sell her home.

She said: ‘Every day it is there. I wake up in the morning and it is there. I think how can I somehow make this payment?

“The only thing I will be able to do is sell the property. It makes me feel terrible. I don’t know where I’m going to live. I just don’t know. The worry is constantly there, every single day.

“It’s not fair. If they had given me a bit more warning then maybe something could have been sorted out, maybe I could have put some money to one side.”

A spokeswoman from Affinity Sutton said: “When signing the lease, leaseholders should have been made aware by their solicitor of the terms.

“The terms of our leases state that leaseholders will be required to pay a contribution towards necessary repairs and maintenance to communal areas of the building.

“We do not have a licence to be able to offer leaseholders over 12 months to repay the charge after works have completed and so are not legally able to do this.”