BY IZZY WIGHTMAN
Residents have accused housing chiefs of leaving them in leaking flats and waiting months for solutions to problems after a multimillion-pound improvement project.
At least seven people at Macintosh Court in Streatham have been left with damp and damaged flats since June after Lambeth council spent more than £2million updating their homes.
In some instances, the inhabitants said water has leaked through on multiple occasions and has been running through the electrics, leaving them concerned for their welfare and safety.
But months after they first raised the problem, some said the council has not provided any immediate protection to stop this happening again as autumn approaches.
Janet Gayle, who said her flat had been flooded 12 times since moving in less than two years ago, said: “The situation with our roofs is a scandal.
“I went away for the weekend and came back to find water coming in and my newly-decorated flat ruined.
“It’s become intolerable having to prepare for the worst every time I leave home and suffering anxiety until I can return.
“I’ve not had any peace of mind since moving in 18 months ago, it’s been non-stop incompetence and feeble excuses.
“Lambeth have left us with no protection against further flooding despite them admitting that roofs are defective.”
The council said it was taking action and a spokesman said: “As a result of a number of residents reporting water ingress into their homes, a claim has been made against the main contractor for the roof works, under the terms of warranty.
“There has been damage to flats as a consequence of the leaks.
“Once the investigations are complete and repairs undertaken, we shall ensure where damage has been caused to decorations, these are made good.”
But the 43-flat estate provides sheltered accommodation for older people and some are concerned at the impact the continued problems are having on residents’ health.
John Beechey, who also lives on the estate, said: “We see this as deliberate neglect.
“The council is knowingly allowing our homes to deteriorate.
“It is causing our vulnerable residents to become ill. All this worry and uncertainty is not good for our mental health. The situation is disgraceful.”
This is just one of the latest problems they have raised with the council and it has left them wondering when their issues will be sorted.
In August, they noticed that new brackets installed to support pipes carrying scalding water around the outside of
the first floor of the estate were coming away from the walls.
In June, the South London Press reported that other problems included rodents and ants, and one person slept in his armchair for more than 17 months due to damp and water damage in his flat. Residents say these problems are still not fixed.
A Lambeth council spokesman said: “Macintosh Court is a 40-year-old sheltered housing scheme with listed status, making refurbishment a complex piece of work.
“Lambeth has spent more than £2million on improvements to the building over the past two years, and the vast majority of flats in Macintosh Court have had successful internal works, which have included new kitchens and bathrooms.
“Where there were any mistakes relating to some parts of this work, we have acknowledged these, apologised and
committed to resolving them.
“Our responsive repairs and major works teams are working closely together to ensure that all the issues at Macintosh Court are fully addressed.”