Residents are being repeatedly left without water at a new housing development, sometimes for five days, and losing hot water for up to ten days, writes Emma Finamore…
Residents and local councillor, Ben Johnson, also claim that the landlord for the Exchange on Spa Road has refused to share a recent survey on the building’s water supply and boiler room.
Kyle Taylor, 32, has lived in the building since November 2014. He said the problems had been going on as long as he had lived there: “We have been left without water for several days in a row. The longest, I believe, was five days. Sometimes we have water but no hot water – we were without hot water for 10 days at one point. This has happened more than ten times since I moved in!”
Kyle claimed that on one occasion, representatives from the building’s management company went flat-to-flat handing out bottles of water. “As if that’s a substitute!” he said.
“They reserved two hotel rooms – for 100 flats – at a local hotel once so people could shower, that’s about 200 people sharing two showers at peak times. I boiled water in my kettle and added it to cold water until I had enough to take a sad little bath, after hearing stories about the showers at the hotel.”
Kyle said, despite over 150 people attending residents meetings, resolving issues was proving complicated and that the organisations involved were “playing the blame game – they constantly point the finger at someone else”. Notting Hill is the landlord, Hallmark is the management company and United Living is the builder.
Other issues reported include badly installed balconies – resulting in faulty drainage – incorrect planting of green space, and a security gate that has been broken since February 2015. “Residents are just fed up,” said Kyle.
“We don’t want anything special. We just want our grass to grow, our taps to run and our doors to lock. They can’t even get the basics right and yet we still pay our rent, our exorbitant management fee and deal with effectively living on a building site years after moving in. It’s exhausting.”
A Notting Hill spokesperson said the Exchange was served by a system which meant when there was a fault, all units suffered a loss of hot water and heating, and that they had been working with a contractor to ensure faults were resolved, and had appointed a managing agent to look after communal equipment.
The spokesperson said Notting Hill had not commissioned a report into the boiler room and water supply, but that it would produce a report before the end of the defects liability period which residents would be given.