Residents in a block of flats plagued by leaks and mould have said they are living in “slum-like” conditions.

Tenants and leaseholders at Pitcairn House near London Fields wrote to Hackney Council last month decrying the “total neglect” of the block.

They told the authority they were “anxious and angry” about ongoing leaks in the 10-storey building, claiming this had led to serious cases of damp and mould.

The letter came just two months after the Housing Ombudsman found severe maladministration in the landlord’s handling of leaks at one tenant’s flat over a three year period.

David Goldenberg, an artist who has lived at Pitcairn House for almost 20 years, claims to have suffered from leaks in his flat since 2010.

Hackney Gazette: Mr Goldenberg has suffered from leaks since 2010Mr Goldenberg has suffered from leaks since 2010 (Image: David Goldenberg)

The Ombudsman only investigated the council’s handling of a complaint made by Mr Goldenberg in March 2021, but acknowledged he had suffered from persistent leaks over a longer period.  

The watchdog found it took almost three years – from October 2020 to September 2023 – for the latest spate of leaks in Mr Goldenberg’s flat to be resolved and repair work to be completed.

It ultimately ordered Hackney Council to pay him almost £7,000 in compensation after finding maladministration regarding its handling of his leak reports, complaints and an application to be moved while repair work was carried out.

Mr Goldenberg told Hackney Gazette: “It became really terrible, there were floods in the flat.

“One weekend there was so much water coming through the ceilings I ran out of buckets, bowls and towels to mop it up”.

Hackney Gazette: 'I ran out of buckets, bowls and towels to mop it up''I ran out of buckets, bowls and towels to mop it up' (Image: David Goldenberg)

He added that there were “terrible, degraded conditions” throughout the entire block, describing it as being in a “slum condition”.

Zoe Goodman, a leaseholder who moved into the block just five months ago, said residents were now considering a collective complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

She said: “It is just absurd, the amount of people who have been having leaks for a decade, or a recurring leak every couple of years. It’s really shocking stuff.

“It feels like total abandonment of the building by the council, people feel like they’re living in a slum.

“It’s not only degrading and upsetting for people, as well as extremely stressful and anxiety-inducing, but it’s also a major health and safety risk.”

Ms Goodman said she personally had only one "minor" leak, from a stack pipe above her balcony, but that it had not been fixed in more than a year.

She added: “People feel so upset and unseen because they’ve been trying so hard for so long to try and resolve this.”

Hackney Council said it contacted residents in November asking for access to their homes to investigate leaks.

The authority claimed it received 31 responses out of 93 households, and is currently in the process of either carrying out repairs to these homes or gaining access to assess the problem.

Officers also met some residents on Monday (January 8) and visited “a number of homes”.  

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Hackney’s cabinet member for housing services, said: “We are aware of the concerns raised by residents of Pitcairn House and fully understand their frustration but I can assure them we are taking the issue extremely seriously.”

He added: “We know the impact leaks can have and we have a commitment to respond to reports of leaks by the end of the next day and will work with the residents in line with this.

“We acknowledge that one home visited was in particularly poor condition due to previous leaks and we have arranged for works to be carried out imminently, another leasehold property had works underway due to previous leaks.”

Hackney Council did not directly address Mr Goldenberg’s case in its response.