'It's like toilet', say Dalston residents who have had enough of broken locks, rats and scaffolding
- Credit: Godfrey Morgan
Residents at a Ridley Road housing block are "fed up" after living with scaffolding blocking their homes for months and their private car park being used as a public toilet by passers by.
Godfrey Morgan who lives at Dalston's Prospect House has not been able to watch television since the scaffolding was erected at the property in February.
He said: "I'm tired of phoning everyone. I have had enough. I can't watch my television, I can't watch the news. I don't know what's happening in the country - everyone needs the news.
"I know everyone has these devices and streams but I'm not that sort of person."
He says residents do not feel comfortable opening their windows as the scaffolding is not alarmed and could attract thieves.
Godfrey also complained about rats coming up through a manhole into his flat and the broken locks on the gate to the buildings car park. He says the problem, which could be easily fixed, has meant people have been using the space as a public toilet.
Godfrey added: "The lock was frozen one year and they cut it off and they would not fix it. Since then everyone uses the car park as a public toilet – I'm driving and someone is doing a number two."
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Another resident Abdul Samater has seen his complaints about Newlon Housing reach his local ombudsman.
He said: "Our car park is unsecure, the main entrance to the building is unsecure and we have got antisocial behaviour going on. People smoking drugs, leaving paraphernalia, all sorts of the night, all sorts of the time.
"All Newlon Housing do is text and say call the police. It’s all well and good calling the police but if the front door is not secure it’s pointless calling them."
"It’s the same with the communal car park. We have got drug dealers in there."
Abdul says his workman has been broken into and people who do not live at the building are parking in the car park.
He has refused to pay his service charge since late 2019 due to the "failures of service" he reports. Abdul has lived at Prospect House since 2003 and says he has witnessed plenty of incidents including the building housing a crack den.
Meanwhile, his neighbour Godfrey says the scaffolding, put up on February 6, is still there despite building work being complete. He says one of the residents in the building refused a contractor in her house because he was rude
However, Godfrey, who is in the "building game" believes there are other ways to fix the problem such as using a cherry picker to dismantle it.
On July 13, Newlon Housing said the scaffolding was to be taken down that week, but Godfrey says it is still up despite residents' complaints.
A spokesperson for Newlon Housing said: "It was in place longer than intended because a number of residents had to isolate due to Covid-19 and therefore we could not gain access as required to complete the works.
"We understand that it is inconvenient having scaffolding in place longer than planned, but we think it is better to have done this than part-complete the works and return at a later date, which would have inconvenienced residents more.
"We are sorry that one resident experienced issues with their TV signal and have been in contact with them to resolve this issue and offer compensation."
The spokesperson said further works were taking place to address the issues with the manhole cover.
He added: "Our contractors previously attended to make a repair but the issue was more complex than originally thought and we will now be doing more extensive drainage repairs."
The firm stated that the landlord will be liaising further with residents about the car park.
Newlon Housing's spokesperson added: "Previously it had a lock which was frequently damaged, allowing people other than residents to park there and stopping our residents from parking.
"It was decided to try and use parking enforcement to manage the space so that our residents could park and this seems to have worked as we have not had any issues with parking reported to us recently. We will now contact residents to assess if an alternative solution could be put in place."