Hackney man's council flat kitchen flooded with '3 inches of dirty water' causing 'risk of electrocution'

A vulnerable tenant from Hackney whose house has been declared 'a risk to his life' has shared photos showing the shocking extent of the disrepair in his home.

A 55-year-old man, who lives on Wimbourne Street (N1), sought legal advice after complaining for two years about the state of his property.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, is at potential risk of electrocution, according to experts - as damp and water has spread all through his North London council house.

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The tenant, who has lived in the property since May 2008, says he has been complaining to Hackney Council since 2019 with the help of his carer, both in person and on the telephone, reporting the main issues of no heating or hot water and a leak in his kitchen.

After allegedly receiving no response from Hackney Council, the tenant said he felt he had no other option but to seek legal advice from Liverpool-based High Street Solicitors, who organised for the surveyor to visit the property.

The expert advised that "it’s difficult to tell how far the damp and water has spread but all floors are saturated, the electrics remain in use. They need to be turned off and condemned due to potential risk of electrocution.”

The house is said to be so uninhabitable it has three inches of dirty water on the kitchen floor which has been caused by a leak, originating from the kitchen sink that is coming away from the wall. The sink is also blocked and there is a pipe leaking on the floor.

As a result of this, there is said to be mould all over the kitchen including the furniture and walls and the cupboards have also rotted due to the leak. Adding to this, the extractor fan in the kitchen is broken.

The damp and water from the leak has also apparently rotted the woodwork, causing mould and damp to spread throughout the property, and the leak has caused tiles in the kitchen to raise and crack.

The tenant’s bathroom has no working light, there is mould and damp on the walls and windows, the bathroom sink is blocked and the toilet is covered in mould, he says. The bathroom floor is also unlevelled, causing cracks in the tiles.

In the hallway, the front door is purportedly not secure; there is no door handle, the door doesn’t lock and the light socket is damaged.

Photos appear to show that there is mould and damp that in the living room, which is easily visible on the walls and windows.

In the bedroom, there was mould and damp on all items which needed to be disposed of.

The man, who has mental health issues, said: “I’m at my wits end and I have had enough. Something needs to be done. I’m incredibly grateful for High Street Solicitor’s hard work so far on this matter and look forward to having this rectified and moving on from this nightmare which has been ongoing for two years.”

Hackney man's council flat kitchen flooded with '3 inches of dirty water' causing 'risk of electrocution'

Larissa Ellis, head of housing at High Street Solicitors, said: “It is hard to imagine how it must feel to have to live in the conditions shown in the images and video.

"It is a completely uninhabitable environment and is most definitely a health and safety risk. It saddens me that the tenant is vulnerable, and the Council have done nothing to rectify this situation.

"We are treating the matter with urgency and hope to get the tenant out of the property either temporarily whilst repairs are done, or permanently to a new home.”

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During the lockdowns of the past 19 months, the TMO and the Council only undertook repairs where there was a risk to residents or a possibility of serious damage to their property, which has resulted in a backlog of other repairs that we are now working through.

A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “This property is managed by Wenlock Barn Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), which is responsible for repairs inside the property.

"According to their records, the last reported repair was on January 23, 2020 - a repair to a hand wash basin that was completed.

“We are very sorry that this resident has been living in conditions like these. We have supported him to move into temporary accommodation, and are working with him and his carer to assess whether he needs more support.

“We have carried out an initial inspection of the property in order to assess what further work is needed.

“We are also investigating how this property came into such disrepair, and will be working with the TMO to support them to take appropriate action to resolve these issues.”

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