Thanks to everyone who attended our general meeting on damp in May 2016. The minutes are below. If we’ve missed out your properly please let us know
Present: 35 residents, Peter Roach (Metropolitan Repairs Manager), Kushtrim Bylykbashi (Metropolitan Repairs Officer), Karla Powell (Metropolitan Housing Manager), Valerie White (Metropolitan Housing Officer)
Abbots Park 45 – 111
In May 2016 the TRA recently received an email from a private tenant at 45-111 Abbots Park. She said there was a major problem with the way the block was designed. She said “Since we moved in there have been such bad problems with damp: mould growing on ceilings and walls, the bathroom literally dripping with condensation, any moisture absorbing food (like gravy granules or spices) congealing in the cupboard and even our clothes developing mould in the wardrobe. Fortunately after complaining so much our landlord agreed to install a new ventilation system but there is clearly a big issue with the way all the properties have been designed”
In April 2019 we heard from a resident of 45-111 Abbots Park. He said “his corner window gets condensation also in bedrooms. He has end house”
In April 2019 we heard from another resident of 45-111 Abbots Park who said there was mould in toilet, bathroom and corridor. Water trickling down lamp filter.
In June 2019 we heard from four other residents with damp problems. One said “My mum has just been released from hospital and I am pretty sure the wet ceilings are not doing her any good”
In June 2020 we heard from a resident who had a crack in the ceiling. She also had a puddle outside her front door almost every time it rained
A resident from 113-171 Abbots Park and couldn’t make the meeting. She said “The rooms affected [by damp] are the two bedrooms at the back side. We did have problems with the front rooms but after so long arguing with them they fixed the leak problem coming from upstairs balcony. But the rooms at the back are still getting damp” [Secretary’s note: I didn’t mention this at the meeting. I’m including this in the minutes for ease of reference]
A resident from 113-171 Abbots Park has been in touch with the TRA by telephone. There are holes in the bedroom ceiling and water comes through the light fittings when it rains. Three rooms have damp. She is 87 and has lung damage, she fears the damp will damage her health. She has complained to Metropolitan but the problem has never been fixed. Secretary’s note: I didn’t mention this at the meeting. I’m including this in the minutes for ease of reference]
In 2019 we found six other properties in this block affected by damp
In May 2016 we heard from a resident who has lived at 11-20 Gaywood Close since December 2008. She said there is damp in her son’s room. There’s also damp in the toilet lots of mould. In April 2019 we heard from the same resident. She said her property had had treatment for damp but it had been stated that it would only last for 6 months. After work done the mould had come back, she had taken pictures and sent to Contactus (the contact arm of Metropolitan) one month before but there had been no response.
[Update: In January 2019 we found three other properties in this block affected by damp]
A resident of 41-51 Gaywood Close contacted the TRA after the meeting. He said “I have a serious of dampness in the kids room and bathroom. I have contacted Metropolitan, but they told me that I must treat it my self, send them photos and that there is very little they can do about it. I have bought dehumidifier to control the dump, as i am worried about the kids health and that in turn is costing me a fortune in electricity”.
In June 2019 we found three other properties in this block that were affected
A resident from 52-75 Gaywood Close said there was a problem with the ground floor maisonettes in his block. The walkway to access the “first floor” flats is inadequately drained, which means the rooms immediately below it on the ground floor maisonettes suffer from damp.
A resident from the same block said she was forced to make one room a storage room because damp so bad. When she phoned Metropolitan she was told to wash the damp with bleach, but that had no effect. She can’t redecorate because the damp is so bad.
Another resident from the same block approached the secretary after the meeting. He said he was “suffering terribly” from damp in his flat
In 2019 we found another four flats in 52-75 had damp issues
A resident from Valens House said this was also a problem in his flat.
Natalie has done a survey of the block. At least 20 flats have problems with damp. These are also tiles missing from the roof and pigeons nesting in the roof.
A resident said there was damp in every room of her flat
Another resident said there were similar problems with her flat.
Another resident told us in March 2021 she has damp in bathroom & 3 rooms for 10 years. She had refurbished flat herself. As she was a leaseholder NHG had denied responsibility and said damp caused by life-style. NHG had insisted she instruct 2 surveyors at her own cost but refused to disclose findings of their own surveyor. NHG would only respond to her lawyers until she could no longer afford a lawyer. Her child could now not take antibiotics and had developed asthma. She had seen Chuka Umuna, MP who said his powers were limited.
A resident from Harbin House said he had damp in all rooms and cracks in ceiling. Metropolitan sent a contractor last year, but that did not solve the problem.
Another resident could not make the meeting. By email he said “I do have damp in my bathroom and in my toilet. And bit of damp in my bedroom also”
A third resident contacted us in November 2020. She said “Our block is in desperate state of repair. It is damp and moldy, water drips off of the ceiling on to the stairs due to the condensation. It is wet and slippery. Even, in warmer months there are icicles on the ceilings”
A resident said there are ongoing problems with damp in every room and mould in her bedroom. The flat stinks due to the damp. However, when Metropolitan have investigated they always denied there is a problem. Her child has been diagnosed with asthma and she’s worried the damp will exacerbate the problem.
Another resident said there was damp and mould in her bathroom. It has been going on for a long time.
A resident said there is a crack in her bedroom wall where water runs through. There is mildew from ceiling to floor. She cannot keep her clothes or shoes in the closet due to mildew. Whenever she tried to redecorate she is driven back the mildew.
Another resident has the same problem. He reported it to Metropolitan but had problems with contractors not turning up. Some remedial work has now been done, but this hasn’t really solved the problem.
In 2019 we received multiple reports of damp from Saunders House. People complained they were unable to use rooms and a bad smell. In two cases people believed their own or their children’s breathing difficulties were exacerbated.
In January 2019 we found three properties affected by damp.
One of the residents said in April 2019 work had been done in February having waited a year. He had no confidence the mould would not return
Another of the residents said in April 2019 there was damp especially bedrooms which were done last year. There is grass is growing inside drains.
In January 2020 a resident complained about the “damp that we are breathing every day. I spend all of my time at home because of my sickness. Time after time I found it harder to breathe and can’t get my place with the right temperature. I have to pay towards my career it gets very hard to spend so much for heating”
A resident from Baldwin House has damp in the bathroom and bedroom. She had informed Metropolitan about this and they have promised to send staff to investigate, but the staff have not showed up Secretary’s note: She couldn’t come to the meeting and informed me of this by email. I’m including this in the minutes for ease of reference]
Another residents have contacted Optivo regarding the leaking roof. The damp issue triggered my asthma attack and she ended up in A&E. She decided to spend money and redecorate her living room and use damp proof products. Unfortunately, this didn’t resolve the issue and our walls and ceilings are still wet.
A resident of the first floor of Kynaston House left in 2016 because she couldn’t cope with the damp. She called us in 2021 to say one bedroom was often unusable and she had to sleep in the living room. When Metropolitan staff came round they could see the peeling wallpaper but took no action.
A resident on the 5th floor of Kynaston House said when it starts to rain she drips through roof. She tried repainting the ceiling but that simply led to wet paint. She has damp in the living room and the kitchen. The Metropolitan call centre advised her to keep windows open, but this does not help.
Other damp issues
A resident from Bannister Close couldn’t make the meeting. She said by text message “I reported damp and it took several phone calls, emails and constantly chasing them up. They finally sent someone to “fix” it. They did a shoddy job, looked like a two year old had done the work and it did not fix the problem. When I reported the bad labour they sent someone round to look and said they thought it looked fine. I asked an independent builder to have a look and they said it looked awful.”
A resident from Hamers House couldn’t make the meeting. He said by email “I do have damp in my bathroom and in my toilet. And bit of damp in my bedroom also “
A resident from Kelyway House said everyone in Kelyway, Courier and Hames has damp. She has damp in her bathroom and front and back bedrooms. She said there were no air vents in building. She did do damp proofing several years ago, but no effect [secretary’s note: some of this was said by email, not at the meeting]
A resident from McCormick house said There is mould in bathroom and a leak through the bathroom light. The bathroom light now no longer works and the ceiling is peeling. There is mould growing on the wall. Sometimes the electrics trip due to damp
A resident from Nicholl Court approached us in April 2020. She said “I have dehumidifier in each room running 24/7 but still there is a damp around windows. Clothes in the bedroom are also damp often”
A resident from Roycroft Close said she has damp in bathroom and the bedroom. She has windows open 24 hours a day but this does not solve the problem
A resident from Terry House said by email [secretary’s note: after the meeting] “My bathroom is filthy and the ceilings. The [housing association] is useless when it comes to fixing. I told them many times over the years but still know one wants to fix it. It’s bloody disgusting service”
A resident from Vibart Gardens said there is damp in the corner of bedroom, and also her son’s bedroom. There is also damp in the bathroom and some tiles are missing. When she contacted Metropolitan at the end of last year she was given lifestyle advice that didn’t solve the problem. Nobody has visited her flat.
In January 2020 a resident from Hart House contacted us. He said mould is “costing me money as it’s destroyed wallpaper and paint work something I’m not prepared to keep paying for. I purchased a dehumidifier at a cost of £136.97 to assist. I also have two young children, one three and one ten and this is a massive concern for their health as well as our own”
In January 2020 a resident of Worthington House contacted us. He said “the plaster is coming away from the wall near to the floor [of the communal area] and I am concerned that damp may be cause”
Any Other Business
A resident of Godolphin House said she has a very old boiler that has inadequate pressure, so she can wait minutes for hot water. Peter will send Someone on Friday 6th May to inspect boiler.
A resident from Vibart Gardens complained communal lighting has been out for ages. Another resident complained about the lights immediately outside Kynaston House. Peter committed to fixing the lights outside Kynaston House by 6th May.
Peter confirmed Metropolitan are responsible for the structure of the buildings.
Peter confirmed there is no point putting a dehumidifier in the property without solving the underlying problem.
Terry confirmed he has seen the Metropolitan accounts for this estate and there is a surplus.
Peter will ensure everyone who raised issues has their property inspected within a week. “I am Metropolitan housing”
Stephen will send a schedule of problems with Godolphin House to Peter
Peter said this amount of damp showed there were major structured problems on the estate. These were not isolated individual issues. He will get a structural engineer to survey the blocks on the estate where damp is most prevalent. Within a month he will email the TRA with details of when this structural engineer is coming and what blocks she or he will survey.
Peter will hold a surgery on our estate once every two weeks so people can discuss their repairs face to face. Chris, the TRA secretary, will send him details of how to book rooms
Stephen asked why movement activated lights were installed in 1-10 Morrison House without consulting residents. Peter said it was not policy to install movement activated lights without consulting residents first. He will investigate who authorised the policy and reply to the TRA.