The independent London newspaper

As tenants we deserve better from Camden Council

07 February, 2020

• THREE years ago Camden Council, under the Better Homes Scheme, spent over £15million on the refurbishment of 120 flats at Bacton Tower NW5.

Since the completion of works we have experienced and continue to experience:

– defective window seals, defective window frames, defective door seals;

– fire doors that do not meet current approved fire standard;

– erratic heating, cold water taps running hot;

– a communal ventilation system that only services the upper part of the building, and smells from said communal ventilation system;

– water leaks affecting flats on more than one floor;

– fire alarms that go off without reason;

– defective lifts;

– naked gas pipes in the communal corridors;

– central heating pipes not secured to walls and central heating pipes not properly lagged;

– ceiling tiles not properly secured in communal corridors;

– skirting in communal areas peeling off;

– and, alarmingly, an ever-widening crack running through the ground-floor extension.

Tenants are understandably frustrated and angry about this situation, exacerbated by a consistent and almost insolent lack of communication from the council.

We are reasonable adults and would accept an admission by Camden that, in fact, there is little that can be done due to lack of funding or, yes, we Camden Council did not supervise works more diligently, resulting in poor workmanship. Yes, an apology for all of the above would not go amiss.

The council should initiate a genuine dialogue with its tenants. In the 21st century, council tenants should not be routinely excluded from the process that is in place to help us.
Should we, as tenants, just accept what we are given and be grateful for a roof over our heads?

Camden seems to think so! We, as council tenants, need to be equal participants in finding solutions and not the passive recipients of the council’s contemptuous inefficiency.

A council tenant


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