Residents of a Bermondsey estate have been living through months of leaks, and have spoken of their despair at getting the problem fixed.
As many as five households in Arica House on the Slippers Place Estate have had water flooding into their flats in recent months, apparently because of problems with a pipe running through the building.
Ali Ince, a leaseholder, is “really drained” by the constant worry of flooding in his flat. He said the leak has been a problem, on and off, since February this year.
Mr Ince works as an Uber driver during the day. But because of the leak, he has five buckets that he has to change three times a day. “If he does take the risk of going out to work, he constantly thinks about having to come home to a flood,” a friend explained on behalf of Mr Ince, who can struggle with English.
Mr Ince and others affected in the building, including council tenants, say they have been contacting Southwark Council for months in an attempt to get the problem sorted. Emails seen by the News show repeated efforts by residents to alert council officers to the problem. Residents said council staff have visited on several occasions since the leaks began, but the problems have persisted.
The flooding in Mr Ince’s kitchen has got so bad that council officers have had to turn the electricity off, leaving the room in the dark. Pictures taken by residents appear to show significant water damage in flats, and mould forming in some cases.
Mr Ince’s downstairs neighbour, a council tenant who asked to remain anonymous, said his problems were slightly less bad, but he was frustrated by Southwark’s response.
“It took me ten days to get a plumber round,” he said. “We’ve all gone through the same process. When the plumber does eventually come, he takes a look and goes to the flat above.
“But they don’t sort out the actual root problem. The leak is never sorted. The problem is a bit more involved and tricky in this case so you’ve got no chance.”
A spokesperson for the council said officers were aware of the problem and will be in touch with residents about fixing it. They added that this leak is taking longer than usual to solve.