Poo-smeared walls and no hot water: How Romford tower block became a living hell
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:13 19 October 2018
Excrement on the walls, homeless men living in the boiler cupboards and a broken security system which means anyone can enter the block as and when they please - welcome to life at Romford's Charrington Court.
Residents at the 10-storey block in Atlanta Boulevard, Romford, are at their wits’ end after what they claim has been five months of problems since the building’s security system around the block’s main entrance and intercom system first failed.
Now, homeless vagrants have started letting themselves into the block and are living in utility rooms, but this means the sight of human faeces up walls and in corridors has become a regular occurrence.
Photographs show the disgusting results – which can at times stay there for days until cleaners arrive.
And to top it all off, residents claim repeated heating outages over the last few weeks are putting people’s health at risk.
One resident, who wished to remain anonymous but has lived at Charrington Court for more than three years, told the Recorder: “It’s one thing after another here.
“You raise complaints but it doesn’t feel like anyone ever really listens or actually cares. I pay a service charge on top of what I already pay One Housing, and now the I’m lucky if the boiler works.
“The whole thing is beyond a joke, they have no respect for the people who live here.”
A second resident, who has also lived in the block for more than a year, claimed living at Charrington Court was now putting them in danger.
They said: “Now everyone seems to know the security system is broken you, and you have to just hope when you open the door it’s someone you know out there.
“It feels really unsafe, particularly at night.”
A third Charrington Court inhabitant took particular umbrage with recent hot water outages, as they claimed to have been in a three-year-long battle with the block’s water providers over inaccurate water bills.
In March, the London Fire Brigade was called to the block after an electrical fault led to a resident being trapped in the lifts – One Housing wase forced to send an emergency electrician to the property in an attempt to fix the problem.
A One Housing spokeswoman confirmed Charrington Court’s hot water system failed last weekend – caused by one of the control panels suffering an electrical fault.
The heating supply resumed on Monday, and prior to last week only two reports of loss of hot water had been logged at the site.
She added: “Our contractor, Gemtext, will continue to monitor the plant room and report any faults to us.”
The housing association also confirmed the building’s main entrance was vandalised by trespassers and “is now beyond repair”.
Due to the cost of replacing the system, a consultation was held with residents, which has now ended.
The spokeswoman continued: “We can confirm Delta Security will begin works to replace the main door and intercom system - this should be completed by the end of November.
“Our residents’ safety and security is important to us, we have placed on site security who are patrolling the building with dogs and the surrounding area hourly every day from 7pm-7am.
“This will be in place until the works have been completed.
“We’re also working closely with the local Safer Neighbourhood Team to reduce any anti-social behaviour at Charrington Court and encourage residents to report this to us as it happens.”
Editor’s note: This story originally stated Charrington Court was in Roneo Corner. This was a mistake, the building is in Romford. Apologies for any confusion caused.