'Vulnerable' resident lived in 'completely uninhabitable' home for years

·3-min read

Most people have their fair share of renting horror stories, but a public housing resident in London may take the cake; living in a dilapidated apartment that had no heating or hot water and rotted amenities for two years.

London council flat housing experts said the 55-year-old man, who suffers from mental health issues, was at risk of electrocution while living in the Hoxton flat.

Mould had also spread through every room in the property, as well as a broken toilet and rotted kitchen cupboards due to leaks.

Housing experts say the flat is the 'worst' they've ever seen. Source: High Street Solicitors
Housing experts say the flat is the 'worst' they've ever seen. Source: High Street Solicitors

However, despite the man — who has lived in the property since 2008— and his carer complaining to the Hackey council since 2019, they didn't receive a visit from anyone to assess and fix the damage.

The property 'the worst' experts have seen

The man's case has now been taken on by housing specialists High Street Solicitors who hired an expert to access the property. Larissa Ellis, head of housing at High Street Solicitors, said the property was "the worst she's ever seen," adding that it was "completely uninhabitable."

"You can tell [the resident] is vulnerable. The property is clearly affecting his mental health, he seems very anxious about the whole situation," Ms Ellis told the Standard.

"Your home should be a safe and comfortable space. It is far from that and it's clear there is now a real risk to his life."

The flat was 'uninhabitable'.  Source: High Street Solicitors)
The flat was 'uninhabitable'. Source: High Street Solicitors)

A report from the solicitors detailed that the tenant's bathroom had no working light and no door handles.

"[The man says] there is mould and damp on the walls and windows, the bathroom sink is blocked and the toilet is covered in mould," the report stated.

"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."

Council have done 'nothing' to fix the property

Hackney Council told the publication that the man had been moved into temporary accommodation and an investigation into how the flat had gotten so rundown had been launched.

“It is hard to imagine how it must feel to have to live in the conditions shown in the images and video," Ms Ellis said in the report.

“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.

The man and his carer had been complaining since 2019. Source: High Street Solicitors
The man and his carer had been complaining since 2019. Source: High Street Solicitors

 “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.”

According to the Standard, a council spokesman said that the property is managed by Wenlock Barn Tenant Management Organisation, and according to their records, the last repair reported was in January 2020 when a sink was fixed.

“We are very sorry that this resident has been living in conditions like these," they said.

"We have supported him to move into temporary accommodation, and are working with him and his carer to assess whether he needs more support.

“It is unbelievable that it has got to this stage and we are doing everything we can to help him."

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