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‘This is supposed to be a safe home for my children’: Neighbours in Dagenham demand action over ‘shocking’ leaks

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 October 2020

Justyna and Remi at Birkbeck House where water leaks have continued since 2017. Picture: Kerry Mcnab

Justyna and Remi at Birkbeck House where water leaks have continued since 2017. Picture: Kerry Mcnab

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Neighbours fed up with living in a building where leaks have continued “for years” have urged their landlord to act.

Andy Mcnab, a technician at Belfor UK which restores homes after floods and fires, said: Andy Mcnab, a technician at Belfor UK which restores homes after floods and fires, said: "The whole building is soaking wet."

Tenants on the fourth floor of Birkbeck House in Academy Way, Dagenham, say water has been seeping into homes and communal areas at the block, which was built in 2013.

Mum-of-two Kerry Mcnab said: “This is supposed to be a safe home for my children. They’re worried. We shouldn’t have to live in these conditions.”

She described water seeping through floorboards and running down walls, causing mould and damage.

Justyna Janas said her children’s health had been affected by the damp.

A spokesperson for landlord L&Q said: A spokesperson for landlord L&Q said: "A major leak was resolved in early 2020 after an investigation found a toilet that had been replaced by a resident was causing water to enter the 5th floor corridor." Picture: Andy Mcnab

“We can’t live like this. It’s really bad. We don’t know what to do,” she added.

Fellow neighbour, Arjeta Krasniqi, said: “We have complained as much as we can. It’s inhumane how people are allowed to live like this.”

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Kerry, Justyna and Arjeta said the problems have been going on for at least four years.

Tenants on the fourth floor of Birkbeck House in Academy Way, Dagenham, say water has been seeping into homes and communal areas at the block which was built in 2013. Picture: Andy McnabTenants on the fourth floor of Birkbeck House in Academy Way, Dagenham, say water has been seeping into homes and communal areas at the block which was built in 2013. Picture: Andy Mcnab

Andy Mcnab, Kerry’s dad who is a technician at Belfor UK which restores homes after floods and fires, said: “The whole building is soaking wet.

“Leaking is becoming a massive problem. It’s quite shocking. The building needs a complete renovation. The tenants need to be moved out.”

A spokesperson for landlord L&Q said: “We would like to apologise sincerely for the ongoing issues with leaks, which have fallen below our usual high standards.

“A specialist leak company was called in to repair the roof in 2017 and residents who were affected by water coming into their properties were permanently rehomed.”

Mum of two, Kerry Mcnab, said: Mum of two, Kerry Mcnab, said: "This is supposed to be a safe home for my children." Picture: Andy Mcnab

She added the issue continued “intermittently” and after “complex and lengthy investigations” further problems with the roof were found.

A major leak caused after a resident incorrectly replaced a toilet has been fixed. As part of the investigation a section of ceiling was removed.

A project to fix ongoing issues earlier this year was delayed after lockdown stopped contractors entering the building.

“We apologise to residents for any inconvenience and would like to assure them a major programme of works is due to begin in the next three to four weeks,” the spokesperson added.


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