Edgware estate resident suffers years of misery living with broken heating system

Housing association Peabody says it is “really sorry” for the delay to repairing the family’s heating, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

Skene Court in Edgware and (inset) housing association Peabody
Skene Court in Edgware and (inset) housing association Peabody

A housing association tenant has been left with malfunctioning heating in their new-build flat while fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour has also blighted their estate in Edgware for years – as complaints have gone ignored.

Alex* said the problems began from the beginning after they moved with their family into the Peabody property on Skene Court four years ago.

Speaking about the central heating, Alex said this had been an ongoing issue and had still not been addressed.

They said: “This property is freezing, and they [Peabody] are charging us so much money, it doesn’t matter how many times we turn on the heating, this house is so cold.

“We have to have the oven on to heat up the property, we have to have electric heaters on just to keep the flat warm, and it’s running up the electricity bill.

“They [Peabody] keep coming and changing the meter and saying ‘it’s probably just the thermometer, we’ll change it’, [but] the whole heating system needs changing. They’re just not helping us at all, it’s a joke.”

Alex said there was also an antisocial cannabis issue in the block, and the smoke was so strong it permeated through their walls and into their flat making their toddler sick and nauseous.

Speaking about their young child’s reaction, Alex said they had to go to hospital because the “vomiting” was so bad. Alex reported this to the housing body but said “no-one was interested” and Peabody did not “care” about the family’s wellbeing.

Detailing the response, Alex said: “When I made complaints, I was told it’s a police matter, it’s nothing to do with us, but I say it is, it’s antisocial behaviour”.

Alex had also attempted to bring the issue up with the neighbours, but had the “door slammed” in their face.

In terms of fly-tipping, Alex said a neighbour “kept leaving furniture” outside their door. According to Alex, after they moved it back in front of the neighbour’s property, they received a call from Peabody. They believe someone had mistaken the rubbish as belonging to them and reported the family.

Alex said: “Peabody are not ringing us for the cannabis, for the anti-social behaviour, the heating, they’re ringing us for someone else’s furniture.”

Alex explained no compensation had been offered to them and the family was still being charged “high amounts of rent” despite the long-running issues.

In response a spokesperson for Peabody said: “We’re really sorry for the delay to repairing the family’s heating. We’re working to fix this as quickly as possible, and the family has been contacted to arrange an urgent appointment.

“The communal cleaning was previously done by a separate company. But from the end of this month, we’re bringing it in-house. Our cleaning team will visit Skene Court first and clear any fly-tipping as a priority.

“We’ve been reminding residents about the no smoking and fire safety policies in the building, and we haven’t received any further reports of antisocial behaviour.”

*Not their real name

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