Anger at long list of faults at controversial tower block weeks after construction (From Harrow Times)
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Anger at long list of faults at controversial Neptune Point in Harrow weeks after construction
Tenants Gee Joseph, Luis Vargas, Cindel Keogh and two children Hussain and Miraim outside the troubled block.
A new town centre block of flats has become “a nightmare” for tenants who have been stranded with broken lifts, key fobs, windows and doors weeks after moving in.
People renting apartments in Neptune Point in Pinner Road have been left without a working lift for six weeks, forcing families with pushchairs to climb dirty flights of stairs littered with remnants of drug-taking and cigarette butts.
Angry tenants said that six men using the lift to move in two months ago were trapped inside when it broke down and the alarm did not work, forcing the fire brigade to be called to free them.
And when the Harrow Times visited the brand new 146-flat block yesterday, the door entry system was broken, windows had been left smashed and people were left stranded in stairwells when their key fobs stopped working.
Gee Joseph, 24, who moved into a two-bedroom flat in the block with her two-year-old daughter Teyah Mae in July, said the lift for people renting had broken three times since then, while a separate lift only accessible by people who own their flats runs smoothly.
The make-up student said: “I suffer from ADHD and depression and I’m trying really hard to keep my head above water, but I can feel myself slipping back into it.
“I wish I’d never moved in here, I can’t settle down – it’s become a nightmare.
“I don’t want to sound unappreciative because the view is lovely and the flat is nice inside – but trying to navigate six flights of stairs with a toddler every day is horrible as you can imagine
and I don’t feel safe.”
She says more than a dozen complaints have gone unanswered, and other tenants queued up to tell the Harrow Times how their complaints had been passed between Metropolitan and construction firm Ardmore.
Parts of the nine-storey tower, which was opposed by Harrow Council in 2008 for poor design and was only granted permission after an appeal by developers, are still under construction, and a Morrisons supermarket will open at the bottom of the block when complete.
Luis Vargas, 35, who spent £120,000 to part-rent part-buy the eighth-floor apartment he shares with wife Romina and two-month-old daughter Victoria, said he had refused to pay the £160 per month service charge after a list of problems.
Mr Vargas, who has assumed the role of unofficial spokesman for the residents, said people could not sign up for telephone or internet services because the building had not been registered properly, and felt none of the promises he had been given when he bought the flat had been fulfilled.
He added: “In my opinion they just don’t care about the situation – whether it’s a big problem or a small one when we complain they just don’t care.
“We don’t want to start blaming anyone but we need a solution – we’re supposed to be paying about £160 in service charges and for what? The place is not cleaned and nothing works.
“Every time anyone complains they say they will call you back or email you, but they never do.”
After the Harrow Times intervened, Metropolitan said it had proposed a residents meeting to discuss the problems and contacted police about the evidence of drug taking.
It admitted that the cleaning schedule had not been maintained and said it was investigating the faults with lifts.
It added: “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to residents and understand their frustration.
“We are working with residents and our partners to resolve problems and complete repairs as soon as possible.”