Bracknell resident concerned over housing neglect in council property

A disgruntled Bracknell resident has hit out after three years of housing issues have been left unresolved.

Broken windows, exposed and damaged gas pipes, and a neglected staircase are what residents of the block of flats in Harmans Water are faced with as they enter the property. 

Samantha Watson, a mother of five, has lived in the building for three years after she was placed there under Bracknell council’s bidding process.

Samantha said: “When we moved into the building we noticed the damages but we made it clear that we wouldn’t be paying for them and assumed that they would be fixed.

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“There is a small hole in my front room which means we must constantly have the heating on to keep the flat warm. This is beginning to become very expensive as we have to use an excessive amount of gas.

“Alot of the windows are broken in the communal area, and it never gets cleaned even though we pay a service charge every month for maintenance.”

Samantha has reported that a number of residents, including her ex-partner and daughter have fallen down the stairs due to the damaged flooring.

She explains: “We have made many complaints after several people have fallen on the stairs but all they do is come and duct tape it down again.

“We have asked for the flooring to be replaced because of the danger but are told that they do not have the funds.

“It is scary because someone is going to seriously hurt themselves someday.”

The block of flats in The Square at Harmans Water is a council owned property which is responsible for the internal common areas and the structure.

With five children, Miss Watson has been sleeping on the floor in the front rom due to the lack of space and limited housing in the Bracknell area.

For many of the issues, the Bracknell woman claims that she has resorted to hiring private contractors due to the lack of action from the landlords, Silva Homes.

This included her boiler, which was deemed unsafe to use due to a leakage.

Samantha said: When someone came to fix the boiler he put a ‘caution’ sign on it and then proceeded to tell me that it was still OK to use, despite the warning. It took three attempts to fix it and in the end I got someone in who was able to help me.”

“We just feel that we are being neglected and that no one cares about us in this block. We as residents need to be heard.”

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Kamay Toor, Assistant Director of Property Services, said: “ Previously we haven’t been notified of issues with the stairs but we are thankful to the tenant for bringing this to our attention as the safety and wellbeing of those living in the building is of utmost importance.

“The council will now arrange to carry out an inspection of the stairs and contractors will be instructed to carry out any work required, following the inspection and consultation with tenants.

“Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on the issues raised inside the flat as these would fall under the responsibility of the landlord.”

Issues of mould and broken locks have been reported from inside the flats and have been raised to Silva homes. This resident claims repairs have been subpar, unfinished or ignored.

Silva Homes commented: “We will investigate with the customer directly regarding the other issues raised, as all previous issues reported to us have been dealt with. If there are on-going problems or complaints regarding how repairs were handled, we will investigate these with the customer directly.

Ninjay H Briotyon

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