Drenched residents fear more burst pipes and spilled sewage in 'nightmare' Deptford flats

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Drenched residents living in a 'nightmare' block of flats in south London say they are 'living in fear' after a string grim problems, including repeated flooding and sewage spills.

People living at Norfolk House in Deptford described a catalogue of complaints including human waste backing up in the bathroom and hot water pipes bursting in the ceiling.

Residents say they've grown tired of the property developer and housing association blaming each other for the issues which have plagued the site for two years.

"You just can’t live like that. It’s too just too much stress, you’re paying good money for those properties. You need to make sure they’re liveable. It’s just not OK," said resident Claudio.

"There is always a fight between Galliard and the housing association [Southern Housing] on who is going to pay for it.

"Every time there is a problem it always happens on the same place and about seven to ten flats have the same problems.

"In the meantime, everyone here lives in fear of it happening to them.

"We’ve been advised to turn the hot water off every time we leave the building to avoid this happening - you can’t live like that."

Norfolk House in east London Credit: ITV News

Claudio said the issue with the hot water began when he moved in and one winter he was left without hot water and heating for a month.

He added: "It’s stressful. It took us two hours to stop the water from running - imagine if I’m not here, the flat would be destroyed.

"There is no reason why they shouldn’t put right what they built. It’s a 10-year-old building, it should not be like that.

"We here are paying high mortgages and the service charge has gone up by almost 20% and we get this! Galliard Homes developed the homes and they are under the management of Southern Housing.

In a statement Southern Housing said Galliard Homes were responsible for the communal heating and hot water system serving a wider development, which includes Norfolk House, adding: "This includes the communal pipes within Norfolk House and fixing any subsequent leaks.

"However, Galliard Homes informed us the earliest their contractor could fix the latest issue would be Monday (3 July).

"We didn’t want to leave residents with this outstanding repair over the weekend, so we sent our own contractor who worked late into Friday night (30 June) to resolve the problem.

"We’re engaging with Galliard Homes at executive level to understand their long-term solution to this issue which they’re responsible for."

Galliard Homes said Norfolk House is owned and operated by Southern Housing Group and connected to a wider heat network which provides heating and hot water to over 300 flats across multiple blocks.

A statement added: "We have been and continue to work with Southern Housing to help them find a solution to resolve the issues faced by their residents and their specific block.

"We have so far assisted southern housing in successfully replacing all the pipes in the common areas of the building.

"Additionally, we have appointed a Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) consultant to provide expert guidance on the other areas within the flats which is under Southern Housing’s control.

"We will continue to collaborate with Southern Housing on finding a solution for the entire building."

Kitty's flooded bathroom

Kitty Ennis's flat is the bottom of the stack pipe and her bathroom has flooded repeatedly and sewage has also backed up through her bath, toilet and sink.

She said it had damaged her tiles and caused the door to warp and even had to call out a drainage engineer in the middle of the night.

She added: "When we spoke to the drainage engineer who helped us fix it. He told us having looked at the pipes they hadn’t been maintained in a number of years.

"Sometimes we had a drainage engineer out at 4:30am when we had work the next day. One time it happened on Christmas Eve and I was staying at my parents and I had to come back and I had to deal with it all and it was constant the whole of that Christmas period.

"I had to take out an expensive insurance policy because I could never afford to redo all the floors if it happened and flooded the entire flat. So I have this fear of what’s going to happen next. What happened in Claudio’s flat happened in our communal hallway.

"There was hot water flooding from the ceiling! We were there with saucepans at midnight! We realised it would keep happening until they replaced all the pipes.

"I’m just waiting the day that what happened in Claudio’s flat happens in mine. I don’t feel like I can go away for long periods of time. It’s a not if, it’s when."

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