Fire safety concerns for residents of Margate tower block

Residents living in a 19-storey tower block in Margate say they are concerned about their safety, as work to maintain and service fire alarms and other equipment is being delayed.

The landlord of Arlington House has been issued with an enforcement notice by the fire service, forcing them to improve safety.

Now Trinity Estates, which manages the building but does not own it, is being forced by a judge to repay leaseholders over one hundred thousand pounds.

It comes after residents say they are paying maintenance and service fees but no work is being done.

Some of the issues brought up by residents include fire doors that will not close and fire alarm systems showing faults.

One resident, John Moss, believes the problems are stacking up.

He says: "Unfortunately, since they took over [management] in 2012, things have generally gone from bad to worse and the day-to-day management is not being done. And whilst it may be a lot of minor things, they've accumulated together and it's become much more of a problem because the building is being neglected."

In a statement, Trinity Estates has said: "Trinity are currently working with the landlord and the local fire authority to take steps to resolve the issues identified. A surveyor has been engaged, a scope of works has been prepared and tenders for the works received. Due to the cost of the works, a section 20 consultation process (section 20 landlord & tenant act 1985) must be completed. This process is underway and we are currently responding to queries residents have raised. The works required should commence in due course and we are continually in discussion with all parties. A meeting was held with the residents group only two weeks ago, full details of the planned works was discussed. Trinity take the safety of the building and the residents with the utmost seriousness and are working to resolve the issues identified. The level of service charge being paid by the residents is in line with the requirement of the development. The recent determination of the First Tier Tribunal highlighted some items in dispute, we are currently reviewing the outcome of the tribunal before deciding on any actions to be taken."

Thanet council, which owns the freehold, says it is now seeking legal advice to see whether action can be taken.

The fire service has given the landlord until the beginning of October to comply with its order.