Broken boiler blamed for Bristol residents left 'without heating and hot water for six months'

Exterior shot of lakeshore block of flats in Hartcliffe, Bristol
Lakeshore was once the offices of Imperial Tobacco but now makes up 270 flats Credit: ITV News

Residents living in a former office block in south Bristol say they've been left without heating and hot water after a boiler serving their homes broke down.

One woman, Elspeth Allen, claims she hasn't had heating since last October and is withholding some of the rent she owes until the problems are resolved.

"These flats are described as luxury apartments. I don't think so," she says. "My mental health has gone completely downhill. It's been terrible. You just can't get hold of anyone (to fit it). It's driving me insane."

There are 270 homes in the former Imperial Tobacco offices in Hartcliffe, now known as Lakeshore.

Elspeth paid half the £155,000 cost of her one-bed flat up front five years ago and rents the other 50 per cent. She says residents have suffered years of problems at the hands of management agents RMG.

"There's a small group of us who want to get legal advice," adds the 56-year-old former council worker.

"I'm withholding payment and if they want to take me to court, they can. I don't care and I think a lot of people agree with me."

Elspeth Allen is refusing to pay some of the money she owes on her flat because of the building's broken boiler Credit: ITV News

Elspeth pays almost £2,500 in annual management fees but is trying to encourage 50 per cent of the residents to take on the running of the building themselves.

Outside the second-floor property, large holes are dripping constant water. Elsewhere, ceilings appear to have collapsed and debris lies untouched on corridors used by the elderly, disabled and young children.

Large holes are in some of the corridors used by residents at Lakeshore Credit: ITV News

RMG told ITV News the temporary boilers were working again and added: "We totally sympathise with the residents and are doing all we can to minimise the cost and ensure they have a new boiler system as soon as possible.

"Following the breakdown of the boiler this weekend we have brought forward the replacement to commence this week."