'We are really struggling': Woodford Green residents left without hot water for four weeks
PUBLISHED: 12:06 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:06 24 September 2019
Residents living in a block of more than 100 flats in Woodford Green are "up in arms" after having no hot water for nearly five weeks.
John Rands, 47, who has epilepsy, said Redbridge Council has been telling residents in Coopersale Close to use hot water from kettles and pans to bathe and wash up until the problem is fixed.
"All the residents here are up in arms about this and we are getting nowhere with getting any clarity from Redbridge as to when it will be back on," he said.
"This is unacceptable - all we need is some hot water. There are people with young kids. And people with disabilities including myself.
"I'm getting extremely frustrated and it's detrimental to my health.
"Stress causes my epileptic seizures and I've got back and neck problems, which a bath really helps.
"This is making everything worse. I'm going to see my GP on Friday and I might seek a lawyer if nothing is done quickly.
"It's just wrong. We should get compensation."
John, who lives with his fiancée, said the hot water stopped working at the council-owned building at the end of August.
"Some of the flats need their own individual boilers replacing," he said. "But Redbridge Council are passing the buck onto the contractor, and the contractor is passing the buck back to the council and residents are here stuck in the middle."
The contractor has visited the building on six occasions, John said, and residents have been complaining to management every day.
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"I think the communal boiler is faulty, but we're not sure. I have seen so many people complaining to management in the main office," John said.
"The contractor has come back on six occasions and they said the fault lies with Redbridge Council.
"I have epilepsy and the council has been telling us to carry boiling water back and forth. We have to boil the kettle four times to do our washing up. Our energy bills are going to be through the roof as well.
"There are families with young children and people with disabilities.
"This can't be right. We can't really wash at all. We are really struggling.
"It's Redbridge Council who need to take responsibility here. They get the rents and the service charge.
"It's not fair. It's unjust."
A spokeswoman for Redbridge Council said: "We sympathise with those who have suffered from a loss of hot water.
"We've been trying to sort this issue from the moment we heard about it.
"Our contractors have visited each of the properties to remove the debris in the Heat Interface Unit (HIU) filter, which can interrupt the flow of hot water.
"They also checked the communal water system and this is not the source of the problem.
"We are aware that a few properties are still without water and we will be visiting these again urgently to make further checks.
"We want to apologise for the length of time it has taken to resolve the issue but want to reassure residents we are doing everything in our power to find a solution."