Litter and rats in Ilford housing blocks as company refuses to clear mess while payments owed

Residents are living in squalor surrounded by litter and vermin while a management company refuses to do anything about it.

Families living in Piper Way, Ilford pay money to Countrywide Estate Management to take care of the communal areas but this service has stopped since a minority have failed to pay the service charge.

Piper Way resident Kaneez Bhutawala said: “We are facing terrible problems with rubbish on the pavements as our bins are full to the top and refuse men can’t access them because they are over loaded with rubbish, and people fly tipping.

“This is causing a huge rat problem which is dangerous as their urine is highly toxic.

The management company in Duke Street, Chelmsford has refused to do anything until they receive payment from all residents.

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Mrs Bhutawala added: “The place is a hazard to live in and Countrywide is not interested. Until the service charges are updated they will not do anything, no matter how bad the living conditions are.

“We are living in a ghetto and the company are just appalling for the state that have left paying residents in.”

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Fellow resident and mother-of-one Manaz Javaid said: “The situation is just escalating and I have a three-year-old who can no longer play outside.”

A Countrywide spokesman said: “The owners of the individual apartments at the development are responsible for paying the service charge, which is used to cover any maintenance costs which arise.

“We are pursuing a number of owners who have failed to pay their charges so that this and other maintenance issues can be resolved.

“We recognise that this is very distressing for owners who have paid, but until we collect the funds, we cannot be expected to fund whatever works are required from our own resources.”

Countrywide declined to comment on how many people owed money and how long the situation has been going on.

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