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Constantly malfunctioning lift making life ‘absolute hell’ for residents at Ilford block of flats

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 February 2020

Victor Court in Roden Street. Pictures: Submitted/Google

Victor Court in Roden Street. Pictures: Submitted/Google

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Residents at a seven-storey block of flats in Ilford have been told they may once again need to stay in hotels after the building’s only lift suffered a second serious malfunction in less than a month.

The Recorder reported in Janaury that disabled residents at Victor Court in Roden Street were going to spend most of that month in hotel rooms after it broke down on New Year's Day and replacement parts took more than three weeks to arrive.

But on February 7, less than two weeks after the first fault in the lift was fixed, it suffered a second, different break down, and once again tenants have been informed there will be a lengthy wait for repairs.

Swan Housing has confirmed the lift's drive unit has malfunctioned, and cannot be replaced for "two to three weeks".

The company stressed this defect was separate to the issues reported in January which were fixed "by expert lift engineers".

A disgruntled Victor Court resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Recorder: "It's not good enough for Swan Housing to just turn around and say 'we'll pay for you all to go into a hotel until this is fixed'.

"Why should people have to leave the homes they're paying for because Swan can't be bothered to fix this problem properly?"

Another added: "They [Swan Housing] don't seem to want to admit there are serious issues with this lift.

"It needs to be completely taken out and a new one put in, because at the moment it is breaking down all the time and it's making our lives absolute hell."

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A London Fire Brigade spokesman confirmed firefighters were called at 11.38pm to Victor Court on February 6 to "reports of a person stuck in a lift".

"One fire crew attended the scene, and the person was retrieved and the incident declared over at 00.01am on February 7," he added.

A Swan Housing spokesman confirmed the lift at Victor Court was broken once again.

He said: "Disappointingly the Victor Court lift broke down on February 6 and we would like to express our sincere apologies again to the residents of Victor Court for the ongoing issues with this particular lift.

"The lift has been fully maintained and serviced by Swan during our ownership of this building and this breakdown is not linked to the previous repair which was carried out by expert lift engineers."

The company revealed the new breakdown was not linked to the previous issue, but confirmed that a lift drive unit had failed, and a replacement had been ordered that would not arrive for two to three weeks.

The spokesman continued: "We cannot source these parts locally, we have to use original parts bought directly from the manufacturer.

"It is our intention to replace the lift as we recognise the need to find a long term solution to these issues and are working with our Property Services team on this.

"We have been in contact with all residents to notify them of the position and we will continue to provide additional support to those who require it.

"Any resident who needs support should contact our specialist Housing Team who are standing by ready to support them."

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