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Angry tenants vent frustration on East End landlords

PUBLISHED: 15:47 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 05 October 2010

OUTRAGED families are taking a stand against their social landlords in London's East End following claims they have been misled with a string of "poor quality" improvements on their homes. So they have formed the Spitalfields Tenants' Action Group to take on their housing association landlords

Gemma Collins

OUTRAGED families are taking a stand against their social landlords in London’s East End following claims they have been misled with a string of “poor quality” improvements on their homes.

The tenants say building work to improve their homes has left them worse-off.

So they have formed the Spitalfields Tenants’ Action Group to take on their Housing Association landlords.

The work started in May to upgrade bathrooms and kitchens, under the Government’s Decent Homes’ criteria.

The housing association insists that the work has not been completed and they are waiting on a report from surveyors before any changes are made.

But the tenants have already complained of loose mirrors and light fittings, smaller basins and toilets, poor-quality bath panels and badly-fitted door bells.

One was left with a crack in his wall and is still waiting for his shower to be fitted.

Another complained about a loose mirror—and was given plastic bags to stick at the back to secure it.

The new tenants’ group filed an official complaint to the landlord’s health and safety officers in July and handed in a petition.

Action group chairman Anwar Khan, a 25-year-old strategy consultant, helped set it up after his mum tripped over a gap in her new floorboards and hurt her shoulder.

“We have been misled to believe that the work will make life more comfortable,” he told the East London Advertiser.

“The improvements are of poor quality and dodgy. The homes were better before.

“The company should listen and respond—but they are not doing anything.

“We want a definitive answer on the health and safety breaches and want to see all the additional issues sorted.”

The landlords insist no health and safety breaches were found when surveyors visited the houses.

The company’s chief executive Omar Mapara said: “All the changes meet British standards—unless there are special needs we will not change anything. If there were any issues, they would be addressed immediately.”

He maintains the job “has not been signed off’ yet” and work should resume in the next two months, once they have received the surveyor’s report.

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