Collapsed Ceiling Latest in Series of Problems for Bollo Lane Residents

Affordable housing provider blames developer for issues with building

The collapsed ceiling at 2b Bollo Lane
The collapsed ceiling at 2b Bollo Lane

The occupants of a block of flats on Bollo Lane are increasingly in despair over issues with maintenance at their building which have culminated in the collapse of a ceiling.

Eight days after residents of 2B Bollo Lane reported to their landlord, One Housing Ltd, that water was entering the building, the ceiling over the shared stairwell in the lobby area collapsed.

The block is occupied by a mixture of private leaseholders and tenants of One Housing which is a housing association.

One resident, Kevan Edgerton said, “The ground is strewn with huge chunks of building materials that, had they hit someone when falling, would have caused significant injury; imagine if this had struck one of the small children who live in this building. This is no longer amusing or to be fobbed off with a casual apology or a cursory email.”

He says that when the leak started another resident tried to carry out a temporary repair but the problem wasn’t properly dealt with by the landlord and it got progressively worse until the ceiling collapsed.

In an email to One Housing he wrote, “The building is being left in a shocking state of disrepair, most acutely evidenced by the massive amounts of leaks and collapsing structural areas, but also more generally with a continual apathy and lack of care being shown to the upkeep and maintenance. We not only expect you to be professional and have some common decency in the way you conduct yourselves with regard to this building that you 'manage' so spectacularly poorly, but we also expect you more seriously to honour your obligations set out in Leasehold agreements.”

The leaks have also led to a cupboard containing electrical items being awash with water and residents believe this may have caused the loss of satellite TV services in the building.

It is also claimed that there has been no consistent hot running water in the building for the last five months.

2B Bollo Lane
2B Bollo Lane. Picture: Frost Meadowcroft

Problems at the building have been ongoing for over a decade according to residents. In 2018, the local MP Rupa Huq wrote a strongly worded letter to a director of One Housing after occupants had told her complaints about water running down the interior walls of the building had gone unanswered.

Residents also reported that lifts in the building were regularly failing trapping residents inside sometimes requiring the Fire Brigade buildings.

One Housing is responsible for the maintenance of the shared areas of the building. It says that a temporary fix for the problem of the leaking roof will be in place next month but that it is seeking to make the company that built the block responsible for the full cost of a permanent repair which it cannot afford to undertake itself.

A spokesperson from One Housing said, “We are aware of the roof leak at Bollo Lane Chiswick and we apologise for the distress this is causing residents. We are in the process of instructing contractors to replace the roof which is unfortunately caused by a historic building defect. One Housing has been pursing maintenance costs through the developer. We have also submitted a claim with The National House Building Council. We will continue to pursue financial compensation from the developer for these works. We have been liaising with residents throughout this process and have held several meetings with residents, including a meeting last night. We are planning to start works as soon as possible and will continue to keep residents updated.”

If One Housing is unsuccessful in reclaiming the cost of putting the building right from other sources, it would have to pay the proportion that would be attributable to tenants but would need to reclaim the rest through higher charges to tenants. Some of the private leaseholders are demanding that One Housing repurchase their flats from them.

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November 13, 2022->->->