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Letter: We Tenants Should Not Have to Put Up With This

Published on: 11 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 11 Jul, 2022

Friary House, on the left, comprises the residential flats above the Friary Shopping Centre Google Street View

From: Stephen Campbell

I am writing about the way Guildford Borough Council has been treating the tenants of Friary House in the heart of Guildford.

We have had major issues with our hot water supply for some months and only today the hot water has failed in the building.

The council has made no effort at all to contact us to what is going on so we have had to ring the emergency repairs line who tersely tell us it’s a boiler leak and the parts won’t come until next week.

This means that will be without supply for over 48 hours, which is against the law.

The council don’t seem to care about the welfare of the tenants here some who have children. It’s the latest in a long line of issues with the flats.

Last year new fire doors were installed, but the work has not been completed. This has left hardened concrete and stains on the floors and cement left exposed up the walls where the doors were installed.

The doors themselves are already filthy and dirty as are floor carpets in each floor.

GBC has dragged its heels here and we feel they have left us with a filthy, dirty building with hot water issues.

I am sending you this letter to bring these things to light.

As tenants, we shouldn’t be left to live in such conditions, especially in a town which is meant to be fairly affluent.

The Dragon forwarded Mr Campbell’s letter to GBC for comment.

Lead councillor for Communities and Housing, Cllr Julia McShane (Lib Dem, Westborough) responded: “We are sorry there have been some issues with the hot water at some of these properties. The contractor and engineers have been on site this morning but were not able to resolve the issue today. The part required will not be available until tomorrow. As soon as it arrives, work will start. We expect the hot water to be restored soon after. An officer will update the tenant today.

“We agreed earlier in the year to dramatically increase our investment in the housing that we own and these properties are some of those that are benefiting from the agreed investment. Some initial works to this block have been undertaken. More extensive works are underway. They will continue over the next few months. This will include work to decorations, improving fire safety, and the replacement of the existing flooring.

“I am sorry for any inconvenience that has been caused. I would like to reassure tenants that we are undertaking extensive work to help improve the standard of the accommodation and to make their homes safe.

“Whilst this programme is ongoing there will some disruption within the blocks for which we would apologise. Extra cleaning has been arranged for this block.”

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