28 Loampit Hill, London, SE13 7SW

Added 16th December 2014

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1. AVOID AT ALL COSTS (28D Loampit Hill)

By LondonRenterUK - stayed here from 21st October 2013 to 21st October 2014

I moved in to this property in October 2013 with a flatmate, when we were first shown around by the estate agent, the damp we were later to find was covered up and he did a good job of covering up several of the fundamental failings within the flat. When we first moved in, we were greeted with a toilet that had a broken flush (this took three weeks to fix), carpets that were absolutely filthy (sorted quite quickly, but the cleaner said there was no point cleaning them as no underlay had been fitted beneath them) and several sockets and light fittings that were broken (never fixed). The landlord from the get go was very unhelpful with all matters, and there was a dispute between him (Rehan Wazir) and the estate agents (Acorn Lewisham) as to who was responsible for the management of the property.

There were several fundamental problems with this flat.

Firstly, in the larger bedroom there is a severe damp problem, it had clearly been painting over before we moved in and the paint proceeded to fall off the wall throughout our time in the flat. Clothes in the room were damaged and the entire downstairs of the flat had a constant aroma of damp. One of the two people in the flat had problems with his breathing throughout our time in the flat, which have abated since we left. The landlord was informed of the problem and contacted over twenty times to rectify it during our stay. However the problem was never rectified, despite him sending a builder out at one point to look at it and get a quote. We contacted the Environmental Health Team at Lewisham Council who contacted him in writing several times to get him to fix the problem, but he did not. The landlord was consistently evasive on the matter and clearly did not want to spend any money on the flat.

Secondly, the flat was the coldest place I have ever lived by some distance. The flat has not been insulated properly and the double glazing has completely deteriorated. The poor insulation means you have to spend in excess of £15 a day on a PAYG gas meter just to keep the place warm. We could see our breath in October and the bedrooms were not tolerable in the winter, despite not having a particularly cold winter last year.

Thirdly, the flat has been poorly designed, with the living room and kitchen sitting above two bedrooms and a bathroom on a lower floor. This, combined with wooden floors that are not particularly thick or well insulated, means that anyone downstairs can hear everything that is going on upstairs which does not align itself with a particularly great shared living experience.

Fourthly, the flat is situated right next to a car garage. In fact, the flat is almost in the car garage. The garage makes an L shape around the flat and surrounds it on two sides. The garage expanded whilst we were there, when we first moved in it wasn't particularly notable but by the end the garage was running from 8am to as late as 10pm some nights. The phone in the garage would be going off at all hours and throughout the day an angle grinder and other heavy machinery would be used. It did not make for a great living experience, it was impossible to have a lie in at the weekends and the downstairs bedroom windows faced out onto the garage which meant that workmen would be walking past and sometimes peering into your window, this led to a feeling of a complete loss of privacy.

Fifthly, the stretch of road that the flat looks out onto and the steps you need to go up to get into the flat, has been commandeered by local youths and drunks as a place to congregate, drink alcohol, smoke weed and play loud music throughout the day. It seems that people come from all over South-East London to go there and some nights, in the week, we were kept up till after 2am with the music blasting. We contacted the police and the local council, who were aware of the on going problem but seemed powerless to do anything other than occasionally move them on, which didn't rectify the underlying problem.

Finally, the living room and kitchen windows from the flat looked out onto street level. It so happens that all the local flats, local businesses and even passers by with large bits of unwanted goods dump their rubbish under the window and despite us putting signs up and asking people to move their bins, we weren't able to sort the problem out. This led to two problems, we had a severe rodent infection (killing over 15 mice while we were there) and the smell was unbearable in the summer.

When the contract ran out, the landlord and estate agent had the cheek to ask for £300 out of the deposit for new carpets (which were filthy when we moved in) and a new cooker (which was very old and battered when we moved in). We eventually got the majority of the deposit back after a long and tedious email chain.

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