Leaks, floods, rotting windows – residents list a catalogue of complaints at new build Hove flats

Posted On 28 Sep 2018 at 3:00 pm

work to fix one of Darren Innis’s leaking windows

Residents at a newly built block of flats have complained about a shocking catalogue of problems since they moved in.

Some flats at One Hove Park on Old Shoreham Road, Hove have been plagued with leaks and flooding, leaving them damp and cold, and flooding has also affected the communal electricity supply, leading to fire alarms going off when it rains.

Residents have complained that gas pressure is too low – and three silver birch trees placed in pots in the garden have been left to die because nobody has been watering them.

Scaffolding went up again this week at One Hove Park

Last year, all residents were sent a letter from electricity provider eon warning them that it had applied for a warrant to cut off electricity to communal areas over an unpaid £26,853 bill. The bill has now been settled.

Meanwhile, Hyde Housing, which built and manages the block, only realised that the solar panels which cover most of the roof had not been switched on two and a half years after they had been installed.

Peter Kyle MP has helped residents pressure Hyde to resolve the issues, but although some repairs have been done, work is still ongoing to identify and repair the faults.

Another of Darren Innis’s rotten windows

One resident, Darren Innis, says that Hyde only started taking his complaints seriously once he paid for an independent surveyor to work out what was causing the serious leaks to his shared-ownership flat, which he believes is down to incorrectly installed windows.

Mr Innis lives in a wheelchair accessible flat on the third floor, and has also been disturbed by the loud clattering of rainfall on the roof, which he says is loud enough to stop him from sleeping.

He said: “I’m on nerve drugs and morphine after spinal injury, I use a wheelchair, so I bought this apartment as it was built for wheelchair access.

“I thought the morphine would kill me but it seems buying a Hyde New home will finish me off.

“I bought this apartment for £387,500, and it’s unsellable because of the damage. The National House Building Council have voided my insurance cover because of the window defects.

“It’s totally shocking and shameful, I’ve asked Hyde for my money back twice as I’ve been sold a apartment ‘not fit for purpose’ but heard nothing back.

“Hyde’s direction is to build its housing stock as quickly as possible, it makes profits, but quality is cut.

“Hyde has got the contract for building Brighton and Hove’s new social housing [under a joint venture with the city council to build 1,000 homes] which we believe will be a disaster for vulnerable/low income tenants.

“If they can treat me horribly then they will do the same to vulnerable tenants.”

The £26k electricity bill which was sent to all 71 flats

A spokesman for Peter Kyle MP said: “It’s been an issue for a long time. Peter visited the affected flats and a group took him around the development to talk him through the problems.

“The issues have included electricity to communal areas, gas pressure, windows, design of roof, flooding, external lights, and the gardens.

“We have been liaising a lot with Hyde and applying maximum pressure on them to get a grip on the problems. They’ve been quicker to act on some than others.”

Resident Services Director for the Hyde Group Cheryl Brown said: “We are currently working with a specialist contractor to trace a leak to Mr Innis’ home and this will be repaired as soon as possible.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused him and are doing everything we can to resolve this problem.”

  1. The residents Reply

    Hi Jo, it’s resident not residents. Mr Innis has no authority to speak for anyone else. Your article is full of inaccuracies and exaggerations which is the norm if Mr Innis is involved. I understand one of my neighbours telephoned you today to remove this article.

    1. No one is damp or cold, we all have functioning under floor heating. The building is very well insulated. The statement that residents are damp and cold is ridiculous.

    2. The communal electricity supply has never been affected.

    3. The fire alarm went off ONCE, approx 18 months ago in the underground car park, not the building, and this was due to humidity. Mr Innis phoned the fire brigade unnecessarily after being told there was no fire. There has been no flooding to the communal electricity- this is totally false.

    4. Gas pressure is not low. All properties were checked by Payne’s heating several months ago and were all found to be correct. Another false statement in your article.

    5. Mr Innis’s property has a leak which is still under investigation but is believed it is coming from the property above, not his window. RAM consulting have been on site recently investigating.

    6. It would be impossible for Mr Innis to be affected by rain fall on the roof as he lives on the third floor of a four storey building.

    7. Mr Innis demanded he had new window cills fitted thus voiding his NHBC warranty.

    8. Peter Kyle does not speak for all residents. I believe the few who have contacted him have not received replies. He has done nothing to assist with the minority who have reached out to him.

    9. Note the two photos of Mr Innis windows are the same window. Only one window is affected in his property. Had Mr Innis sought help as soon as the water started leaking the condition in the photos would not be so severe. A simple bradle hole would have prevented much of the damage.

    9. Mr Innis is a problematic neighbour and resident. His neighbours would be elated if Hyde would buy his property and he moved on. His extreme views which are unsubstainated, inappropriate behaviour, wild accusations, and lies are damaging and not wanted.

    • Honest residents Reply

      ‘The residents’? The callous nature of this reply leads me to believe this reply is from Hyde. This is outrageous! How dare you make comments like that about Mr Innis. He is a lovely man and has been treated horribly by Hyde. Leaks are endemic throughout the building. Mr Innis has thorough research and is a very nice neighbour.
      How dare you suggest ‘the residents would like it if he moved on’. This is so shocking. We are disgusted at these inaccurate and unkind comments. You should be ashamed of yourself

    • Chris Reply

      Re-reading this comment from ‘The residents’ , it is clear this is a false reply from Hyde and not a resident. We know Mr Innis. Anyone that has met him would never describe him as a problem resident. He is a lovely man, dealing with a serious injury and living in a flat that is leaking.
      Whoever wrote this should ashamed of themselves.

  2. karen young Reply

    Not unusual for the area as our new build in Portslade had sub standard windows, shoddy workmanship and a gate that was not wide enough to allow access by emergency vehicles. Part of the problem is the out sourcing to private companies of the overseeing and signing off of building regulations and the total disinterest of the planning dept to investigate buildings that have not been built as per the plans that were passed.

  3. SaveHOVE Reply

    Planning consent should never have been given. The metal roof is zinc and the dying trees sit in shade. The brickwork outside looks damp-damaged too weirdly. For this they demolished the lovely Park House & its skylit studio. See website for photos.

  4. Darren Innis Reply

    It’s shocking the problems we are having here, faulty windows which were picked up by mine and Hyde’s surveyors. I had two rotten windows, Bouygues manager sent me a email blaming me. When hyde director south found out I knew about faulty and rotten windows he sent me a settlement contract which I would sign and I couldn’t pass anything onto a third party, I didn’t sign it and will be taking Hyde to court. We have so much water ingress here the builders just keep on drilling these massive holes through 8 inches of concrete, installing pipes for extra drainage. The car ramp has failed or it’s our massive retaining wall, you can see cracks in it with water coming through.
    Hyde have been appalling trying to get them to sort major issues out. A water pump was installed in the utilities area to pump out water when it rains. The fire/smoke venting system has been lifted off the floor so when it rains the electrics don’t get wet.
    I’ve been leaking for 15 months, the last winter I was cold and damp, the mould was everywhere, in my bedroom too. There is a defect with the zinc roof, I moved in, the second night it rained, it was like sleeping in a conservatory, all five of my windows were affected, my faulty window sills were changed to granite, they put these in wrong and damaged the walls. Now I’m leaking water, half my kitchen is damaged now, my boiler makes a buzzing noise with low gas pressure. I’ve asked Elaine Bailey CEO of Hyde for my money back, no luck there. I’ve paid over two grand for surveyors reports to sort out major problems with my property, this shouldn’t be happening in a three year old new build. It seems the contractors are cutting corners, Hyde’s management are not picking up these faults. The council planning are not inspecting these properties correctly, builders can self certify. The scary thing here is the electrical lights in the carpark, pathway and gardens, the wiring has been corroded due to water ingress, we have white bags in the garden were the lights have been sealed and bagged up. What else is the water getting into..???
    Never buy a Hyde new home.

  5. other residentS Reply

    Point 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, of ‘The residents’ should read “I care more about my property price than a vulnerable man in a shared ownership property who has stacks of documents and evidence for anyone bother or patient enough to go through them. I am a resident and fully endorse this article.
    1. There a four parts to this building. There ARE areas which are damp and Mr Innis window was left exposed to the elements during investigation work. He had to buy the insulation himself.
    2. The communal electricity was not affected BECAUSE residentS acted.
    3. The fire ventilation systems after heavy rain has been activated more than once, blasting cold are into at least two cores. ResidentS recently discovered its service was overdue, it was completed last month, it SHOULD have been April!
    4. The Gas pressure was checked for all boilers in the building, the issue WAS related to the part of the building Mr Innis lived in.
    5. The leak may be being investigated, BUT it has been going on for a year.
    6. If the roof is not fitted correctly, the excess water fall on the wall below, it IS possible.
    7. Mr Innis window sills were not fitted correctly, The granite was one solution, all approved through Hyde.
    8. Mr Innis did seek help immediately, it has been going on for a long time. This building is ONLY three years old. Yes it looks like the same window. Other residentS have reported leaking into their apartments two, in two other areas of the building.
    9. Everyone was welcome to contact and Mr Peter Kyle he has been very proactive in dealing with Hyde Housing at the highest level and took the time to meet representatives from all parts of the building. He is a very busy caring MP.
    9. Your comments uncaring and nasty, it upsets me to think you may have written them forgetting (or not) Mr Innis feelings. Stinks of ‘money over community’. Shame on you.

  6. Resident Reply

    This article relates to the views of one resident and should be corrected as such. Many of us are very happy here and do not have the issues reported in this article which have unfortunately effected one resident.

    • Rolivan Reply

      So not everyone then.

    • Chris Reply

      We are happy with our flat, but are very concerned at the treatment of Mr Innis. Hyde are not managing this building efficiently. There are leaks throughout the building which is only three years old. Yesterday we received a service charge update which (again, as in Feb 2018) seems wildly inaccurate.

      Please see below my partner’s response to Hyde. It is obvious that we are paying for their mistakes. An example of the shear tussle that is dealing with Hyde housing association:

      1. Cleaning costs – £44,996.05 (Feb 2018 estimate was £22,250.35)
      – why is this so far away from the ‘estimate’ when it was a pre-agreed level of service? I do not remember being consulted about such a huge increase?
      – this figure is double the estimate
      – I exercise my right to demand invoices.

      2. Communal Electric Bills – £31,519 (Feb estimate £12,000).
      – Yet again, no mention of the electricity generated by the communal solar panels and fail to understand why we are paying for on-going defect works, which use immense amounts of electricity with power tools! Have you shopped around for the cheapest electricity provider?
      – this figure is more than double the estimate.
      – I exercise my right to demand invoices.

      3. Controlled door entry – £2,340.15 (Feb estimate £1,555.36).
      – Contractors have been allowed on site unattended. Codes were written on the wall.
      – nearly 70% higher!
      – I exercise my right to demand invoices.

      4. Electrical Maintenance incl Bulbs and inspections (no estimated).
      – The lighting at Park House is an on-going defect issue since it has been built. Raised many times through multiple resident complaints.
      – I exercise my right to demand invoices.

      5. Grounds Maintenance. Lower than estimate, but in your most recent letter you state “we are also in agreement that the current specification for Grounds Maintenance is too generic for the needs of the garden at Park House”. As on-going defect works has taken over a large part of the garden, and you admit the service was not fit for purpose – which residents have raised for two year, I find it hard to still be charged! I look forward to the cheaper contracts commencing, but am bitter at being massively over charged after two years of complaints.

      6. Fire Safety, incl servicing and inspections £15,327.02 (Feb estimate £17,073.73). I still question the need to pay carpenters to amend every single door in the entire building. Brighton and Hove Fire Service investigated the gaps under the doors before the carpenters did the work and confirmed they met fire regulations. This building is three years old and not clad in a flammable material. I believe there was no consultation about undertaking these works! In addition, and most worryingly the servicing part of the cost was not completing on time. Residents discovered the fire ventilation system wasn’t serviced in April when it was due. Resident raised it and the works were only carried out in August, 4 months overdue!
      – I exercise my right to demand invoices.

      7. Pest Control £163.74 (Feb estimated – £106.5). What exactly was this spent on?
      – nearly 60% higher.
      – I exercise my right to demand invoices.

      8. Responsive Maintenance £5,280.75 (Feb estimate 2,480.54). What exactly was this spent on. The vast majority of repairs needed are defects that have been reported for months and years, or the consequence of defects not being attended to when first reports. The carpenter who carried out the fire safety improvements to the core 3 door to the garage put a nail through the power supply. Please confirm we did not pay for that? Also contractors arrive unaccompanied and received little or no information from Hyde about the repair to be made. Please confirm we do not pay for these call outs?!
      – double the estimate!
      – I exercise my right to demand a thorough break down of invoices.

      In your response to my stage 3 complaint (18 May 2018, ref 2759568), you stated that ‘it has not been possible to find on our systems any record of requests for invoice packs for your building for the previous two financial years”. I found that shocking to believe as I have multiple correspondences from many residents evidencing the opposite! I hope you don’t break the law on this again!

    • Honest resident Reply

      Resident, would you like to elaborate on your comment: ‘Mr Innis is a problematic neighbour and resident.’ ?
      This isn’t true is it, anyone can see he’s a lovely chap dealing with serious injury and a flat with a leak.
      I suggest you are in fact from Hyde as you didn’t rise to my last comment, or a callous individual from core 1 or 2 trying to protect the value of your investment.
      Shame!

  7. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Was alerted to this by a resident on a stroll today. When on the Planning Committee, I raised concerns about Hyde Housing and this very Hove Park building. Fascinating comments below the piece. Time and again mediocre buildings get through.

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