Newham Council urged to sack Tando housing provider following complaints from tenants including ‘cockroach found in child’s ear’
PUBLISHED: 10:33 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:58 09 February 2017
A group of residents have recorded a video calling for the council to sack a housing provider amid claims of rent inconsistencies, pest problems and dodgy repairs.
Tenants living in Custom House, Newham, want the town hall to “take back control” from Tando Property Services saying their lives have been blighted by a catalogue of issues.
The video by the ‘Tando Tigers’, features case studies including a woman who is charged twice the rent of her council house neighbour, a mother whose ceiling collapsed and a tenant who was threatened with eviction despite settling her rent arrears.
Temi Bada, 43, said her 14-year-old son refuses to use the toilet since he escaped injury when the ceiling collapsed.
She claims it took Tando three years to repair the ceiling despite continuous phone calls and call outs.
The mum-of-three said: “I do not know why they are this bad. I have lived in London for years and I have never had this issue with another landlord at all.”
Samantha Napa, 27, said she and other residents were threatened with eviction despite her having paid off all previous rent arrears.
The mum-of-two said she disputes the £900 debt but has been paying it out of fear.
Other allegations in the video, which was created with the help of community organisation PEACH, includes claims that some properties are infested with cockroaches.
One tenant says in the video: “I had them in my kids’ ears, my soups, and my fridge and this was hell for me.”
The video has gone viral and had more than 125,000 views since it was uploaded on Facebook last week.
Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, who represents Custom House ward, told the Recorder she has been “monitoring issues with Tando” since September.
She said: “At that time senior officers told us that arrangements and improvements were going to be put in place to reassure us and our residents in light of concerns raised.
Agreeing with calls for the council to end the contract with Tando, she added: “It’s clear that little has improved in any material way for our residents living in Tando properties in Custom House.”
A spokesman for Tando said they were “sorry that the tenants’ experience of our service is not a positive one” but refuted some of the claims made in the video.
He added: “We conduct monthly tenant satisfaction surveys and the results are generally very good. Newham Council also has vigorous monitoring methods.
“We would welcome an opportunity to meet with tenants and councillors to listen to their concerns and answer their questions, and dispel some of the false statements being made.”
A Newham Council spokeswoman added: “The contract with Tando has a number of important benefits for the council. It brings more properties into meanwhile use so we are able to offer temporary homes to those who need them.
“We would urge any residents who feel their complaints are not being dealt with by Tando to contact us so we can investigate further,” she said.”
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