Our flats have become a disgusting slum – kids can't play outside, walls are crumbling & there's rubbish everywhere | The Sun

RESIDENTS of a once idyllic block of flats have told how their estate has become a “disgusting slum”.

Parents at the 24-home three storey building in Coventry, West Midlands, says things have gotten so bad that they can’t let their kids play outside.

Some in Crossley Court are so incensed with the lack of maintenance some have stopped paying their annual fee of £720, which is due to rise.

They have a catalogue of complaints, which they insist makes the two-bed flats and large communal rear garden unsafe and unhygienic.

Peeling paint, crumbling walls, piles of rubbish, junk and broken glass strewn across the street is evident by its abundance.

Locals say the management company which does “absolutely nothing” to maintain the one-time desirable flats and grounds.

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They pointed out electrical wires dangling down from an outside wall with Karen Evans grabbing one dodgy-looking loop, saying: “A little child could get their neck struck in here, or an arm or leg. It is so dangerous.”

Uneven paving stones in the garden, dog poo, a broken trellis, gates and guttering, a tree growing out of a smashed drain pipe , weeds knee high, grass unkept, washing lines strung up under shaded branches, no door bells working –  are just some of the complaints.

Rats scurry around the place and bin men refuse to empty the garbage because their wagon is partially blocked from entering the street by poorly parked cars belonging to non residents.

Two female pensioners have recently tripped on uneven floor boards, one in her flat and the other in the shared hallway and both injuring themselves.

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A privately owned block in a private close and managed by Marston which has been blasted for ignoring residents’ pleas to help and being a “waste of space."

Retired civil servant Al Wells, 68, is silently protesting, along with others, by refusing  to pay his monthly maintenance fee.

He said: "I’m not giving them a penny because we’re not seeing anything being done.”

Al has lived in his ground floor flat for 22 years, which he now owns outright with no mortgage with wife Anita, 63, a cleaner at Warwick University.

He explained: “Some have paid the £60 a month charge, others haven't and not me.”

He told how the team had previously demanded a £2,000 lump sum from each of the 24 households to decorate and maintain the communal parts.

He explained: “The money was paid into the pot but the work has not been done.

"The bins kept at the end of the close weren’t emptied for month because the council wagon couldn’t get down the road.

"The money we had all given for was then used, without our knowledge at first, to pay for a private contractor to empty the overflowing bins.That caused outrage but after complaints the council got a smaller lorry to come down.


Al fumed: “I pay £130 council tax a month and shouldn't have to pay for provate binmen from out communal pot. It’s disgraceful.”

He told The Sun Online how his once delightful home and surroundings was plagued with problems.

He said: “It's continual. My wife tripped on the flooring in the communal hall and had a swollen knee and was off work.

"I was out having a ciggie the other day and this flaming rat scurried by.

"It’s infested with rats inside the flats at times, they come up through the stench pipe into the building.

"This is what people here have to put up with. Mattresses and rubbish is dumped outside and the garden is unkempt with the trellis falling down. The place is a tip, we’ve just had enough.

It’s infested with rats inside the flats at times, they come up through the stench pipe into the building.

"It used to be so nice and well maintained. In the summer we’d all sit out by the pond, have a barbecue, and it was so relaxing.

"But now the pond’s been taken away because they never maintained it and the gardener who used to tend the lovely plants and cut the grass stopped coming because he never got paid

"None of the doorbells work, anyone coming round has to knock on the window instead.

Al grumbled: "You call Marston but there is no response, they are a complete waste of space.

"The wife says she’s fed up and we should sell up and move away. The flat is worth about £80,000 and we’ve just had a new kitchen and bathroom fitted so we should we be driven away?”

Al is one of the handful of long leasehold owners – the other flats are owned by private landlords and rented out.

His neighbour and former HR executive Karen Evans, who has lived there for 31 years, sighed: "It was lovely when we first moved, so beautiful and well kept  in and it could be really nice again.

"But it’s fallen into disrepair, they have done nothing to it for a very long time."


Mum-of-two and divorcee-to-be Karen, 54, said: "We’ve had the hottest summer ever and I don't want to sit outside because it’s full of weeds, uncut grass, a tree growing out a drain pipe, broken paving slab.

“Electrical wires are hanging down which are dangerous.”

She said: "We used to have a pond with waterfall but it wasn’t being maintained so it became covered in algae and attracted hoards of flies and the stench was disgusting.

"So they finally covered the pond by throwing a load of rubble in it and not even levelling it off.”

"There’s a broken gate swinging off hinges, that's dangerous too, there’s rubbish everywhere and you can't hang your washing out because the line is in the shade under the trees so I have to use my tumble dryer.

"It’s slum like now.”

Karen, whose on Ryan, 25, living with her temporarily living with her, admitted: “I stopped paying the maintenance fee a year ago it's £60 a month and they’re on about doubling it. They’ve not yet demanded the missed maintenance but they will."

The home owner and director of a residents association said: “We call the management company to complain about things not being cleaned or fixed but there’s usually no response and when you do get through and book a meeting they later day ‘Sorry. we can’t make it now.’ It's infuriating."

Finnley Hudson-Beard, 18, a chef at Warwick Castle, said: “It's disgusting. The bins weren’t being emptied for months so I had no choice but to leave my bin bags in my house.”

A old woman next door tripped over her carpets and smashed her face and the management still do nothing.

She lives with mum Christine Houghton who pays rent and maintenance to her private landlord.

Finnley said: "We were meant to have new carpets in the flat and it was meant to be painted but it never happened so we ripped up our carpets because they were so grotty.

"A old woman next door tripped over her carpets and smashed her face and the management still do nothing."

Newly retired export co-ordinator Graham Varnom, 70, said: "I’ve lived here the longest for 46 years.

"The main problem is that each flat had to pay a surcharge of £2,000, so amounting to £48,000 – nearly £50,000 –  which was meant to be ring fenced to use on necessary repairs inside the flats and out.

"We all paid the money in. At our annual meeting in May, the first one for a few years, we found out that Marston had spent £18,000 to dispose of the rubbish the council couldn't collect because they couldn't get the bin lorry down.”

Richard Atkinson, 32, and wife Theresa, 33, both Sainsbury’s supermarket workers, have lived there as tenants for nine years.

Theresa said: “It’s gone downhill rapidly in the past year and Marston doesn't want to know.

"It used to be a lovely garden, really good, when we first moved in, with well kept lawn and mature trees, shrubs and plants. ”

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She told how six-year-old son James "can’t play in the garden because it is overgrown, really unsafe and full of dog foul."

The Sun Online has repeatedly tried to contact Marston.

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