Sheltered living residents in Beaconsfield say their landlord has ‘failed’ them after three weeks without hot water and ongoing security and access concerns.

Mandy Williams, 58, one of the youngest residents at Duncan Lock House, a sheltered living facility on Candlemas Lane, said she has rung landlords L&Q “every day for three weeks” since she and 15 others lost hot water at the beginning of the month, but has yet to see action be taken. 

Mandy and seven others who don’t have electric showers in their rooms have had to resort to filling up their bathtubs from their kettle, something the 58-year-old believes has given her a frozen shoulder.

It’s the latest in a series of hot water outages, according to the tenants at Duncan Lock, some of whom have experienced “four or five” outages over the last few years, going long stretches without a functioning boiler and weathering a consistent lack of communication from L&Q.

Bucks Free Press:

A very minimal amount of hot water is currently available throughout the property, with the little that is supplied coming from an immersion heater that appears to be leaking through a hosepipe connected to the faulty boiler.

Frustration at L&Q’s failure to tackle the problem adequately and speedily – Steven Hutchinson, 62, believes the boiler could be repaired with a part that’s available for next-day delivery online – is propounded by the awareness of other issues at the facility that also have yet to be addressed by the housing association.

Bucks Free Press:

The front door is wedged open with a piece of wood to allow access during the day, posing a clear safety risk, and is heavy and difficult for elderly residents – some in their 80s and 90s – to open and close.

Steven says the doorframe also began dripping hydraulic oil on Tuesday night (April 23), potentially causing a trip hazard.

 “We’re never sure whether we’re meant to be in sheltered accommodation or whether it’s independent or assisted living. They never ask us how we are. They’re failing in their duty of care."

Bucks Free Press:

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Brian Woodhouse, 73, who has lived at Duncan Lock for over five years, added: “This is a problem that has happened many times before. It just takes one person to have a bath, then the water is gone until it heats up again which can take hours. To go just one week without proper hot water is enough, let alone three.

“We’re paying over £70 in a weekly service charge as well as our rent, and we’re not getting anything for it. I like living here because I like the people, but there are so many problems. L&Q just don’t care about us.”

Bucks Free Press:

A spokesperson for L&Q said: “We’re sorry that it has taken longer than we would have hoped to fully restore the hot water supply to Duncan Lock House. Engineers are at the property today (April 25) and we have identified a leak in the immersion heater.

“As a result, we are installing a temporary plant room to restore the hot water and will be fully upgrading the heating system imminently. 

“The front door entry system has been partially repaired and we would like to reassure residents that the building is secure. Our engineers will be completing repairs to the front door on Friday (April 26).  

“We would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding whilst the repairs are completed and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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