Families trapped in leaking tower block with ‘human urine’ rising up through the floorboards

Families are trapped in a leaking South London tower block where “urine” comes through the floor and water cascades through the walls.

One woman found her young child playing with the brown liquid that had started bubbling up through the kitchen floor, reports My London.

Raymond Mehdi is another resident of the Lambeth tower block, who had to put sandbags on his kitchen floor to prevent the water seeping into his sitting room.

The 40-year-old says the damp in his bathroom is so bad he can scrape the concrete off with his nails.

Mum Patricia Adu has had to replace her hallway floor three times in four years because of flooding from out of control leaks.

Her living room wallpaper peels away to reveal thick mould.

The 38-year-old doesn’t redecorate because she knows damp will ruin it again within months.

The families on the estate in Kennington say their nightmare began in 2018 when plumbers carried out a botched upgrade of the heating system in the 23 floor tower.

Since then they’ve lived with recurring leaks that threaten to ruin their homes at any moment.

Ms Adu, who has lived on the estate for 11 years, said: “I’ve done the floor three times since 2018 when they did the boilers. Every time I have to buy extra wooden flooring because I don’t know when I will wake up and the floor will be flooded again.

“The last time it leaked it was in the children’s room and they had to sleep downstairs in the living room because it was very bad. It goes on my daughter’s clothes and everything smells damp.”

“In the living room I put a vase of flowers in front of the wallpaper because I don’t want the children to open it up and touch the mould.

“It cost me about £300 to £400 to do the hallway but I don’t have the money to do the rest of the flat so I leave it like this.”

Next door to Ms Adu, Raymond Mehdi and his mum Zarife Mehdi shuffle around sandbags and a damp removal machine as they try to prepare dinner in their kitchen.

The family had to take matters into their own hands and fetch the bags after water started gushing into their flat about a week ago.

Ms Mehdi, 60, said: “Me and my son weren’t able to sleep because we had to keep getting up to clean up the water, otherwise it could have got into the sitting room.

Mr Mehdi added: “I can smell the damp in my room and it’s not good for my asthma. It’s everywhere: the floor upstairs, the floor in the kitchen and wall in the bathroom. I can scratch the wall and the concrete comes off.

“You ring Lambeth up and they send someone to look at it and they don’t come back. They’ve even hung up on me before when I’ve rang before.”

Isabel Patrick, treasurer of the Cotton Garden estate tenants’ and residents’ association said that since Lambeth Council’s housing office opposite the estate closed during the pandemic, many residents were struggling to reach the local authority when they had a problem.

Despite the council hiking her service charge to £4,500 a year, Ms Patrick said she hadn’t yet seen any improvements.

She said: “It appears the costs are being pushed on to residents but we would like to know where the money is going. It’s not going into the care and maintenance of the building. It’s like a full-time job doing this to support residents. It’s ridiculous that we have to start tweeting before Lambeth react.”

Lambeth Council has been contacted.