Leaseholders on an estate in Wood Green have slammed Haringey Council after a resident's bathroom ceiling caved in.

The council has been planning to upgrade properties on Noel Park Estate for years, but leaseholders are still stuck with dilapidated bathroom ‘pod’ extensions that were fitted in the 1970s as a supposedly temporary measure.

Last week, Tilda Senaris filmed the dramatic moment her bathroom ceiling collapsed after the council failed to fully repair a leak in the flat above. It sparked renewed anger from other leaseholders on the estate who have repeatedly complained over the state of their properties.


In 2020, the leaseholders were hit with bills of up to £118,000 for replacement pods and other work. The council subsequently capped the amount they would have to pay for new bathrooms, but some are still facing bills in the tens of thousands. The civic centre has also been criticised for failing to tell leaseholders about asbestos risks in their homes until more than a year after they were flagged up in reports.

Tilda told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that she reported a leak coming from the upstairs property in April, which the council did not fix properly. On 26th June, as water continued to leak into her flat, she noticed a crack had appeared in her ceiling.

She said: “I got in touch with the council and told them ‘the ceiling is going to cave in, you have not fixed the leak properly. It has got progressively worse’.”

But Tilda said she did not get a response until the ceiling “caved in” two days later. She said council came to clear up the debris later that day, and the ceiling was re-plastered the following day.

Describing her experience during the past two years, Tilda said: “To be honest, I don’t know what I’d have done without the fellow leaseholders. This whole situation has knocked me for six. It came smack bang in the middle of Covid. I got made redundant, [then] we got invoices to pay in September 2020.

“The whole thing is incredibly overwhelming.”

Enfield Independent: A photo showing the damage to Tilda\'s bathroom pod (Credit Tilda Senaris)

Reacting to the video of the collapsed ceiling, which Tilda shared on Twitter, leaseholder Sarah Klymkiw posted that living in the flats was “a cause of great anxiety”. She added: “I worry every single day that by living here I’m putting my two young children’s lives in danger.”

Michael Jones, another leaseholder, said on Twitter that Tilda’s ceiling was not the first to collapse, adding: “Unless works get going soon, it won’t be the last. This needs to be a warning.”

Appearing on BBC Radio London last week, council leader Peray Ahmet said work on the pods would “probably” begin early next year, suggesting delays were partly caused by “ongoing negotiations” with leaseholders and “extra measures” to help them.

But the leaseholders rejected the suggestion they had contributed to delays, pointing out that the council had originally planned to carry out the work “years ago”. The authority has been considering replacing the bathroom pods since 2009.

The leaseholders said they only found out when the work was due to start by listening to Cllr Ahmet’s comments on the radio, with several also claiming their flats had been undervalued by the council after it offered to buy the properties. Sarah said the valuation she received was “£140,000 low”.

Enfield Independent: A photo showing the damage to Tilda\'s bathroom pod (Credit Tilda Senaris)

Responding to their concerns, Cllr Ahmet said: “We recognise at the start that communication could have been better and have put measures in place to ensure residents have had their say on works to their homes. For resident leaseholders this has included the cap on what they will need to pay and the ability, if they wish, to sell their properties back to the council. This is based on market valuation once the works are completed.

“We acknowledge communication can always be improved and are putting in place targeted engagement with leaseholders and tenants, including drop-in sessions with the contractors, regular newsletters and a steering group to support the delivery of works on site.

“I was asked on BBC Radio London when works would be starting on site for leaseholders and said it would be next year. But until planning is received, and the manufacturing dates are confirmed, we cannot give precise dates, which is why we have not been able to communicate this. The remaining applications should be submitted by the middle of July.

“When I was made aware of an issue with one of the pods last week and the repair to the leak had not been booked as an emergency repair, my office acted quickly, and the repair was dealt with and fixed on the same day.

“We do not normally carry out repairs to leaseholders’ properties, but we felt the ceiling needed to be replaced and it was scheduled for the following day. While the team were waiting for the results of the asbestos survey to be received, the ceiling unfortunately fell down. But I am pleased to report that the bathroom has now been cleared and the ceiling has been reinstated.”