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Couple living with broken doors and rough sleepers in hallway of Orbit Housing Association flat in Carpeaux Close, Chatham

A couple are living with broken doors, vandalised security gates and have had rough sleepers camping out in their hallway – despite paying their landlord more than £2,000 for maintenance.

John Dexter said he had awoken to discover an intruder propped up outside the door of his flat and said homeless people were coming in at night and using communal facilities.

John Dexter says he's paying out maintenance because the property has been vandalised
John Dexter says he's paying out maintenance because the property has been vandalised

He has complained to Orbit Housing Association on numerous occasions but little has been done to rectify the problems he has endured since moving into Admiral Place in Chatham four years ago.

He and partner Debra Mullen live in the newly-built, one-bedroom, fourth-floor property in Carpeaux Close in the town centre.

He said the barrier for the underground car park had been damaged several times and strangers had wandered into sleep in the warmth and to charge their mobile phones in the corridors.

HGV driver John, 57, said: “I get up early to go to work and one morning at about 5.30 there was this bloke outside my door. He stunk, his clothes were filthy and matted.

“He left dark marks on the walls where he had been sleeping.

“Another time, I had to evict a man from the underground car park who had just wandered off from the street because the barrier was broken.

A broken door at the housing association flat
A broken door at the housing association flat

“They can easily get in from the entrance door because the fob magnet doesn’t work.

“They use the plug sockets in the corridors used by the cleaners to charge up their phones.

“Inside our apartment is lovely. We just feel so exposed from the outside.”

John said other residents had raised objections to the housing association including one who said his motor insurance was null and void because the vehicle should be locked up in a secure place.

He said that apart from the annual fee paid to Orbit, they were all billed extra in October as a top-up fund.

He added: “What are we getting for our money here?

A doorway in need of repair
A doorway in need of repair

“When you eventually get through to somebody they give you a job order number and that seems to be it.”

A spokesman for Orbit said: “We are very sorry about the issues that Mr Dexter has raised. We are committed to responding to customer feedback we receive as quickly as possible.

“Our property manager will be carrying out an estate inspection on September 5 and we will be continuing to conduct routine inspections on a regular basis.

“In the meantime, we have scheduled for our contractors to fully repair an internal communal fire door week commencing September 18 and are working to finalise repairs on the vehicle gate.

“We take the safety of our customers incredibly seriously and fob access is provided to residents for their safety as well as asking them to ensure that all communal doors are closed to maximise security in the building.

“We encourage all residents to report any unknown persons entering the building to the police as well as making Orbit aware.”

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