12:10PM, Thursday 08 January 2015
A tenant has stopped paying rent and demanded a new housing association home after claiming his bungalow may have asbestos in it.
Peter Kirkwood says L&Q Housing has left him with a dangerous home by failing to safely remove all asbestos uncovered in his property ahead of a new kitchen being fitted.
L&Q, which runs 70,000 homes in London and the South-east, says the property in Wyndham Crescent, Burnham, is safe and the asbestos was removed safely.
It has also warned the 61-year-old, who lives with his labrador Molly, that he is in breach of contract and could face legal action because he has stopped paying his rent and refused association staff access to install the new kitchen.
The stand-off started in September and Peter, who has lived in the one-bed, bungalow for three years, has been without a kitchen since then.
Currently unemployed and surviving on his ex-serviceman pension, Peter also says he won’t pay his rent until the situation is resolved and will only let the workmen in if he is given a new home.
He says the association could then conduct a thorough investigation into any possible health risks at the bungalow.
"If L&Q really did care about my welfare then the easiest solution would have been to move me weeks ago,” he said.
L&Q insists the health and safety of all residents is a 'top priority'.
It said: “All maintenance work, especially asbestos removal, is carried out by qualified professionals in accordance with all relevant legislation.
"On September 11, 2014, a specialist licensed asbestos removal contractor removed low-risk floor tiles from a store cupboard at Wyndham Crescent ahead of a planned kitchen renewal.
“When we then contacted Mr Kirkwood about fitting the new kitchen, he claimed that the asbestos had not been dealt with correctly and refused access to install the kitchen."
It added several further requests have been made to fit the new kitchen but Mr Kirkwood continued to refuse access.