Hot water finally returns to flats above Waitrose – but no one will accept the blame

St John's Court sits above the Finchley Road Waitrose. Picture: Google

St John's Court sits above the Finchley Road Waitrose. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

As the days before December 25 ticked by, families living at St John’s Court in Finchley Road were panicking that Christmas could be very unpleasant indeed after being left without hot water for a fortnight.

Now, after two weeks of purgatory, property management company Faraday has finally solved the problem, which they claimed was a “water pressure issue”.

Faraday blamed Thames Water for a lack of water pressure, but Thames Water claimed it was within accepted standards and the fault lay with Faraday and the building’s own internal systems.

St John’s Court sits above the landmark Waitrose store in the old John Barnes building. One couple who live there told the Ham&High how the inability to wash, clean dishes, or use the toilet without lugging a bucket of cold water to the bathroom had been a mental ordeal.

A young couple, set to be married in the New Year, have had their preparations marred by the lack of water.

The soon-to-be bride said: “It was the first week of December. We were away for the weekend and we came back to see no water in the block.

“We actually called them three or four times, and they put up posters around the building, saying they were on the case, but we had seen very little progress.”

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Her fiance added: “It has been an absolute nightmare. It’s fixed now, but for how long?

“We have been alright, but we are in our 30s. If you’re 90 years old and you wake up in the middle of the night needing the toilet, you just couldn’t. I saw one elderly neighbour upstairs moving out with her grandsons.”

Another resident who did not wish to be named said: “We’ve had to use buckets of water to wash. It’s been really difficult, and I really don’t understand why it’s taken so long.”

Ian Gibson, a director at Faraday, said: “From our point of view what’s happened is Thames Water have reduced the water pressure, whether deliberately or by accident, with works in the area. As a remedy we have arranged for a tank to be delivered on a temporary basis.

“We think we have it fixed now. We’ve fitted a booster pump and the tanks have begun to fill.”

Thames Water said: “Our supply into the building is running as expected. Pressures are well within the normal range and any problems would be due to internal issues.”