RESIDENTS of a retirement complex in Inverness have been left disappointed, disgusted and even frightened by a range of issues which they say goes well beyond simple teething troubles.
Problems affecting the Oakwood Court development in Crown – which is built on the grounds of the former Inverness Royal Academy building – include a lift which has repeatedly broken down, leaving some elderly residents effectively stranded on the upper floors, leaking pipes and badly sealed showers which have resulted in waste water and raw sewage seeping into some flats.
The car park is also poorly lit and therefore a trip hazard.
Residents of the 53-flat site are now contemplating legal action against operator McCarthy and Stone.
Residents also have concerns about the electric supply and telephone system, with telephone lines not connected or fitted in wrong flats.
Resident Paul Wells said problems with the lift were the biggest issue.
“We have 53 apartments and only one lift, which is totally unreliable,” he said.
The lift broke down on seven occasions between late August and the end of the year, including four days over Christmas.
“Some people just didn’t go out of their apartments because of it, it was pretty dismal,” Mr Wells said.
Mr Wells said there were also safety issues in the car park.
“We have some very uneven surfaces and so far we have had four residents trip over at night because lighting in one part is virtually non-existent,” he said.
“As you can imagine, we’re pretty fed up. We don’t see it as being trouble-free living at the moment. We have paid over the odds for our apartments because we were after a certain lifestyle and I’m sure we will get it, but in the meantime, it is very frustrating and frightening for some of our residents and, in terms of the car park, quite dangerous.”
The residents raised their concerns in a meeting with McCarthy and Stone management , but remained unsatisfied with the response. They are now speaking to a lawyer about the possibility of legal action, Mr Wells revealed.
A spokeswoman for the firm said it was very sorry to hear about the problems, but it had been working hard to resolve defects.
“In line with our commitments to all of our customers, we will ensure that any such faults are rectified as quickly as possible with the minimum of inconvenience,” she added, and encouraged customers to raise any concerns with staff.