Friday, June 21, 2013

Decent Homes: MITIE in progress

No, not bullet holes left by gunshots. Just a MITIE worker drilling through a 12inch wall to the flat next door.

When fellow blogger Marmoset recently posted grumpily about the shenanigans going on in his flat at the hands of the team who had come to bless him with a new kitchen, bathroom and toilet – and unbeknownst to him, a new boiler, radiators and a total rewiring of his electrics – no one took much notice except one commenter who persisistently called him ungrateful.

Given that the whole estate is undergoing renovations of tenants' flats, and everyone is affected by the noise, dust and dirt, whether they are having the work done or not, it seemed appropriate to post again, and to move away, very slightly, from Marmoset's personal viewpoint, however relevant.

We had warnings from those on other estates where MITIE has already been working, but in appreciation of the seemingly long term benefit on offer to tenants, we didn't want to rock the boat too soon by blogging about their mistakes, which were almost immediate, but nothing worth shouting about and easily solved. The complaints we heard from other estates were pretty general, but it was interesting to note that nothing seemed to improve, as MITIE moved from one estate to another:

• MITIE left trade waste all over the place and never cleaned up after themselves properly
• MITIE workers took residents' parking spaces
• MITIE workers themselves left rubbish all over the place
• MITIE never came back to make good things that weren't properly completed

On Crossfields, nothing really prepared any of us for what might happen here on a personal level. For starters, no leaseholders were informed of the impending works, that's only 50% of the estate, but fuck 'em, eh. The estate is a building site and no one is immune. Endless noise all day, and shitloads of dust trampled up and down the stairs and into everyone's homes (of course the stairs aren't washed daily), trade waste left all over the place and workers littering the place.

With the exception of Marmoset, it appears completely traumatised tenants are behaving like grateful prizewinners (it's all free!) and refusing to complain. "Get Lucky" must be their theme tune for our non-summer.

Even though:  

• the new loos, even though they flush better, are placed three inches nearer the radiator, so that it's actually difficult for anyone over 5'8" to sit on the loo
• you have to sign a disclaimer to say MITIE can damage anything you want to keep (such as a personally tiled floor)
• MITIE workers can drill all the way through the flat next door into your flat (see above)
• MITIE workers can borrow your extension leads, mess about with your electric appliances, turn off your phone, fridge, cooker etc without telling you
• MITIE workers can disconnect anything they like and not reconnect it at the end of the day
• MITIE can give you a new boiler but not tell you how to work it
• MITIE can use your personal mail as a means to inform other workers of your address and leave the mail out on the balcony in the wind
• British MITIE workers grumble all the time about the foreign workers but bunk off the job never to be seen again
• MITIE workers finish work in your flat at the end of the day, leaving the front door open

Given the travesties afoot, one wonders what security measures are built into the contract.

If you'd like to add to this litany, please do – by commenting below, or emailing us – crosswhatfields(at)gmail(dot)com. We hoped this wouldn't be the case, but it is. The other estates that have had work done do not have the privilege of a blog, which maybe why similar complaints have not been aired previously.

Please do not comment on how council tenants are privileged to have this work done, since this lets bad work off the hook, and stops Lewisham Homes from penalising the contractors, if indeed, any contract penalties are in place.

And anyway, this is merely an upgrading of stock at the tax-payers' expense before the whole bloody thing is privatised.

Meanwhile and even after privatisation, tenants now have the Right To Buy at discounts up to £100,000 – as the Department for Communities and Local Government have persistently reminded all residents over the past two weeks with their duplicate drop-mails through our letterboxes.

Such is the Tory government's policy to deal with the housing crisis.


  1. So, coming home to find my front door left open, I decided that I could no longer allow any Mitie worker in the flat when I wasn't there. I stuck a note on the front door saying ''Do not knock'' and ''No Mitie workers to enter without tenant's permission'' and, guess what, someone removed the note and someone knocked me up.

    I just got forcibly escorted out of the Mitie compound but at least I got my key back. I'd advise tenants not to entrust keys to people who can't ensure security.

  2. "MITIE workers took residents' parking spaces" correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not) but it is in the tenancy agrrement, due to the open nature parking of your estate, that no one's space is guaranteed.

    "no one took much notice except one commenter who persisistently called him ungrateful." I make this person enitrely correct. You (as a blog, not personally) seem to think your estate is something it is not since Dire Straits left the building.

    "and everyone is affected by the noise, dust and dirt" please explain further how you think ANY of this work would/could be carried out without any of the above.

    "the new loos, even though they flush better, are placed three inches nearer the radiator, so that it's actually difficult for anyone over 5'8" to sit on the loo" and how many people is that, really? Pernickity.

    Oh. and ungrateful.

    I was such an admirer of this blog until your own shenanigans concerning these posts, and having recently spent time on your estate as an ordonnce surveyor for a local estate agents, it seems most other people are shocked by your posts. This is an anonymous post as I have none of the means featured in the drop down list however you can contact me at

    Please do not censor this post.

  3. Time was when surveyors had a basic grasp of numbers. No wonder they make so many mistakes. You ask how many people over 5" 8" are there? Well the average height of a man in the UK is now over 5' 8". And are you really called MichEAl or can't you spell either?

  4. Hear, hear, EmJay...

    Michael, the parking problem was part of a list of complaints from other estates that MITIE have already worked on. In other words, all the problems experienced on other estates have continued without rectification.

    The point about dust and dirt is that MITIE are not cleaning up after themselves, especially when they clock off for the weekend and leave trade waste about. Stairs are not swept, and in particular, they like to scatter screws all over the road area for cars to burst their tyres on. Nice. (And that was another resident's complaint, I personally hadn't noticed until it was pointed out to me).

    And no surveyors were criticised in this post, so why so defensive?

    Plus, Lewisham Council have done more than this blog to big up the fact that members of Dire Straits used to live here. Not many residents left who remember those days.

  5. Haha the old spelling nonsense... usuzly. Means you don't like what someone has to say but have nothing less petty to have a go about. Makes us even less likely to be bothered about what you have to say MJ.

    anyhow just a few definitions here.... persistently? My initial comment was removed... so I commented again to point this fact out and to reiterate my point...! Have you actually read what I said btw? To make out I'm clueless as to what's happening... like I said I'll be complaining with the best of you... I can't help but wonder why marmoset didn't say no to the work in their flat?

    Perhaps a comment here as to why the original post was removed?

    1. If you're going to be complaining with the best of us, why are you complaining about the people who are complaining?

    2. ''I can't help but wonder why marmoset didn't say no to the work in their flat?''

      Fair point but I didn't know then what I know now. It was perhaps a failure of my own imagination that I hadn't considered having personal mail removed from the flat, having people go home leaving my front door open before I got back, and a host of other things. Because Mitie have betrayed my trust, I've had to get my keys back. This means being a prisoner indoors until I get my flat back.

  6. Milk It Till Its should see what they did in Lowestoft...shame the community have no money to sue their arses...and we're talking private homeowners here...utter robbing incompetents...

  7. This seems a repeat on what has happened on Carteret Way, doors left open, waste everywhere, keys losts, weeks to complete works. Then we have the external damaged property false information, overcharging.

    Then you complain to Lewisham Homes whos standard reply is not to reply then wash there hands of this. The fact you complain places you in a negative light. No control!! seems Mitie can do what they want. I am a stage 3 now with Lewisham homes over very shocking behaviour and work!

  8. I have asbergers and learning difficulties and the mitie workers are in and out of my home as I type so far they are leaving the door open all day even when ive requested the door be kept shut and shutting myself as soon as I shut it they stop it open again then they are in every room all the time I want a place in my home where I can be alone eg cant they do 1 room last so I can be in there till they finished all the other rooms also they made me leave my flat to go get gas and so I said while im out I want the door to be kept shut but guess wat as soon as they heard the communal entrance door close they stopped the door open again whist I was out leaving the mitie workers in my home alone and I was trying to have some toast for breakfast to take my pills with and because they were all in my kitchen i had to move my toaster into the front room only to have 1 worker follow me and watch what i was doing then just as toast was done they told me to move my dvd tv ect more out of the way they said work would take 1 day but its been over a week now before the work started i spoke to a worker doing another flat to find out what to move out the way and what will happen ect i asked do i need to move out for the day he replied no we need someone to make the te all day fearing i would be forced to make ther tea and feed them all day i started to get anxious also as the work started i made a cup of tea for myself one worker said ooohh tea make us all one i told all the workers to help them selves to tea squash coffee ect they replied we don't have time to make it ourselves my reply in my head was if you aint got time to make it you aint got time to drink it after expierancing having my front door open for two days and there this is a job site not your home attitude and having the mickey taken out of me for collecting lego and having their friends and colleges just walking into my home without knocking or asking and having my pets wound up by them they can just eff off by the way the brand new radiators leak

  9. What you all have written is really disgusting. I am now living the nightmare of Mitie decent home fiasco in my twitter photo [search #mitieSMC and look for tweets by Richy Reno] you can see the way that Mitie left the bathroom for more than 2 weeks despite pleading with them and pointing out the safety issue of having a live mains power cable hang across the bath. Lewisham homes have created a situation where they won't touch the work done by Mitie so you are left to more substandard work to repair the poor work that was done earlier. I'm urging anyone who has had problems with Mitie to post images or videos on twitter #mitieSMC. Your images will be made public and hopefully Mitie will start to take more due care and attention in the work that they intrust to a largely foreign work force. This will help the work improve for people who have not had work done and because Mitie have been contracted to carry out all further repairs it should help those of us unfortunate enough to have had poor work done in the past.