Tenants say they have been left in an “impossible situation” after the only lift in their block of flats broke down.

The lift in Liberty Court, Borehamwood, has been out of order for more than a week, to the dismay of residents who say they have been “hearing a strange noise” coming from the lift for months.

The seven-storey building has left elderly people, and parents with young children and babies in particular, dreading their journeys in and out of the building, especially if they live near the top (114 steps each way)– and as it stands, no one seems to know how long the lift repair will take.

Borehamwood Times:

Liberty Court, pictured, has seven floors in total, including a basement

Kay Wilson, 62, lives on the fourth floor. She says she is “disgusted” about the way housing association Tamil Community Housing has communicated with residents since the lift broke down.

She said: “I think it’s disgusting that Tamil haven’t kept us regularly updated. They are leaving us in an impossible situation.

“Tamil should have dealt with the lift issue way before when concerns were previously raised.

“I can do the ten flights of stairs but it takes me around ten to 15 minutes. I’ve got work at the weekend, and all I can think is about the stairs I have to climb.

“We have vulnerable people here - pregnant tenants, toddlers. What if someone needs an ambulance?”.

The lift, which broke for the third time in less than a year on February 16, remains out of action and is in need of a “substantive” repair.

Borehamwood Times:

Cowley Hill ward councillor Michelle Vince has been down to Liberty Court to see for herself the issues tenants are facing. During a visit on Friday, she knocked on a number of doors and people expressed their frustration at the situation.

After her visit, Cllr Vince said: “I’m massively concerned about people living in this block. There are residents being isolated in less than a week.

“There are parents with small children, ones with a pram locked in a bicycle shed. Another lady with a pram who hasn’t been able to leave the building this week because she can’t get the pram down the stairs.

“There is no disability access. It’s a shocking state of affairs in this building.”

Watch Cllr Vince take a trip up the stairs to demonstrate the challenges tenants are facing

An email was sent out to tenants a few days after the lift broke down suggesting there was no money to complete the repair.

The email said the repair would cost £11,000 and there were “no funds available in the service charge to pay for this”. The email added the lift is no longer under warranty and is not covered by insurance.

However, a service charge list shows tenants pay towards lift insurance and maintenance.

Borehamwood Times:

Tenants received this communciation a few days after the lift broke down

Tamil Community Housing chief executive Devan Kanthasamy says the housing association is the leaseholder for Liberty Court but says a management property company manages all service contracts for communal service areas.

Mr Kanthasamy added that the email mentioning the £11,000 sum was not a demand for payment from tenants adding they are not expected to contribute towards the cost of the lift repair.

Tamil expects maintenance cover will be able to fully fund the repair works but as of yet, there is no timeframe of when the repair will be completed.

Mr Kanthasamy says Tamil has been aware of the “noise issue” and were told by the management company in December that the issue would be addressed.

On February 11, Tamil was told “substantive” lift repairs were required – although it was still safe to use. The lift completely broke down a few days later.

Tamil says it will be writing to residents this week and said it will be providing support to those who require it in an effort to minimise inconvenience.