The parent, who lives in Bristol with their baby and partner, said their house in a former office building was like “living in hell” as police said they called the location 200 times in just over a year became
Image: BPM MEDIA)
One father says he is so scared in his own home that he sleeps next to his bed with a hammer and screwdriver for fear of being attacked by a burglar.
The parent, who lives in Bristol with their baby and partner, has said their building is like “living in hell”.
He hit the former office complex in the city’s Hengrove area and said it was “not habitable”.
Police said they had been called on the website more than 200 times in just over a year, Bristol Live reports.
Other residents, including a young mother, said they did not feel safe there.
The parents claimed that shortly after moving into the apartments there was a fight in the hallway and their front door was covered in blood.
He also claimed to have witnessed an attempted knife stab and said he has had problems before, including threats and mistreatment from one of the other residents.
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“I feel very insecure and I am always worried that someone will try to come into the apartment and injure us,” he said. “Just in case, I sleep with a hammer next to my bed.
“It’s not very nice.”
Caridon has said that there is security on site every day and night from 11 a.m. to 6 a.m. and that when the going gets busy, two guards are on duty. The developer said the guards had been trained to deal with ASB and that if there was a serious incident, the police would have been called immediately.
The developer said that anyone who causes problems will be put into a three-step process; starting with a warning, followed by the signing of an agreement with Caridon and the police and the final phase of the eviction. However, it said it regularly reviews the procedures and remains open to discussion about their effectiveness.
Bristol City Council earlier this week admitted that using a former office building in south Bristol for housing “is not an ideal option” – but defended it, saying the site had housed more than 200 people.
In the summer of 2020, the council announced that people are to be accommodated in the complex renovated by Caridon.
The company was the subject of a Newsnight investigation when residents in one of their London settlements complained about overcrowding, the mix of people, and spoke about violence and substance abuse.
The father also claimed the family filed more than a hundred complaints with Caridon through the website, including about drugs and violence, but says nothing was done.
The local resident described the noise on the premises as “terrible” and claimed that he had found drug needles outside his window once warm.
The father said they felt they never had a choice whether or not to live in the Imperial Apartments, adding that he felt he was fighting the Council and Caridon to escape development .
He continued, “We moved in thinking this would be temporary accommodation for a maximum of a year and then we would be moved to another location, but it turns out the contract is just going on.
“We try to get them to move, but they do [the council] say we are adequately housed.
“Since we moved in, my partner’s mental health has deteriorated dramatically and I feel constantly paranoid about someone coming in and hurting us.
“It’s not suitable for human habitation – it’s gross. It was like living in hell.
“They sold us something nice, but in the end it was our worst nightmare.”
Caridon said Imperial Apartments offers residents the ability to manage an independent lease and that it will provide landlord references for those who choose to move.
The developer said it only had a “handful” of tenants who chose to move out and that the vast majority “are very happy with the property and are a positive part of our community,” adding that many of its tenants are at risk have become homeless and have now found a permanent home on the site.
Caridon said tenant safety is a top concern and that the private condominium has a “large number of cameras” along with security at the front desk and concierge services.
A young mother, who has lived in a two-room apartment at Imperial Apartments since the end of last year, described the situation as appalling.
The resident – who is in her mid-twenties and has a one-year-old child – said she had been seriously molested by another tenant and the police advised her not to be there.
She continued, “The person is still living there, they have been moved to a different part of the building, but they know where I am.
“I feel very unsafe there and my mental health has been seriously affected by what is going on.
“I felt depressed, anxious, and scared.
“I feel mentally drained.”
The mother said she was now taking medication for her depression, adding that she stayed with friends as she no longer wanted to be in the Imperial Apartments.
Caridon has announced that it will contact the tenant immediately and offer every conceivable support in order to find a solution if possible.
She said that there are many young mothers living in the settlement and that when she was housed there, she was told that it was perfect for them and their child as there is, for example, a soft play area on the premises.
The mother, who had signed a one-year contract, claimed the whole building was in disgusting condition.
“I don’t think a family with children should be housed here,” she continued. “I think it’s very unsafe for kids to be in that kind of atmosphere.
“I thought I could go elsewhere, but I now have a monthly tenancy until I find a place to move.”
Caridon has stated that there are strict recommendation criteria for the building and that a risk assessment is carried out on all tenants to assess suitability.
The developer said he worked very closely with the council in building a safe and thriving community and invested heavily in breakout rooms and facilities.
Caridon said: “We pride ourselves on our customer service and the respectful way we treat all of our tenants.
“Since Imperial Apartments was launched, we’ve done our best to really listen to residents’ feedback and many of their recommendations have been implemented.
“They wanted more amenities on site, which we have equipped, for example, with our soft play area and the children’s playground. We have four common rooms that are equipped with flat screen TVs, yoga mats and fitness equipment and all areas are cleaned daily by our full-time cleaner. “