Colwyn Bay....Woman, 69, facing eviction from flats after speaking out over repairs!

This story has been going on for some time, but at last, the media has started to pick up on it.

And so I am led to believe the National Newspaper The Metro! And about time too!

To treat older people like this or anyone is shocking.

Well, the good news it that the lady is going to stand her ground and will be fighting the eviction in court, and she already has representation! Well done to her.

A WOMAN with numerous health issues has told of the struggles she has faced since moving into a block of flats in Colwyn Bay - and she is now facing eviction.

Last November, Bernadette Grabowska-Kirk, known as “Grace”, became a tenant at Princess Court, advertised as retirement housing in Colwyn Bay for those aged older than 53.

Grace, 69, has repeatedly contacted landlords Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Ltd, and maintenance company Hurst Management, regarding such issues as out-of-order lifts and washing machines, but, she says, to no avail.

She has since been served with a Section 21 notice, which she said requires her to leave the property by October 11.

Grace said: “On moving in, I found the lifts, washing machines, and dryers out of order for long periods, with ‘due to COVID, waiting for parts' being their go-to excuse, and then hearing nothing else from them, and a shoulder shrug and a wry grin from the so-called caretaker.

North Wales Pioneer: Out-of-order lifts at Princess Court. Photo: Grace KirkOut-of-order lifts at Princess Court. Photo: Grace Kirk

“The lift problems affect me on the fourth floor, I was fully mobile and healthy when I moved in here, but am not now due to a fall and breaking my arm, worsening insulin-dependent diabetes due to stress, and asthma/bronchiectasis, which is the reason I opted for a building with lifts in the first place.

“Had I known there was an ongoing problem with the lifts, I would not have opted to live here.

“We have to take our rubbish down to the ground floor bin area, and the laundry room is on the ground floor.

“Those of us with mobility or breathing conditions cannot do or have great difficulty doing this without the lifts.”

North Wales Pioneer: A broken washing machine at Princess Court. Photo: Grace KirkA broken washing machine at Princess Court. Photo: Grace Kirk

Grace said the fear of not knowing if the lifts will be working “spoils the enjoyment of going out at all”, and said it appears these are long-standing issues at the property which predate her arrival.

Correspondence she has had with Hurst Management has, she said, resulted in her being told she is “abusive”.

She has also been in contact with Darren Millar, MS for Clwyd West, the region in which the property she is situated, in search of help.

Grace added: “To my knowledge, from what other residents have told me, these problems have gone on for five years or so and have worsened since Hurst Management took over.

“Previous direct email communication with (estate agents) Dafydd Hardy regarding communal areas results in them telling me they are not responsible for communal areas and referring me to Hurst Management.

“Hurst Management either ignore my emails or, when speaking on the phone, results in them telling me I am abusive, as they did recently.

“On the fourth floor today, there was a handwritten ‘out of order notice on both lifts which I took photos of... I went out 10 minutes later, and there were two handwritten notices on one lift and none on one lift.

“So, it's very much guesswork and taking a chance on getting in as to whether a lift is working or not.

“The notices are not formal notices; I assume they're put there by residents who've had trouble with the lift and then perhaps another resident decides to take the notice off, but there's never anyone's name on the notice.

“These lifts have been on the blink for years, and no one has done very much about them, except keep patching them up until they break down again.

“I’m worrying the whole time I'm out whether the lift will be working when I get back because I have great difficulty because of breathing and other problems, climbing stairs.

“So, it rather spoils the enjoyment of going out at all.

"Shall I just sleep in my car or the communal room? Because that's what I'm feeling I'm being forced to do at the moment.

"I do appreciate that Hurst Management is not a social landlord as such, but nevertheless, we are still human beings, and not just 'renters' providing a stream of income.

"If for some reason, I happen to drop dead while residing at Princess Court, it certainly won't be due to my lack of reaching out to the community for help.

"Not in a spirit of rudeness or aggression, but in a spirit of: 'Let's get these issues resolved - I have certainly done plenty of that over the past few months, so it's not for the want of trying."

Sinclair Gardens Investments (Kensington) Ltd and Hurst Management were contacted by the Pioneer but declined to comment.

Darren Millar MS told the Pioneer: “I have been contacted by a number of constituents regarding maintenance issues at Princess Court and my office has been liaising with the scheme manager to have these addressed.”