‘Puddles of excrement’ plague owners of new flats as sewage is seen coming out of shower drain

‘Puddles of excrement’ plague owners of new flats as brown ‘slurry’ is filmed flowing down the streets and sewage is seen coming out of shower drain

  • Flat tenants in Totnes, Devon blame builders for ‘horrendous living conditions’
  • Nikki Clargo, 37, said the 20 flats have had ‘dozens’ of issues since moving in
  • Totnes Property 1 blamed blockages on flushing unsuitable material in the toilets

Disgusted residents say they have been faced with ‘poo coming out’ of showers and ‘puddles of excrement’ inside their homes after moving into new flats. 

Tenants of a former council building in Totnes, Devon have accused builders of incomplete construction work amid ‘horrendous’ living conditions.

Videos of the Rainbow View building have also shown brown ‘slurry’ and water flowing out near the building and onto a road that children walk down to a local play park.

Resident Nikki Clargo moved in just 18 months ago and claims the 20 flats have had ‘dozens’ of issues – including toilet sewage flowing out of her shower drain.

The 37-year-old only realised that the issue was hitting everyone in the building after she got fed up with the slow response of building management and complained about it to her neighbours.

Nikki, an oceanographer, said: ‘It’s been horrendous to be honest, it’s been in the garden a few times as well – this is not the first time it has happened.

‘At first I didn’t realise what it was, it’s like a slurry, but I can even see toilet paper on my patio now – so it’s obvious what it is.’  

After alleging that complaints to building managers Apex Property Management fell on deaf ears, she even temporarily moved out of the first home she has bought to live with a partner.

Nikki also claimed that it was said she would have to pay for the sewage to be cleaned up herself, before the company finally relented yesterday and paid to clean her shower.

Videos of the Rainbow View building in Totnes, Devon have shown brown 'slurry' and water flowing out near the building and onto a road that children walk down to a local play park

Videos of the Rainbow View building in Totnes, Devon have shown brown ‘slurry’ and water flowing out near the building and onto a road that children walk down to a local play park

Tenants of a former council building in Totnes, Devon have accused builders of incomplete construction work amid 'horrendous' living conditions

Tenants of a former council building in Totnes, Devon have accused builders of incomplete construction work amid ‘horrendous’ living conditions

Resident Nikki Clargo, 37, moved in just 18 months ago and claims the 20 flats have had 'dozens' of issues - including toilet sewage flowing out of her shower drain

Resident Nikki Clargo, 37, moved in just 18 months ago and claims the 20 flats have had ‘dozens’ of issues – including toilet sewage flowing out of her shower drain

She continued: ‘Pools of sewage even flow out of manhole covers outside the building and fill our driveway.

‘I think the management relied on the fact that the residents were not talking to one another, there’s no real communal area so we were all complaining individually.’ 

The residents are said to pay £660 each year which is soon to increase to manage the upkeep, but Nikki said the ‘building is falling apart’. 

She added: ‘It was only when the poo started coming out of my shower that I decided to talk to the others to warn them – only then did I realise that everyone had problems being ignored.

‘It’s now been running into a storm drain and into the River Dart, but I’m just staggered by the lack of response to literal s**t running in the streets though.’ 

Nikki Clargo said: 'It was only when the poo started coming out of my shower that I decided to talk to the others to warn them'

Nikki Clargo said: ‘It was only when the poo started coming out of my shower that I decided to talk to the others to warn them’

 Nikki says that after days of issues she even contacted the head of the construction company that converted the property – only to be told he was on holiday.

She added: ‘They’ve got other developments in the south west under construction – but this one isn’t finished.

‘They claim to respond to problems as soon as they arise – but we have email chains going back over a year showing they have ignored us. They haven’t got a leg to stand on.’

However, real estate company Totnes Property 1, which is handling the residents complaints and behalf of the original constructors, blamed the issues on residents flushing inappropriate material down the toilets. 

A spokesperson for Totnes Property 1 said that they were taking ‘immediate steps’ to ensure the situation was resolved as quickly as possible.

It said that it had also requested for the original construction/contractor company to return to the site and ‘resolve any issues with the drainage system’. 

If that were not possible, it said another groundwork company would be instructed to ‘sort it out’. 

The residents are said to pay £660 each year which is soon to increase to manage the upkeep, but Nikki said the 'building is falling apart'

The residents are said to pay £660 each year which is soon to increase to manage the upkeep, but Nikki said the ‘building is falling apart’

A spokesman for Totnes Property 1 said: ‘We have always acted promptly when informed about issues. This is no exception.

‘The original company attended on the previous occasion and dug up one of the drains to resolve the issue.

‘Clearly, this didn’t solve it once and for all. Rest assured that we will do everything possible to ensure that it does not happen again. We are working with Apex Management in relation to this issue.

‘We have been on site all day sorting out the situation. An email is going out tonight to all residents informing them that the drains are now free-flowing and operating normally.

‘It was observed that some of the blockages were caused by inappropriate items which have been flushed down the toilet or disposed of in sinks.’

A spokesman for Totnes Property 1 claimed that some blockages were caused by 'inappropriate items which have been flushed down the toilet or disposed of in sinks'

A spokesman for Totnes Property 1 claimed that some blockages were caused by ‘inappropriate items which have been flushed down the toilet or disposed of in sinks’

A spokesman for Apex Property Management said: ‘The management are aware of the situation at this property and have been working with local contractors and the freeholder for the property to resolve the issues since being made aware on the issue on January 3. 

‘Apex staff are on site today, January 4, to liaise with concerned residents, and will be issuing communications to all residents once there is further certainty on when the issue will be rectified.’

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Health, said: ‘Our officer visited the site this afternoon following a call from a concerned resident about the sewage coming from a manhole.

‘At the time of the visit, the sewage that had leaked over the property was being cleaned up by a contractor. The council works with housing agents and landlords to secure improvements to properties where necessary.

‘We have spoken to the resident today to ask for some further information regarding their property.’

A spokesperson for South West Water said: ‘We attended the location yesterday and found our assets to be operating as expected.

‘Unfortunately, the issue is with the private asset which is blocked and causing flooding. We advised the customer to engage a contractor.’

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