A Dundee wheelchair user has been trapped in her flat for four months after her factor and landlord failed to organise repairs to a broken lift.
High Mill Court resident Kelly Raleigh-Dynes, 30, has been stuck in her rented flat since September as wrangling over the out-of-service lift rumbles on.
She said: “I am trapped in my own home. I am a wheelchair user and I rented a flat in High Mill Court because there was, at the time, a lift.
“However, for the past four months, the lift has been out of service. I live on the third floor, so this is a massive hazard and has completely changed my way of life.”
‘I can’t go out for a breath of fresh air’
High Mill Court is a Category A-listed building. Mrs Raleigh-Dynes has been told £84,000 is needed to fix the lift as it requires “rare and specific parts.”
Mrs Raleigh-Dynes said the suggestion has been to split the cost between all the homeowners in the building.
“Fortunately for me, I work from home, in part due to the pandemic. However, I can’t go out for a simple walk, or even a breath of fresh air.”
“I can’t go out to get necessities such as food and shopping either.
“Worst of all is the fact that if there was to be a fire in my building and my husband was out at work, I would be trapped, as I am unable to get down the stairs myself.”
Building ‘more important’ than people living in it
Mrs Raleigh-Dynes said her landlord, the Dundee branch of Northwood, has “done nothing” about the problem.
She said the factor, the firm Ross and Liddell, has been unable to organise the repair due to the “legal red tape” caused by the building’s listed status.
She added: “I am very angry about this situation. Because this is a listed building, it is technically not legal to change the structure of the building by using more modern parts.
“The structure of a building should never be more important than the quality of life for the people living in it.
“I hope a closer look can be taken into the status of the listed buildings in order to make sure that history preservation can be balanced with practical use of the building and accessibility for all.”
No quick fix on the horizon
Gavin Baird, senior associate Ross and Liddell, said: “We can confirm that the passenger lift is currently switched off at the building.
“This is due to an unforeseen failure of major component parts. These can no longer be readily sourced due to the age of the passenger lifting equipment.”
He said his company had sent regular communications to the owners at High Mill Court since learning of the breakdown.
“We understand the difficulty this issue is causing residents.
“However, we are advised there is regrettably no short term solution to make the passenger lifting equipment safe to operate.
“So it will require to remain switched off until such time as the owners provide their agreement and funding to manage the required lift works.”
A Northwood spokesman said: “We are fully aware of the frustrations being expressed by our client and other tenants in the building.
“We hope this matter can be resolved very quickly by the building’s owners/factors and other interest parties working to remedy the problem.”
Thomson Shepherd and Co used Seafield Works until 1986, specialising in the manufacture of jute carpets and coconut matting.