FLATS in a historic building are not fit for purpose, according to tenants.

Residents claim their flats in Orwell Terrace, in Orwell Road, Dovercourt, have mould and leaks.

And they say their pleas to their landlords to fix the problems have fallen on deaf ears.

Morgan Cole, 23, who lives in Orwell Terrace, said he had had a water leak in his flat for more than six months which, he says, is right next to the fuse box.

The young father, who was homeless for six years before moving into the flat, also said about two months ago part of the ceiling measuring about six feet fell into the bedroom.

He said: “It could have severely hurt me and my partner and possibly killed my daughter.

“Luckily, we stayed at my mother-in-law’s that weekend due to the severe rain.

“The problem still hasn’t been fixed and addressed. The landlord didn’t get back to me, even if I phoned and left messages.

“I feel frustrated to put it in a nice way.

“We’ve moved in before my daughter was born, because we didn’t have anywhere else to go.

“There’s mould as well, which will affect my health, as well as my young daughter’s.”

Morgan moved into the flat in January with his 18-year-old partner and nine-month-old daughter.

He said: “We are a young couple and we don’t know how to address the problem.

“We can’t afford to move anywhere else.”

A disabled resident, who also lives in a flat in Orwell Terrace, said his home hs suffered from leaks.

The tenant, who does not want to be named, said the problem has been going on since he moved in about three years ago.

He said he has informed his landlord but the issue has not been solved.

The 45-year-old said: “I can’t shower, I’m washing from a bucket.

“Last week my friend had to call the police because I was going to commit suicide and I was put on anti-depressants.

“I feel I can’t escape and I’m trapped here. The landlord told me it’s my fault because I’m not tidying up.” The tenant said he has lost about a stone and a half in weight since he moved in.

He added his lack of hygiene is preventing him from finding a job.

John Hindes, 65, of Hadleigh Road, Frinton, a construction site manager by trade, has visited the property as part of Dovercourt’s Piecing Community Together group.

He said: “The rain water coming through the roof and getting into the electrical fuse box could electrocute, seriously injure or kill anybody taking a shower.

“If you got water leakage, you’ve compromised the structural integrity of the building

which will lead to structural collapse.

“There are lumps of masonry falling off the exterior of the building.

“Orwell Terrace is in absolute disrepair.

“The inside of the building is disgraceful.

“It is a precious, iconic, listed building being left to rot and the tenants to suffer.”

A Tendring Council spokesman said the authority is aware of issues raised at Orwell Terrace.

He said: “While we would not comment on the number of complaints received, we can confirm several residents have raised issues, which we are now investigating.

“This is a complex matter due to the number of potential

properties, tenants and landlords.”

Piecing Community Together is working to help the tenants of Orwell Terrace.

The group’s main priority is to combat homelessness and poverty.

A spokesman for the group said: “Our central objective is to bring community resources into relationships to resolve anti-social problems.

“We have a partnership with Tendring Council Housing and Essex University to ensure justice for all in each circumstance.

“Homelessness, poverty and marginalisation are a grave concern.

“The Orwell Terrace Regeneration Project will produce a transferable blueprint model of community allegiances to defeat poverty."

ONE of the landlords of flats in the Grade II listed Orwell

Terrace has denied the allegations and said he has taken action to repair the flats.

Harshad Ruparelia, 45, whois the anonymous tenant’s landlord, said: “I have been addressing the situation, I’ve

been sending the roofers to repair the damage.

“The roof was fixed a couple of months ago.

“People who came to me with their issues have all been helped.

“They are making allegations which are not true and they are not coming to me to tell me their problems. What they are saying is all a lie.”

Mr Rupareila said he is a responsible landlord and he said

he always deals with problems raised “with due immediacy”.

Mr Ruparelia said: “It is to my benefit to help them out because I want to have a good reputation overall.

“I am a very conscientious landlord and a lot of my customers are very happy, because if there’s any issue, I deal with it quickly.”

He claims he is one of the few landlords who helps vulnerable people and takes them in even without a deposit.

He said people were begging for his flats. He said: “Orwell

Terrace is a 160-year-old building and there has always been

a problem with the roof.

“We have a very changing weather here in the United Kingdom, having crazy rain all the time and this roof can’t keep up with it.”

Attempts to contact Morgan Cole’s landlord were unsuccessful.