With the Council’s £65 million Better Homes improvement programme now past the half way stage with around 1,600 homes finally modernised, we’d expected to hear lots of positive comments being expressed by happy tenants.

Instead, it’s regrettable that most of the comments that have made about Better Homes are negative, with many complaints about bad workmanship, poor communications and unsatisfactory outcomes being reported by residents on several estates where properties have already received their upgrades.

At Alpha Road Estate in Surbiton, nearly 30 leaseholders petitioned the Council about the unsightly condition in which their balconies had been left by the Better Homes team, while on this and several other estates, residents have produced extensive ‘snagging’ lists and photo galleries highlighting a wide range of property defects left unattended by contractors.

One family living on the top floor of a flats’ block at Kingsnympton – Park Estate on Kingston Hill, whose home was due to receive a new bathroom and kitchen, were left without an adequate water supply and no shower, after workmen suddenly pulled off the job without notice.

The tenant, who wants to remain anonymous, told Insider:  “When they’d installed the kitchen, we found numerous faults, with cupboard doors misaligned, doors and handles put in the wrong place, and even the floor left with a built-in slope, which has resulted in our washing machine moving around the kitchen when in operation.

“Before the workmen moved in, our old bathroom was fully functioning in that we had decent water pressure, a bath, shower and toilet that all worked. By the time they’d finished, disappearing very quickly, we had no shower and the water pressure was so low that it now takes ages to fill a bath or refill the toilet cistern. We’re glad to see the back of these improvement works,” he added.

Still waiting for your better home? You can find out where you are in the remaining two and a half year programme by going online to the Council’s website: