‘We were promised a cinema and sky garden, instead we get leaks, broken lifts and dirty windows’: Life in the ‘luxury’ tower block with flats costing £ 4,000 a month

Residents at a “luxury” tower block in Canary Wharf have complained of leaks, power cuts, lift failures and mold among a raft of other problems. Some flats have rents of more than £ 4,000 a month in the UK’s tallest residential building, Landmark Pinnacle – a 233-meter high skyscraper in East London.

The Tower Hamlets tower block formally opened last June and its dedicated sales website boasts that “state of the art” amenities on offer include “a private cinema” a “magical children’s play area, together with a more formal garden lounge for adults, lounge and library ”. The promotional materials also boast the top floor (75) is “crowned by two roof terraces offering panoramic views across London”.

Jack Dowson, a resident since March 2021, told MyLondon: “The only currently open amenity [as of March 2022] is the gym. Nothing else is open. The indoor garden was meant to be open by now. And it’s been nine or 10 months since mine and other residents’ windows have been cleaned. ”

READ MORE: The families forced to live on bottled water as dangerous levels of lead found in estate



Landmark Pinnacle resident Jack Dowson has had enough

He added: “The issue I’ve struggled with the most is the cooling system failing. I have sensory impairments due to autism. At night-time, if the ambient temperature gets too high, it’s very stressful. Even with the window open the apartment has reached as high as 28 degrees. ” One thermostat reading (below) shows a temperature of 35 degrees, allegedly due to the cooling system being down.

“There have been constant, consistent issues. We’ve had major leaks leading to water pouring down people’s ceiling hatches and windows on the inside, ”Jack said. Videos shared on the residents’ WhatsApp group show water pouring through ceilings in March this year.



Some of the flats have faced unbearable temperatures when the cooling system has failed
Some of the flats have faced unbearable temperatures when the cooling system has failed

“When I first moved in, I had mold appearing in my wardrobe due to communal leaks around the showers. There were really awful damp smells. When it was windy outside it would disturb it and stink the apartment out. It took three or four months for them to figure it out, ”Jack claimed.

Jack also claims that most weeks the hot water gets turned off for fire tests. “I’d understand if the interruption were for a couple of minutes – but on occasion it has been as long as two hours [four or five weeks ago]; often from 45 minutes to an hour. The entire building has no hot water then, ”he claimed.



Residents say they have faced repeated problems with the cooling system at Landmark Pinnacle
Residents say they have faced repeated problems with the cooling system at Landmark Pinnacle

Another resident, Sarah, whose name we have changed, alleged: “We were promised multiple cinemas, private dining rooms, and a whole floor dedicated to a garden. We were promised a viewing terrace. We have none of that at all. The only thing they have open is a gym – just one of the facilities listed on the website. ”

Residents complained that there were no fixed dates for completion, though after Landmark Pinnacle management were contacted by MyLondon, residents received an email saying several more amenities including the garden would open on April 20.



Mold appeared in Jack’s flat last year

Andrew Wood, a councilor in the area and an independent mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets, confirmed to MyLondon that his constituents had faced these issues, and said they are “common” with many high rises. “In many of these new tower blocks there are lots of teething problems. One of the issues is who takes responsibility for it – the developer, the agent, the landlord? This is the tallest residential unit in Western Europe currently. It’s a bit of an experiment.

“The other main issue they’ve been facing, is they’ve had ‘urban explorers’ try to break into the building to try and get to the roof and hold parties.… They go to the roof and walk on the edge. If you step left, you go down 75 stories and hit the ground. They’ve been recording their antics for Instagram, ”he said.



Promotional material from Landmark Pinnacle boasts a dazzling array of amenities, most of which have not been open for at least a year as MyLondon went to press
Promotional material from Landmark Pinnacle boasts a dazzling array of amenities, most of which had not opened as MyLondon went to press

Cllr Wood added that many tenants faced massive hikes to their communal energy bills: “If you use electricity in your apartment, that’s regulated and there’s the price cap. But in a lot of these buildings there’ll be a gas boiler in the basement and the prices for that are not regulated. So prices for hot water or running the cooling system are not regulated. That’s a big issue. ”

The Canary Wharf councilor described the building as “still under construction”: “Over the weekend they removed some of the construction porter cabins. Parts of the building opened up while they were still working on other parts. People were moving in while construction was still under way, and access to facilities is limited. ”



An email to tenants last October noting that many facilities were still not open
An email to tenants last October noting that many facilities were still not open

Sarah added: “People who live here get shafted. We spend extortionate amounts on rent… You have to go between two sets of [managers]. The building owners want to protect their profits. ” MyLondon has seen emails from Landmark Pinnacle facilities management which acknowledge cooling system failures, windows not being cleaned, leaks and elevator failures over the past year alone.

Local Canary Wharf councilor Kyrsten Perry said the problems she’d heard from residents there are “endless”: “All these high rise buildings we’ve seen built over the last 15 years make many promises to residents … As a councilor, I see a recurring pattern of events. Where once you build above a certain height one starts to face real amenity issues, such as water pressure issues, water leaks leading to damp issues, lifts not working properly. Residents often complain of rising service charges.

“I spend a lot of my time working on these sorts of cases. In the long term we need to ensure the amenities and cladding are correct on these high rise buildings at the planning stage.” One resident there, Yasmin (her name has been changed) told Cllr Perry: “I’m fed up. There is constant construction noise, the lifts [go down], and I regularly have to carry my shopping and pram up the stairs. It is so difficult to try and bring up my young family in this context. “



A leak in the basement of the building this March
A leak in the basement of the building this March

Emails sent from management to tenants over the past year also include around a dozen cases of lifts not working, confirmation that there would continue to be no window cleaning until further notice, disruption to hot water supplies, reports of the cooling systems being out of operation , and at least three reports of residents throwing food out of windows.

WhatsApp messages seen by MyLondon reveal general despair from some of the tenants over the management of the building. A major leak in March this year led to water problems affecting many floors from 28 and below. One resident replied: “This building is doomed.” Another added: “I’m surprised management still did not notify affected residents, I contacted the flat above and under me and none of them knew they should expect water leaks. Some people could at least move their belongings. ”



An email from Landmark Pinnacle management acknowledging a leak on the 20th of March this year
An email from Landmark Pinnacle management acknowledging a leak on the 20th of March this year

Several residents accused management of being “more interested in promoting [the tower] than opening stuff, ”adding:“ Why not take pictures of the residents using it? No. It’s for glossy magazines and looks. It’s one thing after another. ” Some residents have recently seen major rent hikes from landlords in the building, with some reportedly rising by as much as £ 700 a month.

One landlord is Noble Brit One, which Companies House records lists Princess Fahda Bint Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Saudi Arabian royal family as a ‘person of significant control’.

Residents are understood to be concerned about changes to the mailroom, which previously operated 24/7 to receive and drop off parcels. The opening hours are now restricted to 8am to 8pm. Amazon delivers up to 10pm, and Jack Dowson said tenants are “furious” about this change.

Prior to publication MyLondon put these claims to Landmark Pinnacle. We have not received a response for publication. However, MyLondon understands they reject the claims from residents in this piece and attribute some of the delays to the pandemic.

Want more from MyLondon? Sign up to our daily newsletters for all the latest and greatest from across London here.

Josiah joined MyLondon as the outlet’s first City Hall Editor in October 2021, reporting on the Mayor, the London Assembly, the Met police, Transport for London, and wider London politics.

He moved to South London from Brussels in 2015, working in communications for the Electoral Reform Society, and covering Westminster politics as a freelance journalist. Originally from Cornwall, he is now also a proud Londoner. Josiah has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Times Radio, LBC and other outlets to discuss current affairs and general political chaos.

If you have an untold story – whether it’s a housing nightmare, an unfair decision or a local scandal, get in touch at josiah.mortimer@reachplc.com or contact Josiah on Twitter.

Leave a Comment

Advertise