Unfortunately, upon close inspection, many things in Aviator Place are just not quite right. Whether it’s opening the fridge/freezer to see the rubber gasket come falling off, to getting 8 phone calls from an irate deliveryman outside because your intercom does not work, or walking past the jammed gates to the car park every single day, there are many things about the development that are theoretically nice but which are just not up to standard.
Even worse, it is a battle to communicate any of these issues to NHG. Making an online report as you are told you must results in no response, and emailing the property manager assigned to the development is even worse. She has a permanent Out of Office reply on, and you can never be certain whether she will actually read your message. Rarely does she reply at all, but when she does, it’s combative – ‘Are you sure it’s broken? Well, we already sent someone and they said it was fine.’ Yes, I’m sure it’s broken, and no, you didn’t send anybody, because I was working at home all day and I think I would have noticed. (By the way, today is 6 July 2021 and my intercom does not work today and has not reliably worked since I moved in, that would be in September 2020.)
Phones are not answered frequently and if they are, you are speaking to different random people who clearly take no follow-up action, regardless of the seriousness of the issue. I have reported emergencies like a large leak in the ceiling of the communal entry. No response, and no action, until about a day later when we received an emergency alert telling us not to use our plumbing as there was a major sewer leak and there was a lorry emptying the drains in the road out front. I had just returned from a cold winter run and was not able to shower in my home. Had anyone paid attention it may not have escalated into such a major emergency, which destroyed a downstairs flat.
It’s really an exhausting, demoralising, and nerve-wracking experience every single time there is any kind of issue with the development, because we all know that it will be a huge fight just to get anyone to acknowledge the issue, let alone agree to rectify it, never mind actually sort it. Those are the three stages – first, an argument about objective reality, whether there is or is not an issue in the flat where you live and where the representative from NHG has never set foot. Then, an argument about whether anything can or should be done by NHG. Then the final hurdle, getting the issue resolved, which often involves you setting aside multiple full days waiting for tradesmen who never arrive, agreeing to several appointments you can’t really attend because NHG says you must and they no-show, until you eventually give up and wonder if that wasn’t the ultimate goal all along.
Parking management is catastrophic. Maintenance of the communal areas is very poor, including failure to find a gardener such that the garden has overgrown resulting in mice in the ground floor flats. The shoddy build of the hall/entryways means the stairwell door is frequently broken and often repaired by residents as it’s easier than arguing with NHG. The paint quality is rubbish throughout, but most evident in high traffic areas, so the communal hallways are in a poor state. The intercom system is not fit for purpose. Internally, inside the flats, paint on walls in the kitchens that you should be able wipe clean comes right off if you so much as touch it. No transition trim in the main bathroom, appalling finish just about everywhere. A refusal to do any ‘snagging’ should have tipped me off as to the extent of this. Genuinely, I just try not to look too closely at my flat.
This is the universal experience of residents of this development – we are in contact with each other and of course we do share our experiences.
Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:
Aviator Place is very well connected to transport links, with East Acton station just over the road and Acton Central a short walk away.
Acton Park is very nearby, as is Wormwood Scrubs, so there is some green space.
The development is situated along the A40, so there is significant dirt, grime, litter, and noise at all times. It is worse by comparison to my previous home which was on the North Circular, but set back a little bit, with a better barrier of trees and foliage.
Parking is a massive issue. Most of the shared ownership residents have not been given an allocated space, and illegal parking is rampant. Cars (the same cars, daily) are parked on the pavement, obstructing pedestrians and making it generally difficult and unpleasant for other road users to get past. The ‘enforcers’ from Park Direct do absolutely nothing about this, but they do randomly come ticket residents – they have even given tickets to legally parked resident’s permit holders in their allocated spaces, without explanation. Park Direct is not reachable in any way to remove cars that are illegally parked and blocking other spaces, certainly not in a timely manner, so if someone is in your space for a month they will not remove it and nor will the council or the police intervene. But you may get a random, undeserved ticket. NHG property managers won’t care and will resist helping, too.
People who live elsewhere in Acton will use this private road as a shortcut to take their kids to schools nearby, etc and they litter and are otherwise antisocial.
Thefts of parcels from the buildings are rampant and NHG has installed a ‘security’ system in the buildings which ensures it continues, making it impossible to let in visitors or delivery people all the way to the door of your flat. They cannot get up the stairs, so they will leave things downstairs and thieves will follow delivery vehicles and steal things straightaway. NHG has been made aware of this on multiple occasions and know the ‘meet and greet’ system forcing residents to go downstairs (there is no lift) to meet visitors is not fit for purpose, but they don’t care and refuse to make alterations.
Cleaning of the buildings and bin collections is haphazard and irregular. The street and neighbouring ones are often filthy and broken glass and other rubbish is never picked up, so if you have children or dogs beware where they are walking.
There is a severe lack of restaurants and shops on the A40 side of the development, where there are about a hundred chicken shops and nothing else, but there are some shops and restaurants about a kilometre away on Churchfield Road.
Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:
I wish I’d known it was common for there to be numerous and serious problems with new builds and that it was so hard to get the property management/developers to sort them.
If there is one thing you would change about your flat or property what would it be:
Barring a high spec build in the first place, I would hire competent and caring property management.