A man and his daughter climb the stairs due to the lift failure at Saeed Al Manaa Al Ghadeer building in Al Qusais. Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: Tenants of a building in Al Qusais say they are fed up with the state of their building and despite numerous complaints have been battling problems since 2006.

The tenants live in Saeed Bin Manana Ghadeer building number one on Damascus Street. Their latest concern is the broken elevator.

George, who has been living in the building since 2001, said the lift has not been working for more than a month.

“We have made several complaints to the landlord and agents but they have done nothing.”

“The building consists of 20 flats with four floors and there are old people, children and there is a pregnant lady who lives on the third floor… it is hard for all of us to take the stairs every day.”

Yousuf Al Khattab, a tenant since 1999, said that his wife had given birth on May 5. “She had a Caesarean section and I had to take her up the stairs bit by bit, it took us hours, I made my son bring down a chair so she could rest.”

He added that the her doctor had told her not to use the stairs. “I did not have another option.” George said that since the present owner took over the building from the Dubai Development Board in 2006, “they have not done any repairs or maintenance in spite of all the tenants pleading with them about its condition”.

He added that he had tried calling the building manager numerous times, but to no avail.

Mohammad Othman, who has lived in the building since 2000, said: “There is no supervision of the water tanks, the fire extinguishers around the building are very old and have not been replaced, there is no pest control — basically it is not a hygienic or safe place.”

He also showed Gulf News a diesel tank, which belongs to a restaurant that is under the building, that is placed right next to one of the windows of a tenant’s kitchen.

“There is a sign that says no smoking, but the tank is right next to a kitchen!”

“We have contacted the municipality multiple times as well as the civil defence for all the various problems. They contact the owner, but nothing changes.”

He added that some time ago he had a leak in his bathroom. “They said that they fixed it temporarily but you can still hear the water leaking and they have not done anything about it again.”

Kamal Amar Al Deen, the building’s supervisor, said last Monday that they had started fixing the lift and it should be working in two or three days but it is yet to be fixed.

“We tried fixing it and then after an hour it broke again, so then we found out the problem was with the motherboard of the electronic system of the lift.”

He said that because the lift was old, the motherboard was not readily available in the UAE market and that they had ordered a new one.

Amar Al Deen said that the diesel tank was not their responsibility, but the restaurant’s and that they were responsible for all the fire safety measures. “There is no danger”, he added.

When confronted with the tenants’ claims and complaints regarding various issues, he said: “We do not have problems. Go ask the tenants how many years they have been staying in the building — over ten and 15 years — most of them have been living here for years, if they had problems why didn’t they leave?”

A tenant, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the lift had not been working for weeks.

The building manager was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.