Redbridge Council has received an official warning after failing to ensure thousands of council tenants have safe homes.

This week, the Regulator of Social Housing issued a warning to the council stating it “did not have an effective system in place” to check its 4,400 council properties meet safety standards.

An investigation by the regulator that started in June this year found there was “potential for serious detriment” to council tenants as it had failed to ensure safety checks had been carried out.

The failures included not keeping track of “more than 3,000” overdue fire door replacements and being “unable to report” how unsafe the doors were or provide a timeline for their repair.

No electrical condition reports could be found for 2,000 homes or 200 communal areas and water safety risk assessments were absent for “more than 160” residential blocks.

Furthermore, the council had not checked whether more than 450 communal areas were in need of full asbestos surveys.

Redbridge Council’s leader Cllr Jas Athwal declined to comment on the regulator’s notice yesterday, saying he first needed to speak with a council officer who is on sick leave.

However, the council’s chief executive Claire Symonds issued a statement claiming the council carries out “frequent health and safety checks” on its properties.

Symonds, who joined the council earlier this year, said that during an “internal auditing process” in June, officers realised they “could not verify some of those checks” and referred the council to the Regulator of Social Housing.

She added: “Redbridge Council has designed and implemented a programme of works to rectify those issues identified, and has rapidly made progress since June.

“We apologise for any concern this situation might cause to our residents and want to provide reassurance that we have acted swiftly to put things right.”

According to the Regulator of Social Housing’s notice, the investigation began after the council made a “self-referral” to the regulator when it “identified a potential failure” in electrical safety checks.

Following the investigation, the regulator found that the “seriousness”, “duration” and the number of people affected were enough for it to issue a public regulatory notice to meet its “obligation to be transparent”.

However, the regulator has decided against taking enforcement action “at this stage” as the council has “started to put in place a programme to rectify these failures”.

The notice added: “The regulator will work with LB Redbridge as it continues to address the issues which have led to this situation, including ongoing monitoring of how it delivers its programme.”

The regulator has been asked to confirm what the duration of the safety failures was but has not responded at the time of publication.

Conservative leader Paul Canal called for Cllr Athwal to step down, saying he is more focused on becoming a member of parliament than “doing the job residents pay him for”.

He added: “I am genuinely shocked and quite frankly appalled at this damning indictment of a clearly incompetent Labour council.

“3,000 fire door remediation failures, half a thousand asbestos surveys missing, exposing residents to the risk of legionnaires disease – it is a horrifying litany of failures by a council driven by PR priorities, not the safety of residents.”

“The administration is obsessed with high profile vanity projects such as the unaffordable Ilford Lido, and has no interest in getting the basics right.”