“Ruinous” repair bills of more than £100,000 could force families on a council estate to sell their homes, a leaseholder warned.

Sarah Klymkiw, who lives in the Noel Park estate in Wood Green, told a council meeting that leaseholders were facing “lifelong poverty” after being told to pay for maintenance work she claimed should have been carried out years ago.

In September, Homes for Haringey, the council’s housing arm, sent households on the estate ‘section 20 notices’ for major work to replace bathroom pods fitted as a “temporary fix” in the 1970s, she said.

But Ms Klymkiw told councillors that leaseholders had been left with no choice but to pay for replacements – some costing more than £100,000 – as other options had not been considered.

Speaking at the housing and regeneration scrutiny panel on Thursday, she claimed the planned work was “a quick-fix solution at the expense of sinking leaseholders into lifelong poverty or bankruptcy or forcing them to sell their homes”.

“The proposals also involve additional work to replace whole roofs, all the windows and external doors – no justification for the need of these works or the costs have been given,” she added.

Ms Klymkiw claimed a council contractor’s “extortionate estimates” for the work would bring it “vast profit” – “and it is residents, tenants, the housing revenue account and leaseholders who end up paying”.

“We accept our share of the responsibility to pay reasonable costs,” she said. “But Homes for Haringey led us to believe these pods were around £25,000. The costs we are facing now are not reasonable – they are ruinous. Leaseholders should not have to pay for the council’s failings.”

Ms Klymkiw welcomed an announcement by the council that a decision on the work that was due to be made in December had been postponed to the new year.

In response to a question from Cllr Bob Hare (Lib Dem, Highgate), she said when she bought the flat five years ago, she was told the pod would cost £12,500 to replace, which is how much she had borrowed on her mortgage. She said she was given no indication it would rise as high as £108,000.

“We are in the coronavirus crisis. I have lost a lot of work, my partner has been furloughed and we have a one-year-old baby – we are not in a position to pay for this.

“We have been assured there will be flexible payment plans – but essentially that is just elongating the time we have to pay back this debt. It’s a second mortgage, essentially, and we will be forced to sell our homes.

“The other option proposed by Homes for Haringey is to relinquish some ownership of our property, or when it comes to sell, we hand over the equity. This home is all we’ve got. It’s our future. There’s no planning here – we’ve just been ambushed.”

In response to a question from Cllr Zena Brabazon (Labour, Harringay) Ms Klymkiw said she had only received a partial breakdown of the works bill. She had requested a full breakdown but was still waiting to receive it.

Responding to a question by Cllr Isidoros Diakides (Labour, Tottenham Green), she said leaseholders had come up with several alternative options they wanted the council to consider, including replacing the pods with a permanent, brick-built structure.

At the end of the discussion, members agreed to arrange a meeting with council leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor to discuss the issues raised by Ms Klymkiw. This will take place at a future meeting of the housing and regeneration scrutiny panel.