CARETAKERS on public housing estates are unfriendly and do not respond to complaints, according to a survey. The biggest grouse was a lack of water to flush toilets, particularly in older estates where tenants have reported no supply for more than four months. The poll, conducted by the Federation of Public Housing Estates' Resident and Shopowner Organisations, covered 6,850 households in seven urban public estates between five and 20 years old. The pressure group's vice-chairman, Wong Siu-yee, said the crux of the problem was that the department had many unhelpful caretakers. ''Nearly half of the tenants rank as unsatisfactory or very unsatisfactory the working attitude of the caretakers,'' he said. ''They [the caretakers] just do not care about the complaints. ''Fifty per cent of the tenants' complaints are not dealt with within 24 hours while 28.3 per cent are not dealt with at all.'' Mr Wong said the department should decentralise the present system of responding to complaints. Under the existing procedure, repair works costing over $5,000 had to be contracted by tender. He said: ''We can have some smaller groups of repair teams to fix, say, minor electricity faults or toilet-flushing problems instead of asking contractors to tender.'' The federation is making an appointment with Housing Authority chairman Rosanna Wong Yick-ming to discuss the findings. Ms Wong last week admitted the present estate maintenance was not satisfactory and said the department was reviewing the system.