Bexhill tenant’s anger over £20 a week rate rise

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A tenant has criticised a housing association for a ‘sharp’ rise to his service charge – leaving him an extra £20 a week out of pocket.

In 2015 Michael Mcsorley, of Helensburgh Court in Upper Sea Road, was paying a service charge of £3.08 per week.

But he was told in a letter this would rise to £23.09 per week starting from April 4 – a rise of £20.01 per week, taking Michael’s monthly bill from £12.32 to £92.36 .

Michael and his fellow tenants contacted AmicusHorizon as Michael says he feels the service charge is too high for the service residents receive.

He said: “We as a group think that this is a massive rise in service charges.

“We also think we do not get enough to justify the rise as we have broken windows and windows done up with gaffer tape.

“Also the car park is in a mess, along with the little bit of garden we have is badly maintained.

“We have to walk down a steep camber to get to the bins or to get to the grit bin if it is snowing or icy.

“We did ask for a grit bin to be put at the top of the car park but we never even got an answer back on that.”

An AmicusHorizon spokesman said: “In September 2015 we wrote to residents at Helensburgh Court to explain there would be an increase in their service charges from April 2016.

“The rise is due to the costs of the managing agent who look after the building.

“The service charge covers electricity supplies and fire alarm servicing as well as grounds maintenance, fortnightly cleaning and other maintenance costs.

“These costs were underestimated in previous years and so the charges have had to increase this year to cover the shortfalls and bring the charges in line with current costs.

“Our staff, met with the managing agent at Helensburgh Court on March 24 to address residents issues with repairs and maintenance at the property.

“We’ll review these in four weeks and ensure that any outstanding issues are dealt with promptly.

“Residents in Sussex have had an opportunity since 2013 to sign up to fixed rate services charges under our new tenancy agreement.

“This gives residents more protection from the fluctuation in service charge costs. Residents who wish to discuss this can contact us on 0800 121 60 60.”

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