Sunday, 19 May 2013

Twenty per cent rent hike not justified say angry tenants

The twenty per cent more in rent charged to Riverside housing association tenants over those in equivalent council houses has been a big talking point since the Federation highlighted it in this blog last week.

The twenty per cent-  an increase built up in the last few years-was discussed in Carlisle by  both the city `s Carlisle South Community Association and the Federation at their monthly meetings.

And outside Cumbria, it was discussed by the North West Tenants` and Residents` Assembly  committee  at Birkenhead.

At all these meetings,  angry tenants wished to know how Riverside justified this  twenty per cent difference.

One clue emerged at the Federation  meeting where a member reported apparently excessive charges for painting a shared landing in a block of flats.

The member said he was already paying Riverside  more than £60  a year into a sinking fund  for the painting. Now an extra charge of £100 had been imposed.

The Federation will investigate this and other Riverside  charges in the face of blocking efforts by Riverside. Riverside, in the experience of the Federation, blocks any purposeful enquiry.

Federation member Malcolm Craik, who discovered the twenty per cent difference,was congratulated by the Federation on a great deal of hard work that went into what became an excellent piece of investigation. Malcolm compared the rents of several organisations over several years.

Malcolm is a former director of a Riverside organisation, its Carlisle Housing Association.

Information about the Federation and about Carlisle South Community Association is contained in the first entry of this blog, dated March 25.

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