Living Rent Castlemilk claim landlord ‘owes £21,000 handed over’

RESIDENTS claim their social landlord owes them £21,000 rebate after charging them for work during the lockdown which was not carried out.

Castlemilk tenants from the Home Group housing association will stage a protest in the hope that landlords will start a face-to-face negotiation.

They claim they were forced to pay for maintenance out of their own pocket in addition to paying a service fee.

And today they are saying “enough is enough” and demanding a response from Home Group.

The owner, however, said a tour of the estate had been conducted and a meeting to discuss the issues was to be held on May 5.

A Home Group spokesperson said grounds maintenance had been halted due to government guidelines during the lockdown.

The tenants, who all asked to be known by their first names, explained their frustrations with the service.

Joan said: “While we weren’t getting the services we were paying for, my daughter and her neighbor had to pay £850 to have the hedges removed outside the house.

“He had grown to the point where I couldn’t get out of the house in my wheelchair, and my daughter and my neighbor had trouble getting into the house.”

Neighbor Marie added: ‘The million pound landscaping work that went into building our development has just become an overgrown mess.

It is claimed that during the pandemic, Home Group took more than £21,000 from its Castlemilk tenants without performing contracted services.

Now they have joined Living Rent, the Scottish tenants’ union, to band together and demand a discount.

A number of tenants said they had to pay for maintenance out of pocket in addition to paying their fees.

Castlemilk Living Rent members who are Home Group tenants have been stepping out into their community, speaking with as many neighbors as possible to garner their support.

Today, they plan to demonstrate that the neighborhood is united in demanding a rebate, a negotiation on the level of charges, the replacement of wooden fences they say are rotting and the cleaning up of fly dump hot spots.

Resident Carole said: “We were Home Group’s flagship development in Scotland but now we just feel abandoned.

“Owners are more interested in new developments than the upkeep we pay for in our area.”

In January, the group held a neighborhood meeting at the local community center The Birgidale Complex, where union members and neighbors voted unanimously on the demands that are being sent to Home Group.

Castlemilk tenant Lyndsay said: “I’ve spent £200 to make my garden lovely.

“I had planned to put up fence panels, but the ranch fence is so rotten I couldn’t attach the fence panels to it.”

And Philip adds: “The lack of maintenance left the undergrowth outside my house to become so dense that it was starting to penetrate my walls.

“I ended up having to buy an expensive hedge trimmer to take care of it myself.

“My neighbors commented that this is what we pay the resort fee for, but it had been overlooked for so long that I just had to sort it out.”

Karen Wolstencroft, Scotland Service Delivery Manager for Home Group, said: “We held a walk around the estate with clients at the end of March to discuss issues such as fencing and fly tipping. We also talked about service charges.

“We left and promised to come up with an action plan to resolve the issues raised and to go over that plan with the customers at a community meeting, which the customers seemed happy with.

“This meeting is to take place next Thursday.

“Immediately after our visit, we carried out repairs and issues such as fly dumps, to ensure they are done as quickly as possible.

“Wild tipping has been removed and options for fencing will be discussed on Thursday.

“In terms of grounds maintenance, work was carried out as usual throughout the pandemic, except during the period when government guidelines did not allow us to do so.”

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