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Relief as Bournemouth council cuts flats' maintenance bill by £700
RELIEVED flat owners are celebrating following a Bournemouth Council decision to reduce their £2,000 annual maintenance bill by £700 after the Daily Echo took up their case.
Gardener Danny Vinton, 55, who has owned a former local authority property in Verney Road, East Howe, for 17 years, got in touch after bills, which are normally between £200 and £250, arrived on doormats.
He said: “After the story appeared in the Echo and a leaseholders’ meeting we were sent new bills for £1,300.
“It shows how it’s worth making a fuss when you feel you are being badly treated – I’ve had people ringing up to say they are so pleased we have made a stand and are now planning to do the same.”
When the £2,000 bill arrived, the shocked father-of-two, who shares his two-bedroom flat with his 25-year-old daughter Victoria, rang the council to be told he could pay in £200 a month instalments.
He was informed that the bill would fund exterior painting and work to former coal sheds and told that if he didn’t pay up by April 20 next year he could face legal action.
His neighbour, charity worker Sarah Norris, who had already put her flat up for sale, was also horrified by the bill. She told the Echo: “I can pay £20 a month, not £200.
“If I get people coming to buy and they see the maintenance charge is £2,000 a year, they’re going to say ‘no’’ The borough’s housing customer services manager Paul Freeman said: “Since the original consultation notices to leaseholders, we have revised the detail of work and identified areas where we can reduce the costs.
“We have identified that the existing shed doors can be repaired and painted and the rainwater goods retained for the time being.”