‘We won’t pay extra charge’

NILABE120423e2, Cotmanhay residents angry at maintanance charge hike.
NILABE120423e2, Cotmanhay residents angry at maintanance charge hike.

HOMEOWNERS on a Cotmanhay estate are refusing to pay up after a £80 hike to a ‘maintenance charge’.

All residents in the Hopewell Farm estate were told by Three Valleys Housing last year that a £30-a-year charge for ‘estate management’ would rise to £110 this Spring.

But Sandra Stewart and Laura Archer who bought their homes outright from the housing firm are one of a number of residents who will not be coughing up in protest.

Laura has owned her house in Ryefield Avenue for six years.

She said the charge, meant to cover services such as grass cutting and general maintenance was ‘ridiculous’.

“They don’t even cut my grass,” she said.

“They won’t do anything to my house because I own it.

“What does it pay for?

“I work and it’s bad enough in the country having to pay to get through everyday life without ridiculous charges like this.”

Sandra, of Boythorpe Close, paid her £30 charge last year but has refused to pay the rise.

“I visited the offices in Long Eaton to be told they weren’t covering their costs, hence the rise,” she explained.

“The person I spoke to insisted that everyone has to pay this but I know of several houses that do not and have never paid this bill.”

She added: “I would like to know if the homeowners are subsidising the tenants.”

After the Advertiser published a story about residents’ concerns when the new charge was announced last year, Three Valleys reduced it from £135 to £110.

But a spokesman for not-for-profit Three Valleys said that while they realise it was a big rise, it had been fixed ‘unrealistically low’ at £30.

“The new charge reflects the actual cost of providing the service,” he said.

Managing director Sue Coulson said this week: “Obviously we are concerned about the impact this increase will have on residents, especially in the current economic climate.

“Nevertheless, if any resident feels they need to discuss their circumstances with us we will be happy to hear from them.”