To complain to the Housing Association about this?

(17 Posts)
AwfulMaureen Thu 24-Apr-14 14:01:28

We moved into a HA property 2 weeks ago and there's a little garden. My neighbour told me she'd asked for her fence to be replaced...and advised me to do the same as mine is one of those wire affairs and it's half down, rusty and sharp....she'd asked about it when she called about hers and was advised to tell me as it's in my garden.

I phoned up and the operator told me that I was responsible for my own boundary and they didn't "do fences". hmm My neighbour told me this was wrong and today, three men arrived at 9.30 to replace her fence...it's the one on the right of her garden...the one on her left is the dividing fence and is "mine". So apparently they DO "do fences"

My neighbour has waited 7 weeks to get this fence done...

Anyway...these three men have been there since 9.30 and the 7 metre small picket fence is only half up. One man could do the job in a few hours....no wonder the waiting list is 7 weeks! They're sitting and chatting...not having lunch but talking. Then they all stood up and looked around for a while..no work being done at all.

I know I sound moany and like I'm a busybody but the thing is that my elderly neighbour on the other side has been asking them to repair the communal entrance as it's dank and the light won't go on all the time when she comes in...and they keep fobbing her off.

I wouldn't mind doing my own fence...not at all! But if they replaced my neighbours, shouldn't they do mine? Hers was not in as bad condition as mine is...and shouldn't they send one or two men for such a small job? Not three!

JakeBullet Thu 24-Apr-14 14:08:45

I think they do fences if there are safety issues with the fence itself but not otherwise. I know ours don't sort fences out either.

Sounds like the elderly neighbour needs some support with the request if it is still not done.

As for the three men.....is there a reason they were chatting etc? waiting for advice or equipment for example.

Our HA generally send 1-2 people depending upon the task.

AmberLeaf Thu 24-Apr-14 14:11:18

In your position, I would delve into the tenancy agreement and conditions of tenancy etc, either your paper copy, or look on their website. Then compose a request in writing for the work to be done [if you do find that it is on them to do so]

There should be some sort of standards/guidelines for reponding to letters and concerning repair priorities, so have a read of that too, that should give you some idea of timescales.

Good luck.

I expect this thread will attract lots of comments saying you are ungrateful, entitled etc, threads concerning social housing tend to go that way on MN.

AwfulMaureen Thu 24-Apr-14 14:12:05

Jake well my fence is jagged and sharp...my neighbour's was a little too but not as bad as mine.

The men, they weren't waiting for equipment or support! They only need the wood they have and some power tools...they're intermittently adding a plank and then sitting down again! They're men aged between about 60 and 25 so I think they're more than capable!

They bang a nail in and then sit down or stand about and chat.

My elderly neighbour is fully able in terms of mental capacity...she's extremely articulate and intelligent and I think she'd be annoyed if I offered to call for her to be honest. She's 80 and "all there". She's explained on a daily basis that she's sometimes having to come into a dark hallway with stairs and they still don't priorotise her.

crazykat Thu 24-Apr-14 14:12:18

We got told the same when we moved in five years ago. There was only half a fence separating our back garden and next door with a huge gap. We couldn't afford to fix it and our HA said it was up to is as whoever lived here last hadn't maintained it. We live on a bus route an had a toddler and baby so this wasn't safe, there were no gates at the front which the HA said they'd put up as we live on a bus route but it would be at least 6 weeks.

I went to my local sure start centre and asked them. Within a week someone had been out and assessed the garden and said as we are on the main road and we needed a fence as the DCs were under 5 and it was dangerous and they would sort it. Less than a week later some men from the HA turned up and put a new fence round the back garden and measured up the gates and came back a week later and put them up.

Do you have a sure start centre? I found them much easier to deal with as they seemed to want to help rather than just saying 'no'.

coppertop Thu 24-Apr-14 14:12:22

Are you both with the same HA? Some will deal with fences but others won't.

AwfulMaureen Thu 24-Apr-14 14:14:14

Amber I know...I did have that fear when I started the thread! grin I'm actually extraordinarly happy to have the property but I take exception to three men taking the piss like this when there's a big list of people who need help with their properties.

I don't actually give a shit if they DO do my fence..I'll ask again...and if they bugger about I will do it...I'd be happy to manage it but I suspect they'll complain that it's the "wrong" fence or something if I do it.

AwfulMaureen Thu 24-Apr-14 14:15:36

Copper same HA yes. Kat My children are of school age though...isn't Sure Start for babies and toddlers?

Our ha say they don't do fences too. We didn't even have one around the front garden when we moved in and it cost us £400 to put one up (apparently the only do boundary fences? But they didn't do that and won't do our dividing garden one even though next door is privately owned so is surely a boundary fence?!). I don't understand it. I think they probably do as little as possible.

Could you try speaking to your housing officer? They're often far more helpful than the call centre staff as they have some authority.

AwfulMaureen Thu 24-Apr-14 14:43:02

I could Spotty but to be frank, she's about 12 and about as interested as...well as someone who doesn't give a shit!

She's all teenage attitude and I can't work out why she's a housing officer really. She must actually be in her early 20s but seems immature with bad communication skills.

pinkie1982 Thu 24-Apr-14 14:47:01

Re the communal area/lighting. Ring them and tell them it is too dark and you tripped. Tell them you want your call noted on your housing records. They will come out asap to fix it.

My HA don't do fences either but a different HA in the next street do. In my last property the neighbour had a big dog that kept getting into my garden through one of the wire fences (wire going through the concrete post ones) and they told me I had to put a new one in myself. But my sister got a new back fence & side gate with her HA.

It may be because she is elderly? If she is?
When we moved to the first property the grass was taller than me and full on brambles, they wouldn't cut it down for us but they did have the front garden (downstairs neighbour) tended to as he was disabled.

Oh no! No helpful then..

When we moved into ours we found false teeth in the cupboard and the kitchen was covered in grime and rust on the floor (which is still there). I'm so grateful to have this house but I hate it and would give almost anything to have a nice one.

AwfulMaureen Thu 24-Apr-14 15:01:01

Pinkie no my neighbour is in her twenties with a baby. She can't do her own fence and it was sharp....but mine is worse. I have just emailed another woman who we met when getting the tenancy and who was helpful....she may be of more use hopefully.

Spotty yes...there was blood on the wall here... sad It had been a house of horror apparently....they did clean it off and rip out the kitchen and bathroom as it was dreadful.

I felt for the neighbours who are all lovely and had lived with these terrible people here who had all night parties and eventually got evicted after a stabbing. shock It's all been decorated by us now and has a nice feeling but the first sight was awful.

Oh goodness! I bet they're really grateful to have a nice neighbour now smile

Fences are so expensive though, even though we have access to trade accounts etc so get them a little cheaper.

MaxPepsi Thu 24-Apr-14 15:26:05

I'd complain.

One - about your own shoddy fencing.

Not the same but similar - we needed new fence panels on our neighbours boundary. She's on a limited income and her home is council. We live in privately rented. The council refused to do anything about it (I only wanted them to pay for half of it) I refused to take no as their final answer. I took it further, they replaced it and it cost us nothing.

Two - the length of time they are taking to replace it. My DH can and does replace fences on his own in half a day - and that includes putting in new uprights, not just fence panels. 3 of them should have been done by lunch time.

They are taking the piss!

AwfulMaureen Thu 24-Apr-14 15:32:16

Max thanks. It really DID seem that they were taking the piss! I will be writing to the HA about this. They literally stood about for all the day apart from short bursts of work....they are just now getting in their van. So that's from 9.30 AM to 3.30PM for THREE men to replace 7 metres of fence. I know it's 7 metres because my neighbour told me....they didn't even put new posts in! It was just timber...ready cut...that needed to be nailed on.! angry

allmycats Thu 24-Apr-14 16:09:04

Where my Father lives the local housing authority have just taken 6 weeks to replace a stretch of brick wall circa 6 feet high by 20 feet long, it has had a minimum of 3 guys and 1 or 2 vans there all the time - Father has nothing else to do so has been watching them.

In the next street a whole small house has been built by 3 builders in 5 weeks (not local authority) !!!!

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