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"Housing associations" Are you having problems?

(160 Posts)
HelenaDove Tue 11-Apr-17 23:19:53

Being covered in The Guardian,

HelenaDove Tue 11-Apr-17 23:21:41

HelenaDove Wed 12-Apr-17 17:27:29

MPs call for more regulation of housing associations.

AlwaysDancing1234 Wed 12-Apr-17 17:42:28

We lived in a shared ownership flat several years ago and the housing association were horrendous. They charged astronomical sums of money in our service charge for repairs but the lift was constantly broken, they never carried out promised repairs and decoration of communal areas and were just crap all round!

HelenaDove Wed 12-Apr-17 17:49:03

Dancing what a pain. Broken lifts just make life harder for those with mobility issues and those with young children.

What i cant understand though is that tenants and leaseholders have been complaining for many years. Why the sudden recognition now?

In fact only two and a half years ago the Guardian were deleting comments from tenants on articles about HAs.

LenaDunham Wed 12-Apr-17 18:52:08

This post is great timing; I've just come home from a very depressing meeting with mine.

Am shared owner and have found myself stuck in a situation covering antisocial behaviour and repairs.

I feel so so trapped.

Will read articles to see if they help smile

HelenaDove Wed 12-Apr-17 19:00:16

Lena John Harris the Guardian journalist who is reporting on this would like to hear of others experiences.

Theyve been inundated already.

AlwaysDancing1234 Wed 12-Apr-17 20:14:28

Our local MP at the time was Greg Hands and he helped but things still took forever.
Shared ownership nearly broke us mentally and financially - never again!

LenaDunham Wed 12-Apr-17 20:16:21

Thanks Helena - I've just completed the online form!

This has made me feel more hopeful - even if just to see if others have found themselves in similar situations and managed to get out.

Is this fate I wonder?!

LenaDunham Wed 12-Apr-17 20:19:08

My local MP has been as much use as a chocolate teapot.

It is a full time job to stay on top of all the issues and unfortunately I have a full time job and a three year old. I'm near to breaking point.

Still, this thread has rallied me slightly! Shall I come back and let you know if the Guardian use any of my submission?

HelenaDove Wed 12-Apr-17 20:22:44

Lena Yes Please update as and when.

HelenaDove Thu 13-Apr-17 01:44:06

The case that got the ball rolling on this.

HelenaDove Fri 14-Apr-17 17:34:07

123yourusername Fri 14-Apr-17 17:37:25

I had no heating or hot water for 6 months this WINTER with a three year old. They gave me a temporary electric Heater and told me to shower at the gym or with family, my family are 300 miles away and I'm not a gym member. I rang daily.

HelenaDove Fri 14-Apr-17 17:41:26

123 Thats disgusting. If a private landlord did that they would be in court.

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 14-Apr-17 18:54:18

Ours is quick with repairs, but it's always the bare minimum for the lowest price. That results in people coming out again and again to re-repair things. Our new boiler, that I had to fight for for over a year as the old one was constantly failing and leaking massively, has already been repaired four times in three years and now needs another repair because each time someone does a repair they mess up something else. Current issue is a pipe that's been knocked slightly askew and now leaks a small but steady stream down the side of the house 24/7. Bad for the house, bad for the foundations, bad for the concrete paving... but heaven forbid they would put in a decent boiler, installed by a decent company.

Or there's the concrete patio out back, which has been there since the house was built and is now cracked and sunken all over. As my husband is severely partially sighted, they finally agreed to do something about it. But instead of breaking it up and pouring a new one, which would be safe for him and last for many more years, they just had it skimmed with cement. The guy doing it warned us that it wouldn't last and will need regular repairs as the cracks resurface and the concrete continues to sink.

To a degree, sure, it's okay for me. I have a roof over my head at a sensible rent, and while the frequency of them is a bloody nuisance repairs are done and for free. But the property is continuing to deteriorate and is costing them more and more money each year as yet more repairs are botched up as cheaply as possible. It's their property and one day will be needed to house another family. So why are they not making sure it is kept in good condition? They are a business, yet don't understand the concept of doing a job once and properly for a slightly larger initial cost instead of having the same thing done over and over again for a far higher overall cost? I find this utter willful stupidity far more infuriating than a leak or crack!

The short-term mindset of the last few governments has leaked (in a small but steady stream!) all the way down to the bottom. Everyone is being pressured to make £10 today instead of waiting and making £100 at the end of the week. And of course, that is why the repairs are done badly or, in some HA's, not done at all.

TwatteryFlowers Fri 14-Apr-17 19:02:22

Ours has been fine so far. I've lived with them for 13 years and in 3 different properties. Repairs done quickly, affordable rent, decent quality house, nice enough area.

HelenaDove Fri 14-Apr-17 19:12:16

Silver thats infuriating and so bloody short sighted of them. Some of the problems are caused by crap sub contractors. Affinity Sutton tenants have had no end of problems with Robert Heath Heating who apparently see tenants as "social housing scum"

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 14-Apr-17 19:21:43

Ours is KT heating. One of their engineers tried to tell me that my thermostat had never controlled my boiler, that it was literally impossible as there was nothing attached to the boiler to recieve the thermostat data. He actually laughed at me when I assured him we had been turning the heating on an off that way for the last ten years and said it must be a pre-set program that just happened to switch on and off at the times we tended to want heating. He climbed into the cupboard and shone his torch all over the walls and ceiling to show me there was no receiver there.

However, he didn't look on the wall underneath the boiler, where the unit was installed (not even a small discreet thing!).

Absolute cowboys.

HelenaDove Fri 14-Apr-17 19:29:16

YY Silver A problem that contributes to the situation is that the tenants arent seen as the customer. The housing association are. So if the HA wants it done as cheaply as possible the sub contractor will oblige.........because the HA is the customer who is paying them. Yet its the tenant who is getting the sub standard service (not in all cases. Some of the HAs are excellent especially the smaller ones) Its a HUGE gap in consumer law which urgently needs addressing.

HelenaDove Fri 14-Apr-17 19:38:31

Tenants got so desperate they set up this fb page.................which then ended up being trolled by a woman whose DH turned out to be a Robert Heath engineer.

HunterofStars Fri 14-Apr-17 19:44:47

Yep. I have recently had my boiler fixed but I feel bad that I had to kick off just to get someone to come out to look at it. In my last property, one neighbour was harassing the vulnerable tenants late at night for money. I reported it after I was targeted and had severe anxiety afterwards and they still did nothing. [anger]

HelenaDove Fri 14-Apr-17 19:55:17

YY The lack of action over anti social behaviour is another problem thats been replicated several times over.

Toysaurus Fri 14-Apr-17 20:12:35

Yes. I've had water coming in the ceiling for seven months. Twice they sent someone who painted over it but funnily enough hasn't stopped the water.

We've had water flood through the kitchen ceiling several times. One time it took about three months for repair. Someone is always going to phone me.

Security gates don't work and we need them around here.

I've stopped phoning. It's a pointless waste of time.

I rent but feel most sorry for the poor sod upstairs who actually bought his place. Everything's cheap and when plumbing goes wrong at the top of the building, it always cascades down into his, then mine then down below again.

HA new builds are cheap and shoddy. Wouldn't recommend people buy one.

Catch583 Fri 14-Apr-17 20:15:31

My DM lives next to a HA property which has been empty for three years and is in a terrible state. It has hugely reduced the value of DM's house and given her problems with damp and rats. HA says it cannot sell and cannot afford to renovate.

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