North Watford tenant's anger at inaction over tree blocking his daylight

North Watford tenant's anger at inaction over tree blocking his daylight

North Watford tenant's anger at inaction over tree blocking his daylight

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A social housing tenant is outraged he has to turn his flat lights on at 11am because a massive tree is blocking his window - despite his housing association dramatically hiking up his maintenance service charge .

Mick Martin, of Woodmere Avenue, said not only is he set to pay the additional service charge to Watford Community Housing Trust - his electricity bills have also increased due to the lack of daylight in the flat.

The tree in contention towers outside his flat, completely blocking his living room window of natural light.

Mr Martin said lack of natural light getting into his flat is affecting his mood.

He said: "It’s blocking light to the living room and half the bedroom.

"I have to turn my light on at 11 in the morning to see what I’m doing.

"Why should I?

"It’s a communal garden and they have changed the up keep and charged all the tenants - but I can’t see anything out the window.

"And now I’m using electricity when I shouldn’t. I have metered gas and electric - this is costing me money."

The Trust announced in November 2012 it would introduce a service charge of up to £600 a year for tenants.

It sent out letters stating it was to roll out weekly charges of up to £12 a week to claw back £2.5million it says it spends on communal services.

But a backlash from angry tenants stunned by the sudden charges hike promoted Trust bosses to introduce reduced rates more slowly over a five-year period from last month.

Tony Lewis, Neighbourhood Services manager at Watford Community Housing Trust, said the Trust was investigating whether to get the tree reduced even though it is under no obligation to do so.

He said: "We are looking into Mr Martin’s request to have the crown of the tree reduced.

"Although the Trust is under no obligation to do this as the tree is not affecting the structure of the property, we have spoken to our grounds maintenance contractors about a quote for the work.

"As soon as we have received this we will make a decision and advise Mr Martin of the outcome. The Trust balances the benefit trees bring to the environment and aesthetics to our estates with safety to the public and our buildings."

Comments (10)

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11:34am Tue 20 May 14

Boosey says...

That's the trouble with shift work!!!!
That's the trouble with shift work!!!! Boosey
  • Score: 5

12:32pm Tue 20 May 14

Darren Watford says...

Has the tree just appeared out of nowhere? Has he only just noticed it?
Has the tree just appeared out of nowhere? Has he only just noticed it? Darren Watford
  • Score: 11

2:27pm Tue 20 May 14

garston tony says...

Darren Watford wrote:
Has the tree just appeared out of nowhere? Has he only just noticed it?
What I was thinking, the tree may have been there before the flats were built!
[quote][p][bold]Darren Watford[/bold] wrote: Has the tree just appeared out of nowhere? Has he only just noticed it?[/p][/quote]What I was thinking, the tree may have been there before the flats were built! garston tony
  • Score: 8

4:18pm Tue 20 May 14

GG says...

he is usualy selling fruit and veg by Sainsburys or in Moons at 11am!!
he is usualy selling fruit and veg by Sainsburys or in Moons at 11am!! GG
  • Score: 1

5:51pm Tue 20 May 14

Keefer says...

If they refuse to prune it he could always hire a chain saw and get his hands dirty - it doesn't look that big.
If they refuse to prune it he could always hire a chain saw and get his hands dirty - it doesn't look that big. Keefer
  • Score: 3

11:22pm Tue 20 May 14

Andrew1963 says...

Which room is in pictured in, it is bright enough to cast a shadow. What he needs is a change of flat, to brighten his mood. When it happens we will all drink to his success of bringing his plight to our attention.
Which room is in pictured in, it is bright enough to cast a shadow. What he needs is a change of flat, to brighten his mood. When it happens we will all drink to his success of bringing his plight to our attention. Andrew1963
  • Score: 3

2:21pm Wed 21 May 14

BazWD24 says...

Let me guess, does this tree become a problem early each Summer and then mystically resolve itself each Autumn?
Let me guess, does this tree become a problem early each Summer and then mystically resolve itself each Autumn? BazWD24
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Wed 21 May 14

RadioactiveRant says...

Could the reporter upload a clip to Dailymotion of him waving his fist at the tree?
Could the reporter upload a clip to Dailymotion of him waving his fist at the tree? RadioactiveRant
  • Score: 1

5:16pm Wed 21 May 14

Popeonarope says...

Watford Community Housing Trust cant make a big profit if the little people keep asking them to do their job properly... it costs money you know!
Watford Community Housing Trust cant make a big profit if the little people keep asking them to do their job properly... it costs money you know! Popeonarope
  • Score: -2

10:39am Thu 22 May 14

garston tony says...

Popeonarope wrote:
Watford Community Housing Trust cant make a big profit if the little people keep asking them to do their job properly... it costs money you know!
Where do you get the idea they are making a profit from the charges?

Previously the costs were spread over all tenants wether they got a service or not, now tenants are being asked to pay for the services they directly get ie if you have a communal area that is cleaned the residents whose area it is pay for it and not Joe Bloggs a mile away who lives in a house and doesnt receive this service.

Whats wrong with that?

Sure I bet the residents affected are not happy about it but it's fair isnt it
[quote][p][bold]Popeonarope[/bold] wrote: Watford Community Housing Trust cant make a big profit if the little people keep asking them to do their job properly... it costs money you know![/p][/quote]Where do you get the idea they are making a profit from the charges? Previously the costs were spread over all tenants wether they got a service or not, now tenants are being asked to pay for the services they directly get ie if you have a communal area that is cleaned the residents whose area it is pay for it and not Joe Bloggs a mile away who lives in a house and doesnt receive this service. Whats wrong with that? Sure I bet the residents affected are not happy about it but it's fair isnt it garston tony
  • Score: 2

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