Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or upload here
North Watford tenant's anger at inaction over tree blocking his daylight
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 are closed on this article.