Rat infestation the final straw for Prior tenant

A Four Housing tenant from Tweedmouth has spoken of his frustration at on-going issues.

Friday, 29th September 2017, 08:10 am
Updated Thursday, 28th September 2017, 13:09 pm
Brought to you by the Berwick Advertiser team.

The Prior Park resident, who wants to remain anonymous, has been waiting for work to his current home since 2015.

In particular, delays in dealing with a rat infestation in the loft have proved distressing.

“I’ve followed all the guidelines I’m told to do by Bernicia (Four Housing’s parent company),” said the tenant. “I even paid for an independent pest control specialist to visit my home. The report I paid for stated, all infestation and soiled insulation should be bagged up and removed.

“This is still outstanding now a month later, as Bernicia continue to wrangle about what they do and don’t do for tenants about removing the contaminated waste insulation. I feel it’s unacceptable.”

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He is also still waiting for subsidence measuring gauges to be fitted to the exterior walls, eight weeks after they were promised.

He also revealed the garden was covered in dog dirt when he moved in and the radiators were filled with matted dirty dog hair. He was given a £100 voucher to redecorate, simply not enough to do the job, he argues.

“As a paying tenant, all I ask for is fairness, honesty and better communication with me. I’ve tried to work with Bernicia on this.”

Gemma Owens, team leader at Bernicia, said: “We are sorry to hear that the experience of this tenant has not met our usual quality standards for service and communication.

“We respect their request for anonymity but as such cannot comment on their experience or determine a resolution of the issues concerned.

“Providing quality homes and services is a priority for us and since merging with Four Housing just over a year ago we have been investing resources to improve services.

“If the tenant in question would please contact our complaints team once again, I’m sure they will investigate further and agree a resolution to the problems.”

Coun Karin Graham of Berwick Town Council said: “I am regularly called by my residents in a bid to help support some quite acute cases within their properties. Whilst I can say I generally get a positive response; the timescale of actioning some of my requests is way too long.

“I also have to rewrite emails as a reminder to Bernicia stating that nothing is being done about some outstanding issues, recently this was over a period of four months!

“Scotland appear to have a good system for their social housing repairs, so why can’t we have the same just over the border? Maybe lessons could be learnt from their procedures?”

She has encouraged people with housing issues to email k.graham@berwick-tc.gov.uk.