Fence panels removed without tenant’s consent
9:00am Saturday 5th January 2013 in News
A frustrated West-bury tenant was forced to put tarpaulin up to cover two missing panels in her back garden fence, after they were removed by her housing association.
Elizabeth Herdman, who turned 73 on Christmas Eve, has had regular problems with the fence in windy weather, and reported more damage to Places for People in November.
The widowed pensioner was shocked to find two sections of her fence had been completely removed without her consent when she returned from a shopping trip the next day, leaving it dangerously unstable.When she rang Places for People to ask why the fence panels had not been replaced, she was told that their policy had changed.
Mrs Herdman, of Thornbury Road, said: “They removed two sections of the fence without securing the fence adjacent to the pavement.
“Places for People said they were not going to replace the fencing, despite it saying online and in my tenancy agreement it’s their responsibility.
“It was like talking to robots, they just didn’t care. I sat in my living room crying and then I started to get mad, because it needs sorting and I don’t feel safe.”
Mrs Herdman decided to buy tarpaulin and wire to cover up the gaps and strengthen the sections of the fence herself.
“I’m worried about leaving the house and either someone being able to get in through the gaps or the wind bringing down the rest of the fence and causing an injury to a passing pedestrian.”
Mrs Herdman, who has lived in the rented accommodation since 2001 with her dog Shadow, claims she is not the only tenant who has complained about Places for People’s change in policy.
A spokesman for Places for People said: “Places for People went to Mrs Herdman’s property on two occasions last month in order to remove storm damaged fence panels and create a safe environment.
“The organisation does have a policy in place to fulfil contractual obligations under the terms and conditions of the tenancy.
“This means we are obligated to replace and repair panels by the most economic means and through a planned programme of fencing works.
“This ensures cost effectiveness for us and our customers.
“Places for People can confirm that budgets are currently being reviewed and the programme will be available in the New Year.
“Customers will be told when the works will be carried out.”