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Pensioner Hits Out At 'Extortionate' Charges

Friday September 27 2013


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


A PENSIONER has hit out at what he describes as 'extortionate' charges for repairs on council-owned housing.

Anthony Coe, 72, of Park Avenue, Cudworth, saw the story about Mapplewell resident Diane Brook who was charged £91 by Berneslai Homes for replacement of a plastic light fitting.

He said he had a similar experience some years ago when he was charged £118 - for tightening up a radiator valve.

"What I want to know is why are the repair costs so high? I got the job priced up with other tradesmen and it averaged out at just £18.75," he said.

Mr Coe, who has bronchitis, said his present home in Park Avenue had suffered from rising damp and he and his wife Sylvia, 64, who is diabetic, had been moved out to temporary accommodation several times while repairs were done. On one occasion, they had been out of their home for seven months.

A Berneslai Homes spokesman said repairs to tenants were free unless the fault was caused by the tenant themselves. This was known as a re-chargeable repair.

He said: "To help the tenant decide on whether to have us do a re-chargeable repair, we have a standard list of charges for common types of work.

"We do this so they know the costs before they go ahead. Tenants are asked if they wish us to carry out the work at the quoted cost or arrange for someone else to do the repair."

Tenants signed a form to say they agreed with the charge. Charges include VAT at 20 per cent.

The spokesman added: "We have no choice but to charge VAT, which is a government tax. The cost represents call out, transport, travel time, labour and any materials used."

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Reply Posted by polly on Friday September 27 2013 at 11:11
hmmmmm. travel time??? I wonder if this includes the inordinate amount of time some of the workers spend parked up on quiet roads reading the paper and scratching their backsides. it's a damn joke how they waste time yet get paid for it. i'm not saying they are all the same but there are plenty of council lads who take the proverbial p$** out of the tax and rent payers!

Reply Posted by mark on Friday September 27 2013 at 11:42
private rent if you dont like it, simple

Reply Posted by Dinky on Friday September 27 2013 at 11:48
So the tenant gets charged if its something they've caused themselves. In other words they've "broken" it. Can someone please explain to me how a 72 year old man loosens a radiator valve?! Seriously, I'm not saying all OAP's are weak but come on, really? I can't see a 72 year old being able to loosen one.

And Mark how would you like it if a tradesman or council came out and charged you extortionate prices for repairs?? If you ain't got anything nice to say don't say anything. I'd like to see you go to your elderly relatives and say the same to them.

Reply Posted by observer on Friday September 27 2013 at 12:11
im lead to believe that the £91 is a standard charge for which berneslai homes charge. if it exceeds that amount Barnsley council has to pay. so if you work it out, the number of jobs similar to which mr coe is being asked to pay, and the true value of the jobs done. the more they charge £91 for small jobs subsidises the larger and more costly jobs. so berneslai homes are in a win win situation.

Reply Posted by mark on Friday September 27 2013 at 12:55
so if u havnt got anything nice to say dont say anything?? is that a real comment come on get a grip man/woman we are not at school and barnsley would be one hell of a quiet place if we lived the way u suggest, but as for the rest my elderly relatives wouldnt be dealin with such issues alone, i would be sorting it on their behalf this avoiding them being taken advantage of, but i tell u wat i am sick to death of is hearing council tenants winge about repair costs or bedroom tax, makes my blood boil do council tenants not realise how insulting it is to those of us who live in real world and dont get subsidised housing!! disgusting, as is the patronizing way u are suggesting a 72 yr old couldnt losen a radiator valve, hes 72 not dead and buried i know plenty of 72 yr olds who are quite able and would u believe it could losen a valve, on that note i have nothing else noce to say so i shall take your sketchy advice and shut up :)

Reply Posted by maz on Friday September 27 2013 at 19:35
i agree with all what polly said council was putting tarmac on our street all but one he was asleep in lorry they had more breaks than a kitkat

Reply Posted by David on Saturday September 28 2013 at 08:37
I would to address some issues as i see them.
1, Are workmen allowed a lunch?
Would you have them travel back to the yard or use there common sense, and pull up on a quite road and have there lunch? I understand that some jobs are more than 30mins from the yard, should we expect then to travel back for there lunch adding more expense to the jobs.
2, My Brother works for a housing company as a joiner, some of the houses he has to go in are disgusting, he also has to deal with aggressive clients.
3, As it has been pointed out that the client is aware of charges prior to having the work undertaken.
4, Have we missed the maths here? Mr Cole says that he was charged £118 for repairs to his radiator some years ago, so he was not 72 at the time.
I also feel that Mark has a point, if you don't like the Council house please go to private rented he will be paying about £40.00 a week more.
I would like to point out that i do not have any contact with Barnsley Council.

Reply Posted by Bob on Sunday September 29 2013 at 14:38
"What I want to know is why are the repair costs so high? I got the job priced up with other tradesmen and it averaged out at just £18.75," he said.

: "To help the tenant decide on whether to have us do a re-chargeable repair, we have a standard list of charges for common types of work.

"We do this so they know the costs before they go ahead. Tenants are asked if they wish us to carry out the work at the quoted cost or arrange for someone else to do the repair."

So He got the job priced up by other tradesmen but CHOSE to go with Barnsley Council and then moan about the cost?!
Not a lot else to be said really!

Reply Posted by m on Sunday September 29 2013 at 16:55
from what i understand he will not get another trades man to carry out work as he has been known to be aggressive to work men and that is why he has had to move out of his home because he has been verbally aggressive towards them, at the end of the day if he had not damaged property of BMBC he would not have to pay for it, i have to pay for all repairs and damage to my house, i wish i could just phone some one up and get repairs carried out free of charge.

Reply Posted by Wendy on Monday September 30 2013 at 08:17
Just one comment....Why do they pay rent? i always thought the rent covered repair costs.....

Reply Posted by hmm on Sunday October 6 2013 at 12:20
The rent does cover repair costs for things which have happened naturally due to wear and tear etc. It doesn't and shouldn't cover things which the tenant has damaged themselves just like my mortgage doesn't cover the replacement of a window if I smash it.

You'd be surprised how many people put holes in doors etc and then contact the council expecting it repairing free of charge.

Reply Posted by m on Wednesday October 2 2013 at 10:54
I moved house in June after living in the same house for 13 years, the council tried to charge us £317 to replace a pantry door that never existed, a bedroom door replacing and a plaster repair, fair enough the last 2 repairs were caused by my son who has aspergers (autism) and lashes out at people and objects if he doesn't understand something,we appealed against the charges and won, so if anyone is charged for repairs and disagree with it there are channels you can go down.

Reply Posted by andys on Sunday October 6 2013 at 16:54
lets face it most of these council workers are the retard sons of existing council workers and so the charade goes on,the pit was much the same although without the retardism of course