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Boiling point

Date online: 24 December 2013

FUMING residents say they are having to find thousands of pounds after Christmas following a move by First Choice Homes to upgrade boilers without sufficient consultation.

The changes will see the existing five commercial boilers, which currently serve the whole of the Durden Mews development in Shaw, removed and replaced by around 100 individual units for each property.

Dave Walker, a resident for five years, first heard about the plans last week when a letter dropped on his doormat detailing the £4,000 required to carry out the work to his home.

The money included over £1,000 for the removal of asbestos - which didn’t show up on the council or independent surveys carried out by Mr Walker.

He said: “They only made changes to the boilers five years ago and when we asked about gas boilers at the time they said we couldn’t have them.

“I’m absolutely fuming over it. They just want everyone on individual heating and are forcing us to go to the big energy companies. It’s not necessary and there has been no proper consultation. They have said if we want to supply our own boiler we can but we’ll have to pay £76 for them to take it out.

“I work in waste and I know that those boilers are worth at least £200 for scrap. Where am I supposed to find that kind of money at Christmas?”

Dave Woods, homes and investment director, said he welcomed correspondence from residents and said their was no immediate obligation for residents to pay up.

He added: “The letters outline our intention to carry out communal improvement works, as per the leaseholder agreement, and ask for written observations.

“We can confirm that the boilers, systems and pipework at Durden Mews have not been replaced in the last five years and are in excess of 20 years old. We would urge all leaseholders to reply in writing to the notices as outlined in the letters.”


FCHO must provide the heating system to all the properties they own now if they which to provide each property with its own boiler surely that give more control on usage Is Mr walker a tenant or owner FCHO must pay to remove asbestos from it properties at no cost to tenants they must also provide boilers to owners if removing communal heating.don't think we are being told everything in this story

I too have been in a very similar position as a leaseholder through FCHO. I had to pay over £3500 for the roof of my 1 bedroom flat to be re-tiled and felted! I now face a further £900 for my contribution for works towards the communal stairwell being one thirteenth of the total costs. It would not be so bad if the works weren't ridiculously over priced and you actually had a say in which contractors were employed. By the time you get a letter it is already a done deal. This is so unfair.

Durden Mews was for social housing. However some tenants bought their properties and it appears to be these home owners who are complaining at anything FCHO wish to do to improve their own properties. This heating system is archaic and needs replacing. Naturally when you buy your own home you have extra costs for various improvements to your property. Why do they want FCHO to foot the bill? These people would not have been complaining when they bought their homes for a pittance.


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