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Rethink over bill for work on Old Town flats’ gardens
OLD Town residents in managed flats who were asked to fork out for gardener’s fees have been told they do not need to pay.
A dispute broke out after private contractors Daisy Estate Management announced plans to bill people living in the managed properties of Mistletoe and Rowan Courts, in Angel Ridge, for work on the premise’s gardens amounting to around £280.
A sub clause in the council’s contract means it is the authority’s responsibility to upkeep the land after it was given around £250,000 by the current registered land owner to maintain the gardens until the land transfers to council ownership . But over the summer months the authority failed to carry out work on the gardens which is when the estate managers stepped in.
A number of concerned home-owners, who received the unexpected bill, contacted their councillor Nadine Watts, who represents Old Town, to alert her to the issue.
“The management company of Mistletoe and Rowan Courts had taken it upon themselves to maintain the gardens between the apartment blocks, even though the council had been maintaining the gardens previously,” said Coun Watts.
“After some confusion regarding who was responsible for maintaining the gardens, it was found it was the council’s responsibility.
“Therefore despite what some residents have been told, individual apartment owners in those blocks have no obligation to pay any money to the management company for carrying out maintenance works on the gardens.
“The property management company will have to cover the costs themselves. I also think the property management company need to make clear to their apartment leaseholders that they will not be charging them for the works as well.
“I will be writing to individual apartment owners in Rowan and Mistletoe Courts as well as the management company to make everybody clear of the Council’s maintenance responsibility and that the property management company will have to cover the costs themselves. I also think the property management company need to make clear to their apartment leaseholders that they will not be charging them for the works as well.”
Director of Daisy Estate Managers, Johanne Coupe, said maintenance and upkeep of the communal gardens was the responsibility of Swindon Council.
“Over the summer months the gardens became overgrown, and unusable by the residents, as the council had not undertaken its duties,” said Mrs Coupe. “The residents made numerous complaints to the council and to us as managing agents and, despite the promise of work being undertaken in September, nothing has been done.
“In order that the gardens are able to be enjoyed by the residents this autumn, Daisy Estate Managers therefore, reluctantly, took the decision to appoint a local gardening company.”
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