ramblings from the hive mind

Open House

22 September 2010 | View comments
Damien Austin-Walker

I get a regular copy of Croydon Council’s Open House magazine. I get this because, like our Big Society friend Nat Wei, I live on a council estate (their definition not mine).

In the last edition they had an article with the headline ####”AVOID facing a repair bill when you move”

  • which was all well and righteous - of course the council landlord needs to recoup charges for repairs to damage to the propery.

But check this:

“If we carry out repairs that are not due to normal wear and tear, you will be charged for the work. Please make sure that you have obtained written approval for any improvements to your home, as you will be charged for any costs incurred to remove that improvement or carry out repairs (including laminate flooring) if you don’t.”

Laminate flooring? I might fancy some laminate flooring in my new home.

My last next door neighbours spent the last two years doing up their place putting in much needed shelves and doing general improvements. They moved out a few weeks ago and soon after the council workmen were there, with a truck; they gutted the house.

Tonight my new neighbours are frantically drilling and banging. I presume they are putting up some much needed shelves.

Could part of Big Society be to ask new tennants if they want to keep some of the improvements (agreed beforehand or not) before they move in and more importantly before they rip the guts from the house?

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