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Outraged Stamford Hill homeowners quoted £23,000 each for roof repairs

PUBLISHED: 09:50 20 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:50 20 June 2016

Leaseholders (L-R) Zoe Coleman, Laura Jones, Adam Turley, Maisie Greenwood, Francesca Menato and Jochen Wittmann Picture: Melissa Page

Leaseholders (L-R) Zoe Coleman, Laura Jones, Adam Turley, Maisie Greenwood, Francesca Menato and Jochen Wittmann Picture: Melissa Page

Archant

Leaseholders on an estate are in disbelief after being told they could face bills to the tune of £23,000 for roof repairs.

Chiltern House in the Stamford Hill estate has 17 flats – nine of which are privately owned with the rest council properties.

Two weeks ago, homeowners were sent letters by freeholders Southern Housing Group telling them to expect bills for repair work. But when single mum Zoe Coleman enquired as to how much they would be shelling out, she was told between £21,000 and £23,000.

“I was shocked,” said Zoe, 39, who bought her house for £250,000 three years ago. “I can’t believe they are asking individuals to pay that amount of money.

“How do they think that is reasonable or that we will be able to pay it? I’m upset and scared. I know legally they can do it but I can’t afford that. I struggle to pay my mortgage.”

Southern Housing confirmed a consultation was ongoing, but said that did not mean the work would go ahead. A spokeswoman said no contractors had been appointed for any potential work, so the quoted costs could change.

But Zoe has made it clear she and her neighbours will oppose any costs.

She continued: “We are pleased Southern Housing have agreed to meet us but as they have made it clear that they won’t be changing what they are asking from us.

“Having to pay the £23,000, even if the cost is spread, is a huge amount and the promise of further large bills may mean we have to sell our home and leave London.”

Zoe believes the cost should be spread across the lifetime of the work, and called on housing associations to be more transparent with buyers.

“It should be their responsibility to plan better so leaseholders aren’t faced with these enormous and terrifying bills out of the blue,” she added. “The impact on somebody vulnerable could be dire.”

The Southern Housing spokeswoman said: “If the work does go ahead the residents will be asked to contribute to the costs, which is included in the terms of their lease.

“They will be given the opportunity to discuss how and when this is money is paid.”

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