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Council accused of bully-boy tactics

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Brighton Hove City Council housing committee was accused of dleiberately putting tenants under pressure at Christmas

ACCUSATIONS of unseasonal meanness have been denied by the council.

Dozens of council tenants locked in a two-year battle with Brighton and Hove City Council, over contested bills for building works, received lawyer’s letters just before Christmas.

Speaking on their behalf to the housing committee on Wednesday David Thomas said: “Within nine working days of the chair of this committee saying ‘we can confirm we are not attempting to win litigation at all costs’ the council made an application to the property tribunal naming 39 respondents; a common tactic putting the maximum amount of pressure on residents over the Christmas and new year period.”

The Bristol Estate tenants are holding back close to £400,000 between them.

The fight is over the cost, necessity and quality of building work done in their homes by council contractors two and three years ago.

The council insists leaseholders are responsible for the payments, and tribunal procedures are now ongoing.

Senior council officer Larissa Reed told Mr Thomas the timetable for legal proceedings was being set by the tribunal, and the council had not been behind the timing of the letters.

She added that leaseholders would have their opportunity to put their cases to the tribunal.

Committee member Councillor Steve Bell (Con) told The Argus: “I fully support the leasholders and I do feel they are being let down by the council.

“Some of the procedures have not been properly followed, the leaseholders have not always been kept properly informed, and some of the paperwork seems to be missing.”


Source: The Argus