A PENSIONER has had to pay £6,000 to fix his ‘hill’ garden after council refused to help him.
Keith Watson, 65, said the garden at his new meetinghouse is so steep he can’t stand on it and feels “trapped”.
Keith, who has terminal liver disease, spent his entire “Rainy Day” fund transforming what he described as “a hilltop” after landlord Trent & Dove would not help with the cost of converting the exterior of his home into to make Burton more approachable to him.
He lives in a bungalow because he has limited mobility and was forced to pay the enormous sum to have steps added that divide the garden into two levels.
He told StaffordshireLive: “I had it fixed at the end of September. It cost me a lot of money.
“Now I’m looking at the garden and it’s fixed but that was my find for rainy days. If something goes wrong, that will be a real problem for me.
“We laid a line from top to bottom and the drop was about five foot three. It was a one in four gradient.”
Keith said with the cost of living crisis and all that’s going up in price, he’s worried about how he’ll survive without his life savings to dive into when needed.
He said Trent & Dove should have paid to fix the problem after claiming they showed him a different home than the one he eventually moved to.
However, the housing association said Keith was pleased with the property when he viewed it before moving in in April.
David Riley, Head of Customer and Communities at Trent & Dove, said: “As a nonprofit landlord, and with many families in need of an affordable home due to the high cost of living, we have a legal and moral duty to use rental income to benefit everyone.
“While we all at Trent & Dove want Mr Watson and other clients to enjoy their homes and gardens, Mr Watson signed his lease knowing that it was his responsibility to make any improvements he personally wished to make.”
The housing association says the garden was considered safe when Keith moved in, so the work he did was purely cosmetic and his responsibility as it was done by personal choice.
“Mr Watson has the legal right to end his tenancy and return the house and garden to us to offer to another local household if he felt it was not suitable for his needs, but instead for our consent asked to complete his own work. which we of course granted,” added Trent & Dove.
“We were aware that Mr Watson had decided to fund the changes he wanted himself and therefore assumed he had chosen to remain in the chosen House.
“We will be contacting him this week to confirm and see if there are any outstanding issues that we need to resolve or continue to learn from this situation.
“More than 83 percent of residents are happy with us as a landlord, and we’re working hard to maintain that high track record.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6407900/forced-to-pay-thousands-fix-garden-council-refused/ I’ve had to pay £6,000 to fix my garden after the council refused to help – it’s so steep I couldn’t stand on it