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Oak Farm tenants petition to opt out of 'pointless' surchage imposed by Affinity Sutton
Disgruntled tenants have started a petition after being charged for free services by their housing association.
Twenty-seven residents living in Oak Farm, Arundel Drive, signed the petition because they claim they are being “scammed” by Affinity Sutton.
The housing association added an extra £10.72 per week to their bills in April, supposed to cover the cost of providing advice about the area, help with tenancy issues and repairs.
But the residents, some of who are in their 90s, say these services are available free of charge from other sources such as charities, the Citizens Advice Bureau and the council.
David Burcombe, who lives in the block, has been going door-to-door collecting signatures for the petition in a bid to “see justice is done.”
The 70-year-old said: “I hope this petition will change things – everyone wants to opt out of this really unjust scheme. I will not give up this fight, I am very determined.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that everyone here is being ripped off, it is all very unfair because the surcharge is pointless.
“It is so unjustified and I think the way they are all ripping us off is just ridiculous. These are services that are free from other sources.
“They just cannot see sense, they are too stubborn.
“It seems like they just could not care less.”
Mr Burcombe claimed that many of the elderly tenants have tried to write letters in an attempt to cancel the payment, but these go unanswered.
He also claimed that at a meeting last month, a representative for Affinity Sutton said the fee could not be waived.
Josie Shingles, who lives in the block, said: “Most of us do not want this or need it. I am disappointed with Affinity Sutton because they did not even ask us if we wanted this service.
“Usually I have no issue with them so the fact that this has happened is concerning.”