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Mum slams Richmond Housing Partnership over removal of items from communal areas

Mum slams Richmond Housing Partnership over removal of items from communal areas
Ms Anderson said several items were left out but not removed

A Richmond mother has accused her housing association of deliberately removing "items of value" from communal areas so they can charge people to return them.

Judy Anderson, who lives with her children in a Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) property in Adelaide Road, made the accusations after her kids' bikes were removed from a communal area despite numerous items having been dumped in the same areas for much longer.

RHP responded by saying she had been given "reasonable notice" to remove the bikes, but said it enforced the policy based on safety advice from London Fire Brigade following the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Ms Anderson said: “Whilst I understand and appreciate the sentiment - they [RHP] are doing this in response to what happened at Grenfell Tower, I completely understand the need to do this.

“However, when you start using Grenfell to make money from residents that becomes something else."

Ms Anderson left two bikes and her daughter's scooter in communal areas, but later returned to find the bikes had vanished and a yellow sticker had been left on her child’s scooter.

The sticker informed Ms Anderson that she would 24 hours to collect her bikes and that she would have to have to pay a £25 fine to have the items returned.

She claims though that the bikes were removed before they had been left for 24 hours though, and accused RHP of deliberately removing the bikes to demand a fine.

Ms Anderson added: “This idea of removing items is not about safety.

“It is about putting stickers on items of value that they [RHP] know they can make money from.

“It is not right as people living on a budget cannot always afford to pay £25 - the irony is that RHP is meant to be social housing.

Mum slams Richmond Housing Partnership over removal of items from communal areas
RHP said that items left in communal areas would be removed for health & safety reasons

“I complained about my daughter’s scooter and was given a rusty scooter that was someone else’s. I went back to RHP and they ended up giving £40 to purchase another scooter."

She said there were numerous items left in the communal washing area that had not been removed because "RHP know they cannot extract money from them".

An RHP spokesperson said: “The safety of our customers is really important to us and keeping communal areas clear is a vital fire prevention measure.

“If we find an item stored in a communal area that we manage, we’ll place a 24 hour notice on it.
“If it’s still there 24 hours later we will take the item and store it for 28 days - if the customer does contact us and want their items back it is at a cost of £25.

“We’re not able to comment on individual cases however we always balance being reasonable with a customer who has left an item with the need to keep areas clear for the safety of all customers living at the block.

“We carry out fire clearance of this nature as a result of advice we’ve received from the London Fire Brigade - which we take very seriously.

“We can confirm we gave reasonable notice that this item would be removed and provided the opportunity for the customer to remove it herself."

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