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Southall residents on “rent and service charge strike” against UK’s largest housing association Clarion over increasing charges and lack of transparency

More than 70 residents in Southall have told housing association Clarion, that they will be partially withholding payments in their rent and service charges in a long running dispute with their landlord over increases, lack of services provided and transparency on what they pay for.

The homes, at Bravey House and Newell House, are within Southall’s The Green Quarter development which is built on the former Southall Gasworks by Berekely Group.

Clarion is the UK’s largest housing association and says it owns and manages 125,000 homes with 360,000 residents living in them.

The dispute covers a number of issues including communal areas and grounds not being looked after as well increases being charged to residents which they has been done without any transparency of the costs.

The strikers are being supported in their action by Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) which provides help and advice to those withholding payment as part of a dispute with their housing association landlord

One striking resident, said of their housing association landlord Clarion: “We are expected to pay for something but it’s not getting done.”

Another striker added they have taken action as the increases are unacceptable and affordable. She said: “Essential costs such as food, energy, and travel are already rising, but our incomes are not keeping pace.”

Residents claim that Clarion has been slow in addressing the issues and as well as ignoring them and cancelling meetings.

In an attempt to resolve the dispute, the residents say they contacted their liaison officer and a meeting was set up so that the issues could be discussed. But two days before the meeting, residents said Clarion cancelled the meeting saying it had already responded to all the issues through other channels.

An angry resident commented: “We have had multiple meetings with Clarion over the past year and we have struggled to get an answer to where the money is spent regarding our service charges. The lack of transparency raises a lot of questions, especially when we know homes like ours in the same development are paying almost 40% less in service charges than us.”

A Clarion spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “We have been working closely with our shared owners here to resolve concerns around service charges, including group and one to one meetings. Communal maintenance services at the buildings are delivered via a managing agent, and we have submitted a Section 22 request to them to have sight of invoices in relation to their accounts for last year, to check charges are accurate. The actual accounts the shared owners will receive for 2022/23 will include credits from the managing agent.”

The housing association added: “We are sorry about the amount of time this has taken to resolve, and would like to reassure shared owners that we are determined they receive fair and accurate service charges, and will continue to engage with the managing agent to ensure this.”

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