Nottingham

Nottingham council homes face £350,000 repair bill

Tenants have caused £350,000 damage over the past two years to council homes in Nottingham.

Nottingham City Homes said problems ranged from smashed doors to graffiti and the removal of walls.

Officials said the bill for the year to March was almost double that of the previous 12 months.

They warned tenants this diverted cash from other projects and they were prepared to use court action to collect unpaid repair bills.

No kitchen

Nottingham City Homes is a not-for-profit business managing the 29,000 council-owned properties in the city.

In 2010/11, the bill for damage ran to £231,000 - which the company said was the equivalent of fitting more than a 150 new bathrooms.

Martin Valentine, from Nottingham City Homes, said problems varied from the small - the theft of shower heads and shelves - to much larger.

"We have had people who will tear out the kitchen, install their own, then when they leave they take their kitchen and leave us with nothing."

He added: "The bottom line is very simple - it says very clearly in your tenancy agreement, if you want to make alterations to the property you must have our written permission first. But people just ignore that bit and press on.

"They can't be too surprised then when they get to the end of their tenancy and we say 'Come on, we are charging you for that, we are charging you to put that right'."

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