Concerned GreenSquareAccord tenants say they can’t cope with the hefty deficit bill the housing association has hit them with.

Tenants in Neeld Crescent in Chippenham are each facing a bill for almost £750 over the next year after GreenSquareAccord claimed it had undercharged them around £14 per week for last year’s service charge.

William Hadden, a social worker who has lived in the building since 1994, has lodged a group complaint on behalf of many of the 24 flats affected. He feels the shock bill does not reflect the service provided.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous”, he said. “For me I don’t need the stress, I work hard every day and I don’t want to come home to deal with this. I can’t cope with that.

“Outside of the deficit my service charges are less than £1 a week. How can there be a deficit of this magnitude when the service charge is so low?”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: William Hadden and Michael Clayton with the building's formal complaint.William Hadden and Michael Clayton with the building's formal complaint. (Image: Newsquest)

Other residents have expressed concern over the impact of the bills on their finances.

Zoe Clayton, a mother of one, said: “We’ve got to find this money, so they’re expecting me to take food out of my son’s mouth to pay a service charge for jobs they don’t even do.”

Her husband, Michael, added: “My wife is often in a wheelchair, and I look after, her so we struggle to make ends meet anyway. GreenSquareAccord are always coming back with something else to pay for when everybody is struggling.”

The deficit is mostly due to a £13,884.36 underestimate of the cost of communal utilities.

Residents are unsure what this huge spike contributes towards because GreenSquareAccord has said they are no longer being charged for their defective shared oil boiler.

There were also increases in administration charges and cleaning services, which both Mr Hadden and the Claytons say is not provided to an adequate level.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Neeld Crescent

A GreenSquareAccord spokesperson said: “We are aware that some customers in Neeld Crescent are unhappy with their 2023/24 service charge costs. We are working to resolve this through our complaints process.

“The service charge reflects the cost of services customers at Neeld Crescent have received. We estimate the charges customers will pay each year and at the end of each financial year we review our accounts to calculate the difference between what we estimated and what we spent.

“In the cases where there is a deficit this needs to be paid. This is clearly outlined in all our lease and rental agreements.” 

GreenSquareAccord added it is committed to resolving customers’ issues.