Castle Rock Edinvar raise rents for elderly residents
A 75-year-old tenant has hit out at Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association after it raised rents for the 10th year in a row – while in the midst of a global pandemic.
Retiree Ken Gray has stayed at Rossglen Court for over a decade and he has told the Evening News he is outraged that Castle Rock has the audacity to raise the rents by just over 2 per cent.
He said that over the past year, residents have had to clean their own stairwells, conduct their own maintenance and had access denied to the building's communal room.
All of the above services are paid for through tenants’ rent.
Ken said that he has never had an issue paying for the increase in previous years as he felt that services were being delivered. Ken did not expect a drop in his rent but did expect for it to be frozen.
He said: “Other residents and I have been caught off guard by this latest price hike. Castle Rock has done absolutely nothing for us this year. In the middle of a pandemic it has been left to residents to clean the stairwell.
“We had a caretaker in our building two hours a day - five days a week. But since the pandemic they have only been here for emergencies.
“Two outside dryers broke and I tried to get them mended but they did nothing. I ended up buying the materials and fixed them. I tried to get reimbursed by Castle Rock who then replied that they do not do refunds.
“They have been saving a fortune by not having to carry out certain requirements and now think it is appropriate to raise our rents. I am a 75 year old who is seeing the rent increases outstrip the increases in my pension. It is not good enough.”
Tenants are calling for their landlord to reverse their decision which is implemented on April 1.
A spokesperson for Castle Rock said: “In our rent review process we balance affordability for our customers with our ability to deliver a range of services, maintenance, and repairs. We have kept essential services running throughout the pandemic, following government guidelines to ensure the safety of our customers and employees and meeting increased demand for emergency repairs.”