Eastleigh: Housing Chiefs Defend £60 Lightbulb Fee

Bosses at a sheltered housing complex in Eastleigh have defended their decision to charge £60 for minor maintenance tasks such as changing lightbulbs in residents' rooms.

People living at Doreen Welfare House have received a letter from housing provider Radian stating that, since the departure of the centre's handyman, any maintenance work in private rooms would require its repair team being brought in with the cost being met by the residents.

Previously the handyman would carry out simple tasks for residents free of charge.

A spokeswoman for Radian said the tenancy agreement states that the resident is responsible for repairs such as replacing lightbulbs and florescent tubes.

But she added that no resident would ``be left in the dark'' and its repair teams had the ability to waive the charge in ``exceptional circumstances''.

She said: ``Radian does try to provide free help with services, in our independent living accommodation where possible.

``However, just like anyone living in their own home, whether they rent or if they are home-owners, when they need minor repairs or tasks such as lightbulb changing to be carried out, they need to make their own arrangements.

``This might include hiring someone to come in and do the job for them, or asking for help from a friend or relative.

``At present we do not have anyone available at Doreen Welfare House who can carry out these types of jobs and so at the resident's request we would need to call out one of our repair team; there are a number of related costs associated with doing so.''

She added ``Radian's independent living officers would at no point leave a vulnerable person in the dark. These officers have the discretion in exceptional cases to waive the cost.''

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