“Disgusted at their lack of regard to their neighbours!”
Here is one of my mails to Amicus which details the events to date.
We live next door to one of your tenants who had until October three huge laylandii trees in his garden. Myself and my neighbours have complained about these trees over a number of years and have been advised that the tenant is responsible for these trees not Amicus. Whilst I understand this, if the house is privately owned we could have undertaken legal action to ensure this issue was addressed, we feel you had an obligation to ensure your tenant complied to the terms of his housing agreement (as private tenants have to). You have failed to take any action that we can see to ensure your tenant has addressed this issue.
In October the first of these trees came down. We advised the tree surgeon attending that the second tree was rolling on it's roots. My other neighbour also phoned in at this point to say they felt the trees were dangerous and that you should either deal with them or ensure your tenant does. This was a long phone call which also involved the housing officer. The outcome of which was as the trees aren't dangerous (!!) the trees had to be dealt with by the tenant and there was nothing you could do.
We had no option other than to approach your tree surgeon direct and ask for quotations and options where we, the neighbours, would have to fund these works ourselves.
On the night of 23rd December the two remaining trees came down. I phoned Amicus first thing as your tenant was able to remove one tree himself! but it was too dangerous to touch the other one as it had come to rest on top of our shed roof.
I was advised at this point that you would send a tree surgeon to remove this tree on xmas eve. Your surveyor also attended on xmas eve and confirmed that a tree surgeon would be supplied by Amicus.
Later in the day we were advised a tree surgeon wouldn't be able to attend on this day (xmas eve) due to volume of work. I had no issue with this, I completely understood, I did at this point though remind yourselves that this tree is unsafe and we could not access our property (the shed) until it was removed. I was advised that someone would attend between xmas and the new year and someone would be in touch.
I heard nothing during this period, whilst it was frustrating as the shed and all of it's contents were open to the elements and anything that was once salvageable probably isn't now, I realised you probably had higher priorities and left it over this period.
I phoned in first thing this morning for an update and explained that I needed someone onsite today preferably as we have a dangerous tree in our garden. I was told someone would call me back for an update.
Having heard nothing I phoned in AGAIN this afternoon only to be advised that it would now be Tuesday! At this point I lost the plot, partly because of the damage to my property getting worse by the day, partly because no-one at Amicus had taken the time to update me of the situation, partly because having a dangerous tree in my garden for over two weeks is not acceptable and largely because we had warned Amicus and asked them to deal with this situation before we had to get to this point.
I had the call escalated to someone who now seems to have this matter in hand (If not you will be hearing more from me) and I hope we can get this dealt with promptly.
My overriding concern is that should the wind have been blowing in another direction the outcome could have been far worse than bikes, gardening equipment and my children's toys (plus two sheds) and I feel totally let down by Amicus who seem to only have any regard for their own tenants and properties. I would suggest a complaints system is put in place so that members of the general public who have genuine concerns are able to raise issues and action is taken against any tenants breaking your tenancy agreements should this be required.
I would also like details of how I (and my neighbours) will be re-imbursed for my losses as they seem to be increasing with everyday this is delayed.
I look forward to hearing from you
Since this email the tree has been removed by my sheds and contents are written off. I have contacted Amicus Horizon to address my concerns and seek compensation. I have been advised that their retired, disabled tenant is liable not them. The tenant is uninsured!
No one at Amicus will accept responsibility for their obligation to neighbouring properties, they are passing me from department to department and not returning calls at all. I now have no choice other than to involve the local authority and seek legal advice.
Disgusted at their lack of regard to their neighbours!
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