Islington woman takes on housing association and wins

�A brave woman who successfully fought a housing association that overcharged her by thousands of pounds is encouraging other people not to be bullied.

Mary Morris, 60, of Barnsbury, took Partners for Improvement in Islington (PFI), which runs some of the borough’s council housing, to a tribunal and won after she was sent a repair bill for almost �10,000 in 2008.

Poor health

Mrs Morris, who was in poor health at the time, spent three years fighting the charge before the Leaseholders Valuation Tribunal (LVT) backed her claim and cut the charge to just over �2,000.

Speaking to the Gazette this week, she urged others to take on big organisations.

“It amounts to bullying and harassment and people should fight because they can win,” she said. “Even though it wears you down, don’t let them get away with it.

“The work was shoddy and they were charging me for things they hadn’t done.

Most Read

“It has been very distressing and upsetting and taken a lot of time.”

The LVT stated that the “appalling situation” arose because the project was not properly supervised.

The tribunal also said that it should not have been necessary for Mrs Morris to carry out “detailed and time-consuming investigative work” to identify the issues.

She said she had hired a surveyor, who said the original claim was too high, and sent many letters to the council without any meaningful response. The council said her letter had been received and was being processed.

A PFI spokesman “The decision to replace the roof was made by a qualified building surveyor and the roof was replaced accordingly.”