OUTRAGED residents on an Andover housing estate have been told that they could be charged £20,000 each towards remedial works to be undertaken by their housing association landlord.

At a heated meeting on Monday night held by Aster Communities, leaseholders on Kingsway Gardens were told that a survey had indicated maintenance works needed to solve water ingress problems to a total value of £2.07 million.

But angry property holders in Saxon, Stuart, Tudor and York courts have questioned why they should pay when it is Aster’s “lack of maintenance”

that has caused the problems.

There were calls for the housing association to consult their buildings insurance company to see whether the works could be covered through the policy.

Aster took over the freehold of the flats 14 years ago from Test Valley Borough Council and the leases state that they are responsible for maintaining the exterior of the property, including the guttering and balconies.

Occupants pay nearly £1,000 per year to Aster for service charges.

Work suggested in the survey, carried out by Wellings Partnership, includes replacement of the “complicated layout”

of gutters and downpipes, and repairs and replacement to the asphalt covering on the balconies.

Some residents who were due to exchange contracts last week have been left in limbo as their sales were put on hold until a solution is reached.

One resident who purchased one of the 120 leasehold properties in December with a £2,000 retainer to cover any proposed maintenance charges has been left angered after discovering that sum could be ten times the original amount.

Gary Rayner, of Stuart Court, said: “It is an outrage for the sellers whose premises are basically blacklisted as a result.

“I went round the estate and looking at the state of the properties it doesn’t look like an estate that has been receiving regular maintenance. It has been neglected and they are pushing the costs back onto residents.”

Saxon Court resident Anita Lim said: “The main reason that everybody is so angry is that we have been telling them about the issues with the drainage for years, we have paperwork going back to 2007.

These issues have been left so long it has made things much worse.”

Alamein ward councillor Phil North attended the meeting and spoke to residents on Monday night.

He said: “This is an awful situation for the residents to be in. Not only are they faced with a huge bill but their properties have been effectively blacklisted.

“They are rightly demanding more detailed answers from Aster and I have promised to do all I can to support their cause.”

Aster has confirmed the estimated costs of the work were £2.07 million, but the final figure could be even higher.

A spokesman said: “We’ve been honest and open with customers at all times about the works required at Kingsway Gardens. We’re working closely with our solicitors to ensure any costs we pass on to customers are kept to an absolute minimum and in accordance with the terms of their leases.

“We’re continuing to work with customers to explore possible repayment options and we have agreed to look again at the buildings’ insurance to check if the costs for the works will be covered.

We’ll be contacting customers when we have an answer to this.”