KINGSWAY Garden residents have reacted to the news of the Aster tribunal outcome, with many living in the affected blocks now in fear of how they will afford the huge sum, despite Aster offering a payment plan.

One Kingsway Gardens resident said: “There are poor people living here, they don’t have this money. People taking medication they are doubling medication.

“The tribunal cost a lot of money and caused us stress as well, and the outcome is nearly zero – it is too pathetic.”

Gary Rayner, of Stuart Court, said that Aster has “creamed off” those who earn an average wage, adding “at the moment Aster is failing householders miserably”.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg as to where we are all at at Kingsway Gardens. We need to look at it in a more long-term picture as to the financial effects to all the residents.

“The properties have been devalued by Aster by about £20,000 and it will be very difficult for people to raise that kind of money.”

However, Mr Rayner said he was pleased with the outcome of the tribunal and labelled it a “victory for the residents”.

He added: “A lot of hard work and determination went into the fight against Aster and the tribunal.

“Thank you to our legal team and all the people that have represented us against Aster. It is a significant outcome to which it is not fully explained to the extent of the effect on the residents at the moment.”

But one resident told the Advertiser that she could not understand why the costs were recouped earlier.

The Stuart Court resident, who asked not to be named, said: “For us it is a disaster. It is not fair because why didn’t they just add this to the service charge earlier?”

The homeowner, who was in tears, added that she might have to sell her flat as she will be unable to pay her bill.

She added: “We don’t have the money to fight them again. We will not pay what they want, or we will have to sell our flat to pay for it because we haven’t got that kind of money.”

“It is like they are keeping us in prison as we can’t sell until we have got our bill.”

Tudor Court resident Angela Thorpe said: “I think we are feeling much the same, most of the decision went our way and the tribunal agreed the work wasn’t necessary but there doesn’t seem to be much reduction in the bill.

“I’m a pensioner and I certainly can’t afford to fork out that money – £400-500 a month – I haven’t got that sort of spare cash. If we did we would be living somewhere else wouldn’t we?”

“The ball is in Aster’s court at the moment, but we are not giving up.”

Another resident Paul Butcher said he needs to sell his flat to be able to have an operation and recover in ground floor accommodation, but he fears he might not be able to.

He added: “I just want it to be over so I can sell. What I would like to know is the prices of our flats and what it would be on the open market for us.

“I was on the verge of selling just as the announcement came out and now I am stuck and can’t go anywhere.”

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