Wrangle over �60 Norwich council bill

The window of a flat in Thorpe Hamlet has become the subject of a four-year wrangle after a couple refused to pay Norwich City Council a �60 maintenance bill.

Gavin and Selena Wright, who live on Camp Grove, may take legal action against the council, which called in the bailiffs last week to recover the financial cost of having to check the safety of a ground floor window in 2007.

But the couple have hit back against the claims, saying they are refusing to pay the bill because the council said it would write off the charge in 2008.

The �60 charge was first issued to the couple in 2007 when Mrs Wright called the council to check the safety of a window after the fire brigade was forced to prise it open when she was locked out of her flat.

At the time, the council accidentally charged the couple the cost of having the windows reglazed, despite the work never being carried out. An apology was sent to the couple by letter, but the council are still seeking full payment for the call-out fee of having the window checked.

Mr Wright, who owns Wright Distribution, said the fee is extortionate because the maintenance worker only visited the flat for five minutes and did not have to make any repairs.

He said: I am absolutely disgusted by the way the council has treated us. I work so hard and every day I come home to find my wife in tears. There has to be someone at the council who has got this wrong – it is making my life a misery.'

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He was wrongly sent a court summons from Norwich City Council earlier this year, but the council apologised for the error when it was revealed that Mrs Wright had paid the bill.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: 'When a repair is the responsibility of the tenant, they can either opt to have this work done themselves, or ask us to have our contractors do this work; for which the tenant will be recharged. At the time of reporting a repair, we make this clear to the tenant so they can make an informed choice.

'It is important that money owing is paid and invoices, reminders and other correspondence about this debt is not ignored as this could result in recovery action being taken.'

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772439 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk