Saturday, September 02, 2006

Elderly woman taken to court by Housing Association lawyers on repairs bill

Taking an 86 year old woman to court in circumstances as reported by the Herald newspaper today, a reader could be forgiven for thinking there were ulterior motives for pursuing such a case, other than seeking payment for repairs of damages caused by vandals ... reports Injustice Scotland at

We at InjusticeScotland are reminded of a long running case in Glasgow, where a tennant of an unnamed Housing Assocation was subject to a life of shear hell, from officials of the Housing Association, their lawyers, who hounded them with letters, false demands for money, sent fake information to the Benefits Agency in an attempt to stop their benefits, and even brought in hired thugs 'in the payment of persons unknown', to orchestrate a campaign of violence to get rid of the tennant .. so their flat could be bought back by the Housing Association ....

It's not such a ridiculous idea, you know ... Housing Associations trying to oust private tennants so they can secure their property for a knock down price and bring it into their business .. this happens many times, almost daily, around Scotland ... and not just to private tennants either .. upset your Housing Association in any way at all .. even, just by complaining of their poor standards, or services .. then a well geared machine will be swung into action to make your life a misery until you disappear.

Did your lawyers over at the Housing Association get a big kick out of taking an 86 year old woman to court, trying to reclaim charges for repairs which were caused by vandals ? .. is that one of the rolls of honour these days which lawyers wear ? some good bragging rights at the weekend to spin out to colleagues how an old lady was victimised ? ... not a very good advertisement for our society, is it ?

Mary McDonald should not have to face such a case nor have to pay for damages caused by vandals ... shame on you, GHA, and our best wishes & full support go to Mrs McDonald in her case.

Read on for the article, from The Herald, at :

Widow, 86, pursued for £1000 repair bill
MARTIN WILLIAMS September 01 2006

An 86-year-old woman is facing legal action by a housing association over a £1000 bill to repair damage caused by vandals.

Grandmother Mary Macdonald appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday in connection with unpaid bills from the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).

Friends and family of the widow, who owns her home in the Knightswood block run by the GHA, attacked the decision to take court action against her.

They said she should not be held liable for the full £1045 demanded by the company, which covers damage by vandals including graffiti and smashed windows.

Sean Clerkin, chairman of the Glasgow Save our Homes Campaign, which opposes the transfer of local authority homes to housing associations, said: "This legal aggression against the elderly, the vulnerable and the poor must stop. Mrs Macdonald is happy to pay part of the bill, the section covering cracks and drains, but that only amounts to around £50 altogether."

After the hearing, Mrs Macdonald said she was "upset" but was determined to see the case through. Her daughter Catherine, 48, who co-owns the property but does not live at the address, said: "I think it's ridiculous, taking an 86-year-old to court."

Around a dozen supporters from Mrs Macdonald's Knightswood neighbourhood gathered at the court yesterday, where the case was sent to mediation. It will be negotiated with independent parties outwith the court next Thursday.

Sheriff Charles McFarlane said he wanted to avoid a full hearing "at all costs", given Mrs Macdonald's circumstances.

Mr Clerkin said the case had been distressing for Mrs Macdonald, who suffers from depression and osteoporosis. He added: "For the GHA to take her to court at all is inhumane, unjust and cruel."

The pensioner has received support from Glasgow MSP Sandra White of the SNP, who attended court.

The GHA, which is the UK's largest social landlord, said legal action was taken as a last resort after Mrs Macdonald failed to respond to letters.

A spokeswoman said: "GHA does not make the decision lightly to take people to court over non-payment.

"We have sent numerous letters to the co-owners of this property, Mrs Macdonald and her daughter Catherine, requesting that they come and speak with our staff. They have not responded to any of these."

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