City West Housing Trust certainly knows how to respond to complaints from its residents. Back in March this year, there were howls of protest from tenants at Cremer House in Eccles after the social housing company proposed to begin an exterior window cleaning service, despite residents claiming they were told initially that the windows were 'self cleaning'.
City West was proposing to clean the windows on "a twice yearly basis", with a fee of £1.30 per week, plus a 20p per week "management fee", on top of service charges already in place.
This worked out at around £6 per month, or £72 per year, for two cleans; one in spring and one in the autumn. Or £36 per clean.
Tenant, Ali Cassim told the Salford Star at the time: "My flat is one-bedroom so I only have three windows in it, which means that City West is charging me £12 per window per clean...How on earth have they reached a figure like that?"*
This week, Ali has been back in touch with the Star, showing a letter from City West to tenants concerning the window cleaning, stating that it has "taken on board... customer feedback".
The result? "We would now like to provide you with the opportunity to say whether you would prefer one or two cleans per year..."
One clean per year would be 98p per week (85p service charge and 13p management fee), which works out even more expensive, relatively than two cleans per year. For Ali's three windows it would cost £50.96 per year, or over £16 per window.
"You will note that the cost of one clean per year is not half of two cleans per year" states the City West letter to residents "This is due to the contractor being able to offer a more competitive price for more work volume..."
And just to add insult to the window pain, City West adds that the prices quoted "could be subject to change as the costs provided have been based on all blocks having 1 or 2 cleans per year..."
Ali still feels like he is "being taken to the cleaners", as do other residents who have been in touch with the Salford Star...
* See also the previous Salford Star article: Salford Tenants Taken To The Cleaners By City West – click here