Richmondshire council house carpet policy “completely gaga”, says councillor

Charities are facing mounting demands on their resources due to a “completely gaga”, wasteful and outdated council policy, it has been claimed.

Independent members of Richmondshire District Council claimed the authority was imposing a rule that all the carpets in council properties are removed every time a tenant left.

This policy, councillors claimed, was leaving incoming tenants facing large and unnecessary bills to carpet their homes.

Richmond councillor Linda Curran said while charities such as the Reverend Matthew Hutchinson’s charity were helping cover costs of about £1,000 to carpet a three-bedroom home, many incoming tenants would be prepared to pay to have carpets cleaned instead.

She said recent cases included carpets in excellent condition that were just a couple of months old being thrown out a property by the council despite pleas from the incoming tenant to keep them.

Cllr Curran said: “The council has taken a view that everybody’s carpets are flea-ridden, but that cannot be the case.”

Volunteers for other charities, such as Richmond Pride, said potential solutions included getting incoming tenants to sign a waiver or buy the old carpets for a nominal fee.

They expressed concerns for tenants in areas such as Colburn where they said charitable cash boosts were more difficult to come by.

Councillor Stuart Parsons said the introduction of Universal Credit had left some residents with little or no funding to buy carpets.

He said: “Charities would much rather be buying a cooker than carpets and by retaining carpets tenants would feel like they are moving into a home rather than a cave.”

After a meeting of the authority’s scrutiny committee heard Cllr Curran call on the council to scrap its policy to “automatically replace carpets”, members expressed incredulity.

Members said incoming tenants with children had no option but to pay for new carpets due to fears of injuries from the sharp grippers left behind on the floor.

The committee’s chairman, Councillor Jamie Cameron described the policy as “completely gaga” and repeatedly said it was “too stupid to be true”.

He said: “With carpet cleaning these days you can do anything.”

Councillor Susan Fairhurst said she feared absolutely immaculate carpets were being thrown out for no good reason.

She said: “Decisions should be taken depending on the carpets condition. It seems an absolute waste.”

A council spokeswoman said it tried to inspect properties before tenants moved out and if carpets were found to be in a satisfactory condition and the outgoing tenant wanted to leave them, the authority would agree to that.

She said: “It doesn’t happen often as a lot of the time the carpets are not in a condition that would allow them to be left in the property and/or the outgoing tenant has had dogs/cats which affects the ability to leave the carpets.

“Therefore generally, the outgoing tenant is required to remove all carpets/floor coverings along with all of their possessions when they vacate or be recharged for items left, in accordance with their tenancy agreement.

2 Comments

  1. Local housing assc are doing this too, my daughter moved into a property 3 months ago and asked for the carpets to be left as they were good . But on moving in day they werent there . She had no extra money to carpet the property so we have had to help as all the grippers were left and she has a 2 year old

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