12 People who view this area pay…

To have a portion of the Above pictures Grassed Lawn area Cut by professional gardening services or groundskeeping services provided by their “Landlords”.

Question 1 ~ Which part is being paid to be cut?

Question 2 ~ Why are 12 people are being charged monthly regardless of if it is “Grass Cutting Season” or not?  The rate stays the same 12 months each year???

All answers posted by Registered SOTG Accounts below will be entered into a competition and the First Prize is:

A Novice Level Bonsai Tree supplied by Rutland Bonsai Therapy.uk.

Bonsai Tree 1st Prize will be a 2-4 Year old Tree and supplied in a Plastic Training Pot.

With instructions and links for how to care for it and style it.

About the area in the picture.

Spot the difference competition ~ #1: – SOTG Summer – Community Awareness and Beautification Campaign 2019

As can be seen from the photograph; it is part of a communal grassed area between blocks of flats.

Typical Decades old properties used to put lots of people into a small space; but provide enough greenery to stop people going stir crazy and give lip service to Horticultural Therapy.

Part of the “Rent” for one of these flats also comes with an incorporated and non negotiable service charge which is paid weekly.

That Service charge is meant to cover utilities to clean and care for the communal living areas as well as tend and clean the external areas and surrounding grassed, planted or landscaped areas surrounding the flats.  It is meant to cover the lighting and public entry and exits, parking area and all housing repairs costs?  As well as external lighting and security?

Yet only the cold water brought with the contracted cleaners is used as non is available on site nor is hot water used to mop or clean with as non is provided for the cleaning staff?   Residents have offered cleaners hot water; and they have refused to take the offer…

There Is however electric provided for the cleaning operatives to clean the communal areas with, & lights to work under and so the residents can see their way in and out of their homes.  The cleaners nor maintenance operatives for some reason do not report non working lights or other works urgently requiring repair while about their duties.

The Service charge fee paid weekly by these tenants Is also supposed to cover the grass cutting & weed control over the growing season and prevent bordering land encroachment annually.

Or are they supposed to be covered in the Actual Rent portion of what a Landlord touted as a Housing Association is supposed to provide when they rent out accommodation?  These spaces are also often allocated to low income or at risk people…  As it is intended to be low cost housing yet it is surrounded by private properties and more importantly those are serviced by Council cleaning and cutting crews…

Why do these flat tenants pay such a high rate of Council Tax if they are also paying to have their living space cleaned by private outside contractors forced on them by their Housing Association Landlord?

If the Flats were in Private rent state and condition/ownership; the rent would be much higher given the space inside the flats is generous and main local amenities are close by.

The flats have residential private parking space & the postcode value and high property values in the area means it is a sought after place to live.

While this is low cost/rent housing supplied for low income people; why is the area they live being kept in such a low rent condition for the Service Charges being paid and the Council Tax also being paid?

Seem fair or right to you?

Sadly though for the residents.

The standard of accommodation and it’s general upkeep is shocking and decades old or out of date.

Repair levels are poor; if not dangerous or damn right risky and health endangering in some of the flats.

Many of the flats are not equipped to provide the tenants daily required facilities or equipment.  Personal care or health needs met, entry and exit to their homes is made difficult as ramps or stable and clean, non slip surfaces or bannisters or support rails.  Let alone easy access to unassigned parking spaces for people who have low mobility and are forced to walk up inclines pr slopes making daily life difficult.

The newer build houses on an adjoining parcel of land recently redeveloped are modern and landscaped differently and the upkeep levels are different.  Assigned housing parking spaces and visitor spaces.  Level and easy access to homes.

A wooden fence was built and partitioned the older build and style flats from the new build houses; they are surrounded by modern and metal fencing which is less prone to damage but also easier to see through and is far less oppressive and visually restricting.

The road to the newer houses is higher than the lowest floor of some residents flats so people can peer in from height down in to their private spaces and gardens if they have one.

Why are all these flat residents paying for such low quality care of their homes and surrounding living spaces?

Because they live in Spire or now Longhurst Housing Groups and Housing Association Homes.

An association merging and name changing till you do not know who you are paying money too or who is being paid to tend your spaces and homes with vital and nonvital services; but ones you have as a tenant no choice but to accept regardless of how poor previous years services have been and how urgent your needs might be.

The name changes but the people coming into your home to repair it are the same.

Regardless of how good or bad they service your home; year after year.


These tenants are paying rent regardless because they have no choice.

They are told pay your rent first or you will eventually be evicted; even if the money to pay for food and utilities is not there for those items.  Housing associations caring for tenants or prioritising their money and low level of housing, care and services are paid for so they can then profit from a “Lowest contract bidder” attitude and stance; charging tenants a set annual fee regardless of services needs in different seasons.  Yet actually deliver a sub standard low quality service not providing the tenants of those homes the care they require and they are being paid to do?

When they change names you are sure any debts for rent are carried over; what about the years of complaints for poor service or issues within these homes?  Or the long lists of work screaming and needing to be done to make these homes safe and habitable; or modernised and brought into line with surrounding properties and neighbouring areas?

Will all those complaints or works pending carry over and people be compensated for years of inflated service charges and poor service for the money paid?

I doubt it.


The competition:

The image at the top of the post shows 3 different levels of cut and one is being paid for to be cut by Burleys.

This is the same image:

Spot the difference competition ~ #1: – SOTG Summer – Community Awareness and Beautification Campaign 2019

Top longest grass in the images is Cut 1.

Below that and the shorter Cut is Cut 2.

The Fenced off and enclosed lawn bottom of the picture is a medium cut and is Cut 3.

(The left hand fenced off – very tall grass area ~ is a bonus “Guess what that one is supposed to look like” Easter Egg.)

Which of the above pictured Grass cut; is the one Burleys are being paid to do for these Flat tenants?

Cut 1, 2 or 3?


The rules:


You must Register with Shadow of the Gardener.uk to Post your Answer.

You must also Like and Share the Shadow of the Gardener Facebook Page and Like & Share the Post for this Competition on Facebook.

The competition closes 1st September 2019.

The Winner will be contacted by their email registered with the Shadow of the Gardener Website.

You will be informed you have won and when you respond will be asked for your address and postal details to verify yourself when it is time to collect your Bonsai Tree.

Collection of your prize will be from either Uppingham or if possible by appointment; locally to Uppingham and a Publicity photograph will be required to provide proof a Prize was Won and collected.

If you do not respond to the Winner notification Email within 28 Days the Bonsai Tree may be re-prized or allocated for another SOTG Prize or event.

No alternate prizes are on offer.

RBT’s Winner Draw/Tree allocation decision is final; and the Bonsai tree supplied will depend on seasonal stock and availability.

If you are not happy with the rules; please do not enter and remember it is a bit of fun. 😉