People at an independent living home for elderly residents have been told to pay up for more pest control – despite already paying for it.

In a letter complaining to their housing association, Habinteg, the residents of Ash Close, Edgware said they were paying for regular pest control.

However, Habinteg says the payments were for irregular treatments and not regular work.

In the meantime, the residents have had to put up with mice, and other pests which come back straight away after a treatment which the residents say has not happened for a long time.

Each resident already pays around £16 a year which is being increased to around £61 a year - the residents say this is a lot of money to spend in proportion to their pensions.

This dispute has been ongoing with complaints ranging back five years.

Terry Wise is a resident and representative of the others at Ash Close.

He said “This is incompetence or deceit its unacceptable that they drag this out for years.

“It might not seem like a lot of money for some people, but this is for us.

“People are paying this out of their pensions, and now Habinteg wants to increase the costs.

“This is disgraceful in how we have been treated.”

A Habinteg spokesperson said: “We are moving towards a proactive method of treatment which means our contractor will attend eight times a year, with additional treatments to be considered if necessary.

“We believe this will be more effective and represent better value for money for tenants in the long term.

“In previous years, the cost of the pest control service to Ash Close has been equivalent to the amount the tenants have paid.

“We always consider the potential impact to tenants when setting our service charges, and the increase in cost reflects an accurate price for the more frequent service the tenants will receive going forward.

“We will continue to engage with our tenants on this issue.

“All tenants receive notifications of an increase in their service charge before it happens and can talk to us if they have any questions.”

The Housing Ombudsman has confirmed that the residents of Ash Close have filed a complaint and are looking at the case.