Bernicia to pay Storm Arwen fence damage costs

Bernicia tenants won’t have to pay for fences damaged during Storm Arwen with the housing association agreeing to pick up the bill for repairs.

This includes boundary fences and partition fencing between properties damaged during the storm.

Storm Arwen caused damage to hundreds of Bernicia properties across the North East last November and Bernicia has been working hard to deal with the scale of its impact.

While Bernicia pays for repairs to damaged homes and boundary fences, party fences between properties are not covered in the tenancy agreements as the landlord’s responsibility, meaning their upkeep is the responsibility of tenants.

But given the scale of the damage caused by Storm Arwen and existing pressures on household budgets, Bernicia has agreed to pay to repair or replace party fences that were damaged in the storm.

John Johnston, Bernicia Chief Executive, said: “Storm Arwen left unprecedented damage in its wake, with around 3,000 repairs raised to date to our tenants’ homes and damage ranging from holes in roofs to fences and boundary walls brought down. Given the location of our homes in the North East, our residents were particularly impacted by the storm.

“We immediately supported our residents and any emergency repairs to their homes were quickly undertaken. Non-urgent work to our properties is continuing in a planned fashion over the next few months.

“We are aware that we have received a lot of reports in relation to damage to fencing and have ourselves identified significant damage to fences through the post-storm estates surveys we carried out.

“We understand the worry this has caused tenants and the financial pressures they already face with the extra cost of rising household bills.

“We don’t want to add to that financial burden and so have agreed that Bernicia will pay to repair or replace party fences as well – which are normally the responsibility of tenants – damaged or destroyed by Storm Arwen.”

Bernicia will contact tenants whose properties have suffered fence damage to arrange a repair or like-for-like new fence.

Given the scale of the repairs required, this one-off programme of work is likely to take up to six months to complete, with a scheduled start date of early February.