RESIDENTS living in a block of flats have been charged thousands of pounds over several years for a lift that they have no access to. 

A block of 12 flats, at Belford Court, Laud Close in Reading, has been charged hundreds of pounds each year for lift maintenance, by the housing association One Housing. 

However, there is no lift in the block of flats. The housing association has admitted it made a mistake in the service charge booklet sent out to residents in February, and issued a new booklet in March without the lift charge. 

But now residents are saying One Housing should refund them for lift maintenance charges from previous years. One resident, who asked not to be named, has been charged since 2014. 

She said: “I even let the lift maintenance guy in once and he went up the stairs and said ‘where’s the lift?’”

Another resident, who also asked not to be named, said: “Why are we being charged for facilities we have no access to?” 

A spokeswoman for One Housing said: “There has unfortunately been a small number of errors when allocating costs for lift maintenance in previous year-end accounts at Belford Court. 

“We are now correcting this and will be contacting the residents who have been impacted and refunding them in due course.” 

The block also has problems with rats. One resident said she found a dead rat on the path by the block two weeks ago. She said: “We’ve had a rat problem for years.”

The One Housing spokeswoman said: “No evidence of rats or other pests were found. We will continue to monitor this regularly through our monthly inspections of Belford Court and will take appropriate action where necessary.”

Another problem is the front door to the block which is broken. Residents said this had led to their post being stolen. One said the door has been broken for the whole two years he has lived there. 

The One Housing spokeswoman said: “We found that both front doors were in good working condition, with a fob needed to gain access to the property.”