A RETIRED homeowner has hit out at soaring fees on his Port Glasgow home.

Charles Scally, 70, says Link Housing, who are the factors for his flat, have increased charges by a huge amount over the last couple of years.

The pensioner has lived in his end terraced house in Colonsay Avenue for 35 years and wants to know how the increase, for maintenance of common areas, can be justified.

He said: “This is not about the money.

“It’s the amount they’ve put the fees up.

“The bills are shooting up but the cost of the maintenance is not.”

He says his bill jumped from £15 a year to £30 in 2015 but questions about the rise were not answered.

He said: “They said they were looking after residents’ health and safety.”

Charles said the bill then increased again to £66 and now the charge stands at £105 plus VAT.

When Mr Scally queried this he received a letter from Becki Hodkinson, Link’s commercial services administrator.

It states that the increase has been prompted by a 2016 report by the Scottish Housing Regulator about factoring services.

The research found that management fees ranged from £26.75 to £204 per annum.

The letter reads: “We believe our fees are lower than those of commercial factors and we want them to be affordable to owners, whilst still being viable to deliver and remain unsubsidised by our income generated from tenant’s rents.

“The properties at Park Farm were originally charged an annual administration fee of £36 including VAT for the administration and management of ground maintenance and common repairs.”

Link bosses carried out a review and which looked at costs on a scheme to scheme basis and as a result the current increase was made.

But Mr Scally said: “It’s ridiculous they can put these fees up by this much.

“They’re looking at other schemes and if they are paying more they are getting us to pay more. But every area is different.”

Councillor Christopher Curley says he had been approached by several constituents unhappy about the rise.

He said: “There appears to have been a lack of good quality communication on behalf of Link with residents and homeowners in Park Farm over what they have proposed.”

Councillor David Wilson, a board member of Link, has asked the director for a public meeting which has now been set up.

He said: “Around seven or eight years ago Link took over responsibility for Port Glasgow Housing Association when it went into liquidation.

“Link took over responsibility for tenants and homeowners.

“Link only want to break even.

“The fees will be explained and discussed at the public meeting and will give all my constituents the opportunity to ask questions.”

A Link spokeswoman told the Telegraph: “We can confirm that a public meeting with residents has been organised for 1 December 2017 at 7pm at Boglestone Community Centre.

“The meeting will be to explain to residents the fee increase being applied and to answer any questions residents may have.”