A resident of Riverside Housing Association in Carlisle has issued a warning to fellow tenants after an error left him facing an additional bill of almost £300.

Gerard McEvoy, who lives on Edwards Street, first noticed the discrepancy when he received a letter indicating a “rent adjustment” charge of £297.

Since then, he has been inundated with letters about being in arrears, which he described as a "complete injustice."

While reviewing accounts in Mr McEvoy’s area, Riverside discovered they had failed to charge some customers correctly for services during the 2022/23 and 2023/24 periods.

Although Riverside decided not to recuperate these backdated costs, an error occurred when Mr McEvoy’s account was mistakenly charged for undercharges. 

The subsequent letters came from an automated system from the housing association.

Unexpected discrepancies have since been corrected on his account.

Mr McEvoy, a former management accountant for Impact Housing, cited concerns over the company's practice of 'retroactively applying costs' and its potential impact on residents, particularly the elderly - however Riverside said it is 'standard practice' within the housing sector to provide customers with estimated costs, and make adjustments once actual costs are known.

“My worry is how many haven’t complained about this and will just happily pay the figures they are told,” Mr McEvoy said.

“If they are doing this to Gerry McEvoy in Carlisle, how many other people are affected by this especially when you consider how many residents are elderly,” he said.

A spokesperson for Riverside said: “We want to sincerely apologise to Mr McEvoy for any distress caused by a recent error made on his rent account, which resulted in him receiving arrears correspondence.

“We have spoken to Mr McEvoy to reassure him that he will not have to pay for what was incorrectly overcharged to his account and that we are rectifying the situation.

“We are committed to continuing to improve our services and are investigating this issue to learn from it and ensure we get things right for all our customers in the future.

“For help from our dedicated support team, we ask that our customers visit riverside.org.uk/letstalk or call 0800 529 8789.”