AN ASCOT man has told how his years-long battle with a housing association left him in “absolute tears”.

The private homeowner claims he has faced “intimidation” from housing association Radian since 2014 after a dispute over “six inches of land” led to court cases, “bullying” and the threat of an injunction.

The man, who spoke to the News on condition of anonymity, said: “I was bullied by Radian.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through. I was in absolute tears. I didn’t go out, I didn’t cut the grass for ages because I just didn’t want to go out.

“It was a lot and it really was depressing.

“It was David vs Goliath. I know right from wrong. My wife hates it but I do stand up for what’s mine and stand up for those can’t.

“When I say there were dark times, there were dark times.”

The dispute began in 2014 when the man started work on an extension to his Ascot home.

After the work was completed, the man wanted the fence on the property to move back to its original position, after the Radian tenant next door had moved their property to six inches inside the man’s land.

The man contacted Radian to ask them to move their tenant’s decking and structures back six inches so it was not on his land but he claims this was dismissed by the housing association after a Radian representative threatened to sue him, and that the last person who entered a legal battle with Radian lost £14,000.

The man claims this was when the “bullying and intimidation” started.

A complaint was submitted by the affected homeowner but Radian told him they did not recognise his complaint because he was not a Radian tenant.

Following a series of agreements between surveyors and Radian on defining the boundary the Ascot Man was still unable to get full access to his land.

In May 2016, the man took Radian to court and a Tomlin Order was issued, which ordered Radian to give the man access back to the six inches of land running down the 40-meter long boundary.

This came despite the housing association hiring Blake Morgan LLP, one of the most expensive solicitors groups in the country to represent them.

Following the settlement, the man received correspondence from Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) and Radian to say both parties would look at trying to improve the situation. 

However the dispute re-emerged in June 2017 after a Radian worker started painting the property next door, but to do so they placed a ladder on the man’s property and began work at 8am.

The man’s fury fell on deaf ears after Radian claimed they were unaware of the situation, which led to the homeowner setting up a Twitter account and a website to air his views on Radian’s actions.

The housing association did not respond to him on the social media site, but instead communicated with him by issuing a letter threatening an injunction from solicitors Devonshires.

The letter demanded the homeowner close his Twitter account and his website citing “anti-social behaviour”, in a similar move to how Kensington and Chelsea council threatened Grenfell Action Group before the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.

The man said: “You can’t allege anti-social behaviour for freedom of speech if your comments are your views.”

Radian backed down from its demands and had a meeting with the man and Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) at the end of 2017 to discuss a protocol, supported and signed by the council, which detailed how complaints from non-tenants would be handled going forward.

However people in senior positions have since left the housing association and the protocol has largely been forgotten about by the housing association.

At the time of writing the homeowner and the council were set to meet to discuss his concerns over Radian’s behaviour and their “obsolete” protocol, but prior to this the Ascot man was critical of the lack of intervention from the authority.

He said: “It is unacceptable that the council should be forcing housing associations on to private homeowners and tenants, putting them next door but not putting any protection in place.

“If a private homeowner like me has an issue with the behaviour with a housing association or their staff, then I should get support.

“The council should put in place mechanisms to arbitrate, but they won’t because the housing associations are private. You are completely left alone and I thought that was unacceptable.

“We haven't enjoyed the last four years of our lives. If someone wasn’t as strong as me, where would that take them?”

In response, a spokesman from the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead said: “There is an ongoing dispute between the individual concerned and Radian. The council has and will continue to attempt to mediate between those concerned to find a satisfactory resolution.”

Radian declined to comment.