ARTICLE IN THE HARTLEPOOL MAIL
Patricia Brown from The Sycamores next to the
spot where her washing pole was removed by the
residents association. Picture by FRANK REID
A disabled pensioner says she is ‘devastated’
after a washing post was removed in a
long-running dispute with her resident’s
Patricia Brown, 73, who has metal plates in both
arms and shoulders as a result of previous
injuries, had the metal post installed near her
home on The Sycamores private estate in
Hartlepool three years ago.
Mrs Brown with three letters from the residents
association. Picture by FRANK REID
But the estate’s resident’s association told her
it was in breach of the terms of her lease and
instructed her to take it down.
Mrs Brown refused and following years of
wrangles with the association, she recently
returned home to find the post had been removed
and taken away.
said: “I didn’t think they would ever do it. I
went in the town to the bank and came home. I
had a load of washing to hang out. I went round
the corner and my post was gone.“I was
devastated. That was my property.”
washing post that was removed from outside
Patricia Brown's home in a dispute with the
estate's residents association.
The washing post was erected on an area of
common land a few feet from her apartment and
could have a line attached to it when needed.
Brown added: “It was specially made for me. It
was a low one so I didn’t have to put my hands
up too high.
“They took my post down because they said when
people walk past they could see my washing."
five years ago she suffered a broken right
shoulder and elbow after she was knocked over by
a drink driver and later injured her other arm
when she fell over on ice.
led to her selling her home and moving into a
downstairs apartment at The Sycamores in Rift
Shortly after Mrs Brown moved on to the estate
in June 2013 she bought a rotary washing line
but says she was told to take it down as it was
on common land which she did.
properties on the estate are leasehold. A clause
of the lease is that residents must not hang
clothes or other articles on the outside of
their properties apart from in their gardens.
Mrs Brown took legal advice on the post and
claimed removing it would be against the
the end of January a property management
company, which acts on behalf of the resident’s
association, wrote to Mrs Brown giving her seven
days to remove the washing pole.
said it contravened the terms of the lease
adding: “Failure to do so within the given time
will result in us sending out our maintenance
team to remove it on your behalf.
are alternative drying areas available for your
On February 8, they wrote again stating: “After
due consideration, the committee have decided
that the washing pole will come down, with the
option for yourself to use a small rotary dryer.
would be required to be brought in after use as
it would be in public view.
committee are offering you a genuine
rotary washing line has since been installed,
but Mrs Brown says it is too high for her to use
due to her disability.
managing agent of the property management
company, and secretary of The Sycamores
Resident’s Association, both declined to