Brother ‘disgusted’ by housing charge

The brother of a widow who died suddenly is 'disgusted' after the housing association which provided her home demanded a month's rent following her death.

James Fox, 71, from The Oval in Saham Toney, found his 87-year-old sister, Joan Nurse, dead in her Little Dunham home on September 3.

She had lived in the Flagship Housing home in Necton Road for 46 years and Breckland Council had paid a month's rent up until the day of her death.

Mr Fox, who also lives in a Flagship home, was charged �462 by the housing association because his sister had not given a month's notice.

He said: 'I just wonder how you would give a month's notice if you didn't know you were going to die.'

An inquest at Norwich heard she died from a burst blood vessel in her liver. Mrs Nurse's funeral was held at St Margaret's Church, Little Dunham, on September 24.

Don Evans, director of housing for Flagship, said: 'On behalf of Flagship, I would like to convey my condolences to the family of Mr Fox for their sad loss. I would also like to apologise to Mr Fox if there has been any misunderstanding over the tenancy agreement of his late sister.

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'It is common practice when a tenancy ends this way, that there is a four-week period of notice required from the next-of-kin. This would have been agreed with Mrs Nurse when she signed her tenancy.

'Mr Fox notified Flagship on September 5 and would have been advised on how to proceed with the closure of this tenancy, including the clearance of the property.'

Mr Fox, a retired Highways Agency worker, was charged �648 to empty the home, cleared by September 17, which he was happy to pay. He said he would be prepared to pay half of the month's rent.

He said he thought the housing association had not shown any 'compassion'.

'Last week I was angry. I cannot believe it when they said you have to give a month's notice. I'll never get my head around it,' Mr Fox added.