A FACTORING firm has increased a bill for owners on a housing development in a Glasgow suburb by 300%.

Hacking and Paterson, based in Glasgow and Edinburgh, has increased a maintenance float from £25 a year to £100 in one go – and owners said they had been warned it could double again.

Residents in the Regent's Park estate in Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire, are outraged by the increase and have contacted their MSP for advice.

The Evening Times reported last week that Hacking and Paterson director David Doran told MSPs on the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee that some owners did not understand how much it cost factors to change a light bulb.

Now home owners in the estate of more than 300 properties have told of their anger and dissatisfaction with the company.

James Dornan, MSP for Cathcart, has organised a meeting for residents this week to hear their concerns.

He said the original letter implied the reason for the increase was the new Property Factors Act, when it was, in fact, a commercial decision.

Alex Silverman, 68, who has lived in the estate for 11 years, said: "The float, on top of the usual bills, has been £25. Then we had a letter saying it was going up to £100. Next year it said it could be £200.

"It said it was because some people had not paid their bills.

"I have 175 signatures already out of 329 owners saying we do not want Hacking and Paterson as our factor. Many other home owners were uncontactable and have still to reply.

Mr Dornan met Mr Doran who, he said, told him the reason for the float increase was some had not paid their bills.

The MSP said: "Having heard from the residents of Regent's Park Estate, I am aware of the strength of feeling that exists about the steep rise in the amount of money they are being asked to pay and the poor level of service people believe they are receiving from Hacking and Paterson.

"It is unfair to ask the honest, decent majority who pay their bills on time to take on a 300% increase because a debt of tens of thousands of pounds has run up.

"I will be holding a public meeting for the residents of the estate with the hope of establishing a residents' committee, so we can work together on this and any other issue people would like to raise."

Hacking and Paterson said its meetings with owners were "positive".

David Doran said: "We got the residents together to meet them. We had some positive responses from the owners and there is another meeting to be held."

On the float increase he said: "There was a lack of funding. There was a lack of payment."

stewart.paterson@ eveningtimes.co.uk