A DAD has hit out after he was told his daughter’s bike is a fire hazard and he must pay a fine to get it back.
The parents of Chelsea-Louise Dunn, 10, were told by Synergy housing officers to remove the bike from outside their top-floor flat in Beverley Road, Littlemoor.
They were told that if it is still there when officers return it will be removed – and the family would need to pay £25 to get it back.
And if the fee isn’t paid within 28 days, the bike will be destroyed.
Chelsea’s father Paul, a carpenter, said he feels Synergy is ‘stealing’ from the 10-year-old, who uses her bike to cycle to school.
“I can’t believe they are going to come and basically steal my daughter’s bike and make me pay to get it back,” he said.
“The bike isn’t hurting anybody.
“We are just a family trying to work hard and get through life.”
He added: “We have lived here for over nine years and it’s never been a problem.
“None of our neighbours have a problem with it.
“We live right at the top, we are at the end of the line- nobody has to go past the bike to our front door unless they’re coming to see us.
“I’ve never heard anybody moan, the neighbours are completely fine with it.
“We also pay a service charge for the public areas.
“I don’t see what we get out of that.”
He says Chelsea is part of her school’s cycle club but if the bike is taken she won’t be able to participate.
A spokesman for Synergy said: “In July, we wrote to all our customers living at any developments which have communal areas advising them to keep all communal landings and hallways clear for fire safety reasons.
“The safety and wellbeing of all our customers is always our top priority.
“We work closely with Dorset Fire and Rescue Service to ensure we continue to comply with current fire safety legislation.
“It’s essential that, in the event of an emergency, customers can leave their homes safely and swiftly, and without obstruction.
“In line with legislation, we advised our customers communal areas would be inspected on a quarterly basis.
“Any items left in the communal areas would be stickered to advise they needed to be moved.
“If the items remain there after 14 days, then we will have no alternative but to remove them.
“Customers will need to pay £25 for any items to be returned, or they will be destroyed after 28 days if we don’t hear from them.
“We’ve also reinforced this safety message with posters, which are displayed in all communal areas.
“We’d encourage customers who have any concerns or would like more details to contact their neighbourhood officer.”