Mum fumes as landlord demands she remove trampoline from shared garden

A mum has been left furious after a housing association told her to remove a child’s trampoline from a shared garden.

Caitlin Hamilton, 29, lives with her four-year-old son in a block of flats in Leith, Scotland, and shares a back garden with her neighbours.

Ms Hamilton said she bought the trampoline to keep her boy and other children from the area amused during the summer holidays.

The youngsters had been enjoying their new play equipment until housing association Harbour Homes ordered for it to be removed “without delay”.

Harbour Homes sent letters to the block’s tenants before sending a team in to take away the offending trampoline.

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Caitlin told Edinburgh Live: “It’s been the first summer all the kids have been out playing. We have met kids we have never met before. It’s been so nice, like a wee community has been built.”

She said Harbour Homes insisted the trampoline can’t be there and rejected a petition, saying the trampoline poses a health and safety risk when there are high winds.

The young mum added that she bought tent pegs to tether the trampoline down, but the housing association sent out a letter saying they would removing it.

Cailtin said: “They’re going to charge for the removal as well and they’ll be removing all the toys that they deem fit as they believe that they should be tided up when not in use and that they are a health and safety hazard.”

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She added: “The whole street is raging. It’s been so good to watch all of our kids playing, especially after Covid.

“My son is four-years-old and he did not get the socialisation he needed for the first few years of his life because of everything that was happening.

“All the kids are roughly the same age and I would understand if they were moaning about older kids but these are all four year olds bairns playing and they’re having the best time.

“I feel like they don’t care about the mental health of our kids. All the parks in the area are being done up so there is nowhere for them to go.

“I just don’t get the point in taking stuff away from kids. It’s my son’s trampoline and I feel like it’s going to really impact my son’s mental health.”

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A spokesperson for Harbour Homes said: “We really want all our tenants to enjoy using the communal garden. It’s also very important that we do everything we can to keep everyone safe. That’s why we ask tenants not to keep particularly large toys which create a health and safety threat, such as trampolines, in the shared garden.”

The spokesperson explained trampolines are considered high-risk play equipment by the association’s insurers, adding: “Having spoken to some of the tenants involved, we are going to review this again with our insurers to check if there is any possibility that they could cover them.

“When large items are being stored in communal areas, we ask tenants to remove them. If this doesn’t happen, and the item poses a risk to health and safety, then we give tenants notice that we will arrange for the item to be removed and kept in storage for three months to give people time to claim it.

“It’s sometimes a difficult balancing act to meet the different needs and priorities of all our tenants when it comes to sharing communal areas, but we’re trying everything we can to achieve this.”

Caitlin said she understood the estate policy and her lease, which say trampolines are not allowed, and if the situation were to get more serious she would consider further options, but she felt like she was “fighting a losing battle”.

She added: “What do they want the kids to do, sit inside all summer? We’re not having it.”

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