The cost of changing a lightbulb in a block run by Ealing Homes runs to more than £60 - because the caretaker does not have the right screwdriver.
Outraged leaseholder Tony Alldis was told by the housing organisation that electricians had to be called out to mend blown bulbs on the Cowgate Estate in Greenford because staff on site were not equipped with the right tool.
The 45-year-old and other leaseholders of a block in Deepwood Lane were each hit with £157 bills, which included their share of £314 to repair four lights along with other maintenance work.
Mr Alldis, who already pays around £1,000 a year in service charges, says the problem stems from a decision by Ealing Homes to replace all the lights in his block six years ago with energy saving bulbs that require special fittings. Blown bulbs now have to be referred to the council's Repair Link service. Electricians are sent out and the cost is passed on to leaseholders.
"It's an absolutely ludicrous cost to change a lightbulb," said Mr Alldis. "We're already being charged for that as part of our estates services charge. For the sake of a £10 screwdriver for the caretaker we are essentially being charged twice to replace broken light bulbs.
"If Ealing Homes are so strapped for cash that they can't afford £10 for a screwdriver I will gladly go out and buy one myself for the caretaker to ensure that I and fellow leaseholders do not receive these ludicrous, over-inflated charges."
In a letter to Mr Alldis, Ealing Homes said the cost of the work was to restore lighting, inspect and repair the circuit, renew the starter and renew a lamp.
Home ownership officer Janet O'Dea said: "This light has a special fitting and the caretakers do not have the correct screwdriver for the fitting. If the senior caretaker is unable to obtain the correct screw-driver, this will be reported to Repair Link to arrange for an electrician to attend."
She said the £157 bill for each tenant also covered repairs to the wall and fence around the block.