15/08/2012 10:16 pm
My sister, who is the tenant of a four bedroom house has had a letter from her landlord, a large housing association which was formed from the local authority housing department about eight years ago.
The letter says that they want to visit my sister to inspect the property and to ask her some questions, including what is her ethnicity, her religion, her sexual orientation, her National Insurance Number, and other intrusive questions.
She is outraged by this letter and is inclined to write back saying that she will not give them access, nor will she supply them with the information that they want.
Her underlying fear is that they will want her to move to a smaller property now that her children are grown and all but one have left home.
She is in full time employment, has no rent arrears and claims no benefits. She has been a tenant of the authority for 29 years and has been tenant of this property for 19 years
Can she refuse access, and can she refuse to answer these unreasonable questions?
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15/08/2012 11:15 pm
In my opionion she should ask exactly why they want her to answer these questions. Ask in writing and demand and answer in writing. After you got their answer and depending on what they say, you'll think about the next step.
16/08/2012 0:05 am
Sheesh, ignore complete idiots like Tenantplus on these forums who just spout vitriol with no basis in fact.
they will be asking the questions due to legally being required to under the new Equality Act - google it. meaning they must at least ask. you can choose to say "prefer not to give" to each question.
In terms of the "want her to move" yeah, they might, perhaps she should to free up the space for a family in actual need.....but, the crucial point is (depending on her tenancy, but based on the info you give) they will only be able to offer incentive to her to do so, which she may refuse (politely!)
hope that helps - beware "advice" you receive from strangers on the net (my own included!) as you get a lot of people on, especially this forum, who just want their soapbox moments.
if in doubt, seek legal clarity, feel free to search for equality act, better yet ask your landlord the same questions in a calm polite manner - uch easier than thinking "they're all out to get me" is it not.
16/08/2012 9:36 am
Thanks to both of the above, and I have now looked at the legislation mentioned and see that although the questions on ethnicity, sexual orientation etc are sort of obligatory, she can choose not to respond.
However, two questions remain; why does her landlord want her national insurance number, and that of her daughter? And does she have to allow access for this 'property inspection'? >
16/08/2012 10:03 am
The National Insurance Number can be an indicator that a person has a right to housing in the UK. Combined with a passport, or statement of indefinate leave to remain, such evidence complies with the need to ensure that properties are not being illegally occupied.
This should not be thought of as an accusation, but an assurance that property is being correctly used. The Housing Minister has stated that he believes 1 in 12 tenancies are being fraudulantly used - although he has no basis to claim such - so it is crucial that checks are made. If the Minister is correct this will recover 150,000 homes for rent. If, as is likely, the Minister is lying again, at least he will have been proved as such.
The fear that her underoccupancy will be used against her is not completely unfounded. According to the Housing Minister she is an evil doer, and modern 'witch' indeed, who should be paraded through the streets for all to scorn. However, as she is not in receipt of benefit she will not suffer the tenant tax. But she may fall into the next category of evil, as defined by the Housing Minister, of being a selfish hoarder of scarce social asset who should be using their earnings to pay much higher costs in the private sector.
Perhaps she should consider nailing a crucifix to her front door in case the Housing Minister should ever come visiting to make an example of one he castigates so greatly.
However, as an upstanding member of society, a 'hard working person' (these are favoured currently), who has invested much into being a family (these used to be favoured, but that is decreasing), she should not worry to greatly and simply supply the new landlord with the data which they now collect from all new tenants and need to collect from those who have been tenants for a while, and so have not previously had to offer such information.
16/08/2012 10:55 am
"Bill Douses 16/08/2012 0:05 am
Sheesh, ignore complete idiots like Tenantplus on these forums who just spout vitriol with no basis in fact."... You are a liar, you have been a liar and you keep lying about me.
17/08/2012 11:24 am
Legally you cannot refuse access for 'an Inspection of the Property'. Of course you can but then your HA will be forced to enforce the right of access. They do not have the right to enforce access if they are asking 'to inspect you', Equality Act or not, they don't need to come to the property to do that.
They seem to be asking for both, so as people have suggested you may need to allow access but choose not to respond to the EA questionnaire.
17/08/2012 12:33 pm
Access cannot be denied. However the landlord has to give notice in writing, and the tenant has the right to know the reasons and purposes of any access. Also who will be the persons accessing the property and for how long the access is meant to last. The tenant has alaso the right to check idetity card of those accessing the property. If there is something dodgy in their identity cards do not let them him and ask the landlord to refix the appointment for the visit. As a tenants you have also the right to know of any upset and incovenience the access can create to your use of the property. You have the right to demand that any access of the landlord be done by them minimizing any incoveneince. If the upset is too much you have to ask either they give you time to find some remedy or to use another of the landlord property while the access is taking place... I have expereince of my housing trust wanting six or seven people inspecting my property at once. I refused them entry and asked them why so many people were necessary. In the end I only let two of them in and they were more than enough to carry out the inspection. As I said while you cannot deny an inspection or visit by the landlord, you can make sure in advance that a) you know exactly what is it for; b) to limit any incovenience or damage the visit might cause. Do and demand that any appointment or visit is confirmed in writing... I must point out I am not a lawyer and I am only sharing my opinion.
17/08/2012 12:38 pm
Also if the person or persons asking for access are staff or agent of your landlord you have in the past complained about and not given any satisfactory resolution to your complaint, you might consider asking your landlord that you would not rather have them in your property.
17/08/2012 12:39 pm
Housing Troll, what is your functiong or job in Housing?... I have been asking this on the other thread without any reply.
17/08/2012 1:57 pm
@tenantplus - this is the 'Ask the Experts' Forum not the 'Hound the Experts' Forum.
Do you see any requirement to declare roles in the terms and conditions - have you declared your role - is this really of help to Patrick to have to wade through drivel in the hope someone may be bothered to answer the question he put?
Ok, I committed my normal travesty of not missing an opportunity to have a pop at the Government, but at least I answered the mans question at the same time.
If you wish to stalk people tenantplus can't you do it in just the main pages and so avoid distracting people with genuine issues requiring help.
17/08/2012 2:48 pm
chris 17/08/2012 1:57 pm... if you had bothered to read this thread you might have noticed I have given my contribution to the topic... I am not stalking anybody, if you cared to follow other threads this Housing Troll has been quite offensive against me and accused me of various things... But I do admire your keenes in policing threads. So maybe you now will spend a good week going all over IH threads and object to all Housing Troll posts as you have done to mine here.
17/08/2012 3:04 pm
Apologies tenantplus, I did start reading it, but gave up about a third of the way in.
Yes Housing Troll is being unkind to you, but you are not advancing your case by replicating the poster. Mind you, why are you specifically targeting Housing Troll over this, across the various post boards, when others, Bill here, and Gavin elsewhere, have been unkind in the same way?
My post above was wrong, reconsidering, and I do sincerely apologise to you for that.
17/08/2012 5:15 pm
Chris, for what its worth i often find your posts amusing, occasionally enlightening, but always "level"
i dont think i am being unkind, i see the value in these forums, but replies encouraging people to "demand" things in writing and going on about damages and being too upset to allow entry for inspections, adds nothing of value and in my book should be shot down.
people come here, i think, to seek advice in a time of need, personally i think this section should be limited in response by those on the panel, they do not come here so some keyboard warriors can spout nonsense about their own tainted viewpoint adding nothing of value to the OP.
Eva, sorry, tenantplus - for the record: i do not work in housing, or indeed, have a function within it - though perhaps a function is a good idea!! we could have nibbles and drinks! what say you? chris, you're invited too.
17/08/2012 5:40 pm
Bill Douses 17/08/2012 5:15 pm.... "Eva, sorry, tenantplus - for the record: i do not work in housing, or indeed, have a function within it - though perhaps a function is a good idea!! we could have nibbles and drinks! what say you? chris, you're invited too.",,, Bill Douses, I do not want anything to do with a liar like you. So who cares where you work?
17/08/2012 6:04 pm
Tenants are always on the defensive and refuse to comply with simple requests from the owners/landlords of whateve ilk.It's always about "my rights" and nothing about responsibilities.
As for this person who is living in a large,under used,property whats the problem with having them move to something more appropriate? Down sizing is what they call it,and renatal property or owner occupied doesn'mean for life.Move on with your life.
17/08/2012 6:04 pm
chris 17/08/2012 3:04 pm ".... Yes Housing Troll is being unkind to you, but you are not advancing your case by replicating the poster. Mind you, why are you specifically targeting Housing Troll over this, across the various post boards, when others, Bill here, and Gavin elsewhere, have been unkind in the same way?..." Yet, again Chris, you are not really reading the threads or maybe your memory has the span of a second. I am not targeting anybody, I am just trying to defend myself. But I cannot cover all of the threads all the time. Being one against many, it's inevitable, some of these slurs and attacks go unchallenged. Hopefully more and more tenants will participate in these threads and help out... Another thing you forget is by posing questions and asking for answers is taking this thread out of its topic and no help to the original poster, which VERY ironically is what you attacked me for in the first place. so I leave it here and if you want to ask me another question please start your own thread and ask there and I will answer you there
17/08/2012 6:08 pm
Daniel Callon, the original poster asks "Can she refuse access, and can she refuse to answer these unreasonable questions?"... Now do you have any opinion or expert advice on these?
20/08/2012 1:46 pm
Eva, either prove i'm lying about something or stop being deflamatory.
get out of this victom mentality once in a while and people may find you tolerable, may...
This thread has turned into the Eva soapbox show, again, Eds - stop this already!