Housing Assoiation's, ASB and Evidence Gathering
15/03/2011 3:55 pm
Here is a hypothetical scenario.
A Tenant is accused of ASB (Anti social Behaviour).
The Landlord a very large Housing Association initiates its ASB policy against the Tenant.
Failing to find any evidence of actual ASB, due to the fact his/her neighbour has lied about ASB in the first place, should the Landlord not take action against the complainaint for malicious allegations?
Also, in evidence gathering by the houinsg assoication, does the Landlord have the right to report the accused's car to the DVLA, the Police or Departemnt of Work and Pensions as well?
Is this normal Housing Association policy??
I would be most grateful for any advice
Sort: Newest first | Oldest first
15/03/2011 7:02 pm
I Must Apologise for my appalling Typos, as you can guess I'm not very good at typing.
(Why did'nt I use the spell-checker)
16/03/2011 8:22 am
should the Landlord not take action against the complainaint for malicious allegations? - No. however it would be makeweight to dismiss further "claims" of asb from you.
does the Landlord have the right to report the accused's car to the DVLA, the Police or Departemnt of Work and Pensions as well? - yes. anyone can report a vehicle (for no tax, unroadworthy, suspected dumped and or stolen etc)
Is this normal Housing Association policy?? - if this relates specifically to the car, then yes, if the complaint is about the car (as in parked badly, unroadworthy, suspected stolen etc etc.)
if you mean generally as per your first question, again i would say yes.
why not just ask your landlord for a copy of their policy, hypothetically of course.
16/03/2011 8:50 am
Should the Landlord not take action against the complainaint for malicious allegations? - Absolutly.
As for the other issues I agree with Bill.
16/03/2011 10:13 am
I agree with Bill.
On the specific question "should the Landlord not take action against the complainaint for malicious allegations?", well in an ideal world people wouldn't get away with making stuff up. But in reality there just isn't the time to 'take action' on stuff like this. Allegations are made, they are looked into, and if there is no substance to them you move on to the next case.
I'm assuming from your hypothetical situation that you have one neighbour's word against another. The complainant would no doubt continue to insist they have witnessed ASB. How does the Association disprove that? And is it the best use of staff time and your rent money in pursuing this issue? Even if they did pursue, what end would you want to achieve?
Surely it's better to try and move on and let the Association focus its energy on investigating allegations of actual ASB?
16/03/2011 1:33 pm
In these situations landlords have a lot to lose (and hide) - like not having acted properly all along - so they are not going to do anything about it and they are not going to shoot themselves in the foot in taking any action... The only action they will take is recommend a transfer so that they stop the complaints. Of course they have not removed the problem at all, just left it for the next tenants. But the landlord won't care about that, because like with the first tenant, they can let easily 2o years go by before even offering a transfer to the new tenants.
As of the tenants who would have to transfer, if it happens, they would have to pay higher rents, probably get a less secure tenancy and rights, and another host of problems.
This is a case in which someone is victimised for life and whatever decision he or she takes he is going to end up worse. Victims have never come first and they will not be first now.
16/03/2011 3:56 pm
Nonny is wrong as nonny normally is. Every complaint should be investigated fully. Otherwise you'd moan that any complaint you made (hypothetically of course) could be dismissed as vindictive.
If YOU beleive it was vindictive YOU should contact the police.
Hypothetically of course...
16/03/2011 4:46 pm
Finding no evidence (and frankly thew amount of evidence required for legal action is quite small compared to a criminal prosecution) is not the same as a complainant telling lies.
Telling lies to get a neighbour into trouble could be viewed as harassment by the neighbour lied against and s/he could make an ASB complaint perhaps?
Our landlord housing association openly encourages residents to report speeding traffic offences.
16/03/2011 4:54 pm
In these circumstances, the it would be unrealistic to expect a social landlord to 'take action' against the complainant. Conceivably it could be harassment, but this would invite a whole new investigation, and the landlord would take a view as to the resources they want to expend on looking into this. If the alleged perpetrator wants to take matters further, he or she should speak to a solicitor about defamation/libel. It's not a police matter, and they wouldn't even entertain a complaint in these circs.
As for reporting the car - this is standard practice for landlords. I can't see why there would be a problem? If the vehicle is untaxed and not SORN, DVLA will take an interest, and if it's untaxed and being driven the police will be interested. This is actually the sort of thing that housing officers routinely pick up on estate inspections.
16/03/2011 5:34 pm
If the landlord has strong evidence to suggest that the allegations were made maliciously, as opposed to them not being able to substantiate the allegations, then yes they should take some. That action does have to be justified and proportionate. A warning letter or acceptable behaviour agreement/contract might be appropriate depending on the circumstances.
Here is an example of where this has been done. Whilst investigating a stage 2 complaint that the landlord had failed to deal with allegations of ASB appropriately, the complainant put forward the names of several neighbours who could apparently verify the incidents of ASB by another neighbour.
When the neighbours were interviewed they all stated separately that they had previously been bullied by the complainant to make false allegations against the alleged perpetrator. Furthermore they disclosed that the complainant was spreading malicious rumours on the Estate about the alleged perpetrator. The complainant was given a final written warning.
You do not say what the landlord reported the vehicle for. Generally speaking there is nothing to prevent a landlord (or anyone else)reporting a vehicle to the relevant authorities if they believe a law has been breached.
17/03/2011 12:30 pm
Sadly malicious complaints are not always hypothetical, I have come across several such cases over the years the latest quite recently involving a tenant who made life hell for his neighbours by reporting them for abuse and intimidation of himself and his family whilst in reality it was the tenant who was doing the abusing. When the HA (and police) wised up the complainant was moved to another estate, the first estate got back to normal life but the new estate is now suffering from this tenant alledging harrasment by his new neighbours. Definate case of I told you so from the old neighbours but also annoyance that he was moved to a newbuild home without any restriction on his behaviour.
As to the vehicle, not sure what the policy is but I would hope that my neighbouhood officer would pass on details of untaxed cars as they are often also uninsured and have no MOT.
18/03/2011 11:26 am
Rather suspect line of least resistance taken by local housing officer, we have a new one now. Police I suspect are fed up of trying to get cases like this past Crown Prosecution Service
18/03/2011 3:45 pm
I would answer yes to all of this. If someone is a malicious complainant they must accept that this is a form of nuisance in itself, and as such, should warrant action against them that is appropriate to the level of harm they have caused. If this can be helped with the use of mediation then fine, but the situation cannot be ignored or it will just get worse.
With regard to reporting any evidence found of potential criminal offences I would assume we would do this anyway, in a consistent fashion across all the stock not just in cases like this - you can't pick and choose who you will report for infringements like this - you should just be doing it anyway or you legitimise ongoing criminal behaviour and the line you then draw becomes blurred.
01/07/2011 9:15 pm
I am actually a tenant in this position. I have been in an ongoing dispute with my neighbour since we moved in last August.
I am not going to insult people's intelligence by saying that I have acted like a saint. There has been a lot of tit for tat petty annoyances. However, my neighbour has reported me for criminal damage and two counts of threatening and intimidating their relatives during visits.
This neighbour has CCTV installed which would clearly show whether or not this had actually happened. The housing officer, the ASB officer and the Comunity Safety Manager have repeatedly ignored my insistence that these events never happened.
Latest news is that I have now been threatened with an injunction against me for my behaviour. Can this even be done without my version of events being investigated?
Any advice gratefully received.
01/07/2011 9:39 pm
As a further adjunct to this I should add that this neighbour has refused mediation 3 times.
The housing association concerned have decided that this neighbour has done nothing to intentionally annoy or cause a nuisance to us. I have made numerous complaints that have gone uninvestigated.
One of which regarded a CCTV camera which was directed straight across our rear garden. It was not watching her property at all. The HA did not send someone to even look at this until 24 days after it was reported, their own charter says investigations to be completed within 10. By which time the neighbour had had the view moved from the original angle.
I have been warned over photographing this neighbour. Even though as far as I am concerned it is for the purposes of evidence gathering.
The main concern I have is that the HA investigation such as it is appears to be completely one sided. Everything this neighbour says seems to be believed while anything we say is disregarded.
This is a real case and I am at a loss to understand why they are refusing to at least look at/ask neighbour to show the CCTV footage of these incidents. What can I do? Is a stage 2 request the way forward and hope it is picked up by the panel?
HA name witheld but will supply if asked.
21/06/2012 9:40 pm
i have the same problem..iv been in a housing association since 1995..had some complaints in the past over my kids been noisy...they have grown up now a settled down..but still have a 9 year old..new tennants have moved in 2 years ago..and was asked to do a log sheet...i have had a letter saying we too noisy..about going up a down stairs a music blarring most night..a.m in mornings..which is lies..as i work in schools with children..they have told a few lies to association about me..one saying i had a massive party august bank holiday weekend..and caused them nuisance..which now iv had a seeking possession of my assured let property...i have proof i wasn,t in my property at this weekend as i went camping 60 miles away..and i had used my bank card to pay for goods while away..they constantly tell lies about me..and when i try a tell the authorities about my side of story they seem to ignore me..which now i make my own day to day diary..to proof where i been or what have i been doing.but they don,t seem to listen even though i got enough evidence...it getting me kids down..feel im having a nervous breakdown..as we tip toe round the house..he also got 2 cctv one in the back a front..they are not pointing at his 2 cars they pointing on my drive a front door/the back one is on my patio where my table a chairs are..we cannot sit in back garden as we contantly been watched..i tell my visitors to be quiet as we been watched in the front...iv told the police..but he has moved the camera before they come round..and moves it back weeks later..im at the end of my tether..court proceedings are taking place july 16th..what can i do..going to see shelter..and also have a few letters from my other neighbours..but athorities dont listen..or they wont read them...
21/06/2012 11:20 pm
Have you got a lawyer?... If you have to attend court I advice to get a lawyer as soon as possible and provide you lawyer with as much evidence as you have. In future make sure that any contacts with your Housing Association is made in writing so you can have proof... It looks like from what you say your real enemies are not the neighbours by your housing association and the police, because if they had helped you you would not be in the situation you are in now, so keep precise diaries on your dealing with them and try to have witnesses for everything you do with them. If you done nothing wrong make sure you and your lawyer make it clear to the magistrate in court. Contacting shelter asap is a very good idea...
28/06/2012 11:53 pm
thankyou for your comment,,i took picture of their cctv pointing at mine,which shelter told me to gather evidence...from my garden,which camera didnt work..now i have had a letter from housing my neighbours ahve complained about me doing this..and it in breach of my possession order...and harrassing them..surely is it them that harrassing me by my human rights law?as everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life,their house and correspondence..i have complained about his constant drilling and banging..but had a reply by housing saying..that is petty..i dont seem to get anywhere..shelter now is on my side..and has told them i have enough evidence..so it down to them to take me further on the 16th..shelter also told me..if it means to i can really take all to crown court..it proves also the camera is working,as i wouldn,t have had a letter complaining about me taking pictures from my property..so i think they slipped up somewhere there..i have again reported them to the police.i have to go police station on sunday..but in the meantime got a feeling them cameras will be moved again..please someone..what can i do..im forever on google ,trying to find things out..im jotting things down everytime..i shoulnt live like this..my children are suffering..now the weather is getting better,my 19 year old daughter always sunbathes in the garden..now she will be watched over,and it sickning to me,what they are watching us...i did put a garden brolly up to hide their view,and within 30 mins,he went on his ladders to move it for him to see..why is he doing this..and is there anything i can do?and can the h/a ask him to have the cameras on us?
29/06/2012 6:48 pm
to be honest, if your housing association is against you on this, they will find a lot of excuses to avoid any request from you... From what you say and the fact that the H/A are taking you to court you shouldn't rely on anything from them. Just follow advice from proper qualifiede sources, shelter, lawyers, etc and be as ready as possible for the court case... I have several times asked my own housing trust what evidence they need to prove antisocial behaviour from neighbours and they have never given me an answer, so I myself do not know how to go about it... It looks like anything you do they will turn it against you, so follow the qualified advice you are given by shelter and lawyer... I am afraid I can't help you more than this but please let us know what happens.