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Can Housing Ass' really not help more after bugular and Arson ?
27/06/2011 2:49 pm
To cut a long story short my neighbours of now 4 years are always playing loud music, littering my garden grafity on gates & walls.
However last year the middle son broke into my shed and stole my daughters bike Twice ( he was cautioned after being caught red handed).
He then within a few days burnt the shed down out of spite.
Initially the housing ass said they would do nothing and it was all down to my insurnace company, but after invloving local councillor they repairded the shed and bricked up the window ( because it was worth there time to repair glass as neibours would just nreak it again).
Well after bragging on facebook middle boy was arrested for arson and is on an court order and being delt with by Catch 22 ( rehabiliation people) however my shed has been broken into gain !!!
But this time i didn't catch him red handed and he hasn't yet bragged on facebook.
The police cannot act, as they need proof, and housing asosiation will not do anything, i have begged and pleaded written to CEO but they will not help.
What am i supposed to do ? Should i just wait for the next break in ?
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29/06/2011 5:06 pm
Norfolk Rat -- where on this thread did I suggest jumping to the top of the tree? I merely pointed out that I'd been 'jumped on' for suggesting that a tenant should seek advice from wherever they can -- I did, did I not suggest this particular check with some sort of advice agency, did I not?
I also suggested (albeit in a rather veiled/subtle way) the tenant might consider moving?
Please note that in my postings on this thread I did NOT advise going to a Chief, I said "high level" not "highest level" -- I assumed readers would be intelligent enough to realise that I was advocating having the decision reviewed but then I would point out that on an IH thread earlier today I forwarded an apology and retraction for jumping to conclusions and not reading properly what was written.
I am not suggesting that you said I said Chief but what I am suggesting is that there are procedures in place with many landlords where decisions may well be reviewed and I am saddended that you (by accident or design) seem to be saying that you know that you are right and should never have your decisions questioned.
Being a tenant often means being told NO! but when I've known NO to be the answer the housing professionals in my landlords' (plural intended) organisations (plural intended) always took the trouble to explain why and ALWAYS suggested that I (and/or those I represented) took the opportunity to have the decision reviewed especially where there was expenditure involved.
FW Tenant may well realise that the shed, being personal property, is their concern and perhaps a legal opinion may well not assist the tenant but may well bring the matter to a head.
I note your hate for councillors writing to you (not personal hate for the councillors but for the writing) -- I am well aware they can be apain and I am most certainly not disagreeing with you disliking the writing but the way it is worded you seem to be saying that you are omnipotentent and that may not be what you meant to convey.
I would add that 'common sense' isn't all that common although, I will say, that you have common sense and a common sense approach can well bring issues to a satisfactory close.
I am a great supporter of tenants and leaseholders getting £1 from their housing pound and often they appear to want £50 worth. As to the tenants' shed -- well, I'm afraid I have to agree with you and other posters that if it's not the landlord's property then it's not the landlord's responsibility as far as I can see.
Good luck in your retirement or new career next year and keep being customer focussed as the sector is only going to go forward when it is customer focussed.
As a good housing officer you will, most likely been demonised (just as is often the case with tenants who dare question or stand their ground) and I can see why you would wish to move on from such working conditions.
30/06/2011 8:54 am
Sorry but thought i should point out the shed was brick built and part of the property ie - it belonged to the HA and was their property.
30/06/2011 9:43 am
The fact that you know it was your next door neighbours offspring is not the same as having proof that it was, and the HA can't take action against an alleged perpetrator..they need proof! This is the big problem with ASB incidents- residents righly expect action, but so much of what goes on cannot be proven, or only with very great difficulty and this makes it difficult for both landlord and police.
If the shed was brick and without doubt the lanldords property, then bricking it up would seem like good sense given that if you both strongly suspect the offspring next door- it would not be a good investment to refurb and outbuilding that is quite likely to be broken into or torched again.
My advice woulod be keep liaising with police and landlord, keep reporting the ASB and over time the portfolio of evidence will build up and allow the landlord to take action.
30/06/2011 10:43 am
As they have been to court re- first two break ins and arson, would this not be evidence that the HA could use against them?
30/06/2011 10:51 am
The Housing Association excuse that they can't help you otherwise they would have to help also others in your situation is the most common eexcuse they come up with when not wanting to help a particular tenants. There are plenty of examples of tenants helped by their landlords in proving asb is being committed.
For some reason it seems your landlord is not helping you. The best you can do is find examples where your landlord has helped tenants in situation similar to yours, as it is very likely that they have done so. Then you will have a case of them discrimnating against you.
30/06/2011 11:09 am
The fact they've been convicted before would undoubtably be something that would have an nifluence on future cases going to court, but is unlikely to be enough on it's own.
What is the actual outcome that you are looking for FW? I assume that what you would like is for them to be evicted or moved? Courts are really reluctant these days to evict, preferring the 'intensive family support route' as it's fairly well established that moving the family generally just moves the problem- another housing association would be very relucatant indeed to take a family with that kind of history, as would any private landlord. Where children are involved again, it's really, really hard for a landlord to get possesion.
This of course doesnt help you. Assuming that the arson is the 'tip of the iceberg' has your landlord offered support in your getting evidence?: For example in the case of noise complaints sound monitoring equipment may be used.
30/06/2011 11:10 am
As I understand it, Housing Associations don't need concrete proof to take action in ASB cases. They can look at the evidence and make a judgement on the basis of probability.
If the suspects have been to court a couple of times before then that could be enough for the Association to say "we believe its likely that it was them again", and take the appropriate action (i.e. NOSP then Court if NOSP breached.)
Whether the Association WOULD do this, or would WANT to do this... well that's another matter. They would have to believe they could convince a court that their suspicions were correct.
Different judges will see things in different ways. I know some judges that will always side with association, regardless of how flimsy the evidence is. I know some that will side with the tenant no matter how strong the case is against them.
Housing officers know their local courts, and this can dictate the action an association takes (in my experience.) Consideration will be given to how much a court case would cost (often £100s or even £1000s) versus a likely succesful outcome.
An unsuccessful case may well make the perpetrator of ASB think the association 'can't touch them', and make them behave even more badly. The association, having lost the original case, may then be even more cautious about taking further action.
08/07/2011 10:17 pm
I've just fallen back across this thread after some time away and Anon @1110am I must ask where your information has come from?
The issuing of a NOSP on ASB grounds is harder to do then extracting hens teeth or tracking down rocking horse poo (colourful expressions aside it is not that easy). Depending on your point of view we are often lucky/ unlucky that very bad ASB attracts with it arrears, therefore we will go for non discretionary grounds (such as Ground 8 arrears) to evict a tenant who attracts with them ASB.
Again as you have pointed out when we (Housing Officers) go to court on non manditory grounds we are reliant on the judge on the day. We could have evidence by the sack full and they might side with the perpitrator. I personally will always seek evidence of non discretionary grounds to evict tenants whom have failed to engage with me on ASB/arrears. That said even with my combined police/housing officer training I yet to get a non discretionary ground possession order out the judges of Suffolk!
11/07/2011 11:07 pm
An everyday story of "needs" based allocation and the secure tenancy as introduced by Thatcher in the 1980 Housing Act. Remove both and it would solve all problems such as this at a stroke. The criminals just know they won't be evicted and so have no incentive to ameliorate their behaviour. However if they booted out and booted out and booted out until they end up in the mother of all sink estates in Cleveland or Middlesborough where carrying on with the same behaviour will get them an entirely justified kicking from the locals, only then will they change their behaviour. The message would soon get around. Then watch that ASB fall off a cliff...
12/07/2011 4:02 pm
Apoica above "An everyday story of "needs" based allocation and the secure tenancy as introduced by Thatcher in the 1980 Housing Act. Remove both and it would solve all problems such as this at a stroke."
So in your view all tenants accommodated before 1980 (41 years ago so all over 59s) are model tenants then?
What about the 80 year-old woman in Brighton last week given an INTERIM asbo for:
- shouting Seig Heil at a neighbour
- performing a Nazi salute at a neighbour
- goose-stepping behind a neighbours visitors
- thrown items at a neighbours door including glass and empty alcohol bottles and also out of her window
- thrown out her soiled underwear at a neighbour
- constantly and deliberately littered the communal area
- called young children playing there "Hitlers children"
- deliberately setting off communal fire alarms and placing all tenants at risk by doing so
- and numerous other actions
Edna Beck doesnt have mental health problems either who has "caused significant anti-social behaviour over a lengthy period of time" according to reports on the case of 7 July 2011.
The repotrs on this case above can be humorous when first read, but replace an 80-year ols woman with a 22 year old and see if that changes your opinion!! Evict and evict immediately / birch the little sod / etc etc etc - who would advocate evicting this lady? Why not - is i age discrimination and preconception that little old ladies are sweet and all young people scum clouding your thoughts?
On the same day we read of a 64 year old man back in court for breaching his asbo 5 times in 7 months.
Both can be read on BBC website. Yet Apoica would have us believe that all the (asb9 ills of the world are either (a) committed by young people or (b) are because of needs-based allocation.
Then again the price of electricity and gas is the direct responsibility and effect of needs-based allocation in Apoica's view.
16/07/2011 9:43 am
Regrettably, without much evidence as to the identity of the culprit, there is not much that can be done in this instance. If the landlord were to go to court on the basis of an unsubstantiated suspicion, the case will be laughed out of court. However you should seriously consider installing some CCTV as this will act as a clear deterrent and if installed discreetly, the culprits will not be aware and may well be caught red-handed. You may wish to approach the housing association to ascertain whether they can assist with this.
17/07/2011 3:14 pm
I have to agree with the resident expert Mr. Badejo.
CCTV is the only answer in this case, but not just any old cctv system. what you need is a DVR connected to a multi point camera system depending upon the exposure of your home.
If you are planning to install the CCTV externally, then Infra Red cameras are a cheap form of day/night image capture. However, if you are installing the camera internally, looking out of a window, then IR lens are of no use, as they will simply relect the infra red at night back into the lens, blinding the image. In this case you will need a low light day/night camera, where the night time image is captured using a smart chip. These cameras are more expensive (ranging from £150 to £3000) but well worth the money due to their discretness.
However, you have to bear in mind, that no Court will convict a person based on CCTV evidence unless you have a sign installed which is clearly visible to people that you have CCTV - otherwise it is entrapment - which is illegal.
Save up around £500 or get a loan facility to cover this amount and most of your problems should disappear.
If the culprits use their friends or themselves by wearing balaclavas, then the next best thing to do is get an aggresive dog who will keep out most intruders day or night, cctv or no cctv.
If you don't like dogs, then security lighting combined with SD card based recording (£250 per light) fitted externally is a good option, or an intruder alarm with perimeter sensors - but very expensive.
A cheaper method is to use anti climb paint on your fencing, but you will have to get HA permission to do this - £20 per tin.
There is always a solution, depending upon how much money you want to spend.
But remember, you may get the better of one person or family, but there are a cast of thousands who behave in a similar way all over the country, so you can never guarantee having good neighbours. the best thing to do is make your neighbours respect you, one way or the other...