10/03/2010 11:40 am
If a tenant has attempted to get the HA they are housed with to stop charging for services tenants do not receive and are charged for through HB what can they do to stop this theft? Some tenants are frail and elderly and od not know what is being claimed in their name.Tenants are left vulnerable if they notify the Local authority and they stop payments and yet tenants do not seem to have a leg to stand on if they ignore the problem.
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10/03/2010 6:30 pm
Ok, you should keep diaries, you should go to see a lawyer, you should go to the citiziens adivce bureau, you shoudl go to see your conuncillor and mp, and you can start a petition etc.etc.etc. too.
There is so much we can do as tenants, but the fact is that all this takes time and effort, if you are not mentally ill to start with you will become mentally ill as it is unlikely you'll get anywhere and if you get anywhere you'll soon fregret it anyway because in the process, tough and long as hell, you' have gone mentally ill anyway.
And I am talking about tenants who start being healthy and quite robust both physically and mentally. Those who start being disabled or frail in any way, my god save them.
Ooops sorry, I almost forgot to mention that you can also start your own local housing committee, once you have spent the best years of your life getting together all tenants who feel like you do.
Ooops - last but not least - if it all fails you can start your own party and get in governement and make laws and put everything right.
So many things we tenants can do...
These are all choices most professionals adviced me on tghis very website to take, it is fantastic that with all these choices you still have no leg to stand on...
All it's a huge con... But do not take my word for it, someone will come hear screaming I am not an expert to post here!
10/03/2010 7:13 pm
Why dont these posts state facts of the apparent or alleged situations, rather than pander to the usual suspects on here?
What services are we talking about exactly?
The absence of any real information makes such posts inept and leads to the comments above - "Its a huge con etc" - making landlords or whoever guilty until proven inocent and guilty by rumour and speculation. Either state what alleged facts one is concerned about or else people will suspect that the real motive behind such posts is simply self serving
10/03/2010 7:31 pm
Jack Davies Wed, 10 Mar 2010 19:13 GMT
How many times one has to post what you call facts?... Has one to post and repost the same facts each time a new poster pops out of nowhere and asks for them?...
If you are really keen to find out why do not check a few threads here and there on this website alone and you might find a few hundreds of them...
10/03/2010 8:15 pm
So, Kass, can you tell me what services are being charged for here and not being delivered?
If not then crawl back under your rock
11/03/2010 1:10 am
" Jack Davies Wed, 10 Mar 2010 20:15 GMT
So, Kass, can you tell me what services are being charged for here and not being delivered?
If not then crawl back under your rock"
Yeah, the stock attitude you get from quite a few housing professionals.
Which fits very well with social landlords accused of abuse when their reaction is to do all they can to force their residents to crawl back under the rocks you keep throwing at them so they can go on abusing them even more.
The original poster makes it very clear to any average reader that abuse is being committed by a social landlord. I agree with it, because I have known situations of abuse myself... If you want to know details about this case particular, and maybe all the paperwork, aren't you being daft to demand I give them to you?...
And what are you going to say? that the tenat should report it? Go through some kind of complaint procedure? Etc ETc?
The point I have made in my previous post is that however tenants go about landlords abuses, in the greatest majority of cases, will cost the tenant so much that they very likely regret ever doing anything about it.
This is not saying tenants should be passive victims, this is a denounciation of abuse piled up on more abuse by social landlords on to their residents. And any tenants seeking any justice is in for rough time and very little hopes.
11/03/2010 8:40 am
NO, the poster does not make clear at all what that alleged issue is, that is the point. Rather she simply states that tenants are being charged for a service they dont receive, she does NOT say what they alleged non-receivable service is.
On a linked point or principle is it the case that tenants that have received HB to pay rent but dont pay it are guilty of benefit fraud?
However to return to the point, the original post is speculative and suggestive, doesnt contain any detail of the alleged non-service, or how much tenanst are being charged and uses highly emotive terms such as theft. To which I would caution her to be very careful and also state that if its theft which is clearly a criminal offence she should report it to police. You dont need an expert to advise that, so why hasnt she becomes the question?
11/03/2010 9:29 am
"Jack Davies Thu, 11 Mar 2010 08:40 GMT
...However to return to the point, the original post is speculative and suggestive, doesnt contain any detail of the alleged non-service, or how much tenanst are being charged and uses highly emotive terms such as theft. To which I would caution her to be very careful and also state that if its theft which is clearly a criminal offence she should report it to police. You dont need an expert to advise that, so why hasnt she becomes the question?"
There you are. someone reports a social landlord's abuse, and - suprise surprise - spot on receives a warning that she is going to be in trouble for it...
The post is very clear. A service is being paid for and that service is not being delivered, how does a tenant go about stopping paying for it if it is taken out of HB?
12/03/2010 11:30 am
I was after some legal assistance here.
I wanted clear guidelines not a fight over what i may or may not mean or what i have or have not said.
I thought that I had posted to ask the experts... clearly not.
The fact of the matter is that tenants are beig charged for services that they are not receiving.
If I go to a shop and they ask me for over £1000 and I get nothing for this £1000 then I do not have to pay- right?
Seems simple but how simple is it when LA's and powerfull landlords are involved?
Please note that i am not asking for your opinion but expert advice as it says on the label.
12/03/2010 11:39 am
Are you saying Kass ISN'T an expert? Has anyone told him??
12/03/2010 12:38 pm
I dont see how you can expct legal advice on a matter so vague. That is also the point I was making. The variables in the lack of information making such a task impossible.
It could part of a variable service charge that is reviewed at the end of each year and then reduced and so not as clear cut as it first appears.
It could be the millions of general needs tenants that are still paying a subsidy or hidden premium to pay for a resident warden before such charges were allegedly unpooled but in actuality havent.
It could be charges for a communal charge that havent changed to reflect its reduction in service or many similar issues.
All I was saying is that without stating what the issues are then (a) it may not be absolute fact that tenants are being charged for a service they dont receive, and (b) that any legal or other advice can only be very very generic and not expert advice based on what you have revealed.
HB charges for HB eligible and ineligible charges - that it appears you are looking at - always include an element of estimation and also contain an element of subjectivity and assumption. It is also the case that how such estimated costs are arrived at differs from one organisation to the next. Further that all HB depts interpret them with the same subjectivity.
Finally, it may also be the case that a full investigation may reveal that some tenants are receiving services and have not been charged fully for them too. So have you thought that if you are correct on overcharging for Service A, that it could be that Service B, C, D and E may also have to increase if charges are absolutely transparent and the tenant could end up either pay more in total and or losing some other services? I say this as I have seen this happen.
It can also be the case that HB ineligible charges can become eligible and an increase in HB achieved with a reduction for the tenant charge. This is due to the huge complexities in the HB reulations and the lack of knowledge of them by both landlords and HB officers.
In summary, without specific detail, you can never get the apparently simple answer you are seeking
13/03/2010 10:13 am
The facts were stated....
16/03/2010 10:38 am
I agree with Jack, how can you ask for advice, but not state what service is not being delivered. You wouldn't go to a lawyer and say: i have a problem..." and then expect him to guess what it is.
He isn't asking for much, simply tell him what service is not being deliveered and someone may be able to offer you advice.
"the facts" haven't been stated, the facts would be specific. It is impossible to give advice on such a broad area as "services" and to provide negative feedback when he is obviously trying to offer assistance is naive and rather ungreatful.
17/03/2010 12:14 pm
As I said the facts were stated- the details do not have to be known. But very telling that no-one seems to know the answer. If this was theft from a private individual or a private company it would have been a straight forward. Everyone would have said go to the police but because it is a housing provider all sorts of questions must be asked. My motives and credibilty must be Questioned. So, I rest my point about the state of the sector.
17/03/2010 12:45 pm
Oh dear. Another example of a sector-promoting magazine doing the complete opposite by not editing rants and posts.
Well, surely a 'simple' 'outline' answer would be - the contractual relationship is between the landlord and tenant, so therefore the tenant has the right to challenge the landlord over non-provision of the services set out in the contract.
It is inconsequential to the landlord that the tenant has their rent paid by HB, as the charge would be levied whatever means the tenant has. However, landlords have to pass a fit and proper person test, and while larger social landlords rarely undergo this test, repeated reporting of landlords failing to deliver services charge for, may, and I emphasise may, prompt a local authority to investigate. Failure of the local authority to respond could then be reported to the Benefit Fraud Inspector or Local Government Ombudsman.
If a tenant, paying or in receipt of HB, successfully challenges their landlord and is awarded a refund, then this can in theory be paid back to the local authority who originally paid the allowance.
You could always indicate you would complaint to a Valuation Tribunal if you felt your service charges were unreasonable. You may also give 28 days' notice of witholding rent (or part thereof) if your landlord is in breach of its contractual obligations - you do, however, have to demonstrate that you have kept the money aside to pay if your claim is ultimately unsuccessful.
There, it is possible to give an outline reply which might help this lady head in one of a number of directions.
Will this forum ever become less combative and less embarrassing?
17/03/2010 1:11 pm
Ahhhhhhhh fresh air.
many thanks, shall let you know how this goes. I would LOVE my faith to be restored.
17/03/2010 1:16 pm
TC's stock answer also assumes the alleged service is documentd in the tenancy contract and many are not and some are appended to the tenancy contract without the main body of that contract referencing the appendices and schedules - I have seen many of them
Perhaps TC would also like to comment on whether it is the public or private law of contrac that would apply to the alleged non service as this would impact on what remedies are available. And surely if it just a contractual issue then why go to Ombudsman or other non-legal route, why not simply go straight to the legal one?
If you have a complaint with any other cointracted party would you complain to the (often inadequate) regulator or the company itself, or simply take legal action.
Well of course that would depend on the detail - detail that is not here and so without any detail then it is not possible to give any form of 'expert' advice at all. Any so-called 'expert' would not give such advice even advice riven with caveats as that would be unprofessional and too unwieldy.
Moreover, 'facts' are what the courts would determine and not the accusers opinion as on here as that is all it is until it is proven, opinion.
Finally, many contracts contain clauses and scope for one party to withdraw services it accounts are in arrears - ive yet to see a tenancy contract written as such, but some HAs offer a tiered service (gold, silver and bronze) dependent on arrears and behaviours of tenants. That, for all we know, may well be the case here.
The absence of detail, the deliberate and knowingly withheld detail in point of fact, and the dogmatism of the person seeking advice doing just that and claiming it to be fact, gives little credence to any argument that is it fact; rather it simply raises concerns over why they are deliberately withholding such detail. Surely the detail cannot be unique to any one landlord and so does not identify or forewarn the apparently errant or even fraudulent landlord?
17/03/2010 3:01 pm
Gollygosh: Why are you so reluctant to state which service is not being delivered? It is not unreasonble to require this detail due to the range of contextual and contractual variations with different services. I struggle to see why you ask for advice and then withold information from the people who are willing to assit you. Yet you are happy to accept a generic answer which may not have any relevance to the specific subject you are talking about. Very strange...
17/03/2010 3:14 pm
Kev Dupree Wed, 17 Mar 2010 15:01 GMT
gollygosh has asked for a certain type of 'general' advice. On the 'general' facts she stated and no more no less. This was not good enough for some like you. However someone else much more helpful like TC gave it to her.
She expressed satisfaction with it. But unless she reveals to you details she clearly, for whatever reason, does not wish to reveal for you she is being "very strange."
Well, go on like this, maybe a bit more harassment from you and she will cave in and reveal it all against her will.
17/03/2010 3:43 pm
Thanks for the input as usual Kass.
Firstly what i said was strange was the fact someone had asked for advice but was not willing to give any details. Not the lady herself.
Secondly the only actual information TC passed on was the existance of a Valuation Tribunal, which bears no relevance to the no provision of a service, it is concerend with the value (monetary or otherwise attributed to a service)
What action is she going to take on the basis of the advice of TC? If she is taking the advice of witholding rent she is likley to cause more problems for the tenant.
If she stated simply: communal cleaning for example the people on this site could offer her a range of advice which actually bears relevance to the issue she has.
17/03/2010 4:17 pm
Wed, 17 Mar 2010 15:43 GMT...
If she stated simply: communal cleaning for example the people on this site could offer her a range of advice which actually bears relevance to the issue she has."
Well, this is exactly what you are not getting. She asked for a general sort of advice. That's what she neeeded, no more no less.
Now she seems to be happy with the one she received from TC...
That gollygosh should be "very strange" to you because of this, well, it makes you very very strange indeed.