Joe Halewood's posts
Posted in: SHELTERING HOME NO CHRISTMAS PARTY
So why not get a relief warden in (after all tenants pay for the service) and get the sick one to sign a check to cash (Christmas At Sheltered Housing anyone?) and the relief warden can cash it and be there for Christmas party
Posted in: SHELTERING HOME NO CHRISTMAS PARTY
John, how very remiss of you not to have included the annual homeless phrase - I wont see you on the streets at Christmas, but in the New Year you're out!"
Then again does that qualify for a festive "Bah Humbug Award" as its merely a societal more like lets open night shelters just for Christmas?
Two caveats here. The first is that the case in York I have no knowledge of whatsoever or can find any. The second is that in general terms of principle I agree with Chris Smith re contrivance to seemingly take advantage.
However, the case he is clearly referring to I have read and studied the decision of Turnbull and I fully agree with Turnbull when he says this case is NOT contrivance. In fact I would go much further than Turnbull does.
What the case in question demonstrates is (a) the appalling ignorance of HB departments of what supportedd housing is, and (b) that prejudicial attitudes of HB departments such as public good, private bad still pervade.
The HB dept in this case said that someone leaving NASS accommodation doesnt need support. Absolute piffle. The same HB dept said that another person who doesnt speak English well, needs translations services and has alcohol issues doesnt need suppoin their view.
TRhe council also tried to argue that essentially it is ok for a HA or charity to claim HB eligible payments but not acceptable for a private company setting up the exct same arrangement with a voiluntray organisation to do the same. That is myopic prejudice of the worst kind and simply because "Rachmann's" name still pervades their thinking.
Before I continue, I have seen far worse council and RSL supported accommodation for provision than private sector provision in the - literally - hundreds of homeless hostels I have seen.
I would also take issue with another of the councils points in this case and the general point Chris raises. They both say it is wrong for accommodation only to be available if you receive siupport, and if you dont accept that support you leave - both being conditions of the tenure.
This is exactly the case in refuges and hostels all over the country and rightly so. The cast majority of these are run by councils or RSLs or charirties and no-one bats an eyelid. Yet when a private company seeks to do this howls of derision come out! Why? The only difference is that its a private organisation and that is outrageous discrimination.
In this case specifically, the accommodation in question is a licensed HMO. Or in simple terms the council has inspected these buildings and found they comply with regulations and of an acceptable standard (and they also charge the landlord for this as well.) So we can take awy in this case the emotive prejudicial link this may have with 'slum' landlord.
But to stay with standards of accommodation, I know this council and it was said of its own homeless accommodation a few years back that "I wouldnt place my worst enemies dog in there" - by other professionals working in that area.
However, to turn to more general matters, I am constantly amazed and angered by the acute lack of knowledge of supported housing amongst HB departments. And rather than excuse them on the basis that only about 2-3% of claims relate to supported rathe than general needs and only about 2-3% or HB regs apply to supportd housing (hence they are trained on the 97% of claims that are general needs housing), they show no common sense whatsoever.
Take the case of someone leaving NASS (asylum seeker) accommodation. They dont have any possessions whatsoever as NASS supplies them with furniture etc right down to cutlery. What is the difference between them and a woman fle
Can we please have this comment in full please?
This is a very important issue that needs discussion
Posted in: help needed with 3rd stage complaint
If the landlord is directly cuplable in why the mice are there, for example not cleaning communal areas or something similar I agree they can be responsible.
While proving this direct causal link is problemmatic I do agree it should be a landlord responsibility.
Yet what if it is caused in part by tenants or RTB leaseholders who in total or in part are not disposing of rubbish or something similar?
Im simply outlining the difficulty in proving culpability and therefore responsibility for vermin (and presuming this is not in any tenancy agreement)
If for example the front door has been eaten through by vermin then of course i see the landords duty in replacing or repairing that door and even reinforcing that with some form of metal plate. But I dont see the landlord being responsible for vermin as this is the preserve of env health at the council and maybe chargeable or not depending on the council and what vermin.
Posted in: help needed with 3rd stage complaint
Is mice a landlord problem?
I would think that pest infestation is part of Environmental Health at the council and not the landord, even if you are a council tenant as they are separate departments.
Being blunt as well the mice problem needs to be sorted before tiles on walls or counter tops. Mice will happily run along tiled counter tops or melamine ones.
Further the lack of tiles on walls or countertops - is this the cause of pest infestation or not? I doubt the lack of tiles is a direct cause of mice being in the property.
Rather i would think that mice are getting into the property in some other way (i cant see mice crawling through tileless walls at countertop height.)
Finally, env health officers should be able to advise on where the mice are entering the property and if that is because of a need for structural or landlord repairs then that is the case you have against the landlord.
Rebecca, you need to give the full circumstances here if seekign advice her is what you are looking for. For example you state above:-
"They promised to hold off solicitors action as they said I had the right to complain, so I did and their response to my complaint is the latest solicitors letter saying remove the treehouse by 6th nov or we will use the possession order inclosed in this letter!"
Are you saying that they already have a (suspended) possession order? If so what is that for? Is it arrears? If so have you complied with the terms?
The reason for the above questions is I find it incredulous that a landlord would seek possession on the grounds of the non-removal of a tree house alone.
That said the advice to see a solicitor is very good advice that you should take
Posted in: Inside Housing Revolution
The latest posts are very informative though still havent changed my main objection to ASB - that of landlord or HO as a policeman.
Prior to landlords being 'responsible it was largely cicil matters were dealt with by councils (and not housing depts within councils) and criminal ones by police.
Everyone knew this, landlords dealt with housing not asb issues and social housing was not as stigmatised. Yet since landlords have perversely become the policeman the stigma and perception of social housing has significantly decreased. All social housing is populated by crime ridden scum in many eyes and thats got to outbalance any good that ASBOs may have done.
If we also look at landlords time and other resource (ie cost) involved in asb and ASBOs for what it has achieved in terms of arresting behaviours then has this 'experiment' been worth it? Given that i maintain the much more negative perception of social housing has been one outcome then all the evidence suggests it has failed.
Im sure that in pockets it has done some good, im not denying that. But headline cases of £170k in legal fees to keep a 14 year old away from 3 streets - admittedly a headline and extreme case - tend strongly to support that view that it hasnt worked effectively or efficiently.
Yes I have noticed and I make my view clear that I want her to keep it. That doesnt detract from my points which were (a) you state clearly that you dont work in housing so Rebecca should know that and (b) consider your views in that light.
I just gave a possible scenario as to why it may not be a smooth a process as you advised. Why anyone should have a problem with that I dont know?
Kass - it can only be an old trick IF the tenants is in arrears cant it? And if someone owes you money do you have to trick it out of them?
Kass - you say often enough you are not a housing professional so is it wise to give advice on whether the HA will allow this structure to remain in situ?
As to why the HA may be against it and refuse and insist you take the tree house down. When you leave the property and say this is in 10 years time when your dauhter no longer needs or uses a tree house (or even sooner), then if you leave it at the property the landlord is liable for its safety. It would likely have no option but to dismantle it at a cost to themselves as they couldnt be guaranteed it was safe.
Hence to avoid that cost to them they can ask you to dismantle it. Personally I hope they dont but there are legitimate reasons why they might ask you to dismantle it.
You are breaching your tenancy as you said yourself as you have erected a structure without the consent of your landlord (the HA). The clause is a standard one and means that permission needs granting before and not retrospectively.
Posted in: Reality Check.....
One of the few areas of consensus i have with ILAG from previous posts is that 95% of tenants are law abiding and the problem element is only 5%. What I also agree with him on is that it is too difficult to rid social housing of these problem tenants - and by extension a way has to be found to get rid of them.
But i strongly disagree that it is the allocation or admission system that is at fault. It is the exit system not the entry element that is the problem.
The solution cannot lie with either the entry system or with the tenure document or the landlord. The only way even for ILAGs proposal to take effect is a change in the law - Hence the key to a solution only lies with the judiciary and if that were to be considered could it be applied retrospectively - I strongly doubt it. How would the law allow the significant reduction of security that would affect negatively the law abiding 95%? That is madness.
Here is where the change of view needs to happen. It cant be right for 5% of the tenants to create misery for the 95%, surely there is a greater good legal argument here. Yet it cant achieve that at the expense of the greater good.
This is the extreme flaw in ILAGs thinking and proposal as it would penalise the 95%. Yet he persists in blaming all societal ills on needs based allocation as opposed to his myopic and highly arbitrary vision of allocation by personll choice and prejudice of housing officers.
Posted in: Domestic violence
Its taken 40 years of concerted lobbying with public acceptance of the need for womens refuges and associated services. They are still oversubscribed and insufficient in mumber.
Given the societal scepticism over males as victims of DV it will take just as long for any realistic support and provision to be put in place.
Even with a strong government steer (that wont come - despite their own stats and forceful promotion of female DV) it would still take this long. So while i agree male DV is underreported and pride and other matters come into play the likelihood of services to prevent the 30 or so murders per year of males wont happen quickly.
I realise thats emotive but what other 'group' that suffer 30+ murders per year would be ignored in such a way?
Posted in: Domestic violence
Kass, there is some enlightened views on this, for example some authorities have changed their homelessness forms so that they specifically ask male applicants if they are fleeing DV. And in those geographical areas were awareness is raised of the issue and availability of servive provision other aspects start to coinicide, police and HOs etc looking at this issue with increased seriousness (or even credulity)
Yet as this describes it is piecemeal and ONLY in areas with such provision. The rest of the UK tends to just see DV as male perpetrators and not as victims.
Provision and even acceptance of Male DV is very underdeveloped despite the statistical evidence that abounds. The offical figures showing that 102 women died as a result of DV also show 37 men died for example, or that while 1 in 4 women suffer DV 1 in 6 men do. Both of these are national statistics and fact. Yet the provision for women is about 100 times that for men, at least in terms of refuge provision.
Can a man flee DV and take the children? Or is that seen as some form of domestic kidnap and thus unlikely? The law needs to take a reconsideration of such views and national guidnace is needed from central govt to all housing and homeless providers. Yet without the provision of services such supporting evidence to 'justify' the need will not happen. Hence it is a catch 22 situation that simply remains buried and little gets done.
Posted in: SECURE TENANCY
Am i right in thinking that qualifying to succeed doesnt necessarily mean the landlord HAS to succeed? Do they have discretion in the matter?
If they do have discretion and dont have to succeed the tenancy then would advise you seek to become a joint tenant.
Kass - some people are petrified of spiders - is that a reason to ban them from social housing? Dogs dont cause many disputes, people do that with their actions or inactions. I agree its inhumane to keep a large dof or any other animal cooped up but owners can walk and exercise most dogs in external communal areas. if they dont they're unfit to have pets in my view, but thats very different from banning them.
And to return to the case in point i restate any dog would have reacted in the same natural way to an armed break in and having a litter of pups. The staff in quesstion is irrelevant and there is no evidence that this particulatr dog terorised the neighbourhood - read the wider report on the bbc website as well as this original one.
Yes if dogs are terrorising or attacking people then the law can take action and correctly so. But to ban dogs or any other pets is way off beam and highly emotive.
What utter nonsense the banning of pets.
The case in question saw a tooled up squad break into a property to be met by a dog with a new litter. Any dog even a chihuahua would have defended its owner, its home and its young in that situation. To ban pets on that ground is utter madness.
To try and say as the original comment that the dog is feral (and all the other associated nonsense) is plain stupid. To then deduce from this natural circumstance that dogs or other pets should be banned is ridiculous
Posted in: How to get in touch with neighbours LandLord
Inform the Police and insist on making a complaint to them. Violent threats are criminal matters and are the preserve of the criminal justice system and NOT a landlord.
If the next door neighbour was an owner occupier would this issue be raise at all? That is the real issue here. Why expect the landlord to do the job of the Police.
The police would also be the quickest way of ensuring that the owner/landlord becomes aware of the issue in practical terms too.
ILAG - you comment that a less supine judiciary removing the EPPT would only deal with the present or current persistent problem tenant.
No. It would send a message out loud and clear to all tenants that if you misbehave in this way you will be evicted. This knowledge curbs existing tenants behaviours and future ones too. Additionally it is the only way to deal with existing problem tenants as changing the allocsation system does not and cannot do that.
With that reassuring process in play for the vast majority of good tenants, social housing improves in reality and reputation and the model works, or at least can work. Tinkering or even wholesale change with new allocations cant change the existing reality of the persistent problem tenant, feral dog owner or not.
We can then and only then look at allocation. So who should receive the many benefits of subsidised housing becomes the question. In any humane society that has to be those most in need that the country provides shelter to. It cant be some form of subjective selection based on the 'preferences' of housing officers. Apart from being wildly subject to abuse and legal challenge it is immoral.
Correction - Service charges have to be itemised separately from the net or core rent. These are eithr fixed or variable in anture and tenants (and I presume leaseholders too) have to be sent a statement yearly that corresponds to the actual levels - the set fixed or variable service charges being an estimate. If tenants (and again prsumably leaseholders) dont receive such a statement then they have recourse against their landlord.
The area is also more complex as some service charges in some properties that are seemingly ineligible under HB regulations can become and are eligible for HB if they exceed the scale rates set down for them.