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having to move due to NFH, compensation?

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  • having to move due to NFH, compensation?

    I've been living in council accomodation for the last 3 years with my next door nfh getting progressively worse over time.

    three years, two ASBO's issued, multiple visits to prison, 1 restraining order, harrassment from rest of the nfh family and friends later.......I've told my local council I've had enough and will accept their offer of a transfer.

    I have my own housing solicitor, however am well aware how lacks the law is when it comes to dealing with Antisocial behaviour and how my local authority has been.

    My LA is currently seeking possession of my neighbours home however it is likely to drag on to Christmas and even if they do get them out my families problems will just continue due to the friends and family of the NFH who all live around and about.

    When we moved into our current council house it needed alot of work, and we spent 18 months decorating and carpetting every room in the house. If we move again we will be needing to do this all over. Is there any legislation in place which allows my family to claim compensation from my LA for having to be transfered for this kind of thing?

    I'm not talking a wallpapering grant and i'm not talking damages (because that'd be expecting too much).

    Anyone have any idea, as I can't find anything on the ODPM website specifiying compensation for victims of antisocial behaviour living in council homes.

  • #2
    hi buggerlugs,

    good to see you again, but sorry you had to come back because it means you needed to.

    if the ASBOs were in place why has no one acted on them???

    it doesnt make sense.

    these people should of been sorted by now, and if ASBOs and prison visits have been happening then the council really do not havbe much of an excuse to let them stay.

    weak as water, Mrs Slowcam would say. :badmood:

    do you want to move?

    if it wasnt for NFHs would you be happy in your home?

    if you want to stay in a home you have put so much into get back onto the council and get them to sort it, and sort it quickly.

    (the press might be interested in this story....asbos going no where, tenents still victimised, etc)

    what ever you decide good luck


    • #3
      Hi buggerlugs

      If you are going down the avenue of seeking some compensation, then you would first have to write complaints to your local authority and state what you're after and ask them to reply.

      If you don't get a satisfactory answer, then you should consider speaking to your local Councillor.

      Then, get a complaint pack for the local Government Ombudsman and make a complaint - however, there are only certain issues which they can investigate.

      If you have suffered injustice due to your local authority's maladministration, then the LG Ombudsman may be able to award you some compensation for it.

      Sapphirelily provided a good link before explaining how to recoup costs for work done to benefit a Council tenancy and hopefully they'll provide that here for you.

      But, speak to your Solicitor about all of this, they should be able to offer you better advice on it all.


      • #4
        Hi BL,

        I am sorry to say that I have never heard of anyone getting compensation for moving out from a Council tenancy for this reason.

        I don't think there's any law anywhere to cover this either.

        If you have the stamina, and your solicitor thinks you could succeed, you could pursue it through the courts, but I am not a legal bod so there might not even be a case. But you never know, you could be the first to do it .

        Really, the LA's offer a tenancy which is empty and unfurnished. Things like wallpaper, carpets are considered to be furnishings - which are not the Council's responsibility. The grants for decoration are even discretionary. Hadenough is right - if you were a home owner, you'd have to cut your losses too.

        It might be possible that if they know who they are allocating your property to next, they can put you in touch so you can offer to sell them your carpets at least.

        Be careful when you do leave that they don't recharge you for the cost of removing the carpets if you haven't managed to sell them :huh: .

        It's a very positive thing that you are being offered a transfer - many LA's do not even have transfer lists anymore due to pressures of Homeless cases - and very often people who need a transfer are in very dire situations - for example, similar to yours or severe health difficulties and never get a move. I would take the move and run with it.

        The LA must know that this situation is particularly difficult to resolve so they are prepared to move you. More often than not, the 'victims' are not moved at all.

        I am not excusing the LA, but there are limits as to what they can do in this instance. The best way to get any satisfaction is to demand to know what is happening about the ASBO's, the evictions etc. Is your MP involved? He can add some weight to this matter.

        Sorry I can't say much to make you feel more satisfied - it sounds like a horrendous situation to be in :sad: .




        • #5
          Hi Buggerlugs, and sorry to hear this situation is still going on!! :badmood:

          Re compensation for tenant's improvements, check out

          I hope this is helpful, and gives you an indication of whether you may get some compensation!

          Best wishes



          • #6
            Originally posted by mazza@Oct 9 2003, 10:18 PM

            many LA's do not even have transfer lists anymore due to pressures of Homeless cases - and very often people who need a transfer are in very dire situations - for example, similar to yours or severe health difficulties and never get a move.
            Just to come back on this point:

            - All local authorities (LA)have an Allocations Scheme, this is how they deal with applications for permanent offers of accommodation under Part VI Housing Act 1996. Most people are eligible to apply (there will be local exclusion policies which will vary between authorities). LA's will operate under their own policies, but generally they have to offer reasonable preference to applicants living in certain circumstances and depending on the household situation etc. Some LA's put applicants in bands, some offer points. Your position on a waiting list for a permanent offer will depend on how your applicaiton has been assessed. E.g. if you have high points/are in a high band, this may be due to homelessness, then you may be high on the list for an offer.

            (Some LA's have their own local schemes to deal with applications from people who are already their own tenants, e.g. special panels to consider applications)

            - People who are living in a "dire situation", who believe it is no longer reasonable to continue to occupy their home should be encouraged to make an application as homeless under Part VI Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002). This application may result in increased points/banding under an Allocations/Part VI application due to the severity of the circumstances. Additional preference may also be awarded, on top of the reasonable preference points/banding.

            Very important to seek advice from specialist housing Solicitors/ advice centres on housing issues like this, as case-law changes all the time and the legislation is complex. If you have good advice and support behind you, dealing with these sorts of issues can be much easier to cope with.


            • #7
              Yes indeed,

              nothing to stop you making an application under the Homeless legislation, but it's a tough road when you are already in a Secure tenancy .

              If the property the Council is now offering to transfer to is OK, I'd go with it cos even with a homeless application, you'd prob get shoved into temporary accom at best whilst they make a decision on the case - and that can take months and months - years in some areas. And say for argument's sake they do offer permanent accommodation, it could be anywhere, or the choice severly restricted. Some LA's give you one offer and it could be absolutely anywhere in the district and you either have to like it or lump it.

              My point there was that even people with severe health problems/bad situations don't get transferred or have that option - but yes, they can always make an application for a Homeless Assessment, which is a separate procedure and often involves a separate office (and therefore staff who may look at the situation from a different viewpoint).



              • #8
                A big thankyou for everyones replies, its good to see folks prepared to stick up for the victim for a change.

                The state of play is this. I have written over 40 letters to various government, local and national, spoken to various people in very high places re why asbo's were not being effectively enforced, including the home office. My efforts have caused all magistrates in my area to receive training on this. (unfortunately breaches of ASBO's were being handed conditional discharges for years). Now things on this front are improving and its just the prison service releasing these idiots too soon now.

                I have already wrote to the Local government ombudsman, however he believes that my local council is doing enough. Unfortunately my local council isn't aware what it can and can't do, because staff have never had training in issuing, following through, tackling Antisocial behaviour, enforcing tenancy agreements, helping victims of Antisocial behaviour etc etc...

                The main problem is this has been allowed to go on for so long it is becoming an epidemic on the estate where I live and other youths have grown up with the ASBO mob and are now becoming just as bad because they know they can get away with it too.

                My local paper is well aware of the situation and helps where it can, many articles have been published on my NFH. Unfortunately this has reached the stage where panic alarms have been installed by the police and other friends of NFH are family are harrassing us, from my daughter being bullied at her school to other family members attempting to drive me off the road.

                The local council offered to move us in March but we have stuck it out while possession proceedings started. I was initially informed by september they would be gone, but now it looks like it'll be xmas and the intimidation from family and friends of the NFH is excalating week by week. Even if the NFH was evicted our problems would remain with so many of the family (behaving exactly the same) living so close by.

                I have my own housing solicitor, however the law is so vague when it comes to protecting people from antisocial behaviour it seems to me to be there more to protect the criminals.

                To be perfectly honest we made the mistake of not being apathetic like the rest of our neighbours, we stood up for ourselves and said "we arn't putting up with this", now I realise why people shut their curtains while gangs of youths with pick axe handles wonder the streets and don't report it. Because it makes them the victim and in todays society its more acceptable to shut your curtains and keep your nose out.

                You have to realise living with it day in day out for years, wears you down until every little thing they do has a great effect on how you live your life. I have had to fight to get to where I am now with my local council and don't want anyone else to have to go through what my family does, but it will continue to be like this, and the estate where I live will go down the pan. Crime and drug problems are growing and its down to the ineffectivness of the local authority and the apathy of residents who know what its safer to keep your mouth shut.

                Its a very sad state of affairs, but this is how it is.


                • #9
                  It sounds so dreadful - I really do understand the problem you are faced with :sad: .

                  I only hope that things will improve as it seems to be the latest buzz word now - ASBO, I mean.

                  I expect that the Housing Staff, police, magistrates etc all over the country will all be required to update their knowledge and skills, but obviously some organisations will be quicker on the uptake than others .

                  Not acceptable really, as the laws/powers are in place now and these 'professionals' ought to be on the ball NOW.

                  It is a sad state off affairs, I agree. The 'mobs' know that there is such disarray and everything takes so long to deal with - that's why they carry on, and carry on getting away with it.

                  It remains to be seen whether the latest developments in ASBO legislation will have any impact - live in hope, eh? :unsure:

                  All the best for your move anyway - I hope it's to a more peaceful place




                  • #10
                    Thanks Mazza, its appriciated. I do hope we get to move. Its not something I wanted to happen, if anything on principle (why should we move, being the victims?) but i think its for the better.


                    • #11
                      I know what you mean

                      it always seems that when the victims choose to leave the NFH have won

                      just because you want to go does not make them the winners, if its what you want then you win.

                      there is no shame in leaving at all, at the end of the day you want a peaceful life and if you get that by going, good for you.

                      sounds like you desevre some peace and quiet

                      good luck and keep in touch


                      • #12
                        Look at it this way,

                        I think you are doing the right thing by moving.

                        You will be leaving them to fester away in their little sad pit of an existence and they will effectively ghettoise themselves.

                        By then, you will be well out of it and they will be a dim memory for you.

                        Although I do understand it seems like they are winning by you moving they aren't winning anything and they will lose in the long run.

                        Let us know how you get on




                        • #13
                          Read a recent Shelter briefing about ASB (linked below), which aslso said that there is a:

                          "lack of understanding and expertise about the available remedies, particularly among housing officers on the ground. As a result, intervention does not occur early enough, tenants suffering from ASB do not get the help they need, and poorly prepared cases are thrown out by the Courts."

                          Shelter Briefing


                          • #14
                            Spot on Holly !

                            The role of the Housing Officer is so varied that many just bumble along , just getting by. Some have no qualifications in Housing whatsoever! Ok experience counts for a lot, but many don't ever update their training/knowledge.

                            It's about time that they were monitored more closely and made to have continuous professional development - as do many other professions.

                            After all, a decision a Housing Officer makes is often in isolation and can have such an effect on a whole community in some cases.

                            Shelter is excellent actually - might be worth contacting them about your situation Buggerlugs.



                            • #15
                              It now appears that whilst my local council were happy to say they'd rehouse my family, when it comes to us taking them up on the offer they arn't too keen to live up to it.

                              I am being stonewalled by my local authority now, because they realise by moving my family they will be admitting their own failure to solve the antisocial behaviour of my next door neighbours.

                              I believe we are as much a burden to our local authority "financially and politically" as my neighbours are for their antisocial behaviour. The LA still refuses to take our plight seriously even now. Police cctv camera's and a panic button obviously isn't enough to convince them. I suspect my son will have to end up in hospital for a second time due to my neighbours before our LA takes us seriously.

                              My solicitor mentioning compensation probably didn't help much either.

                              My family is now looking at privately renting a home elsewhere as soon as we can find one, and getting the hell away from this god forsaken place.

                              Once we do, keep an eye on the news and in the papers, because we will be going public with this.