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  • trouble !

    Seven years ago my wife and I purchased a semi detached ex council house in a small village in rural England. As there were four houses that were ex council and three had been privately owned our concern was for the last remaining council owned property. When we investigated we were assured from locals that the then tenant was a nice man. He was not nice, he was lovely, I used to cut his grass for him and we gave him unwanted furniture etc and all was rosy in wolfhounds garden.

    Then his unmarried daughter and her three children bullied him out of his house and took over his tenancy. Her partner (who apparently did not live at this address according to the local council even though he was there seven days a week) started to prowl at night and my security lights were disconnected and clothes items and coal started to disappear.

    Not to mention constant drilling on interior walls at the most unresonable hours.

    After a long complaint procedure with the council they finally admitted in writing that these neighbours were a nuisance and they agreed to erect a six foot fence along our properties front and back to alleviate any contact. They also agreed to clean up the property and to maintain it in a proper fashion.

    Despite constant requests to the council they neglected to follow through on their commitment and since I have had my car tyres slashed, my son arrested by the police on thankfully proved to be a false claim and numerous other serious issues.

    Meanwhile the council were making the tenants partner a tenant and apparently washed their hands of the problem last April by selling them the house !

    Can they legally do this ?

    I have a file of correspondence with the council where they have admitted responsibility and I am now wondering what I can do ?

    I cannot sell as they are devaluing our property and while I am in dispute I will have to inform any would be purchaser.

    Please help if you can.

  • #2
    Hi Wolfhound.

    sorry to hear about the nightmare you have had to live,

    have you logged everything?

    If not you need to do this, write everything down, even if you have no other eveidence.

    you need to have an accurate record of events, ie what day/date/time...who was around at the time, who effected by the disturbance, what the disturbance or act was.

    you then present the local council EHO this list and tell them how your lifes have been effected.

    keep a copy for you and one for the police if you feel it necassary.

    it sounds like this family have targeted you and you need to get it stopped.

    I am sure everyone will be able to offer you great advice.

    please come back often and let us know how it goes.


    • #3
      Hi Wolfhound and welcome to the board.

      I'm sorry to hear your story. It's so awful when you have a nice neighbour and then end up with NFH.

      I'm not sure about the legalities of the council selling the house to the tenants, there is a right-to-buy scheme and I think that as long as the tenants are not in arrears with rent they have every right to buy their council house. Of course once the house is sold I would assume that the matter of the fence would be forgotten, I mean why would the council pay out money if they didn't have to?

      As Beth says, keep a log/diary of everything that happens. If you suspect your NFH is prowling, call the the police. Also report any thefts or damage to your property. Sometimes people think it isn't worth reporting things because 'the police won't do anything'. This may be true but every time you report something it is logged and so you will establish a history.

      I can only sympathise with you in that your property has devalued, I know that feeling quite well. But remember there have been a couple of court cases where NFH have had to reimburse their neighbours because their behaviour has devalued the neighbour's property.

      I'm wondering if your other neighbours have had any problems? I'm also wondering if it might be an idea to contact the Local Government Ombusdsman. After all the council promised your certain things and then as you say, washed their hands of the problem.

      I'm sure some of the other members will give a lot more sound advice.

      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


      • #4
        Hi, this is antique. My god almost everytime iread these posts it's like its me. These nfh must have a hand book they pass around. have a go with the ombudsman, it sounds like maladministration to me. These authority's are all the same talk a lot do very little. I am dealing with a housing association and they find it difficult to reply to our letters. Our house has also lost its value. There doesn't seem to be anyone out there to help us but by god they are quick to help nfh????????


        • #5
          Hi Wolfhound and welcome to the board

          I am sorry to here about these relatives that took over the tenancy, they sound like a nightmare.

          Have they actually put in a "right to buy" request?

          I would suggest that your first ports of call to discuss your concerns about their behaviour should be:

          - the local Council Area Housing Office

          - your local Councillor

          - the Environmental Health Department about the noise (as Beth says, you need to make sure that you start recording all incidents of noise so this can be reported to the EH dept.)

          Come back here often and let us know how you get on.


          • #6

            For a start the Council cannot just allow this old chappy to be kicked out of his home and the daughter to move in. For a sart where has he gone ?

            Some years ago, my friends brother lived with his mum in a Council owned property, Jane's mum unfortunately died, leaving Barry in the Council house.

            Our local Council then issued proceedings to evict Barry from his home even though Barry tried continuously to pay the rent. The Council refused to take Barry's money and subsequently the case was heard before the local Magistritrates Court. This was all avidly reported in the local press by the way, so I am not infringing anyones rights here.

            The Magistrates concluded that the Council had the tenancy agreement with Barry's mum and not with Barry himself and therefore, Barry was not entitled to live in the house.

            He was given a set amount of time to get out of the property, which Barry duly did.

            The fact remains here that your Council's agreement is with the old chap and NOT with his daughter, therefore, his daughter is not in a position to take over her father's tenancy agreement. She needs to follow the correct proceedures laid down by the Council's 'Charter' for housing and put her name on the housing waiting list. This is effectively jumping the queue and the Council is clearly not following it's correct proceedures as laid down in the Charter.

            You need to speak with a senior housing officer and get in touch with your local Borough Councillor and County Councillor too. You have rights and you should not be in a position to tollerate this capricious behaviour.

            You MUST act now Wolfhound to save yourself the long term worry. This daughter must have lived somewhere before she came next door to you. What has happened to that house ?

            If she has left it and just walked away, my guess would be that she has made herself and her family voluntarily homeless. Just one final point about the boyfriend - a call to the DSS would not go amiss here as my guess is that she has declared that she is a lone parent. You will also need to have a chat with the Town Hall about boyfriend living there too as when you live on your own you get a 25% reduction in your Council Tax bill. The Council have oficers assigned just to investigate this point also by the way and they work on tip offs.

            Get onto it Wolfhound and let me know how you get on.


            • #7
              Scooby, I think there was legislation brought in so that if a parent, in a council house, died and the adult child was residing with them they could automatically take over the tenancy. This happened, five years ago, when my mum died and my sister was granted the tenancy.

              But from what wolfhound has said this doesn't apply because the father was still alive when the daughter moved in. I'm wondering if the daughter is buying the house in her own name or that of her father. He would have been there a long time and been given full rebate on the price of the house. Just a thought.

              "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


              • #8

                Wasn't aware about the new legislation, only what had happened to Barry and that was about 8 or so years ago.

                The things is that I don't think that this Council is following proceedures and I am coming to the conclusion that these Town Halls operate some kind of kangaroo court.

                Which to a straight forward thinking person like me is just not right in a democratic society !


                • #9
                  Maybe all LA differ.

                  Mine transfers tenancys over if the main name on it is deceased.

                  I know this as a few years back when i notified the DSS that my daughter had died,so as to stop benefits to her they notified the council who assumed it was me that had died!

                  I knew of this when they wrote to the new occupier, when i phoned up to complain they were shocked to be speaking to me.

                  As for the fence i now own mine and managed to get the council to pay for a 6ft fence at a cost of £1500 to seperate me from NFH, so if they said they would do it then they should still do it regardless. And in my instance i am actually meant to pay for the fencing as it is on my side that i am responsible for.

                  As a owner next door to a council tenant you have more rights over the LA regarding their tenants, at the end of the day they are collecting rent for that property and if you was the landlord and you had NFH in your property they would soon be after you to sort them out!



                  • #10
                    Which to a straight forward thinking person like me is just not right in a democratic society ![/b]

                    I couldn't agree more, Scooby, many LA's seem to be a law unto themselves and unless you have access to legal aid you are more or less at their mercy. As for legal aid, well that's another grossly unfair method of dispensing access to justice!!

                    Maybe we should all stand for our local councils

                    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


                    • #11
                      The issues raised above are about succession and assignment of secure (Council) tenancies.

                      If the tenant (Orignal and sole) dies, then another occupier can succede the tenancy - but must have been living in that property as their sole or principal home for the last (whole) year.

                      A tenancy can also be assigned - which is what may have happened in this case.

                      If neither a succession or an assignment have occured, then the Council will no doubt want to get possession and would have to apply to Court. In the meantime, they would generally want "mesne profits" from the occupiers, who would be considered trespassers.

                      Wolfhound needs to contact his local Area Housing department regarding the behaviour of the occupiers. If the Council don't know about them being there, they will (should) take action to evict. If they do know, they should take appropriate action - possibly by serving a Notice of Seeking Possession.

                      Hope this helps?


                      • #12
                        Hello All,

                        Thank you all for your kind replies and encouragement.

                        Raven and I have decided that we will have to send a

                        solicitors letter to our local council as they have totally

                        ignored all our pleas and appeals.

                        I am absolutely convinced that we will open a can of worms

                        that the council would like to remain closed.

                        I have in my possession 3 copy letters addressed to my NFH

                        from the local housing officer in which the officer has appealed to NFH to tidy her property and to keep the noise down and she also has requested NFH

                        "please contact my office regarding other tenancy issues".

                        So it would appear that not only are the council in breach of the data protection act by copying me on these letters but they have admitted in writing that she was a problem tenant.

                        Around the time of they buying this property the council was evicting problem tenants in this area and I am sure that NFH was advised to purchase or else be evicted. I think that the council washed their hands of the problem and left us high and dry to deal with the problems ourselves.

                        We believe that we will only resolve this through legal action.

                        Thank you all once again for your encouragement and I will keep you posted of developments.



                        • #13
                          Hi Wolfhound,

                          Well, I hope that we have all been of some help to you.

                          I hate to tell you that it appears that it is indicative of most councils to do diddly squat leaving the rest of us having to sort everything out.

                          I am constantly amazed by the way - certainly our council anyway - these councils behave.

                          I wish you all the very best and come back and let us know how you are going on.

                          Best Wishes