Homeless living in flats hallways

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  • RosieB
    started a topic Homeless living in flats hallways

    Homeless living in flats hallways

    Hello,

    My first time here - I'm lucky I've managed 8 years of land-lording without serious issue! Until now...

    My tenanted flat is on the 2nd floor of a block. There are 3 blocks in total on the estate. In the past 2 to 3 weeks my tenants have reported homeless people sleeping, eating and doing 'other things' in the hallways directly outside their flat. Other neighbours have seen them too. My tenant has told them to clear out and they have but others have replaced them.

    I am not a bad person. I have great sympathy for the homeless - it could happen to any of us. But it's not safe or viable for them to live in the flats hallways.

    The flats don't have door entry systems - anyone can walk in, day or night. There have been requests for one to be installed in the past but they've been deemed too expensive and unnecessary - but that was before this situation arose.

    Nb. The council are powerless / useless. I have spoken to them. They have advised there is a local homeless shelter - but they're full and for whatever reason these people may not want to go there anyway. The shelter have / will send someone to chat to any sleepers they find but I think it'd be very naive to think that's going to magically resolve the problem permanently.

    The management company of the flats can only do what the directors (who are all owners / landlords) tell them to do . Two of the directors have proposed having 'a little chat' with the sleepers, which frankly I think is again, naive / optimistic / potentially dangerous. The third is actually an old family friend who I know is very stubborn and won't believe anything until she sees it with her own two eyes / her tenant is directly affected and complains. So far it seems her tenant hasn't been affected.

    I have firmly instructed my tenants to call the police if they are worried but, honestly, I can't believe the police will help much. I once had to call them for an issue regarding the aggressive behaviour of another tenant and they refused to attend (until I cried!), because it was deemed a civil issue (and when they did attend they were worse than useless). I know they are bound to attend if specific crimes take place / are threatened but can't help if 'all' that's happening is my tenants being terrified by someone living on their doorstep!

    I want to call an EGM where I want a vote on installing door entry to take place (or indeed any other options that will prevent entry). There is an AGM scheduled for May, but that's a long way off. The directors - are the influence of Ms Stubborn, are saying no - this will have to wait until the AGM (by which time my tenants will have left and how can I replace them with this situation ongoing?). The management company are willing to send an open letter on my behalf to all the owners advising of said EGM. My question is - if we can't have an 'official' EGM, can the directors / management company be bound by the outcome of a non official EGM?

    Thank you for patiently reading all this and await your advice.

  • Gordon999
    replied
    I suggest you ( and other flats ) make a complaint to the local MP who is the right person to deal with this problem.

    The management company should change the entrance door lock and issue set of keys to each flat occupier.

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  • RosieB
    replied
    Thanks for that Benzo - I'll wave that at them in a day or two if still getting nowhere

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  • RosieB
    replied
    The directors are still refusing an EGM, despite my pointing out insurance won't cover this issue + in breach of the lease agreement. They have conceded to allowing the management company to get quotes for door entry. If my tenants bail on me while they fart about I shall be minded to charge my loss of earnings to them! (I realise that's not viable - I can't afford a lawyer for a start!).

    Leave a comment:


  • Benzo
    replied
    Originally posted by RosieB View Post
    The flats don't have door entry systems - anyone can walk in, day or night. There have been requests for one to be installed in the past but they've been deemed too expensive and unnecessary - but that was before this situation arose.
    The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 allows for you to make an application to Tribunal to vary any lease which 'fails to make satisfactory provision' for items 'relating to the safety and security of the flat and its occupiers and of any common parts of the building containing the flat'. If your property is unsecured I suspect it would be covered by this right: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1987/31/section/35

    It may be enough to threaten this to the RTM company.

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  • sam_cat
    replied
    Fire brigade have decent bolt cutters. 2 seconds is probably overstating it!

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  • boletus
    replied
    There are thousands of blocks of flats in the UK that do not have a fire brigade lock override.

    Honestly, which is the higher risk, homeless people living in the communal hallways or a lock that can be overcome by a firefighter in 2 seconds?

    (Incidentally, I've done similar myself on repos in blocks of flats that had no or useless management, much to the relief of the poor sod residents who had to live with it)

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    Safety legislation is not prescriptive in the way that some people would like it to be. You are not going to find legislation that is more specific than providing adequate means for fire fighting.

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  • boletus
    replied
    So no source then.

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    The source was out latest fire risk assessment, but, as RosieB says, it is common sense, in the same way as that you should use FB locks on cupboards to which the brigade may require access.

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  • RosieB
    replied
    Common sense

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  • boletus
    replied
    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
    a combi lock without a fire brigade override is likely to be a fire safety issue in its own right.
    ....Source?

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  • RosieB
    replied
    Rest assured, there will be no combi locks!

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    As well as the legal issues associated with modifying property you don't own, a combi lock without a fire brigade override is likely to be a fire safety issue in its own right.

    Leave a comment:


  • RosieB
    replied
    Thanks Hudson. I've gone back to the management company and pointed out we're not insured, also quoted the lease where it talks about ensuring standards being maintained in the hallways and quoted the Companies Act - as suggested by Leaseholder 64 - that asserts company members can force directors to hold a mtg - but given the above, maybe it's better they organise it after all.

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