Aggressive & Antisocial Tenant Harassing My Tenants - Council Has Done Nothing

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    Aggressive & Antisocial Tenant Harassing My Tenants - Council Has Done Nothing

    I'll try to be as concise as possible.

    I own a flat where the freeholder is the local authority. A succession of my tenants have been intimidated and harassed by the council tenant downstairs, who will start slamming doors and banging on the ceiling if they so much as take a shower or open a wardrobe. She has also climbed up the stairs and banged on my tenants' front door, yelling abuse (as per her usual) and on one other occasion verbally assaulted another one of my tenants and covered him in spittle, after locking his girlfriend out of the building and yelling "You're not f***ing coming back in here!".

    I have plenty of evidence that these incidents have been reported to the council's managing agents over several years. I have requested repeatedly that they demote the harasser's tenancy to an AST so at the first reoccurrence she can be removed, but they are making excuses to avoid doing so.

    They say as my last tenants reported the incidents but did not agree to a fromal investigation nothing can be done, as they can only intervene if there is a formally complaint. I pointed out to them that I have been formally complaining, but it obviously suits them to ignore that. Also, when a previous tenant of mine did agree to a formal investigation, they got the harasser to agree to berhave in an acceptable manner, which agreement she then broke and they did nothing.

    My new tenants in the property have now started to reoport the same type of harassment and antisicial behaviour, but even if they agreed to a formal investigation, in the light of experience I am not holding my breath as to the outcome.

    Can I sue the council?

    #2
    Have you done something silly and put in "modern" wood floors on a concrete floor?

    To be honest before contemplating action which could easily take up £2k to get started, perhaps you should consider alternatives on flooring or under flooring, insulating any voids etc.

    We bought one in April, ripped out the devil's floorboards and simply filled in the void between the concrete and timber raised floor and upgraded on the underlay. Having warned the couple below and paid for a couple of day trips during the noisy work, they have said they cannot now hear the new tenants after years of annoyance.

    That costs less than legal action.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

    Comment


      #3
      No, it has nothing to do with that. As soon as I complained the council inspected MY property, after which they had to admit that it is fully carpeted (with thick underlay). (As a matter of fact, the flat ABOVE mine has silly laminate floor, which is in breach of their lease, but that's another can of worms...)

      The issue here is the tenant of the ground floor flat, who is very aggressive - she has been described as unbalanced - and wants the flat above hers empty. Now, that's clearly not on.

      As the council are allowing her to stay in the flat and carry on like that, I want to write to them saying if they don't stop the antisocial behaviour - how they do it is not my problem - I will sue them for breach of contract.

      Comment


        #4
        The reason I raised insulation was your comment that she hears them taking a shower. That suggests a poor level of insulation even with a degree of sensitivity.

        Unfortunately you are unlikely to get anywhere with the local authority over their placing her there as her acts are her own, and you would have to exhaust first the procedures in place to deal with "ASB" ( which includes neighbour to neighbour contact).

        Pressure might be brought to bear if they have failed to action your requests and the earlier agreement under mediation.

        You can of course take out an injunction against her as well.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment


          #5
          There is no insulation in the building, as it is a pre-1990 conversion. However, there are four flats there and everybody else manages to live with that - except for that fury on the ground floor.

          The truth of the matter is that she does not want the flat above to be privately rented and she makes a beast of herself whenever she perceives a sign of life coming from the flat. Over the years she has terrorised a whole string of tenants of mine.

          I have liaised with the council's managing company and they have made all sorts of excuses, such as 'she has a secure tenancy'. I pointed out that in these circumstances secure tenancies can be demoted, but they can't be bothered to take her to court, even though the evidence that has piled up over the years is quite considerable.

          I even told them that it would be in the harasser's best interest to be moved to a fully insulated property, but again, no joy.

          At the end of my tether, I have spoken to LEASE and they told me I could sue the landlord (the council) for breach of contract, and request, as a remedy, that they stop their tenant's antisocial behaviour - and how they achieve that, is their problem! I was told once there is a court order the council has no choice but to stop her antisocial behaviour.

          I reckon it would be simpler and more sensible to do that than to try to get an injunction against a council tenant, not least because I am based in a different area and if I sued the tenant I would have to issue proceedings in her court - or see them transferred there automatically anyway. If I sue the council, I can just use my local county court.

          Also, why should it cost £2,000 to get it started? Couldn't I just file a form N1 as I would do for a small claim?

          Comment


            #6
            Yes, sadly, there is much of this type of scum living in properties all over the country and there is seemingly very little anyone is willing to do to sort it. One of the problems is, quite simply, this:- If a tenant is causing serious problems for other residents, what will moving them on actually achieve? For the residents whose lives are being made a misery, plenty. But for the council organisation/housing association, it's just 'moving a problem.' The same problem applies when expelling a child from a school.

            If these tenants are not exhibiting their chavvy behaviour in your building, it'll be in someone elses. To make the problem worse, many neighbours are often too scared to complain. This means that the decent resident/leaseholder can often get labelled by the housing organisation as a ‘moaner’ or a trouble maker when they’re brave enough to take a stand. And, of course, many housing officers don't really care, as such. I mean, they'll advise you to do the usual; keep a diary, call the police out if things get really bad; contact them if.... blah blah blah but, in reality, they're limited as to what they can do and, besides, they're not the ones living beside these types of degenerates.

            My girlfriend works for a private housing organisation as a housing officer and has to deal with problem tenants continuously. It's hard. If their rent is actually being paid by the council, things can often be tougher. As their bills and many of their outgoings will be covered by the state, their tendency to take any ‘pride’ in their surroundings often disappears. They couldn’t care less - in short, life’s a bit of a freebie and, say, the notion of fly-tipping a fridge freezer or a set of sofas directly outside their block is made with no concern whatsoever – who cares if they’re seen? They won’t get fined, and, even if they did, they won’t end up paying it. Some might say I’m categorising and generalising here but, by God, the council house stereotype is very, very much alive in modern Britain and I know this because I live around them and, until last year, had a family from hell living below me. Six children, mum and her 'bloke' (the dad of two of the kids...at least), three bedrooms, some of the most vile and dysfunctional people you could ever imagine - I’ll spare you the details - and you were funding the lot. Sorry to sound like a Daily Mail article but... By the by, the council moved them in the end. Why? Because of the amount of children living there, they were entitled to a larger property.

            ....On Sunday evening, I had a few drinks with a few leaseholders who live in the block opposite to discuss some of the 'concerns' I have with the freeholder I am presently sueing for being completely s--t. Directly above them lives a couple of council tenants who like to use the washing machine during the very early hours of the morning (typically for 2-3 hours a go) and are regularly fighting and shouting abuse at each other. Then there are the parties, the... I won’t go on. Sorry, I said I didn’t want to sound like a Daily.... Anyway, they don't know what to do, a bit like the original poster. They've kept a diary, spoken to the housing officer, even spoken to the...

            ...Part of the problem is that people like this often so-very-much WANT the drama and the aggro and everything else that comes with, well, living, and I believe it’s because there’s so little going on in their lives otherwise. They need it. The paranoia and the desire for scandal and confrontation and aggression is just part and parcel of their interaction. Some have suggested that council tenants should be stuck in their own blocks of flats and left to rot in their dysfunctional little worlds. But then you’re almost talking about introducing ghettos for the poorer classes and we can't be having that, of course. So, the solution is to drop the scum in with the rest of us and less us pick up the tab.

            I entirely sympathise with the original poster and I agree - it should be much, much easier to deal with a tenant such as this. Can you take the council to a small claims court? Well, I feel like I'm an expert at small claims courts procedures nowadays, seeing as I've spent the last three months applying to go through one (my day's coming....). You COULD do, I suppose, but you'll need documented evidence and rather a lot else. I also expect the Judge would just chuck the case out, arguing that other avenues have not yet been explored. I mean, what could the judge do anyway? What do you actually want here? Some compensation? They can only help you get back ££££ and you're not owed any of that (technically). Besides, that won't stop this degenerate from behaving like a social leper. I'd phone up the housing office and book an appointment to see the top dog. The very, very dog top. If they put you onto the PA or the 'housing chairman,' just go "No, I wanna speak to the organ grinder, not the social housing monkey." Hop on the internet (as you are now) and get a name. And get all the other tenants to agree with you to come along to a meeting with you. People power. Go with solid questions and outline what the hell it is you want to happen here. Have documented evidence of what has happened, including dates, if possible.

            Yeah. Enough said.

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