Police raid/forced entry- damage- what recourse for L?

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    Police raid/forced entry- damage- what recourse for L?

    I would like advice on something I have no previous experience of. The situation is as follows.

    I bought a property nearly two years ago in central London. It was in serious need of repair and was empty for two years. We refurbished it fully with new kitchen, bathroom, flooring, garden landscaping etc etc. Initially we had a professional couple rent from us. Since last June, the property was rented out to two nice girls who are both students (joint tenancy) at a nearby university. They are both from Eastern Europe and we never have had any problems from them. They pay the rent on time, on the voters list, responsible for the council tax, utility bills etc.

    Early today I had a call from one of the girls stating that they have had a police raid. They were terrified with the experience. They were woken up and the policemen wouldn't even allow them to put adequate clothes on. They simply threatened them, barged in, turned the place upside down and kept asking for a character named Peter. Apparently some of the police officers were enjoying what they were doing to them/seeing. They didn't show them any warrant to search the premises nor identify them properly. They left after some time without even an apology.

    As far as we know, this Peter character lived at this address as a tenant some 4 years ago. We get all sort of letters (usually from finance companies) which we send them back to the sender stating that he does not live there. Some few months back, we have had a visit from two police officers looking for this guy. The tenants explained to them that they live there now and showed their passports for identification. They also gave them my contact details. A police officer contacted me later and I explained the present situation. I also gave him the contact details of the person whom I bought the property from as he may have more knowledge of this charactor they were looking for. We never heard from the police until today.

    I firmly believe that the police should have known from all public records such as the land registry, voters list, council tax etc and on top of that they should have checked their own records as I gave all the relevant details to a police officer before.

    I therefore want to take this further and make a complaint against the raid and the behaviour of the officers concerned. It is also possible that I may lose the tenants as their reputation is tarnished as a consequence of this raid. They were sobbing this morning when talking to me. I am all for the police catching criminals but I do not want to put up with police brutality like in some african countries.

    Please advice.
    Joel

    #2
    Suggest you consult a solicitor.

    Peter

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
      Suggest you consult a solicitor.

      Peter
      Yes. Also, contact the senior Police Officer at the Station concerned, ventilate your complaint politely but firmly, and -if unsatisfied- refer the complaint to the Police Complaints Authority.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        I suggest a large, tax-deductible, bunch of flowers for those two girls from a concerned landlord.

        If they're as good as you suggest, it will be money well spent.
        The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks everyone, much appreciated.

          The flowers idea is a sound one and my wife said the same too. I will arrange for a delivery later today.

          As for an update, I contacted the Metropolitan police yesterday and vented my anger. I also mentioned that I am going to lodge a complaint with the Independent Police Commission. Half an hour later, a policemen rang me saying that he is from the local police station and they are not part of the raid!. I told him how this could be and his reply was that they are trying to find out but said there are 34 boroughs/police forces in London. It all seemed like a cover up to me. He has promised to call me back but so far haven't heard anything.

          I have informed the tenants what I have done so far and they are happy with it. However, they want me to take the matter further and I have agreed to write to the Met Chief Sir Ian Blair.

          I always have had a high regard for the metropolitan police but now I am not so sure. There seem to be a lot of incompetence with the raid. A few simple checks would have made them realise who the new owners are and who actually live at the address now.

          I will keep posted on developments.
          Joel

          Comment


            #6
            Police broke house door down to arrest upstairs tenant.

            The police broke the house door down to arrest the upstairs tenant- not sure why but apparently he was dragged out with several bags and kept overnight.

            The landlord has not replaced the main house door - despite fact that this happened on wednesday night. As ground floor tenant we are worried about the security of our flat.

            (Previously we posted regarding this upstairs tenant's excessive noise. Which is obviously trivial compared to this.)

            This is clearly a nightmare situation as we are two months into 12 month AST. Which obviously we are regretting ever signing. Help!

            Please does anyone have any ideas?

            Comment


              #7
              Your LL has the responsibility to repair this damage. He can claim the costs of the repairs from Mr Plod's insurers. A very similar incident happened to me several years ago, however, true to form, Plod had the wrong property, they broke down my door (No1) when they had a warrant for No7. Your LL will have to be prepared for a long wait to receive the insurance payment (six months plus in my case) and they never admit liability even when they are clearly in the wrong.

              Why do the police drive around in three's? So they have one that can read, one that can write, and one to keep and eye on the two dangerous intellectuals.

              Comment


                #8
                Police break into property - who pays for repair?

                I got a call from my letting agent. They said that the tenant had phoned them to say the police broke into the property....

                When I went to visit the tenant. I was told that the police attended after a concerned friend had called the police because they could not get through to my tenant (mobile with dead battery etc...) and also she did not answer the door etc... (that was because she had gone out for a walk....). The tenant was very apologetic e.g. I will always have my mobile charged and always take it with me etc....

                The police broke the glass in the main door and let themselves in. The police also called 'damage control' to secure the door.

                So who pays for the breaking the glass? and also for the call out to damage control?.... The police told my tenant that they would pay for repair. But when I phoned the police station, they gave me the number of 'compensation' but that was only a recorded message, which said send a letter.

                Can find much on the web......

                Comment


                  #9
                  There are statutory provisions about Police rectification of damage caused whilst in the throes of crime detection and catching baddies.
                  See http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0...story_continue.
                  It reports as follows:
                  A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “We would like to apologise for any distress the occupants experienced.

                  “The address was visited as part of a series of planned raids on that day.

                  “We do carry out rigorous checks prior to execution of warrants but, regrettably on this occasion, the information available to us was misleading.

                  “Drug raids obviously involve an element of covert and tactical policing for them to be productive. We would like to reassure the community that a further warrant carried out that day, with similar information, led to the finding of a cannabis farm and the arrest of two people for the cultivation of cannabis.

                  “These raids were part of Merseyside Police’s war on drugs specifically around the production of cannabis.”

                  The spokesman said the couple could apply to the force to claim compensation for the damage caused to their door.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This is an interesting thread for me also as I am involved where a tenant has had the door broken down by the police to remove dogs that were supposedly mistreated and have been taken into care.

                    The company (appointed by the police) who secured the door are chasing the tenant who is trying to pass it onto the landlord but the landlord is not interested. There is no deposit to make a deduction from if this lands at the landlord's door

                    Any further thoughts welcome! This is a very long story cut short!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi

                      In my job this happens quite a lot and I really should be able to remember the legal basis of what I am just about to say, but just at the moment I can't I'm afraid.

                      Anyway, the standard practice seems to be that if the police enter with a warrant and find something then the householder pays (and so for our purposes the landlord would be expected to claim from the "guilty" tenant); if they don't find anything, then the police pay. Entry without a warrant generally means that costs fall on the police.

                      Preston

                      Comment


                        #12

                        I phoned Damage Control, which is the company that the Police called to secure the property after they broke in. I asked Damage Control who pays for securing the property? They said it would be the
                        Police as it was a "welfare check" (i.e. to check if someone was okay). But the repairs to the door would have to be paid by the householder.....

                        But then I found the following story in Daily Mail... which contradicts the above statement.

                        Pensioner's fury after police smash down her front door... then charge her £100 to fix it

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I watch these programmes on TV where the police go in with what they call the big red key, and in the majority of cases they give absolutely no chance for the householder to open the door - they just smash their way in.

                          I personally think this is wrong even when it is suspected that drugs or other criminal activity is on the premises - the police will say that rapid entry is required because of the risk of disposal down the drains or otherwise of illegal drugs for example - so whats wrong with "bagging" the drains to catch anything - simply knocking on the door and demanding entry - if that then is refused, then fair enough break the door down.

                          However, that door might not belong to the occupier, it might belong to an entirely innocent landlord who now presumably has to pay for a new door, and in a lot of cases, a new frame and judging by some of the cases I have seen on TV, plasterwork and brickwork as well.

                          My own view is that if the police take it upon themselves to cause damage effecting an entry into one of my houses, they can damn well pay for the repairs as well. I hold keys to all my houses and will release them to police if need be (though I can see the school of thought that I might forewarn my tenants that police were on the way - circumvent that by leaving a police officer with me until entry effected by use of keys????)

                          Many years ago, before the "how much can we claim" society came along, my mother and daughter tenants were worken by armed police smashing their way into the property looking for the previous occupier who had a firearms tag. Bunch of (police) flowers and a new door sorted that out!!!!!!

                          If it happened now that the police smashed one of my house doors down, I presumably would be able to claim off insurance.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            i had a rented property forcibly entered by the police. They told me that if any evidence of criminality was found then the home-owner was responsible for paying for repairs - but if no evidence was found the police would pay. In their view, evidence was something such as the phone number of the person they were looking for being found in the tenants mobile phone.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Police forced entry, when seeking L, and damaged door

                              Hi all!

                              Few days ago police busted my front door, in search of evidence, in relation to the landlord, who has been arrested on suspicion of kidnaping (not a joke)! I was not present at the moment when police arrived, but met them when I got back from work (they gave me the search warrant and their details).

                              Landlord doesn't live at the address, but police have it on records as his residence.

                              Police first said to send them the bill for the repair, but when they realised that the person they arrested owns the flat, they said he should pay.

                              I tried to get advice from rental agency and from building maintenance agency but both said they can't help as the landlord is the responsible for the maintenance and only he can authorise repairs. They both said to contact CAB, which I did, but got no solution so far. The landlord is unsurprisingly unreachable.

                              I arranged for door to be temporaraly fixed, so that I can lock it (£180 out my own pocket), but to do full repair would a lot more (£1500). At the moment the door is lockable, but it's damaged in a way so that it could be easily forced, so it needs to be fixed properly.

                              What do I do now?

                              Withold £180 I spent on the door from the rent? Pay for the full repair and withold that (£1500 - that't like 1.5 months rent)?

                              Any ideas?

                              Thanks!

                              Comment

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