Tag Archives: council

Crack down on dodgy landlords in the midlands

February 28, 2012

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There will now be a major crackdown on dodgy landlords in the Midlands.

The Burton Mail have said that landlords are to be ‘named and shamed’ to help with the crackdown. The Burton Mail have also revealed that the East Staffordshire Borough Council would like to name the landlords causing the problems, these include landlords who allow their tenants to live in poor conditions and those who avoid taking out a landlord insurance policy.

The Council would like to protect rental tenants who live across the borough, they had looked into six landlord accreditation schemes but decided against them. They have decided to use their own enforcement efforts but will ‘beef them up’*.

East Staffordshire Borough Council are naming and shaming landlords

David Leese, Councillor for the Council has said:

“We are in an economic downturn and people can fall through the net into this underworld. We need to be the ones that protect those vunerable people. We have the teeth already, they are ours to use. This is the one that will do the job.”

Naming the dodgy landlords is subject to legal advice.

 

*Quote from The Burton Mail

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Dealing with a noise nuisance

January 31, 2012

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Your local council is there to help with noise problems in your neighbourhood.

When dealing with a noise dispute with your neighbours your local council may need to get involved.

They are there to provide you with advice and to tell you what steps you need to take to try to make the noise nuisance stop.

 Noise in the neighbourhood

Your local council is there to help with noise problems in your neighbourhood.

The most common noise nuisances are:

  • Loud Music
  • Loud pubs, clubs and parties
  • Dogs that constantly bark, whine or howl*

If you feel confident enough to do so, talk to your neighbour before you register your complaint. You may be able to sort any differences out verbally, but if the neighbour becomes intimidating or violent walk away and get your local authority involved.

Reporting the noise nuisance to your local council.

The environmental department at your local council will take your complaint, it is their duty to take all complaints seriously and take all steps to investigate all noise complaints.

Every local council has their own way of dealing with complaints and will use their own complaints procedure.

You will need to keep a record of when the noise nuisance is happening, how loud is it and the reasons as to why it is happening.

How will the council deal with the ongoing noise complaints

The council will look into a number of factors whilst dealing with your complaint, they also look into how serious the problem is.

They will assess:

  •  Whether it is reasonable, bearing in mind the locality
  • How often the noise occurs
  • How many people are affected*

One of the most common noise complaints is dogs constantly barking or whining

The abatement notice

If your council decides the noise is a statutory nuisance, they’re legally obliged to serve an abatement notice. This sets out what’s required of the person causing the nuisance. For example, if the issue is loud music, the person may be asked to stop the noise or only play music between set times.

An abatement notice for noise can be delayed by seven days to give the council time to persuade the person to stop the noise nuisance. If this isn’t successful, an abatement notice must be served at the end of this period.

In some cases, the council may not need to prove a statutory nuisance where a premises holds a public entertainment licence. The council can take action against a premises that operates outside its licensing agreement.*

There is a penalty for not following an abatement notice, the maximum fine is £5000 for domestic premises. For any businesses or industrial premises the maximum fine jumps to £20,000.

If there is an extreme case and if the police have enough evidence, anti social behaviour orders can be issued.

*Info from Direct Gov

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Council tenants face a prison sentence or a fine if they sub-let their homes

January 19, 2012

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"Tenancy cheats are taking advantage of a vital support system for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and getting away with a slap on the wrist while our waiting lists continue to grow"

A government’s proposal will now allow council tenants who sub-let their homes to be charged and face up to a two-year prison sentence.

Tenancy fraud will now be seen as an offence and if caught a possible fine of up to £50,000 may be issued.

Government officials have estimated that up to 160,000 council tenants sub-let their homes, this is now costing the taxpayer £5 billion a year.

The tenants that are sub-letting were said to be cheating the system and earning thousands by letting out their council homes at normal rental market rates, Grant Shapps, Housing Minister has commented.

At the moment sub-letting a council property is not an offence, the Government feel that local councils need more powers and are now allowing them better access to bank information and utility information.

Mr Shapps said: “Tenancy cheats are taking advantage of a vital support system for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and getting away with a slap on the wrist while our waiting lists continue to grow.

“It’s time for these swindlers to pay the price. It would cost us billions of pounds to replace the huge number of unlawfully occupied social homes across the country.

“Meanwhile tenancy cheats can earn thousands of pounds letting out their property, which was given to them in good faith and which could instead be offering a stable home to a family in need.”

He added: “The proposals I’ve announced today would not only deliver justice to these fraudsters but will also act as a deterrent to those who think they can earn a fast buck from this precious resource.

“I want everyone to know that our country’s social homes are going to those in genuine need, not providing a ‘nice little earner’ to someone who could afford to live elsewhere.”*

Government Ministers are putting out the proposals for consultation, they also want to make council tenants who earn £100,000 or more a year pay normal rental market rates.

The waiting list for social housing is always growing, at the moment around 1.8 million families in England and Wales are on the waiting list.

*Quote from BBC

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Anti – social behaviour, What is it? and how can you be helped?

December 30, 2011

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People feeling safe in their home is one of the most important things in life. Having anti – social behaviour around can affect the quality of life for an individual or even and entire community.

Anti – social behaviour

Anti – social behaviour is a wide spectrum of problems that can cause up set and leave people feeling unsafe in their home and community.

Anti – social behaviour problems include:

  • Nuisance Neighbours
  • Aggressive Behaviour
  • Harassment or Intimidation
  • Begging and Anti – Social Drinking
  • Vandalism, Graffiti or Damage
  • Drug Dealing

People who can help with anti – social problems

There are people there who can help you, you can be a landlord or a tenant, they are there to give you guidance and hopefully put a stop to anti – social behaviour.

Anti - social behaviour, there are people there to help!

  • The Police
  • Local Authorities
  • Social Landlords
  • Housing Associations

If you have been threatened with violence, had an assault carried out on yourself or another person, you are a witness to drug dealing or a hate crime the police should be contacted immediately.

There are also community police officers who can help with anti – social behaviour and they also hold regular anti – social behaviour meetings.

You can also ask your local authority (for example your local council) to see if they can help deal with problems such as:

  • Abandoned Vehicles
  • Graffiti
  • Damage to public property
  • Noise

The local authority also have anti – social behaviour coordinators who can deal with anti – social behaviour problem areas.

To follow – How to deal with anti social behaviour as a landlord and tenant.

Source – direct.gov.uk

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