A day in court with Shelter and council’s impartiality part 2Make Text Bigger
I finally got a reply! Here is my original article “A day in court with Shelter and the council’s impartiality?” We got an email about another property of ours:
I am emailing with regards to the above letter that was sent to Xxxxxx on 14th October 2019. I have just contacted the complainant who has requested that an on-site inspection take place by this department.
I have therefore booked an HHSRS inspection appointment with the complainant for 13:00pm on Tuesday the 12th November 2019 and this email is formally notifying Xxxxx off the inspection which a Xxxxxx representative may attend if they wish to do so.
I will also be accompanied by my Targeted Enforcement Manager colleague, Sophie.
Please acknowledge receipt of this email.
Sophie is the person that sent the first email, so we did not want her doing an inspection as she has shown partiality.
We sent this email back:
We are more than happy for you to come out and do your inspection, but we would request another enforcement officer due to the partial stance that Sophie has displayed towards us in past situations.
As it clearly states in your Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy: “in developing this policy, we must remain impartial to both landlord and tenant to be fair to both sides and give help and advice to achieve our aim, but we must also be firm in taking enforcement action if appropriate.”
I apologise for the inconvenience, and we value your professionalism, but we think that Sophie has a personal vendetta against myself, Xxxx and our workers. I will send you an email we received from Sophie, which we still have not had a reply for.
We hope you understand our situation.
The other enforcement officer then took the place of Sophie for the inspection next week, we then got a reply from the first email (about illegal eviction) :
Good afternoon Xxxxx,
I hope my email finds you well. I have asked Gerry to send me your email so that I may discuss some of your points.
The investigation I am currently facilitating is completely impartial and in due course you will be invited to discuss the reports further. I apologise for the delay, which is out of my hands. Please note, I wrote the cited policy and its content on impartiality. As I am sure you can appreciate, the local authority have a duty to undertake investigations where serious concerns are raised to us, either by residents, landlords, partner agencies or other. We also have a duty to undertake relevant safeguarding where required, again for all parties.
With regard to your previous email, I apologise for the delay in response, I have been making further enquiries. The court ordered possession of the premises is a matter between your resident and their legal advice/advocate, however, I am aware that our housing options team are working to facilitate this as quickly as possible. I’m happy to provide you with the case officer details if you require an update on progress. My previous email was due to serious raised concerns from an *impartial body* and therefore as above, we have both a duty to investigate and safeguard where required. I apologise if you were unhappy with the tone or its content. Your comments regarding mental health have been noted and actioned accordingly.
With regard to the advice sought: I have been advised that there was not a counterclaim re possession based on housing conditions, can you advise if this is correct please? I believe from speaking to the advocate that it was acknowledged that if any defects were present, these have not been reported or investigated by the local authority and therefore do not offer mitigation. The advice from our homeless team would be to ensure rent is paid at all times and I believe this has been reinforced by other professionals. I am happy to pass your query to a colleague in housing benefit with regard to advice on the action you can take regarding unpaid rent, please let me know if this is an option you wish to pursue.
With regard to the housing conference, I undertook two presentations that you were welcome to join on. If you were refused advice, please let me know the situation and I can look to address it. I am also happy to answer any queries you may have?
I have no personal vendetta towards you or your organisation, I am merely undertaking my described job role. I have advised Xxxx that on this occasion, I am more than happy for another officer to undertake the visit with him and we appreciate you facilitating access to assess the accommodation.
She called shelter an impartial body.
That says enough about this whole situation.
BCP council shame on you.
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