Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About A week ago 99
I am writing to see if anyone can advise on a very sad case. A lady I know, a Colombian immigrant with her husband and 11 year old son, have been living for a few years in a self-contained 3 bedroom flat in Haringey. (another tenant upstairs).
They had an AST renewed every 6 months. The landlord sold the property and the new landlord decided he wants to convert it into an HMO. Without discussion he entered the flat, took out their fridge and replaced it with a small very dirty fridge, which he put in their bedroom. He came in and removed the dining table as he wanted the room for someone else.
He then brought another couple in and said they had to share the bathroom. Since then he has had the builders in removing doors, creating extra rooms etc. He moved their son (who has asthma) into a small room (with no ventilation), allocated just one room to them as bedroom / dining room (with no table). When they complained he told them he had an HMO licence and that these were workers from the council. Etc etc.
We advised her to go to Haringey Council who were less than helpful and said as she had a private tenancy there was nothing she could do and if she didn’t like it she should leave. They were not at all interested in the harassment.
We have tried to advise her on the very clear law against tenant harassment, but as she is an immigrant (legal), and does not speak the language very well, she and her family are terrified as to what the Landlord might do. (she also has not been told if the original deposit has been registered – but that’s for later).
The obvious move would be to go to a solicitor, get an injunction etc, and claim compensation for the nightmare they have been put through, but she is a cleaner and therefore has very little money, and cannot seem to find any solicitors who would take up her case under legal aid. Can anyone advise?
Does anyone know any organisations in the Haringey area who could protect and help her? It is such a blatant case of harassment it would be a shame for them if they end up on the street, and a great shame if he was not brought to book.
Thanks for any advice
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