Over-crowding issue – Tenant Has 3 Kids In One Room

Over-crowding issue – Tenant Has 3 Kids In One Room

9:35 AM, 23rd November 2014, About 9 years ago 34

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I have a tenant who has been renting one room from me since September, she had one kid who is aged under 4 living with her… which I knew about.

Over-crowding issue - Tenant Has 3 Kids In One Room

In the last 3 days I have seen two more kids in the house. I presumed they were her guests or something (visiting), so I asked her who they were today. She said they were her children, who have just come from Africa – to stay with her permanently!

One kid is 15 the other is maybe 8.

This cant be right, 3 children in a room, including her 4.

What do I do?

Do I have to contact social services?

I don’t want to get in trouble for overcrowding.


Neil Cooper

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Mandy Thomson

15:11 PM, 24th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Councils themselves are housing homeless families in single rooms, often miles from their home town. Moreover, those rooms are sub standard in all other aspects too, including cleanliness.

Added to this, residents often have to share cooking and washing facilities with anti social neighbours with drug, alcohol and mental health issues, who are often just out of prison. Locks on rooms are often broken, as if the situation wasn't already insecure and frightening.

I know of some people (not friends I assure you!!) who run one of these dives, and they're doing very nicely out of it, thank you (with a lucrative contract from a council). These people really are rogue landlords.

However, it seems that where accommodation standards are concerned, local authorities' standards are often double - it's ok for them to put people in such conditions, but not private landlords (not that many private landlords would, in any case).

The head of Croydon Housing Department recently described how she has tried desperately to get local private landlords to house homeless people on their waiting list. On the other hand, she is one of the driving forces behind the most expensive landlord licensing scheme so far in the country... There's clearly a disconnect somewhere!

Sally T

15:21 PM, 24th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Just a thought, she is most likely in receipt of housing benefit, so worth a trip to the council as you can have it paid direct if she's more than 8 weeks in arrear's, every dark cloud ............

Neil Cooper

17:28 PM, 24th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "24/11/2014 - 12:58":

i have emailed Housing, as well as given T section 21, and also posted her a letter informing her i am not best pleased with the situation. I willl also advise her to go to the council and ask to be re-housed, 4 to one room imo is not suitable long term, especially given the size of the room. I think i have covered myself from any retaliation by taking these steps.

Joe Bloggs

22:10 PM, 24th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "24/11/2014 - 12:58":

hi mick,
QUOTE - 'I don’t know the proper rules & laws, but I’m sure if highly illegal, Housing Association wouldn’t have done it.'
REPLY - you are wide open for overcrowding PROSECUTION, and boasting about it! the HA are prob not guilty as the tenants prob were not overcrowded when the tenancy commenced (unlike you!). unbelievable.

Michael Barnes

23:42 PM, 24th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Cooper" at "23/11/2014 - 22:50":

Rent arrears is a mandatory ground for posession. The judge only has discression on how long he allows for the tenant to leave.

Mandy Thomson

7:32 AM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "24/11/2014 - 22:10":

Overcrowding in SOCIAL housing is defined under Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985 - it expects children under 10 to share a room with one other child, of either sex, but not people over 10 who should only share with someone of the same sex, unless they're in a relationship; babies under 1 year old are disregarded; you would be expected to sleep in a living, dining room or kitchen diner - provided it's a certain size.

The OP has been letting one room for a very short while to the mother and ONE child only. If this were social housing, he would NOT be in breach of the 1985 Act - provided the room was a reasonable size.

The other 2 children were subsequently moved in by the mother, without the landlord's permission or even his knowledge.

Mick Roberts

7:49 AM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Ooh here we go again.
Everyone’s interpretation is different, I wouldn’t say I am boasting about it! With an exclamation mark!!!, But I am telling that it happens & in my cases, instigated by the tenants.
And unbelievable? When don’t know the full facts?

Well, We have the Housing Association in 2 bed with 6 kids. I give them 4 bed. Have I done wrong? So they’re not guilty in 2 bed, yet I’m guilty giving ‘em 4 bed? Well yeah.......

I’ve had people move in 12 years ago with 1 kid, who now have 4 kids in the same house who don’t want to move-Do I chuck ‘em out?

I’ve had women waiting for house for me for 2 years, I get her 3-4 bed. I think when she moved in, she had 6 kids, plus her 17 year old daughter & her baby. I offered them TWO individual houses. But No, they want to be together in same house. And I believe she may have & still have THREE lads in one room. Have I done wrong? It’s open to interpretation. I don’t think it’s ideal, but what’sthe alternative?

I’ve had women move in to 3-4 bed with 6 kids, then I went round one morning, she had moved in her foster daughter & her baby. What do I do? This was the one where the social worker said I shun’t be doing this.
What is the solution? I probably have more of a heart than some, keeping ‘em in the warm new boiler double glazing house is better in my opinion than Sec 21 on the streets zero degrees homeless. But hey ho, everyone’s different.

When you deal with HB tenants every day, you realise even more, we are all very different.

I think Mandy Thomson sums it up what’s happening in the real world. I myself don’t think it’s great, but I ask again-What do we do?

I’ve said this story many a times, we have two families. One with 6 kids, one with 1 kid. I have 2 bed house come up.
It’s a tough case on me deciding who has what, but quite often, numbers money income has to come into it.

For example & I’ve had this discussion with Senior HB members & MP’s & Communities & local Govt-One of the reasons why 5 bed HB rate got scrapped. I had 2 bed house, woman with one kid & woman with 6 kids. 2008 woman one kid got about £110pw HB. Woman 6 kids got £209HB-Who do I choose? MP says can’t put 6 kids in 2 bed house, that’s wrong. I say they’re both homeless, so who’s more desperate, it’s wrong that she’s homeless, what do I do? Leave 6 kids homeless or 1? So as hard as it & wrong as it is, I put 6 kids in 2 bed house & about year later, moved her to 3 bed house. Wrong at the outset, but I got her off the streets where the Council wasn’t.

Mandy Thomson

8:46 AM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Just to put the overcrowding situation in perspective, this report by the Local Government Ombudsman clearly illustrates the position: http://www.lgo.org.uk/downloads/special%20reports/1885-FR-No-place-like-home-FINAL-11.10.2013.pdf The story of Marianne and her children (page 7) is especially relevant.

If councils themselves are housing families in such accommodation, which is far worse than anything a decent private landlord like Neil or Mick would provide, who are they to point the finger?

Joe Bloggs

9:36 AM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "25/11/2014 - 07:32":

Hi mandy
my post wasnt about the op but in response to mick.

hi mick
apologies. your post states:
'I’ve took a husband & wife with SIX kids in a 2 bed house which was Housing Association house (so one would think they know the rules, & they lived there for TEN years.'
i now see you put them in a 4 bed house, not a 2 bed.

Jonathan Clarke

10:03 AM, 25th November 2014, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "25/11/2014 - 07:49":

As usual Mick is spot on with his comments. Its about getting the balance right. Interpretation differs widely depending on ones own subjective perceptions and the circles you mix in and how you were brought up .

A 10` x 6 ` living space can be a prison cell to some but a palace to others. Who are we to judge. I`ve got my smallest ugliest basic studio flat just come on the market. Its in dire need of an entire makeover.

But the chap i spoke to yesterday who was recommended to me as a allright bloke to deal with is living in a tent in a wood because the council wont / cant house him. I talked down my flat so his expectations were not raised. He wasnt listening to a word I said . At the end of my spiel he simply said ` Anything is better than a tent in this weather.` He was desperate for a tiled roof not a canvas one over his head. His bones ached. He is 23.

I also spoke to a respectable working family man. His marriage had broken down at the weekend and he is on his mates sofa in a 1 bed at the age of 32. Goes from a cosy 3 bed semi with his wife and 3 kids to a sofa. His low wage means he cant even afford my cheap studio.

The film `Pursuit of Happyness` shows a perspective of how how quick your luck can change if you don`t plan your financial future properly. It can go drastically wrong if a series of unfortunate events combine together to bring your cosy world crashing down around you

Mandy`s highlighting that report is very apt. My council ( Milton Keynes ) has the 4th worst record of keeping people in B&B longer than the regulatory 6 weeks limit. They break the law daily. I resist any patronising lectures from them but they also have a job to do. Its a love /hate relationship. We both need each other. I wish we were closer and they are making attempts to recognise that its a two way relationship ( 3 way with the tenant) but they still hold on to their kinda dictatorship manner sometimes. Individuals are not always to blame. Its the training they receive. It institutionally and subliminally creates an us v them attitude


They farm out families 10 miles away to B&B`s as there are not even enough of them in MK to house our homeless. They then taxi them 10 miles back to schools and doctors etc. Crazy waste of taxpayers money. I even offered to set up my own B&B in MK out of one of my big 4 bedders to help solve their problems but it was casually dismissed as a short term solution.

Sometimes as an LHA landlord you have a legitimate dual role which can on the surface be sometimes seen as a conflict of interests. But I strongly feel I can make a shed load of money out of investing in typical high yielding ex local authority property but also do my bit for the homeless situation even if its by default.

We need laws written in statute yes to protect everyone and have a framework to work from but no one can legislate for plain common sense. Common sense should be taught in schools perhaps instead of when the Battle of Trafalgar was fought . Because 1805 was a long long time ago and bears little relevance to my current day . Teach kids about recent history - like what happened yesterday. Keep it real and relevant as we all battle through today in 2014

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