Halifax Druggies Making This Lovely Flat Unlettable

Halifax Druggies Making This Lovely Flat Unlettable

18:42 PM, 17th May 2017, About 4 years ago

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After nearly 30 years in this business and being the founder of Property118 and run the forum since 2011 I thought I had encountered most problems.

However, this is a new one for me.

The picture above is my “problem property”. It is in Queensway, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1.

My tenant has moved out because of a major problem in the block. The Police and the Freehold Management company have been about as useless as a chocolate fireguard so far but I have yet to unleash our legal hounds (Cotswold barristers) onto them.

The problem is that druggies keep breaking into the secure communal areas and trashing the place. They are the worst kind, young ‘hoodies’ taking heroin so discarded needles are common place.

The freeholders are now refusing to mend the doors, smoke alarms and clear up their filth.

We only have a tiny mortgage on the property so I could just secure the place, leave it empty and sit back whilst somebody else finds a solution or the druggies eventually kill themselves or each other. However, for those who know me, I’m not like that.

My first thought was to offer to rent my flat to a hard ass ex military man or a Police officer for half rent for 12 months and see what happens. I’m still considering that.

Market rent is only £450 for a two bed flat. I’d actually accept £200 for the right tenant.

I put a post about my dilemma on my Facebook wall and many other suggestions were offered including:-

  • Put up posters and give leaflets to all local residents offering a reward of £1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the drug dealers operating in the flats
  • Start a Neighborhood watch group
  • Contact the local amateur Rugby club and consider offering the 50% discount on rent to a couple of burly Rugby prop forwards

I think these are all great ideas.

Any other thoughts and suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Mark Alexander – founder of Property118.com


by Robert Mellors

9:50 AM, 23rd May 2017, About 4 years ago

I'm not sure about Jessie's suggestion about the annoying noise, but I would definitely try the special lighting that makes it impossible for people to locate their veins, I have heard of this being used in public toilets and in pubs/clubs where drug use was a problem (or at least a problem they wished not to get). I believe this sort of lighting is still acceptable for everyone else, it is just no good for injecting drug users.

Also, you could also try concealed or protected CCTV cameras, (you still have to put up the CCTV warning signs), so you could put up an obvious one, plus several hidden ones, and the vandals will attack (or steal) the obvious one but they will not be aware of the hidden ones that record them doing this (and their other activities). Try a "spying equipment" online store, for an idea of what may be available. However, even if you get evidence of who is doing what, it still needs the police (and CPS etc) to act upon this.

by JB

17:06 PM, 23rd May 2017, About 4 years ago

It seems to me that you have missed the most obvious solution. The one preferred by more and more councils, the panacea for ALL social ills. SELECTIVE LICENSING!!!!

by Mark Alexander

17:26 PM, 23rd May 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "May Day" at "23/05/2017 - 17:06":

How would licensing me sort the problem?

by JB

17:30 PM, 23rd May 2017, About 4 years ago

No chance whatsoever! I am being facetious. Our council is about to inflict selective licensing on us - just a money spinner for them.

by Peter Fredericks

10:21 AM, 24th May 2017, About 4 years ago

You really have my sympathy. The answer ought to lie with the police, so you could complaint to the Police Commissioner, but ultimately the Crown Prosecution Service will decide who gets prosecuted, but don't hold your breath. My experience of referring a tenant who trashed a property to the police and doing witness statements and victim statements was that the CPS thought it was not in the public interest to prosecute this piece of low-life. So you may end up doing something discreetly on your own account!

You may also have recourse against the freeholder if there is no management company. If there is a management company, the company is likely to be owned and controlled by the leaseholders and by the sounds of it, if you are a leaseholder, you may end up suing a company limited by guarantee with few assets to call upon and in which you are a stakeholder under your lease. The freeholder or management company ought to be prepared to install CCTV and other security measures even if that pushes the service charge up, so that the development can be protected, otherwise you risk it sinking into a cycle of vandalism which will prevent you selling out and at least recovering your investment.

Also what about asking the local authority's ASBO unit to get involved?

by JB

15:11 PM, 24th May 2017, About 4 years ago

Do the druggies use a particular route to get to your property? There were problems near one of my properties and the council closed a passageway between 2 houses near mine so their route was disrupted.

by Mark Alexander

15:57 PM, 24th May 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "May Day" at "24/05/2017 - 15:11":

I don't know, but as you can see from the picture the development is quite open.

by David Price

17:00 PM, 24th May 2017, About 4 years ago

I put up a six foot chain link fence to stop the drug dealers, and they climbed over it. I then topped it with anti climb paint, displayed the required warning notices and received the complaint from one tenant that his dealer had had his clothes ruined by the paint. For any one who does not have experience of anti-climb paint it is a horrible non drying paint which is near impossible to remove from clothing. Drug dealers are near impossible to eliminate, I still have them despite years of trying to resolve the problem.

by Mark Alexander

12:47 PM, 15th June 2017, About 4 years ago

UPDATE article just posted for those who are interested - see link below