Do Housing Associations have a responsibility?

by Readers Question

10:24 AM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Do Housing Associations have a responsibility?

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Do Housing Associations have a responsibility?

I am a freeholder living next door to a Housing Association tenant. Yesterday, she drove her car into our boundary fence. It is my boundary fence and I am responsible for the upkeep.

She is an absolute nuisance, constantly dumping her rubbish/old furniture outside of her property, putting her rubbish into other people’s bins. The outside of her property is truly awful with old tin cans, tights, food all over the front path and garden. The HA seemed to have ignored all this, even though there is caretaker who has continually picked up rubbish outside her property and is fully aware it is hers.

My question is: she drove her car into my fence and now the boundary post has been pushed forward, is loose and the cross strut cracked, I would like it repaired and know that she will not do this or pay for it.

I want to ask the HA to repair it. Do they have a responsibility to do so as they are the either the leaseholders or freeholders of the property and she is their tenant? Any advice or information would be very helpful

Many thanks

Elizabeth



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:27 AM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Hi Elizabeth,

All landlords have a responsibility now for the actions of their tenants and can face fines of up to £30,000 issued by Local Authorities.

Obviously speak to the HA first, but it would be interesting to see if a council takes action against a Housing Association in the same way it might a private landlord.

James Barnes

10:36 AM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

I don't see how the Housing Association can be held in anyway responsible for damage to a boundary fence even it was caused by their tenant, it didn't happen as a result of negligence on their part.
Shouldn't this be dealt with by her car insurance provider, obviously assuming she has insurance in the first place. That would in my view be the obvious way of dealing with this.

Neil Patterson

11:13 AM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Yes correct James. I was assuming the tenant was non-responsive on the issue.

John Frith

11:47 AM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 19/11/2018 - 10:27
"All landlords have a responsibility now for the actions of their tenants and can face fines of up to £30,000 issued by Local Authorities."

This is news to me, Neil. Could you point out the legislation?

Seething Landlord

13:16 PM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Your own building insurance should cover impact damage subject to any excess and your insurers will seek recovery from the driver. I believe they will also have access to the motor insurance database so can go direct to the car insurers if the neighbour fails to co-operate.

Neil Patterson

15:19 PM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Might have got a bit carried away John >> https://www.gov.uk/government/news/crackdown-on-private-landlords-renting-overcrowded-and-dangerous-homes

Councils are being given tough new powers to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords who rent out overcrowded properties and impose fines of up to £30,000 for those landlords who do not comply.

From October councils will be able to set minimum bedroom size standards and also introduce limits on how many people can live in each bedroom of a licenced multiple occupancy home. Councils will be able to use national minimum standards or apply even tougher requirements in order to address specific local needs.

This move will help ensure tenants have the space they need and deserve as well as reduce health and safety risks they face by sharing cooking and washing facilities with too many people.

The new standards will apply to all landlords seeking new licences. Landlords of existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make necessary changes when re-applying for a licence when it expires.

In a move to stop rubbish piling up outside some shared rented homes, often presenting health risks and blighting neighbourhoods, landlords will also be required to provide adequate waste storage facilities in line with their local authority’s rules. If they fail to do so they could face a fine.

These latest measures build on wider government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector by tackling bad landlords. This includes the launch of a new database of rogue landlords and introduction of banning orders for the worst offenders coming into force next month.

Minister Heather Wheeler said:

Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. But some tenants are being exploited by a minority of unscrupulous landlords who profit from renting out cramped and sometimes squalid or dangerous properties.

Today’s measures will mean landlords must provide adequate space for their tenants or face a hefty fine. It is part of a raft of new powers for councils to crack down on rogue landlords and comprehensive action we are taking to improve conditions for private tenants.

Last month new legislation was introduced requiring more landlords to obtain a licence from their council. Landlords of 1 and 2-storey multiple occupancy properties will be brought within scope of mandatory licensing requirements across England, affecting roughly 160,000 additional properties.
Further information
Minimum space requirements

Rooms used for sleeping by 1 person over 10 will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by 2 people over 10 will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.
The licence must specify the maximum number of persons (if any) who may occupy any room and the total number across the different rooms must be the same as the number of persons for whom the property is suitable to live in.

Extended scope of mandatory house in multiple occupation licensing

National mandatory licensing currently only applies to houses in multiple occupation that have 3 or more storeys and occupied by 5 or more people. It is being extended to cover one/two storey houses in multiple occupation which are occupied by 5 or more people.

Waste Storage

The government has re-affirmed the need for councils to provide comprehensive and frequent household waste collections which are free at the point of use. Councils should not seek to impose backdoor waste charging of residential properties, including houses in multiple occupation.

Banning orders and landlord database

A small number of rogue or criminal landlords knowingly rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced a range of measures to tackle rogue landlords:

civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution – came into force April 2017
extension of Rent Repayment Orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order or failure to comply with a statutory notice – came into force April 2017
banning orders for the most serious offenders – to be implemented in April 2018
a database of rogue landlords/letting property agents convicted of certain offences – to be implemented in April 2018

John Frith

17:14 PM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 19/11/2018 - 15:19
Thanks Neil. You almost gave me a heart attack!

John Frith

17:22 PM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

About 4 years ago I had a hedge damaged by joyriders losing control of a car. The police couldn't identify an owner (the car was abandoned at my house), or who the driver was. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could claim in this situation. Apparently the insurers are levied to provide a fund which pays out for hit-and-runs. I can't remember if it pays out for uninsured drivers as well. I don't even think I went through my car insurer, as my car was not involved. I don't even think there was an excess. But I did need a crime number.

Annie Landlord

18:39 PM, 19th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

A member of my family was targeted by a local family (housing association tenants) which resulted in our family member (a teacher) having a breakdown, moving out of her home and being repossessed. So my opinion of the way some housing associations operate is not very high. LHAs do, however, have Anti Social Behaviour officers who should visit you so you can point out the rubbish etc. Unfortunately, without evidence, they may not accept your complaint about the fence, but worth a try

Seething Landlord

0:06 AM, 20th November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John Frith at 19/11/2018 - 17:22
You are correct, the fund is administered by the Motor Insurers Bureau, set up originally to deal with personal injury claims against uninsured drivers, extended to cover claims against untraced drivers and then to include property damage.

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