About this blog

Ramblings, thoughts, facts and opinions about political things - starting point council tenant participation with my land-lord Camden council and council tenant reps plus other housing issues, and whatever.

Monday, 17 October 2016


 Around 9 months ago the below cycles appeared on the scene - visitors to the property occupied by myself and 2 other tenants, but owned by Camden council.

They where left there for hours and kept causing an obstruction. 

5 April 2016

15 April 2016

19 May 2016

This was becoming a regular thing.

A few other times and in Aug 2016 I decided to put up a polite notice in the hallway where the cycles where being put : Please don't leave cycles in the communal hallway that obstructs residents coming in and out of the property. Thank you

When tenant came in one day - there was some mouthing off about the notice and then later on the notice was gone. Then I put it up again and then it gone again.

I left it at that.

30 Aug 2016

7 Sept 2016
the above
happened again - ive lost the pic

10 Sept 2016

25 Sept 2016  - big bags sneaking in 

26 Sept 2016 - chained to my cycle and when I rang doorbell and called up for it to be removed I was ignored. I didn't need to use cycle at the time otherwise I would have had to call the police to come assist me.

2 Oct 2016 - chained to my cycle again. again I rang on bell and called up for it to me removed but no answer. Again I didn't need to use it at the time but (same as above).

2 oct 2016 - polite notice to not chain things to cycle that obstructs it from being used

6 Oct 2016 cycle isn't chained to my cycle this time but look at how the wheel is positioned. Was there for hours.

17 Oct 2016

It started of as 2 different cycles, one all black, one with a red strip on saddle. The all black one keeps coming back and keeps being left where it is causing an obstruction and annoyance.

Wonder how visitor would feel if someone kept coming to where he lived and kept being disrespectful? I suspect there would be a lot trouble.

I did speak to the owner of this cycle once - to thank him for not putting it where it was causing an obstruction - i wasn't taking the P - he had parked it up against the wall in front garden and though it could have been causing an obstruction as it was put in front of the electric gas meters, its not that often that the meters need to be got to. I happened to see him (he was with tenant) coming back into the property and when I thanked him he grunted at me and tenant said "I wouldn't speak to her".

Its not that there isn't anywhere for visitors to the property to chain cycles - there is a metal sign pole across the road (no sign on it that says you can't chain cycles to it) that could be used, as many people do myself included, but for some reason  this and other visitors aren't encouraged by tenant to use it.

This HERE is the tenancy agreement all tenants in the property (and most council tenants) have with the landlord Camden council. The landlord is aware of the breaches of tenancy agreement.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Parliament and Tenant Participation in Camden

In relation to another story about Keith Vaz MP (L) HERE  a line says in relation to speaker of the commons John Bercow MP (C) that he  "warned Mr Bridgen not to use Parliamentary privilege to raise the matter in a Commons debate.".(my emphasis)

This rang a bell with me in regards to how the dmc's and casp operate maybe other groups as well.

No raising of issues that are deemed 'personal' at meetings and if they are they pretty much fall on deaf ears. Great problem solvers eh?

As an aside, the story in the local rag HERE from Jan 2016 "'Town Hall in housing fraud probe" got me thinking about a situation that occurred not long before the story was printed where tenant had bloke in who painted flat but which tenant hadn't paid for -  in money - and it hadn't been recorded as works carried out by housing repairs.

It may be totally innocent I really don't know and I ain't accusing anyone of anything illegal just saying what the above linked story brought to mind as things do.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Star Report Survey on Tenant Satisfaction

A recent DMC report by Graeham Beedham who is head of the councils Tenant and Leasehold Engagement unit in the newly formed Supporting Communities Directorate goes like this:

"This report provides an update on the progress of the Tenants and Residents Survey (STAR) carried out during May and June. Draft results were received by Camden just prior to the September DMC round. Having given initial consideration to the draft, we are providing the DMC's with a summary of highlights in this report. The final STAR reports will be made available in order for detailed discussion to take place at a local level in the November round of the DMC's. DMC's members views will contribute to actions taken in response to the surevey results"

Click Here for report.

So how will the dmcs play this? squeeze in ten minute slots on their ever increasing agenda's where nothing really gets sorted but they do like their 'stick their noses in everywhere' agendas?

What will they say? how will they react to the top priorities of tenants who took part in the survey - tenants who directly gave their voice on an individual level as opposed to so called representatives on the dmcs.Who exactly do they represent? Not me and I'm guessing not lots of tenants.

 Some of these tenant groups really seem to hate and won't be open to scrutiny even though in receipt of public money. How can that be?

Thursday 1 September 2016
Though no one seems to do much about it (and the labour party may well claim they didn't see it coming - like a lot of things i guess) I am again repeating my concerns about the hard left who have taken over the tenant participation (TP) scene in Camden. This may also be the case in other boroughs in London and across the country.

They are extremists and dangerous I think, not only because of some of the policies they want implemented (some policies I agree with) but also how they behave - how they go about things. Though in the past I have not always gone about things in the right manner, I have learned from being forcibly restrained and have adjusted my behaviour. The same cannot be said about others. It is not in my nature other than the admittedly 'mad' phase I went through to behave time and again like they do.

 Though I haven't been directly (via tenant groups and council meetings) involved in the TP scene for years I have no reason to believe they/things have changed. These people are supposedly really tough and in some ways they are in their determination and success at taking over and throwing their wait around in order to push forward their political ideologies - but will often go crying to the police and council if anyone challenges them by making complaints and playing the innocent victim.

How to deal with committee members who they have befriended and 'promise' like they do, to help out but who after a while become concerned about their behaviour and want the committee to be aware of it. In order the stop the person the following tactic is used:

Phone up police and make all sorts of accusations about the person - play the victim and have coppers turn up at your home and intimidate you into keeping away from the committee. As simple and effective as that and it works.

How to deal with councillors who they can't control - make complaints about them to their parties or the council. Don't know if they have made complaints to the police about them but it wouldn't surprise me. They have though pulled this stunt with the police on people who wanted to run as candidates for membership of the council.

I would like to say that at times they may well have a point but they are extreme in how they go about making their points, over the top and they add lies to make things look worse than it is. Dirty tactics.

If someone dares to call them out in public say on a website, they don't ask the person to stop what they are doing if indeed it does distress the delicate flowers as they pretend to be, they go to the council and the police. They are I think really bad problem solvers more problem creators.

They don't do talking, resolving issues others may have with them, they get others in authority to sort the person out by making complaints that may well have a point but which lies are added to make things look worse then they are. They may well add that the person was violent towards them when they weren't or issued serious threats to them and others, when they hadn't.

They are successful in some ways I think because they know how to manipulate, intimidate, play the victim and attract other like minded people to be in their gang. I suspect some cllrs/tenant reps and MP's go along with them because they know how they operate and don't want the hassle of them setting upon them.

They will also as a sign of their displeasure, turn their backs at public meetings to others of the left who don't want to join in with a group they are setting up. They will give dirty looks to those who displease them. They will try and isolate people and generally spread lies to keep people away from the person and not question what is really going on.

They will get others to pass on that if people they don't like turn up at meetings they will phone the police.

They will turn up with the mob at the town hall and demand that cabinet do as they say, accuse them of not being proper socialists or whatever, and bang their closed fists down on hard surfaces. Filling the town hall or other places with supporters is what they do I guess to try and intimidate others.

They will come round to where you live to try and stir up trouble with your neighbours by telling them lies.

They will join other political parties to gain access to and influence various people in those parties. Some I suspect are double agents (I guess you can call them) who get involved with the 'cause' and put themselves up as leaders.

I don't support or am a member of any political party though I may agree with some policies from both left and right. Am I picking on the hard left for no good reason? No i don't believe I am.

They are from what I have experienced, read and heard, the most extreme group on the TP scene - I don't think the extreme right would stand a chance in establishing themselves in Camden via the TP scene but the extreme left have been allowed to.

This I guess must be JC's - you know the beardy bloke who seems for many to be the messiah - the new gentler, polite (honest?) way of doing things - sorry but I have to laugh at that one.

 I nearly forgot the phone calls they make to peoples homes - how they get the numbers and access to other peoples confidential info the council holds can only be because they have their people on the inside - that relay confidential info to you (so that you know they have people on the inside?) as well as threatening " we're out to get you bitch".  Classy people eh? No big surprise really( though still shocking) about the recent report about vulnerable people targeted HERE 

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Vulnerable people targeted in Town Hall scam

taken from the local rag Camden New Journal HERE

Four arrests after private details of vulnerable residents are 'stolen' from Camden Council.

Published: 25 August, 2016

FOUR people have been arrested after the private details of some of Camden’s most vulnerable residents were “stolen” from Town Hall computer systems – raising fears that personal information has already been passed to cold-call scammers, the New Journal has learned.

Detectives were called in by Camden Council after the names, dates of birth and addresses of elderly residents were allegedly plundered from confidential databases.

One line of inquiry for investigators is that information taken by an insider working for the council was passed to accomplices on the
outside looking for prime targets who would be most vulnerable to door-to-door con tricks and telephone scams ultimately aimed at obtaining bank details.

A member of council staff is understood to have been removed from a position as the probe continues. Town Hall chiefs have made a series of home visits to elderly residents to apologise for the data breach and to advise on how they can now protect themselves.

They are telling residents to check the credentials of people who call at the door unannounced and to be wary of so-called “vishing”, or voice phishing, rackets in which bogus callers insist bank information must be provided.

Martin Pratt, executive director of supporting people directorate, has written to residents explaining the council’s response. He has told those affected: “I am deeply sorry that your personal information was stolen from us and I want to assure you that we have taken steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The Information Commissioner, the independent watchdog that investigates data breaches of private information, has been alerted by the council.

In his letter – seen by the New Journal – Mr Pratt added: “We are strengthening our systems to protect the information held on our systems... However, the police have told us that a number of people across London have recently been contacted by ‘scammers’ who try to steal money from them.

“They use stolen information to make contact with people and then try to get hold of bank account and PIN number details.

“People have also been called by someone pretending to be a police officer. The fake police officer calls and asks the person to go immediately to their bank to withdraw money and then hand it over to another fake police officer who will call at their home address. The police or your bank will never call you and ask for your PIN number or bank account details. They will never send someone to your home to pick up your bank cards or your money.”

While arrests have been made, so far nobody has been charged.

A council spokesman said: “We are supporting police as they investigate and we have taken urgent steps to warn vulnerable residents of the dangers of scammers. This includes providing direct support to those whose information has been taken. A criminal investigation is under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

In the wake of the alleged theft of data from council systems, Camden residents worried they may be affected by bogus calls are advised to:
l Never give bank account details to someone you don’t know;
l Never give out any personal information, such as bank and credit card details, or copies of documents such as a passport or driving licence, unless you know who you are dealing with and why they need it; and
l Never email your financial information, even if you know the person you are emailing.


Sunday, 31 July 2016

High Court challenge over housing allocations policy

The below has been taken from the local rag, its an interesting case I think for various reasons. I hope the case (judicial review) does get to be heard in court and the judgement made public for others to refer to. I was going to search out the available relevant judgements within the last few years but for some reason I can't access the site I was previously on. Will try again another time.

As an aside, I haven't heard anything about the issue of the landlord camden council possibly over-charging its tenants for water as reported in an earlier post HERE. Whether the dmc's etc say or do anything about is is anyone's quess but I suspect they won't. I have enquired about the ruling to my land-lord Camden council but they haven't got back to me.

Disabled couple challenges Camden Council in High Court over new housing allocations policy http://www.camdennewjournal.com/high-court-housing-points#comment-97384

Council housing allocations has for a long time been a very emotive and political issue for various reasons including perceived fairness/unfairness of decisions made by the landlord, about the deserving/undeserving as prescribed/proscribed by law, and corruption.  People are eligible for council/social housing for a variety of reasons including, homelessness, having a local connection, working for the council, having children, disabled, vulnerable, wanting to live near to relatives, being a committee member of a council tenants group. Can't think of all the categories, and yes it can be seen as pitting tenants against tenants particularly when the balance between supply and demand is weighted heavily on the demand side.

By "demand" i mean the supply of decent, suitable, affordable homes and the improvement of existing ones to bring them up to the legal standards of new builds. I wonder how England and the UK in general compares to other countries on this issue?

2016 Cases 
  • Georgia Woolfe v London Borough of Islington  HERE  July
The claim is that: 
"(1) an aspect of Islington's scheme is unlawful in that it prevents applicants to whom reasonable preference must be given, but who have fewer than 120 points, from bidding at all for available properties; (2) additionally or alternatively, that points threshold for bidding is unlawful, being in breach of section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (I will call these two heads of claim collectively the "points threshold claim"); and
(3) in relation to herself, Islington in any event misapplied their own policy and failed to award her the 90 "New Generation" points to which she says she is entitled under Islington's own policy and scheme."

1 and 2 dismissed but 3 upheld.

  • Hassan Jalal v Royal Borough of  Greenwich HERE
 a) refusing to provide accommodation under section 17 Children Act 1989
b) continuing to refuse accommodation when further information provided

Not upheld

 - Material change in circumstances - upheld "It is not for the court to determine the issue of vulnerability or to decide whether the claimant is in priority need"  Ms Amanda Yip QC HERE
10 Sept 2016
Not seen any updates on this case in local rag (there may be some that I'm not aware of) - possibly the reason of putting it in the press in the first place wasn't a public interest one where its does get to court and a ruling is made that others can refer to as a point of law, but rather a tactic to force the council to concede, which is a shame i think as it would i'm sure have been helpful for many others to at least no where they stood on this issue.


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Voter Registration Fraud Risks

I'd forgotten about this one. The scope for voter registration fraud is immense i think. Its from April 2015.


It is not essential to provide your national insurance (NI) number when registering to vote.

If you don’t know your NI number – which can usually be found on payslips or official letters about benefits, tax or pensions – you can just say soby giving a simple explanation.

It is then up to your local council to verify your identity.

Although online registration closes for the majority of voters on 7 June, local electoral registration offices have longer to verify your identity.

Whatever you do make sure you register to vote. You can think about who to vote for later.

“Under the new online registration system it’s just one of the ways you can have your identity verified,” says Oliver Sidorczuk, director of Bite the Ballot. “If you fill in the application, without your national insurance number, it’s your local council’s duty to verify you.”

According to the Cabinet Office, electoral registration officials will then contact you if they are unable to verify the application using other local data sources.

Such sources include cross-referencing your information with data from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Student Loans Company.

If they cannot verify you, the local electoral registration office will contact you to request further identification. (my emphasis)

This will likely be a photograph of your passport, or driving licence.

Most progressive councils should, and I would suggest must, allow you to email in smartphone photos of your passport and driving licence,” (my emphasis) says Sidorczuk.

 Less than 25% of the population know their NI number, estimates Ben Page, head of polling organisation Ipsos Mori. If you are one of them, all you have to do when filling in the online form is explain why don’t know it. You can simply write: “I don’t know where it is.”


what to say?

Bite The Ballot HERE

Friday, 24 June 2016

UK EU In or Out Results

Vote details taken from the BBC website HERE

UK to leave membership of the EU.

Very close call. A nation divided on this one.

Am still taking it in as its a bit of a shock (and a bit scary as to the unknown of what it really means) even though I voted out for various reasons. Some people already saying they want a second vote which isn't going to happen in my view. The end isn't nigh and it wouldn't hurt for more people to have faith in the UK being capable of running its own affairs.

Leave 51.9%
Votes 17,410,742
Remain 48.1%
Votes 16,141,241
Overall turnout 72.2% 
Rejected votes 26.033

 Update 12 midnight
some people are trying to unnerve leave voters by the doom and gloom they are forecasting will happen.

Hold your nerve,  ride the storm and have faith in positive outcomes.

Maybe now the real battle begins.

Update 27 June 2016
The hounds of hell have been unleashed and we are all doomed - you'd think according to some folk who to me are just agitators and fear mongers and some banks are claiming to be moving abroad (close the door on your way out) . Go all those who want to, that is your choice, it won't be the end of the world. The small pockets of violent racists have come out and are causing trouble - who is pulling their strings?

The "Prime" Minster of the UK has had a cry (in public) and has ran away and his bruv Boris is taking the P and trying to backtrack on things.

And another bruv George osborne has come out from hiding to say he will be making a speech .......... to calm the markets.  Not calm the people but the markets because that is what its really all about.

Deep breaths.

Someone/s with a backbone, intelligence and integrity (who isn't going to try and fcuk us over) please step toward.

Update 29 June 2016

The fabians  and the swp communists (labour party and government opposition) are having a big bust up as the fabians are trying to oust the swp leader JC (for a fabian leader) . The labour party is theirs shout the swp as the fabians (have a wolf in sheeps clothing crest) really show them who have the real power (the brains over the brawn).
The Iraqi report is out next week. 

A protest group from the Inners are protesting about the democratic vote the majority ( England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as a Union) voted for but because a majority in London voted In, they want to stay. Sorry I really do have to laugh at that one. Think some are saying the Leave campaign was based on a lie. Isn't everything? Am not buying it.

Yes they do have the right to protest but please lets no longer be of any doubt they are only in favour of democracy when things go their way.

JC (the beardy bloke who some say is the messiah) ) by all accounts was for leaving the EU but apparently lead the In campaign - I am confused.

And i only recently found out George Galloway is all for leaving the EU.
May forgive him for going into BB and the cat impression (shudders)....

People eh.

Update 30 June 2016
My experience of the hard left in Camden (via tenant participation with the council) is the complete opposite of this: 

JC may well believe and stick to what he preaches, but some of his most pushy and vocal supporters (in camden at least) are nasty thugs (in my view and experience ) who are most intolerant of others views (some of the most aggressive, hostile people I have come across) lie a lot, intimidate others, devious, etc etc. Even some other socialists don't like them.

How does one explain that?

They will I believe turn on JC if he lets them down.  A kinder politics is not for them.

On saying that Camden council has been allowing the far left (casp) to bully and intimidate, manipulate and lie about others for years and haven't done a thing about it as far as I can see. Only when it suits the 'party' do they take action on things it seems.

Don't think much is going to change anytime soon. Its the same old same old with these political groups and why some people thing the leave campaign was won because of what politicians said (whether they be lies or not) is beyond me - give some of us more credit please. Lots of people stopped believing (in) them years ago.

Update 3 July 2016
The Labour Party Rule Book 2013 HERE
The Conservative [and Unionist] Party Constitution 2009 HERE

Update 4 July 2016
Apparently its okay for the leavers to change their minds ...... well yes people change their minds all the time but I know my mind over voting leave hasn't changed. Bigot me. 

Another tactic being that only 72% of those eligible to vote did so, making the leave vote only roughly 37% of voters so a second referendum should be held.  That's how things work until and unless the rules are changed before a vote - not after.

One can say the same about cllrs, MPs, etc who are elected into office usually on a less than 50% vote or say the Neighbourhood Plans which in Camden the turnout has so far been very low but they where passed. That's how it works.

Apparently some folk are about to start a legal challenge to stop the UK from leaving the EU before parliament has a debate and vote on it (the referendum vote isn't legally binding apparently so parliament can block it, but whether they will or not in our so-called democracy is another thing) That should fun. Plenty of time from 24 June 2016 till new PM is elected by the Con party in Oct 2016 for the remainers to try various tactics to get their own way.

The process of formally leaving membership of the  EU  has to be triggered by following the rules in Article 50 HERE of the Lisbon Treaty signed by 27 heads of states in 2007 but finalised in 2009, which UK citizens didn't have a say on when the Labour party was in government. Ireland held a referendum on the treaty and the majority rejected it but a second referendum was held and the powers that be got the yes vote they wanted.

The full Lisbon Treaty HERE

Update 5 July 2016
On the chance of their being a second referendum i think the remain vote would win - what with all the doom and gloom and wailing and a crying by some remainers. It would i'm sure influence some leavers to change their minds or even not voting again - who wants to go through that again except the pushy remainers?

On the other hand who knows what if any shenanigans went on in local government with voter registration and the counting of votes.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bribery at the Town Hall


'Bribe' allegation at Town Hall has been substantiated, say council investigators

Published: 16 June, 2016

CAMDEN Council says a “bribery” allegation relating to the work of one of its own members of staff has been “substantiated”.

The case was revealed after a colleague reportedly blew the whistle at the Town Hall.

Information on an internal investigation was sent to councillors this week, although the full details of the case are understood to have been reserved for a small number of people at the council.

A report on fraud-busting is now due to be discussed at the Town Hall this evening (Thursday) by members of Camden’s cross-party Audit Committee. It reveals that there had been an allegation that an “employee is being bribed, ie that he has been ordering and receiving goods from a contractor in exchange for favourable treatment”.

The file goes on to simply state: “Allegation substantiated.” It says that the human resources department is “currently conducting disciplinary action”. It is understood police will not be involved. The allegation relates to a breach of staff rules rather than criminal behaviour.

Camden’s communications department said last night (Wednesday) that it could not comment on specific details of the case.

It is the most striking in a list of reports which came through to a confidential whistle­blowing hotline set up for staff to privately report suspicious behaviour. Several of the allegations received through this method have not been substantiated, including a claim that a member of staff was involved in funding terrorism and that another was illegally sub-letting their own council home.

Allegations still under investigation include reports of cash theft from a library, however.

Internal fraud-busters are also reporting to the committee that over the past year Camden has found substance in 18 allegations against its staff for “fraud or malpractice”.

The outcomes of the cases included 12 dismissals, two resignations and a written warning. The numbers of staff involved are, however, a tiny minority of the council workforce as a whole.

Meanwhile, Camden is set to take further action against staff found to be misusing a loan system supposed to be in place to help them buy travel season tickets. The money cannot be used for other purposes and the council said that “it is anticipated that disciplinary action will be taken against employees who failed to comply with the scheme”.

A council spokesman said: “We conduct a series of internal audits each year to ensure our staff comply with our policies and procedures.”
Bribery Act 2010 HERE 

Update 19 June 2016
The council report about the above and other such things is  an officer report to the Audit and Corporate Governance committee HERE agenda item 13 - Annual Counter Fraud Report 2015 -2016 HERE

Friday, 10 June 2016

London Council Overcharged Tenants for Water

The below excerpts only came to light recently via the localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk  website HERE of a ruling in March 2016.

Council to refund tenants £28.6m after High Court water overcharging ruling 
 Thursday, 09 June 2016 07:00

The London Borough of Southwark has decided to repay 48,000 current and former tenants £28.6m following a High Court ruling earlier this year that it had overcharged for water and sewerage for 12 years.

In March this year Mr Justice Newey ruled that:
1. Unless and until a 2013 Deed (stating that the council was not a water reseller under the relevant regulations) took effect, the relationship between Thames Water and Southwark was not one of principal and agent but involved Southwark buying water and sewerage services from Thames Water and re-selling them to its tenants;
2. As a result, the Water Resale Order 2006 applied and served to limit what tenants could be charged; and
3. The amounts that Southwark charged the claimant, Kim Jones, (and other tenants with unmetered water supplies) exceeded the "maximum charge" allowed under the 2006 Order.


 “However, there are approximately 330,000 other tenants in the Thames Water region entitled to claim refunds. Any tenant in the Thames Water region who is liable to pay a water charge to a local authority landlord or to a housing association landlord is likely to be able to make a claim. Tenants in this positon should seek legal advice as soon as possible.”

Friday, 3 June 2016

Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan Referendum 9 June 2016

There's a vote on 9 June 2016 for eligible residents of Kentish Town to vote (or not) yes or no to the Kentish Town Forum (designated group) HERE putting forward a Plan for the ward/neighbourhood.

I wish them good luck as they have put in a lot of effort into getting things set up etc.

I do intend to vote as its not for a candidate but an issue (can't bring myself to vote for candidates anymore) but i've not made my mind up whether to vote yes or no.

I must admit I am wary of all these platforms for people to get involved in running things, I guess due too my experience of council tenant participation with the landlord and how some groups behave and dominant things and all the shenanigans that surround it.

Personally speaking I am for less people (but the right people) being involved in running things and if I am accused of being  anti-democratic by some than so be it, its my view and different views are allowed even in the 'communist republic' of Camden where capitalism thrives but say something controversial and its like its the end of the world - for some.

There are good and bad on all sides, but please no more of the 'bad' ones.

I will decide on the day.

Update 10 June 2016
Apparently most residents who voted said yes to the Plan.

Yes 1717 = 90.9 %
No 158 = 8.3%

Turnout -  13.75%.

I voted yes - thought I'd give it a go to see how the KT Forum and the Plan works in practice (not that I thought anything rested on my vote, but I figured it would be passed)

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Kentish Town DMC

 The dmc that covers the ward I live in.

16 June 2015  HERE they agreed the following Grants:
  •  Camden Square TRA be granted £3,600 for improvement works and £950 for Camden New Town community festival
  • Lissenden Gardens TRA be granted £1,000 for tennis coaching and tournament
  • St. Pancras Way TRA be granted £3,140 for football equipment, Zumba classes, coffee mornings and a summer trip.
  • Kenbrook House TRA be granted £1,517.96 for TA hall equipment
  • CASP be granted £3000 to continue their gardening works
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £9,999 for works to their TA hall’s kitchen
  • Una House be granted £2,062.40 for their summer trip 

 Dec 2015 HERE dmc agreed:
  • St Pancras Way Estate TRA be granted £2823 for equipment for the community hall, a Christmas party and a head message session for International Women’s Day
  • Camden Square Area TRA be granted £1490 for work on the estate garden at St Paul’s Crescent;
  • £10,000 be allocated for community safety initiatives to be drawn up by officers in consultation with the Chair of the DMC; (this seems to be the money casp was given )

 1 March 2016 the dmc agreed :
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £2,600 for cultural suppers;
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £300 for A3 printer equipment;
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £1,000 for events for senior citizens;
  • £1040 be granted for the Deaf Group to use a TA hall, precise venue to be confirmed, and that any change in the amount requested be decided upon by officers in consultation with the Chair of the DMC;
  • Torriano Estate TRA be granted £4,999 for gardening works;
  • Camden Square TRA be granted £1,200 for improvements to green space;
  •  Camden Square TRA be granted £1,500 for improvements to the TRA hall;
  • St Pancras Way Estate TRA be granted £4,550 for a photocopier;
  • St Pancras Way Estate TRA be granted £1400 for additional notice boards.
Dmc's are also after money the council collects from charges on building developments via the Community Infrastructure Levy(CIL) HERE

"There was a short discussion about bidding in secret, as there was concern that if you don't support one TRA they won't support you"

They go along with things because they are frightened not to.

I have heard that from someone else, in relation to some tenant reps who bully and intimidate others into doing what they want, maybe turn their back on others at meetings, stop speaking to them who have displeased them, maybe turn others against them - cause trouble for them or their tra?

And the upcoming 14 June 2016 dmc meeting they will again 'elect' the right chair and vice chair.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

DMC's Annual AGM's

Its that time of year when the 5 council tenant groups collectively called the District (Housing) Management Committees (DMC's) - Holborn, Camden Town, Kentish Town, Gospel Oak and Hampstead, re-elect the groups 2 'officers' chair and vice chair, who though are voluntary roles (council volunteers) are paid more than out of pocket expenses to perform 'duties'. I guess this is how properly elected council members first started out but being paid a nominal sum then over the years (cos they are volunteering not for monetary gain but out of the goodness of their hearts..... ) the sum increasing to what we have now but who are still as far as I am aware classed as volunteers and not council employees.

Anyhow, on paper at least housing management seems to be 'cracking down' on rules governing how the dmcs bid and spend the Grant funding they receive from the council (on top of the administrative support/funding) to carry out works/goods/services on behalf Camden council: Draft District Management Committee Funding Guidelines 2015 HERE. 

However, there still is no sight of the formal written agreement the council has with dmcs, who despite their Constitutions (which contain uniform basics dictated by the council, but who have a  little scope for dmc members to add to ) claiming they are advisory bodies to the council, have been carrying out housing management roles without having to apply the Housing (Right To Manage) Regulations 1994 HERE.

Housing ward managers agree (with the councils business support HERE)
a bid before it is passed onto the dmc's to agree.

These newly emerging minuted and put up on the councils website meetings. ..... on top of the added meetings chairs and vice chairs have plus other meetings dmc's have. All adds up to cost quite a bit. 

Apparently there has been lots of criticism of dmc bids to do with social activities. No word though about the cost of some of the other bids, which to me are quite eye raising.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Neighbourhood Planning

 "What is neighbourhood planning?

Communities can influence the future of their neighbourhood by preparing a neighbourhood plan [my emphasis] that sets out the vision for their area and general planning policies to guide developments"
Taken from Camden councils website HERE

This is done under statutory powers contained with the Localism Act 2011 HERE. A Plan English Guide to the Localism Act HERE

 A Neighbour Plan can only be put foward if a group is recognised as a designated Neighbourhood Forum.

Anyway, for now just the basics but will put more information up on the legalities etc of Neighbourhood Planning.

In relation to the above word is but yet to be confirmed that 'dodgy casp people' who don't live or work in the Belize ward of Camden have gotten involved in the very early stages of ambitions of some in the ward lead by ward cllrs, to become an official designated Neighbourhood (planning) Forum.

Rumour has it that at least 4 casp people are trying it on over Belsize ward way by trying to get others to agree to either
a) extend the plan to include area's of at least 2 other wards so that these casp people can legitimately be included or
b) hope people are dumb enough to buy that a council flat of one casp person is the 'registered' business address of casp and so can legitimately be included.

An example of how  'dodgy casp' wreak things for others HERE and how easy it is for them at times and that despite a council meeting about their antics HERE, they are able to still carry on with support and funding from Camden council and the support of various council members. From what I can make of things, they even join political parties just to try and manipulate/intimidate other members into doing what they want.They don't seem to change.

NB how some political groups operate in trying to take over things is to get their people onto a committee (say 4 casp members plus others who are cronies, who may be cllrs or others but ultimately are in the casp 'gang' and who go along with what the main casp gang want ) so that they are the majority and thus have the final say on matters. They are extremists I think and not in a good way. 

Local politics eh.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

When is a sub committee not a sub committee?

When its called a panel - apparently.

Camden councils head of legal Andrew Maughan wrote in a recent council report HERE for the upcoming 11 May 2016 annual general meeting HERE - in regards to the councils scrutiny committee's not setting up sub committees as per the councils Constitution, which for some odd reason (in my view) council members have never gotten round to changing. Its not illegal to set the sub committtees/panels/groups up but the full council decided they weren't to be set up and this hasn't been changed:  The clause was introduced when the lib-dems/conservatives formed a coalition in 2006 on Camden council. The latest version of the Constitution from April 2016 HERE in particular Part 4 - Procedure Rules and Standing Orders HERE
C Scrutiny Rules - 8. Sub-committees
"Scrutiny Committees shall not establish sub committees"

For years AM had mentioned the clause in reports and which seemed to be ignored by council members. Don't have the various reports at hand but recall the mention of the clause about the sub committees went something like 'Council determined at its meeting on 19th June 2006 that scrutiny committees would be the exception, and would not be able to establish sub - committees' and didn't expand on that but this year - according to the head of legal "panels are not sub committees as such"

 "Council determined at its meeting on 19th June 2006 that scrutiny committees would be the exception, and would not be able to establish sub - committees. Scrutiny Committees do however run panels which are not committees as such but report back to the Scrutiny Committee."

If I remember correctly some years back when Labour got back into power on the council (around 2010) a Labour council member (a former tenant rep) said something along the lines of 'not being bound by previous administrations rules' or something like that in relation to the councils Constitution.

So what is the lawful or legal position of the above Labour cllr stance (Constitution or at least a particular clause in it, not binding) and is the councils legal officer statement about panels(not being sub - committees as such)  lawfully or legally correct?

Update 13 May 2016
Had a quick skim through the councils AGM via webcast - was painful to say the least but near end of the meeting starting at item 5 Communications HERE where business was conducted as opposed to the annual love in centered around the position of Mayor and the part in report mentioned above about sub committees, wasn't mentioned. No surprise there.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Camden Housing Resident Scrutiny Group

The group of council tenants called the Camden Housing Resident Scrutiny Group[CHRSG] are meeting this evening HERE at the town hall, but haven't put the minutes of their 15 March 2016  meeting up on the councils website.

12 Nov 2013 here  
14 Jan 2014 here   presentation on 6 week new tenancy visits
11 March 2014 here  presentation on the initial STAR survey results
13 May 2014 here   presentation on complaints.  72% of complaints the Council received related to HASC and most of these related to repairs and improvements.
10 June 2014 here
8 July 2014 here   the cost of the group was mentioned with officers saying it would be difficult to provide accurate data until the end of the 2014-15 financial year.
12 Aug 2014 here self-assessment forms circulated. members advised to complete and return by the end of the week. Sept for assessment interviews. Members to return their signed Code of Conduct forms by the end of the week. Introduction to the council complaints
9 Sept 2014 here  further information about complaints. Communications strategy.
14 Oct 2014 here   extent of the groups influence
11 Nov 2014 here  info on complaints.  request to have further training on the councils finances
9 Dec 2014 here information from the last STAR survey. complaints info

13 Jan 2015 here   election of chair and vice-chair .  finance training.
10 Feb 2015 here leaseholders forum. more complaints info
10 March 2015 here 
14 April 2015 here  review of groups documents and ways of working. complaints report.
19 May 2015 here repairs 
9 June 2015 here better homes presentation. Review of Camden Housing Resident Scrutiny Group. The issue of member’s conduct outside of group activities was felt by many members to be beyond the remit of the group and its Code of Conduct.
14 July 2015 here complaints report.  references to members’ behaviour outside of the group’s activities will be removed from the group’s Code of Conduct. better homes.
11 Aug 2015 here complaints report.  better homes. a member shouldn't use the name of the group when persuing foi
8 Sept 2015 here freedom of information applications. better homes. discussions were also had around conduct in meetings.
13 Oct 2015 here Andrew Pierce (casp member) discussed with the group feedback about CHRSG from casp
10 Nov 2015 here better homes. tenant survey. 
 8 Dec 2015 here feedback on the Croydon Learning Exchange Event. better homes external works. tenant surveys. group review.
12 Jan 2016 here   Election of chair and vice-Chair. better homes. Recruitment Plan 2016
9 Feb 2016 here Overview of anti-social behaviour
15 March 2016 here Code of Conduct. Noise nuisance. better homes.
12 April 2016 here (march minutes not included) 
Mention of members of group being unpaid volunteers. Think whats on its way is remuneration of members.  Had to happen I guess, as volunteering with the council seems to be a whole different ballgame than say volunteering in the local charity shop. I guess any principles of giving their time free of charge fly out the window when volunteers take on more and 'duties'.
10 May 2016 here

Please note the only problem I have with the CHRSG  is CASP people and cronies. They don't deserve (imo) to be in any public funded group let alone any group who wishes to be known as professional and ethical.

Stay well clear is my advice.

Update 18 April 2016 
In regards to the minutes: I'm sure some of this years minutes put up have been amended as I remember reading where the mention of members or a member not to tell others what to do was minuted or words to that effect and the last minutes where one of the groups members threatened staff re to make a complaint but can't find them now.

Any relation to why March's minutes haven't been put up on councils website?

I wonder who the person/s are who tell others what to and who issue threats. Thats a hard one to guess .......

Update 11 July 2016
The group are meeting tomorrow 12 July 2016 HERE  but they haven't put the agenda or minutes of their 14 June 2016 meeting HERE 
up on the councils website. 

I wonder which 'delightful' casp people will be turning up on the group next? 

Update 12 August 2016
Another meeting ( 9 Aug 2016) HERE but no documents or agenda. Something amiss going on but not being made public i suspect.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Admitting when you get something wrong

Realised I got the Building Regulations thing wrong. Have been ranting about Camden council as land-lord not putting the required by Building Regulations sound proofing in when the property was converted in late 1970's when they weren't required by law to do so.

The regulations HERE didn't apply to inner London - only part of country they didn't apply to - which in itself I think is wrong but that's another matter.

Anyway, could give excuses as to my confusion over the BR's but won't.

The sun is shining today and for that I am grateful.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Dodgy Phone Calls

I remember back in the days when I received at home 2 phone calls from a woman I believe was a  crony of a well known liar and bully. She didn't leave a name but mentioned something to do with a bid I had put in with the council via Home Connections - she obviously had inside information. The second call same woman threatened "We're out to get you bitch". Turned out the phone call was made from a public phone box up Highgate Newtown way.

I reported the threatening and illegal phone call (Malicious Communications Act 1988 here )  to police and received a phone call back from a rather gruff copper who basically didn't want to know and quickly got me of the phone. Turns out the known liar had called the police up prior to the phone calls to me, to make a false complaint about me but police didn't do anything about it, only noted it and didn't contact me so I wasn't aware of it at the time.

The false complaint to police about me was made about 6 months after the same liar made another false complaint to police about someone they had befriended who after a while of knowing them wasn't happy with this liars behaviour. 2 coppers from Holborn CID turned up at his door and accused him of  all sorts of things and basically told him to keep away. A complaint was made about this to police and council but as usual nothing was done about the known liar and cronies.

Ten years later things are still much the same with known liar and cronies still using the police (and council) to threaten and subdue (or at least try to) any one who poses a threat to them or who they don't like.

I reckon if police looked up how many complaints this liar (and cronies) has made to them over the last 15  or so years they'd see a pattern. Maybe the vexatious one would even win an award for the number of phone calls to police.

Seems to be the case that anyone can repeatedly make vexatious/malicious complaints  to the police (and just about anyone who will listen) over a number of years and police don't clock on to this pattern. So much for crime prevention.

I guess a vexatious litigant and a vexatious complainant to police and just about anyone they can complain to, have much in common. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

The Homes [Fitness for Human Habitation] Bill Here started its journey through parliament on 24 June 2015 (a private members bill) at its first reading in the HofC Here
2nd reading Here 

Next reading this week  11 March 2016. For anyone interested.

The Bill will if passed amend the Tenant and Landlord Act 1985 Here

Update 14 March  2016.
Looks like the next reading has been moved to 22 April 2016 HERE.

 "When I announced that I was introducing this Bill, there was some surprise that homes could be let that were not fit for human habitation, but, extraordinarily, that is the case in 2015. As long ago as 1885, when the Housing of the Working Classes Act was passed, Parliament first decided that residential rented accommodation should be fit for human habitation."

"The great weakness of those provisions is that they tie the repairing obligation to rent limits."

 "The law as it stands applies only when the annual rent is less than £80 in London and £52 elsewhere in the country."

Friday, 19 February 2016

DMC Funding Guidelines

 District Management Committee's Funding Guidelines 2015 HERE

"Annually each District Management Committee (DMC) is given a budget to spend in their area" I think this is linked to the Participatory Budgeting  HERE. Draft Strategy 2008 HERE ,  
Possibly even State Aid

The DMC's (there are 5 of them) used to be sub-committees of the councils then Housing Committee who had council tenant reps on as non voting members, but who used to vote. When the council changed its governance structure back in 2001/2 to the executive (now called cabinet) model the dmc's should have been abolished but cllrs allowed them to continue as tenant groups, still funded and administrated by the council.

Dmc's are business ventures whose members carry out works/goods/services on behalf of Camden council. In effect dmc's have taken on Housing Management roles but without having to apply the Housing [Right to Manage] rules HERE.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Non Payment of Council Tax Enforcement Rules

In May 2015 the High Crt ruled in the case of Paul Nicolson v Tottenham Magistrates Crt, HERE with Haringey council as Interested Party,

"relating to the costs sought by local authorities with regard to the enforcement of unpaid council tax"


" i) the Magistrates did not have sufficient relevant information before them to reach a proper judicial determination of whether the costs claimed represented costs reasonably incurred by the Council in obtaining the liability order;

ii) the Magistrates erred in law by failing to make further inquiries into how the £125 was computed and what elements it comprised; and

iii) the Claimant was denied a fair opportunity to challenge the lawfulness of the order before it was made, by reason of the failure to answer his requests for the provision of information as to how the sum of £125 was arrived at."

23 December 2015 HERE the same issue of council tax recovery costs and not following the rules, produced the same results in regards to Highbury Corner Magistrates Crt with Camden council as Interested Party.

Yes its the Terence Ewing again and this time it may be a first in that
a) JP ruled not an abuse of process/vexatious and
b) he actually won a case.

I'm guessing many in the TE camp will be jumping up and down in joy at TE's victory and are in further awe of him and his gang/s.

These two court cases where not a  victory in regards to the fairness of council tax demands, or anything like that - only that it showed the magistrates up for not following the proper rules in relation to the issuing of council tax liability orders on behalf of the local councils. It also showed the local councils up for not following the proper rules when starting enforcement action for non payment of council tax with added recovery costs

But I guess at the end of the day it may all be about scoring points, looking good to followers/supporters and creating the illusion that they are a force to reckon with. The authorities may be unintentionally handing them these cases on a plate.

On saying that the bigger issue could well be that both councils and indeed all councils and magistrates crts make sure they take note of the judgements and follow the proper procedures, which in reality may be a problem to regulate.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

The Housing and Planning Bill

Camden council is holding 2 meetings next week - Tuesday 17 Nov 2015 7pm Swiss Cottage library and Thursday 19th Nov 7pm at the Camden Centre near the town hall HERE  to discus the impact of the Housing and Planning Bill which was started in the HoCs on 13 Oct 2015.

"Did you know the Government has proposed changes to housing policy which would affect tenants in council and housing association homes, private renters and people in the borough trying to get on the property ladder?

We believe these plans would have a considerably negative impact on our communities. We believe this will make living in Camden even more expensive and challenging for normal working families.

Later this month we will be responding to a Government consultation."
The Bill is now in the Committee stage, where parts of the bill as it was introduced HERE can be amended. Amendments so far  HERE 

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The Committee is expected to hold its first oral evidence session on Tuesday 10 November and it would be extremely helpful to the Committee if written evidence was submitted by Monday 9 November in order to inform the debate. The Committee will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Thursday 10 December.

Please note: When the Public Bill Committee reports, it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it could report earlier than Thursday 10 December 2015. HERE

First meeting on 10 Nov 2015 HERE 


One day prior to the first reading,  John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne) (Lab) asked an urgent question: Will the Minister explain to the House the details of the voluntary agreement on the right to buy negotiated with the National Housing Federation and how it differs from his original statutory approach?

Answer HERE  
On 7 October, the Prime Minister announced that a deal had been agreed with the National Housing Federation and its members giving housing association tenants the opportunity to buy their home at an equivalent discount to the right to buy.

The presumption is that the housing association will sell the tenant the property in which they live, the Government will compensate it for the discount offered to the tenant and the association will retain the sales receipts to enable it to reinvest in the delivery of new extra homes. ( My emphasis) Housing associations will use the sales proceeds to deliver new supply and have the flexibility, but not the obligation, to replace rented homes with other tenures, such as shared ownership.  

The part above in bold is a bit puzzling to me because a few days back I heard on the radio from a finance person that the government had changed the Grant funding HA's had in the past received, to loans which the HA's have to pay back. Something about taking on government debt.


Stages of a Bill HERE  

Update 19 Feb 2016

For avoidance of doubt I agree with parts of the Bill such as Pay to Stay and the reassessment of tenants every few years.

I don't agree with the Right To Buy for Housing Association's. As for the Starter Homes, realistically who can even afford these homes particularly in London?

I don't support the group calling themselves (Camden) Defend Council Housing,  mainly because of how some of their more dominant people, namely some Camden council tenant reps conduct themselves.

Update 24 March 2016
I have changed by view on the pay to stay (am against it) as I didn't think of at the time and after reading it in a report, that it might encourage tenants to buy the lease instead (right to buy).

Thursday, 10 September 2015

2008 Tenancy Conditions

 Reproduced from 2008 Tenancy Conditions on Camden Council website HERE .

This booklet sets out the tenancy conditions of a Camden Council secure
and introductory tenant. It explains your legal rights, the duties the council has as your landlord and the duties you have as a tenant.

 If you accept a tenancy with Camden we expect you to:

● keep to these conditions
● pay your rent on time
● take good care of our property
● have consideration for those living around you.

At Camden Council we want our services to be accessible to everyone who needs them. We aim to tackle discrimination and to promote equality for everyone whatever their race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or faith.

We value the diversity of our borough and are committed to delivering
housing services that recognise the different needs of the many
communities who live in Camden today.

We expect our tenants, members of their household and their visitors, to
behave towards others in the community with care and consideration.

Introductory tenancies
From 7 April 2008 all new Camden Council tenants have introductory
tenancies. An introductory tenancy is for a trial period of 1 year before your tenancy becomes secure and you gain the rights of a secure tenant. 

Unless we take action to end your tenancy during your trial period your tenancy will automatically become secure on the anniversary of the date your introductory tenancy began.

This does not apply to you if you are already a secure tenant moving from
one tenancy to another or if you are an assured tenant of a registered
housing association.

This booklet is the tenancy conditions for both introductory and secure
tenants. Most of the tenancy conditions are the same for both although
introductory tenants have fewer rights. Please read this booklet carefully or ask staff in the District Housing Office to explain it to you Joint tenancies statement

When a new tenancy begins we will normally offer joint tenancies to all
married couples, couples with a registered civil partnership and couples who live together.
In these conditions, ‘you’ means sole tenants and all joint tenants.

Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force on 2 October 2000. This Act brings the European Convention on Human Rights into the laws of the United Kingdom. We are committed to acting in a way that is in keeping with the Act.


A Your rights

1 Security of tenure

a Secure tenants

If you are a secure tenant you have ‘security of tenure’ as long as you remain a secure tenant under the terms of the Housing Act 1985. This means that we can only take possession of your home:
● by going to court to get a Possession Order on one or more of the
grounds set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985, which include
breaking any of the conditions of tenancy. These are summarised in
Section I of these conditions.
(We must tell you if we are going to apply for a Possession Order, and
give our reasons, before we apply for a court hearing. The court will only
grant an order if we prove one or more ‘grounds for possession’).

 or ● if we accept your surrender of the tenancy
or ● you serve us with a valid Notice to Quit
or ● if a court has made an order to demote your secure tenancy because you have behaved anti-socially.

b Introductory tenants
If you are an introductory tenant we must go to court to get a Possession
Order to repossess your home but we do not have to prove a ground for
possession to get one; we only need to prove that we have followed the
correct procedure.

We will consider repossessing your tenancy if you have broken your tenancy conditions or if any of the grounds for possession that apply to secure tenancies as set out in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985 apply to you. A summary of the grounds for possession of a secure tenancy is contained at section 1.

 2 Your right to improve
All secure tenants have the right to carry out improvements to their homes.

However, we must first give our permission in writing and you must get the relevant planning permission.

If you are an introductory tenant you do not have this right.

An improvement includes:
● Adding anything to, or altering, your home, the council’s fixtures and
fittings, or the provision of services
● Putting up a radio or television aerial
● Decorating the outside of your home.
We will not unreasonably refuse our permission.

You must not put up a satellite dish on any of our properties without first
getting our permission in writing. We will only give this in exceptional

Security grilles and gates can be unsafe. You must not fit security grilles to your windows, or security doors or gates, unless we have given our
permission in writing. We will not refuse permission unreasonably and in
considering whether to give permission we will take into account whether:

 ● the door, gate or grille meets London Fire & Emergency Planning
Authority safety guidelines
● you have received planning permission and building control approval
when necessary
● the door, gate or grille is likely to damage the structure or outside
of the property.

 3 Your right to be consulted
All tenants have the right to be consulted and have their views considered on how we manage their homes.

This includes:
● managing, maintaining, improving or demolishing homes
● providing services or amenities
● changes in the practice or policy of the council likely to substantially affect a number of tenants. Also, tenants have a right to be informed about our allocation policies.

4 Your right to see information we hold about you
Under Data Protection law you have the right to see information we hold
about you. If you ask us to make a copy of your records we can ask you to pay £10 towards the cost of this.

 B Our duties

1 Security of tenure

We will grant security of tenure to all tenants who are secure tenants under the Housing Act 1985. We will only seek possession against secure tenants through the courts on one or more of the grounds set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985. (These are summarised in Section I.)

2 Repairs
We will keep in repair and maintain:
● the structure and exterior of the premises
● the services supplying water, gas, electricity, sanitation, and space and water heating; and
● appliances for delivering these services which we have installed.

We will not be responsible for carrying out work or repairs for which you
could be liable due to your duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner.

We will repair and maintain shared boilers and heating mains. If a breakdown lasts for 7 days or longer in any financial year, we will repay your charges for that time, unless you caused the breakdown. Extra compensation for heating breakdowns will be paid to tenants over the age of 65.

This clause aims to describe in simple language the provisions of Section II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. We accept only the duties given to us by the Act, no more and no less.

 3 Services
We will provide any services we think are needed, and maintain them to a
reasonable standard. These may include door entry systems, lifts, and
caretaking and cleaning services. We will not be responsible for any failure in our services beyond our reasonable control.

4 Quiet enjoyment
We will not interfere with your right to the quiet enjoyment of your home
during your tenancy.

5 Anti-social behaviour
We will give you help and advice if you tell us you are the victim of anti-social behaviour, and we will investigate complaints of anti-social behaviour.

6 Major repairs and improvements
We will ask for and consider the views of all tenants who would be affected by any proposed major repair or improvement schemes. We will try where possible to make sure tenants are able to return to their original homes, unless they would be under occupied.

7 Data protection
We process personal data to carry out our work and to meet our duties
under these tenancy conditions. Data is processed in a way that keeps to
the duties we have under the data protection laws.

 C Your duties

1 Rent
a You will pay the weekly rent and other charges for your home regularly
and on time.

b Rent is due weekly in advance every Monday. You may pay fortnightly or monthly in advance, if you want to.

c If we change the rent and other charges, such as heating, we must give
you at least 4 weeks’ written notice, and let you know you have the right
to end the tenancy.

d For most tenants water rates are included in the rent. This means that if
the water rate for your home changes we may change your total rent.

e You will also pay as rent any amount you owe us for any current or past
tenancy. We will write to you within 90 days of the start of the new
tenancy, or send you a formal notice, to tell you how much extra you will
have to pay.

f If you need help in paying your rent, or think you may be entitled to
Housing Benefit, please contact:
The Benefit Service
The Town Hall
Argyle Street
London WC1H 8NJ
Phone: 020 7974 5760
Email: benefits@camden.gov.uk
Website: www.camden.gov.uk/housingbenefit
Visits: Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 08.00-17.00, Wed 08.00-14.30
Telephone: Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 09.00-17.00, Wed 09.00-14.30

 2 Anti-social behaviour
a If anyone else lives with you, or visits your home, you are responsible for how they behave in and around your home, on any part of the estate, on any property belonging to the council, or in the locality of your home.

Examples of anti-social behaviour include:
● harassment, including racial harassment and domestic
● noise nuisance
● dumping rubbish or furniture
● failing to control children who are causing a nuisance or damage to
property, including graffiti
● criminal activity
● throwing things off balconies or out of windows
● breaking shared security, for example allowing strangers to get into the
● not keeping pets under control, including excessive barking of dogs and
dogs fouling in communal or shared areas
● drug dealing in properties or on estates
● spitting or urinating anywhere in the communal areas of the block or on
the estate.

 b You or anyone else living with you or visiting your home, must not do,
cause, encourage or allow to be done, anything which causes or is likely
to cause nuisance, or may cause harassment or annoyance to anyone
else. This applies in your home, on your estate, on any of our property, or
in the locality of your home.

c Section 71 of the Race Relations Act 1976 gives us duties in promoting
good relations between people of different racial groups. This means we
cannot allow tenants to do, or allow anything to be done, which involves
or constitutes racial harassment, including abusive behaviour, verbal or
otherwise. This rule applies in their homes and anywhere on any of our

d You must not do or allow anything to be done in your home or on any
part of the estate which is harassment. This includes abusive behaviour,
verbal or otherwise, on the grounds of gender, disability, age or sexuality.

e You must keep noise, including televisions, radios, record players, musical instruments and so on, to a reasonable volume at all times.
You must not make any noise which can be heard outside your home
between 11pm and 8am.


f The following condition applies if you live in a flat or maisonette and we inform you in writing that we are aware of noise nuisance coming from your property:
You must keep all your floors, including hallways and stairs, covered with carpet and a good quality underlay or with a suitable alternative floor covering that has similar noise reducing qualities. This does not apply to kitchens and bathrooms where floor coverings have been supplied by the council.

g The following condition applies to all tenants:
You must not put down laminate floor coverings or other types of wooden
or artificial floor coverings without written permission. We will not give you permission unless the District Housing Office is satisfied that you have done enough to reduce noise nuisance to other residents.

h You must not keep any firearms unless you are legally entitled to hold
them. Examples of firearms include air-weapons, shotguns, replicas and
de-activated weapons. If you have a legal firearm you must use and store
it only in ways the law allows.

If you, a member of your household, or a visitor cause a nuisance or annoyance or otherwise break any of these conditions, the council can take legal action against you, for example:
● We can ask a court for an anti-social behaviour injunction (ASBI) or an
anti-social behaviour order (ASBO). These are court orders to stop
behaviour that causes a nuisance or annoyance and if you break them

you can be fined or imprisoned, or both. You may also be banned from
your property or the area.
● We can ask a court to give us possession of your home and evict you
and anyone living there.
● We can ask a court to demote your secure tenancy so that you lose your
security of tenure for a certain period of time.
The council will consider all the legal remedies available to us to deal with nuisance and anti-social behaviour. At the same time we will, if we can, give you advice about what to do to keep your tenancy.
If we take legal action we can ask the court to give us an order against
you for our legal costs.

3 Living in your home
a You must use the property as your only or main home.

b We have the right to stop you using your home, or any part of it for
anything other than living in.

c During your tenancy you must not (either solely or jointly) own or rent any residential property which it would be reasonable for you to live in as your home. You must tell the District Housing Office if you own a residential property or have another residential lease or tenancy.

If you inherit a property this condition can only be broken once you have
owned the property for more than 12 months.
In deciding whether you have broken this tenancy condition we will
● Whether the property is fit to live in
● Whether you have acquired the property for use as a holiday home only
and whether it is only suitable for that purpose

● Whether the property is suitable for your household, taking into account the size of the property, your income and employment, any disabilities or medical problems you have and any other relevant circumstances
● Whether it would be reasonable in all the circumstances for you to sell the property.

d You must not assign the tenancy unless:
● You do it by court order under Section 23A or 24 of the Matrimonial
Causes Act 1973; section 17(1) of the Matrimonial and Family
Proceedings Act; paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 or
Part 2 of Schedule 5, or paragraph 9 (2) or (3) of Schedule 7, to the Civil
Partnership Act 2004.
● You do it under the right to exchange (introductory tenants do not have
this right); or
● It is to a person who would be legally entitled to succeed to the tenancy.
In this case, you must first get our permission in writing. When we are
deciding whether to give our permission, we will look at:
- whether your home would become under-occupied;
- whether your home has any special facilities or adaptations designed to
make it suitable for a disabled person; or
- anything else which we think is relevant to the assignment.

e You must not give up possession of or sub-let all your home.

f You must not give up possession of or sub-let any part of your home
without our written permission. (introductory tenants do not have this
right). We will not refuse permission unreasonably.

g You must tell the District Housing Office if you will be away from home for more than 3 months (this is so we know that you have not abandoned your tenancy). If you don’t use your property as your only or main home, or you don’t tell us when you will be away for more than 3 months, we will consider taking action to end your tenancy.

You will not have broken this tenancy condition if you have been in

h You are allowed to be away from your home for up to 6 months and have someone else live there and act as your agent. But you must first tell the District Housing Office and get our written permission. If you do not get our written permission you could put your security of tenure at risk.
In certain circumstances (for example if you are working or studying away from home temporarily) we will consider giving permission for you to be away for more than 6 months as long as we are satisfied that your
tenancy address remains your main home.

i You may take in lodgers, as long as you do not give up possession of all
your home. Introductory tenants do not have this right but we will
consider requests from disabled introductory tenants for a carer to live
with them.

j You must not overcrowd your home.

k Joint tenants are not allowed to pass their interest in the joint tenancy to
any of the other joint tenants. The only exception to this is where their
interest is assigned in one of the ways allowed by these conditions.

 4 Relationship with council officers
You must not obstruct abuse, harass, threaten or assault any of the council’s officers or agents. This applies whether or not they are carrying out their duties for the council. You must not cause, allow or encourage anyone else to do so. This rule also applies to anyone living with you or visiting your home.

You must do anything reasonable we ask you to do in connection with the
way you use your home and our property. We have the right to gain access to your home at all reasonable hours through our housing management staff, or any other authorised person. 

You must give us access if we make a reasonable request for access. 

Reasons why we may wish to gain access to your home include, to:
a inspect the state of repair and condition of your home or those next to it
b carry out gas safety inspections
c repair, alter or improve your home, or those next to it. This includes
electrical wiring, gas and water pipes or drainage and heating systems
d make sure no-one is breaking these tenancy conditions or Health and
Safety regulations.
If we need to get into your home very urgently and you do not agree or we cannot contact you, we have the right to force entry to your home without a court order. Examples of when we could do this include when there is a serious leak of water from your home or we urgently need to repair something that poses a health and safety risk to you or your neighbours.

You must not offer, or give, any gift to any officer or servant of the council.

Do not let anyone into your home unless you are sure about their
identity. Anyone representing the council will show their identification card if you ask them.

5 Repairs
a You must tell the Repairs Service (phone 020 7974 1212, or 020 7974
6565 for Bengali speakers) at once about any damage to your home and
any defects likely to cause injury or damage to people or property.

b If there is any damage to, or neglect of, your home or the council’s
property and it is caused by you, anyone living with you or visiting your
home or by your animals you must put it right at your own expense.
c You must keep your home clean and free from rubbish. If you do not, we will charge you for any work we need to do because of this, such as
removing rubbish.

d We will normally send you a bill for the cost of lost keys, repairs or
damage for which you are responsible. Where necessary, the District
Housing Office will find out the price from the District Contractor.

e You (or anyone living with you or visiting your home) must not interfere with security and safety equipment in communal blocks. Doors should not be jammed open and strangers should not be let in without identification.

f You must not tamper with any meters in your home, whether they belong to the council or to other statutory bodies.

g If the heating or hot water services break down, tell us straightaway.

6 Gardens and other areas let with the tenancy
a Any gardens or other areas (for example balconies, patios or yards) let as part of the tenancy are covered by this contract.

b You must not, without our written permission, remove, plant or put up,
any hedges or fences, or remove or prune any trees.

c You must keep your garden, patio, balcony, fitted window box or other
area let with the tenancy, neat and tidy.

d If you would like to garden any of the communal areas on your estate or outside your block please get the agreement of your Patch Manager first.
The council wants to encourage people to improve their environment and
Patch Managers will agree reasonable requests (this condition is not
intended to cover pot plants or hanging baskets).

7 Animals

 a You, people living with you and people visiting you, must not cause,
encourage or allow any animal to do anything which causes, or is likely to
a nuisance; or
harassment or annoyance to anyone else on any property belonging to us.
This includes persistent barking, and mess caused by dogs fouling our property.

b If you own or keep a dog you must make sure:
i it does not foul any property belonging to us;
ii it is kept on a lead and accompanied by a responsible person whenever it is outside and on any of our property;
iii any mess caused by the dog fouling any of our property is cleared up
(unless you are a blind person, and it is your guide dog);
iv it does not enter any children’s play area or other dog-free zone (unless
you are a blind person, and it is your guide dog).

c Neither you nor anyone living with you is allowed to cause, encourage or allow more than 2 dogs to be kept in the premises at any one time.

d Neither you nor anyone living with you is allowed to cause, encourage or permit to be kept on the premises, or brought onto the estate, any
breeds named in Section 1 of the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, or which
may be specified by us.

e We may, if we decide, ban you and anyone living with you from causing, encouraging or allowing any animal to be kept on any of our properties.
This ban will automatically be a new condition of your tenancy.

f If you are a tenant of the Alexandra Road estate you must not allow any
dog, except guide dogs for the blind, to be kept on the premises. We will
seriously consider taking action, for breach of these tenancy conditions, if
a tenant on that estate takes in a dog.

g You must not have more than 3 cats in your home unless you have
obtained our written permission to have more. We will only give
permission in exceptional circumstances and in considering whether to
give you permission we will take into account:
● The size and location of your property
● Whether we have received any complaints about any animals you already have.

h Do not feed pigeons or any other animal likely to become a pest, outside the building or on the balconies.

8 Parking
You must not, without our written permission:

a park a vehicle, or allow anyone living with or visiting you or your home to park a vehicle, on any part of the estate other than on your own parking
area or on a visitors’ parking area;

b park a vehicle, or allow any one living with or visiting you or your home, to park a vehicle that can carry more than 8 passengers, or that either does not fit in a parking space or is more than 2.3 metres high.
You  are  not  allowed  to  sub-let a  car  parking  space  which  is  our  property..
You are not allowed to use a garage for any purpose other than to store a
roadworthy motor vehicle.

9 Insurance
The council’s buildings insurance does not cover tenants’ possessions. We strongly recommend that you take out household insurance with a reputable insurer to include cover for contents and broken windows (this condition does not affect your legal right to claim compensation from the council if the damage was caused by the negligence of the council or its agents).

If you have arranged household insurance through us and do not pay your
insurance charges, then we will cancel the insurance policy.

You must tell us in writing if you want to stop paying your weekly household insurance charge. We will only cancel it from the Monday after we get your notification.

10 Shared areas
a This clause only applies if you live in a street property and we do not
provide a caretaking and cleaning service. You, and the other tenants of the building, are responsible for keeping all shared areas in the building and the grounds clean and tidy.

 b All tenants must make sure communal stairs and walkways outside their home are kept tidy and free of clutter.

c You must not leave rubbish outside your property unless the council provides a collection service. When a collection service is provided you must not leave rubbish bags or bins anywhere other than the designated area. These must not be put out any earlier than the evening before collection is due unless you are going to be away or unless the District Housing Office has agreed a different arrangement for your property, street, block or estate. 

D Ending your tenancy

 i Your tenancy may only be ended by a court order, a Notice to Quit from
you, or if you surrender it. If you surrender your tenancy you must give us full ‘vacant possession’. You, and everyone else living there, must move out. You must give us back all the sets of keys before your tenancy can be ended.
ii If you want to end your tenancy, you must give us 4 weeks’ notice in
writing ending on a Monday. If you do not give this notice, or you give less than 4 weeks’ notice, you will be breaking this condition and you may be charged an amount for damages of up to the equivalent of 4 weeks’ rent.
(This does not apply if you are transferring to another council property.)
iii You must leave the property and garden in a clean and tidy condition. 

All your belongings must be removed unless we have given you written
permission to leave some belongings in the property. If you do not, we
may assume you have abandoned these items and may dispose of them
without contacting you although we will keep to our legal duties under
Section 41 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. 

We will also charge you a reasonable cost for removal, storage or
disposal and a sum for lost rental income for the period we are unable to
re-let the premises due to having to clear the items.
iv Once you have given us written notice of ending your tenancy, you must allow any prospective tenants we send to come in and look around your home. You, us, and the party wishing to view the premises will agree a reasonable time for this. This also applies if you accept an offer of another home from us.
v If you accept an offer of a tenancy for another council home this means
you have surrendered your tenancy.
vi Tenancies start and end on a Monday. You must return the keys to us by 12 noon on the Monday your tenancy ends. This includes all keys to your home, keys to communal areas and door entry key fobs. If you do not do this, you will have to pay an “occupation charge”. (This will be equal to the
full rent up to the Monday following the day you return the keys.)
vii When you leave, you must give us a forwarding address. If you do not, we may not contact you to refund any money due to you, for example
overpaid rent or heating refund. 

 E Passing on the tenancy when a tenant dies
Section E below applies to you if your tenancy began before
1 October 2007. If your tenancy began on or after 1 October 2007 please
see the amended section E at the end of this booklet.
i If a sole tenant dies we will transfer the tenancy to their husband, wife,
civil partner or partner, as long as they were living together in the property when the tenant died and the property is their only or main home. Failing this, we will transfer the tenancy to a member of the tenant’s family if they were living with the tenant continuously for at least 12 months up to the date of the tenant’s death and the property has been their only or main home.

We will look sympathetically at the position of carers wanting to be granted a tenancy when the tenant dies, according to our policy on carers.
iii If there has already been one succession, there is no legal right to a
further succession although we will normally consider giving a new
tenancy to a person who would otherwise be eligible to succeed unless
there are good management reasons for not granting the tenancy, such
as nuisance, anti-social behaviour or harassment, or payments for use
and occupation have not been made.
iv If the property is bigger than is reasonably needed by the new tenant, we may offer suitable alternative housing. (We will not do this if a husband, wife, civil partner or partner takes over the tenancy.) If necessary we will seek possession through the courts. This action, if taken, will only be started 6 months or more after the tenant died.

 v If the property is designed for a person with physical disabilities or special needs and the new tenant is not such a person, we may offer suitable alternative housing. If necessary we will seek possession through the courts.

 F Accepting these tenancy conditions
If you ‘enter into possession’ of one of our homes, this means that both you and we agree to keep to these conditions of tenancy. You enter into
possession of one of our homes if you, for example:
● move in
● move your belongings in; or
● collect the keys.

G Changes to these tenancy conditions
It is a condition of the tenancy that we may alter these conditions any time by your agreement or by serving you with a ‘notice of variation’. We will tell you before we serve you with a notice of variation. We will write to you and tell you about any proposed changes.

H Serving notices

By us
i If we have to give you written notice we will do this by
● delivering it to you personally; or
● delivering it to your home; or
● sending it by first-class post to your home; or
● any other method approved by law.
This condition applies to any Notice of Seeking Possession; Notice to Quit; and other notices, whether or not under these conditions.

By you
ii If you want to serve a notice on us (including notices in legal
proceedings), it must be served at the District Housing Office or Tenant Management Organisation office. The addresses are:
District Housing Offices

Camden Town District
Housing Office

218 Eversholt Street
London NW1 1BD
Tel: 020 7974 4422

Kentish Town District
Housing Office
49-51 Caversham Road
London NW5 2DR
Tel: 020 7974 6813

Holborn District Housing Office
Bidborough House
20 Mabledon Place
London WC1H 9BF
Tel: 020 7974 3566

Gospel Oak District
Housing Office
115 Wellesley Road
London NW5 4PA
Tel: 020 7974 6774

Hampstead District
Housing Office
156 West End Lane
London NW6 1SD
Tel: 020 7974 6548

Sheltered Housing Team 
 Sheltered Housing Team
Bidborough House
20 Mabledon Place
London WC1H 9BF
Tel: 020 7974 3247/4523

Tenant Management Organisations

Maiden Lane Estate Management BoardMaiden Lane Estate Office
102A St Paul’s Crescent
London NW1 9XZ
Tel: 020 7974 8772

St Pancras Court Housing Co-op52a St Pancras Court
High Road, East Finchley
London N2 9AF
Tel: 020 8444 2100

 Abbey Road Housing Co-op220 Belsize Road
London NW6 4DJ
Tel: 020 7624 6309

Godwin & Crowndale Housing Co-opGodwin Community Centre
Godwin Court

 Crowndale Road
London NW1 1NW
Tel: 020 7916 5686

Carol Street Housing Co-op
Carol Street
London NW1 OHU

Chalk Farm Housing Group
The Old Aid Raid Shelter
Powlett Place
Ferdinand Street
London NW1 8HE
Tel: 020 7209 3011

Agar Grove Housing Co-op Ltd
Ground Floor Offices
Lulworth, Wrotham Road
London NW1 9SS
Tel: 020 7482 4461

I Grounds upon which we may seek possession of a secure tenancy and reasons why we may seek possession of an introductory tenancy.

A summary of the main Grounds for Possession is given below:

1 If you are behind with your rent or have broken your tenancy conditions
in some other way.

2 a i Nuisance or annoyance to people living, visiting or going about their lawful business near your home.
ii Conviction for using the premises for immoral or illegal purposes or committing an arrestable offence near your home.

  b Domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence,
which causes a partner to leave your home.

3,4 Damage to the premises, or shared areas, or to any furniture we provide, by the tenant or lodger or sub-tenant.

5 If you got the tenancy by making a false statement (including another
joint tenant making a false statement).

6 You got the tenancy through the right to exchange and paid a premium.

8 The tenancy was a temporary one while work was being done to your
previous home and that previous home is now fit for you to move
back into.

9 The premises are statutorily overcrowded.

10 We need your home to be empty, because we intend to demolish,
rebuild or carry out work on the premises or the building in which
premises are situated.

10 a The premises are in a redevelopment scheme and the
Secretary of State agrees.

13 Your home has been designed for letting to people with disabilities, there is no one with a disability living there, and we need to relet your home to such a person.

15 We intend your home to be let to people with special needs (for example, sheltered housing), there is no one with special needs living in your home, and we need to relet your home to such a person.

16 Your home is bigger than we consider is reasonably needed. This will
apply only if you took over the tenancy as a member of a family other
than as the partner of a tenant who died, and action to seek possession
is taken between 6 and 12 months after the original tenant died.

If  we  seek  possession  on  any  of  points  9  to  16  above,  we  will offer  secure tenants  suitable  alternative  accommodation.

The above list is a summary of the main legal grounds that the council can use to gain possession. For the  full  list  see  Schedule  2  of  the  Housing  Act 1985. If you lose your security of tenure the council can also seek possession by serving you a Notice to Quit.

The council can seek possession on any of the above legal grounds or on
any other grounds that the law may introduce in the future. However, we will follow any relevant policy in deciding whether to take action. If you have any questions, please contact the housing management staff at the local District Housing Office.

J Sheltered housing tenancies
i This applies only if you live in sheltered housing.
ii The tenant must agree to all reasonable requests by the sheltered housing manager, for example:
a requests for regular contact at least once a week, to check on your
well being. (In most cases, contact will take place at least twice
b keeping to the proper hours and conditions of use for shared facilities
(such as laundry rooms, and so on).
c using alarm equipment properly, and allowing access for repairs to
facilities, including alarm equipment.

K Properties where the council does not own the freehold
i This applies only if you live in a property where we do not own the
freehold. If this condition applies to you we will have told you when we
offered you the tenancy.
ii You have to keep to certain conditions that are imposed on us by the
freeholder in their lease. The conditions are those that were set out in the
offer of tenancy letter and they form part of your conditions of tenancy.

Amended section E for secure tenancies that begin on or after 1 October 2007 and for introductory tenancies

E Passing on the tenancy when a tenant dies
i If a sole tenant dies we will transfer the tenancy to anyone who has a
statutory right to succeed. Your District Housing Office can explain who
has this right.

ii If there has already been one succession there is no legal right to a further succession although we will normally consider giving a new tenancy to a person who would otherwise be eligible to succeed provided that they have lived in the property continuously for 5 years up to the date of the tenant’s death. A tenancy will not be granted if there are good
management reasons for not doing so; these may include anti-social
behaviour or payments for use and occupation not being made.

iii We will look sympathetically at the position of carers wanting to be
granted a tenancy when the tenant dies, according to our policy on
carers. Carers must have been living at the property with the tenant as
their only or main home for at least 12 months up to the date of the
tenant’s death.