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.


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
EXCLUSIVE by RICHARD OSLEY


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.”

SCAM ADVICE
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.
                                   

                        -------------------------------------

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.


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/16/do-i-need-my-national-insurance-number-to-register-to-vote


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

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bribery at the Town Hall

http://www.camdennewjournal.com/bribe-camden-council#.V2L80Z3321M.twitter

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

Published: 16 June, 2016
By RICHARD OSLEY


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)
 
 


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.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Video's - The Journey

The  Journey


25 June 2017
 Chic - I want Your Love  


4 June 2017

 


31 May 2017




Bang bang he shot me down, bang bang I hit the ground



15 May 2017
I will go down with this ship, I'm in love and always will be




fate has brought us here and we should be together babe but we are not



30 April 2017





26 April 2017
                                                  


25 April 2017



15 April 2017





13 April 2017



31 March 2017 



25 March 2017
the past revisited 



a sprinkling of magic dust


23 March 2017

the dance of the dead



rebirth, joy


21 March 2017

no words


14 March 2017
Replace the hurt with the warm glow memory


12 March 2017
singing you a happy song


10 March 2017

                                   Life. Battles. Death. Renewal.
 


9 March 2017
 under-standing, letting go of the pain


3 March 2017

feel with your mind, body and soul, energy, pain, ascend, joy


2 March 2017

 all times




some light relief 


28 Feb 2017
empathy, feel, tears 



expressions, connections, perceptions


26 Feb 2017
 
down down down and up up up


25 Feb 2017
feeling the magic 




upbeat 


24 Feb 2017
dancing again, feeling low but high


23 Feb 2017

feeling low 

 
only you
 

21 Feb 2017
feel it, know it


17 Feb 2017
who knows what this ones about



be happy


                                              10 Feb 2017
   sharpening my nails


                                                     6 Feb 2017

of still waters  and crashing waves, energy


love the moves


dancing again, on a trip

feeling love


1 Feb 2017
we are free, feel it

28 Jan 2017
dreams, sad, pain


26 Jan 2017
dancing again


22 Jan 2017 

getting lost in the music 


fear, instability, confusion


22 Jan 2017
 
seeing but not quite understanding, communication, thinking, processing

19 Jan 2017
love, acceptance


15 Jan 2017

 emotional blockage/immaturity


9 Jan 2017

A change is happening


5 Jan 2017

in the mood for dancing 


                                                2 Jan 2017

seeing things more clearly


                                          30 Dec 2016

attraction, connection, energy, lifted up, at one with the universe,
spiritual 

DIY Sound Proofing

Am in the process of [trying] some DIY soundproofing on ceilings and part of wall in my flat. May work, may not. Worth a try though I think.

I won't for now say what I'll be using as the sound proofing (hopefully), but if it works it may prove to be a cheap but maybe odd way of doing it.

            -------------------
Tuesday 5 April 2016
Has been mostly noise free tonight as neighbour has been out most of night. Neighbour came in and now theres lots of banging about above. Let cat in - can hear neighours 'love making' noises in the street - its 1am. Turn my radio up to drown out the noise which i don't like doing as its late and prefer music to be on low. Lots of noise yesterday as well ranging from banging about to loud pressure noises on and off for hrs from the water pipes.

Positive thoughts, deep breaths - at least the banging from the pipes has been sorted.

Not sure when it will be safe to turn music down as the noises start then stop then start then stop. Feeling anxious now.

Update 9 April 2016
Noise I can hear from above my bedroom when in bed, trying to sleep or being woken up by:
Impact noise - Heavy footsteps in bedroom and hallway area of flat above, doors being closed, things like cups being put down on hard surfaces, sounds like heavy draws being opened and closed. Door of toilet being closed, toilet seat being put/slammed down. These noises are very clear. Noises from bathroom.

Airborne noise - loud voices at times, loud love making noises at times.
 Hoovering.

Pressure noise in pipes (no insulation as far as I am aware) in living room. Tank situated in kitchen makes a racket - no insulation.

Noise I can hear above my living room: loud voices at times which can be heard outside as well.
Heavy footsteps, banging about in kitchen when doing washing up etc, dragging of chair along floor, opening of draw. Noises from bathroom. Hoovering. Washing machine spin cycle which makes my windows rattle at times. Pipes above creak at times,  and the constant pressure noise.

Really fed up with it and having to keep contacting housing department about the problems.

Still haven't got around to reporting leaking pipe in toilet (plastic jug under leak to catch water). Not got around to reporting badly creaking floorboards in living room.  Not essential to me that they get fixed right now as am fed up with repairs people in and out of here over last year.

The only noise problems that have been sorted are the loud TV after 11pm and the banging from the pipes.  

In regards to the lack of sound proofing - the landlord has been aware of the noise problem in some of its rented dwellings for quite some years.

As far back as 1999 when a tenant from area I live in had a court case joined with other tenants from another London borough in
London Borough of Southwark and Another v Mills and Others, Baxter v Mayor etc of the London Borough of Camden HERE

 "The lack of privacy causes tension and distress."[my emphasis]

The tenants lost the case.

Camden council does not want to fix the problem for all/most tenants - even back then when money was a plenty.  Still plenty of money around, but not spent on specific problems.

That's not to say the landlord doesn't install sound proofing in some cases ie say they want a formal borough wide council tenants group set up and the tenant gang who say they will do it, get housing transfers from estates to street properties plus sound proofing put in flat below and who are allowed by the landlord council to behave as badly as they like.

I'm beginning to think that the reason the landlord was so keen to get the borough wide tenants group set up was to keep a lid on some of the problems to do with street properties - this tenants group make a fuss about things when need be and may put on a public show of doing something - sometimes, but imo its only done for them to look good, like they have done something - but nothing effective of course.

Update 18 March 2016
Process of DIY sound proofing going slowly, as decided against firstly nailing, then changed mind to pinning (using stapler gun) of materials to areas needed so instead will buy some adhesive - will get there eventually. Am as slow as a tortoise at times. Have informed landlords agent of my DIY plans and what materials I'll be using. No objection so far.

Update 20 April 2016
Change of plan regarding the DIY materials. How did I get into this - oh yes its the constant noise intrusion even late at night. Crap housing eh.

Update 23 April 2016
Tenant above is having an all night 'love'  making session  - started about 12mid night above my living room with mainly very heavy footsteps then moved above my bedroom with lots of banging about and moaning noises - still going on at 6am. I'm guessing 'energy enhancements' are prolonging things - to my dismay. Deep breaths, positive thoughts.

You know you're tired and up past your bedtime when you look out the window see that its day break, hear the birds tweeting, see the garden blooming, then find yourself singing  "morning has broken" then "morning has broken like the first morning".

update
The noise went on until around 8.30am. Only when bloke had gone, was I able to settle down to sleep.

Update 25 April 2016
Tenant in flat above woke me up around 5.30am with lots of banging about - heavy footsteps, sounded like heavy things being put down on heavy surfaces, heavy draws being opened, heavy boxes being dragged out from somewhere and just dropped, that sort of noise - this went on for about 40 minutes with tenant coming and going from room, coming and going, coming and going. Couldn't get back to sleep so got up made a cuppa and came on here.

Update 27 April 2016
noise nuisance above my bedroom from around 1.30am - 3.00am:  heavy footsteps, hard things put down on hard surfaces, dragging of heavy boxes/draws sounds, dropping things down - on and off  -  might be a single noise or might be a bang, drag, thump - sort of thing.

Good news  though that the pieces of carpet pinned  to the panel running down the wall area where the pipes run through, seems to have dampened the water pressure noise from that area. Pipes still make a noise across the ceiling at the party wall side of wall but its quieter now. Getting there. Really creaky floorboard in living room fixed (area still creaks a bit but not as bad) - carpet taken up and used else where.

Hope to get the flat in shape to be suitable for a out of borough housing transfer - don't know where yet. Couldn't swap this flat in the state its in re no sound insulation at all -  none, zero, never put any in - when landlord converted the property plus 'noisy inconsiderate neighbour'. Must be millions of dwellings in such a state i reckon.

Decided the material to be used on the ceilings as a sound barrier will have to be a adhesive sheet/tile directly onto ceilings like HERE 
or HERE. 

I can't afford to pay for it so will put it to the landlord, to at least pay for the bedroom and hallway ceilings to be done, at either of the above linked products or similar prices. 

Update 11 May 2016
Neighbour upstairs has been reasonably quiet (in the eve's and after 11pm) the last few weeks but has started again with the loud TV after 11pm that can be heard outside in the street and in my living room. In my experience quiet periods don't last long with neighbour. Waiting now for all the other noise particularly after 11pm to start again as usual.

Update 22 May 2016
Housing officer not got back to be yet about my request for landlord to pay for sound barrier tiles on some ceilings in flat.

I think I can't get out of here unless this property is at least half decent in order to swap it, which includes I think sound proofing and re-decorating in order to 'sell' it to another tenant to swap. Some may and have said I shouldn't mention the lack of sound proofing but I think its such a big problem in many such properties that I have to mention it as its not fair to not do so and inflict this property on any other person who may be vulnerable and be deeply affected by the noise. I know how badly its affected me over the years and I really don't want to inflict it on another.

Update 24 May 2016










landlord computer says NO (with the face on maybe?) to my request for sound proofing ....


Update 19 June 2016
Things have improved a bit re the 'love' making noises late at night/early morn have quietened down and I am grateful for that.

There is still a problem though with the constant heavy sounding footsteps I can hear day and night when neighbour is in.

Update 21 July 2016
There is still a problem with the banging about from kitchen area late at night (and the pressure noise from the pipes late at night) and from the tenants bathroom area, which I could hear the other night when at the front door of the building - thats right on the ground floor you can sometimes hear the tenant on the second floor. has been bad the last week.

Like I have said before when money was a plenty Camden council ignored the problem and continues to ignore (low priority) it but have added the caveat of costs and no guarentee sounding proofing will work.

 To me thats not good enough.

They can find money for other housing improvements but not on much needed sound proofing, which can cause a lot of mental distress to people on top of causing frictions between neighbours.

The "no garentee" is a weak argument I think because the landlord doesn't present it with evidence to back it up - could be there is little data collected on this issue because its such a low priority for Camden council and has been through out its mainly Labour run administration.

Even when presented with a compromise (the landlord pays to have sound barrier tiles part installed (the main areas where noise is as opposed to all of flat) they say no.

Update 24 July 2016
I don't usually phone the councils noise patrol service,  but I really felt the need to do so quite recently due to the noise level above me for the last 2/3 hours.

Neighbour is doing something on the patio - cleaning I think and the banging about and scrapping noise is to me horrendous - 2/3 hrs constant plus at one point soaky water coming down my kitchen window from above.

In isolation the noise from the patio isn't really an on going problem but add it to the overall noise problem from other areas and its just one big never ending noise nuisance.

Person from the councils environmental protection phoned me back quite quickly and we had a chat and I appreciate the support given. Noise has quietened down now and I hope I don't feel the need to phone them again as advised. Not sure though why they don't automatically come out to assess the situation, maybe a new council money saving policy? Or even a fob off, I don't know but person did sound supportive, so who knows.

16 August 2016
The noise from flat above has been bad this week - TV loud now most nights even after 11pm and can be heard outside as well in my living room - lots of banging about from kitchen and bedroom area. I hear every heavy foot stepp the tenant makes - for instance when I'm in bed ans still wake and  when tenant is in bed and she gets up to use the loo all I hear is thump thump thump  footsteps and banging about of using the toilet. How does any one make so much noise getting out of bed to go toilet?

The only noise that has stopped is the loud 'love making' noises and the water pipes banging. Maybe i'm expecting too much?

2 Oct 2016
lots of noise tonight - banging about above my bedroom, on and off for the last 2hrs its 3.25am.

heavy footsteps, on and off, back and forth like with shoes on its 3.55am

10 Oct 2016
have been in my bedroom trying to relax since 11.30pm - its 1.30am now and my window has rattled 4 times because of heavy footsteps above, plus banging about in toilet area toilet 2 times and heavy footsteps in hall area. There will be more to come.

Am always on edge anticipating the noise.

2.10am more window rattling, heavy footsteps. 

But one must be resilient whilst being under constant attack - apparently.
I have asked the landlord camden council about mediation with neighbour in finding a remedy to the noise problem - it used to be offered to tenants but I recently heard that this service is no longer available, so i don't know as yet if I can access this service elsewhere or even if neighbour would agree to it.

Patience and lots of deep breaths and positive thoughts and whatnot.

13 Oct 2016
Found out from the camden councils website that the mediation service still exists HERE 

31 Oct 2016
Landlords agent not got back to me about the mediation - maybe a heavy workload or something.

Was quiet most of the day until after 10.30pm when the noise started on and off and on and off and on and off and ........... blah blah blah. 

 Just how much is considered substantial?

6 Nov 2016
Was coming up to 2am, i'm trying to settle down to sleep and above i hear a really loud bang like something heavy  was dropped, this was followed by 2/3 more loud banging noises then the usual heavy footsteps and more banging about. I think ffs its 2am, why do I have to keep hearing this night after night. I can't sleep now so get up and leave bedroom and go into living room then I hear banging about in kitchen above. The noise follows me.

3am i'm back in b/r I can hear what sounds like draws on those noisy casters being opened  and shut and footsteps.

3.30am heavy footsteps, banging about above on and off

8 Nov 2016
Emailed housing ward manager and cabinet member for housing about a  reply to my email in June 2016 about the water overcharging.

19 Nov 2016
Was woken up 3 times this morning at various times by tenant above heavy impact footsteps when going to the toilet, plus I can hear water from toilet flush (pipe situated outside my bedroom window) even when my bedroom window is closed.

Sometimes if I'm really lucky I can hear above me the sound of actual 'water being deposited' and then the flushing then water going down outside pipe.

27 Nov 2016
Has been a bad day/night today noise wise. Say from around 5pm until now 11.30pm has been constant banging about from tenants kitchen area - one bang then 5 minutes later another bang  that sort of thing, spinning washing machine, heavy footsteps, at times voices on and off for hours. Can even hear it above my music on 13. More heavy footsteps.

Tenant above would have a break down i reckon if tenant was in my place - tenant bangs on wall and shouts at neighbours next door if they make noises even for a few seconds that wake her up or annoy her. Tenant above woke me up 3 times in the morning the other week - on top of all the other usual noise. 

Think i'll bill my landlord for all the electricity i use (old small music system in living room with speakers on walls) in trying to drown out one of their tenants constant noise. haha - i no how thats going to go - computer says no. Watch Camden council land-lord try and wriggle out of refunding all the tenants they have been overcharging for water - for years. Tut tut London councils.

29 Nov 2016
4am tenant seems clumsy tonight - dropped things at least 5 times above my bedroom.

I reckon I know why Camden council noise patrol doesn't come out to these properties (or at least this property) when called by a tenant in distress, a plea of help, of assistance.

Tenants are told by housing staff they need evidence other than your word of the nuisance and unless you have someone there with you all the time or can afford noise recording equipment ones word is not good enough (even if repeated by many others in the same properties?) unless it suits.

How longer can they keep ignoring what I think is a massive problem with some/many converted street properties because it impacts adversely on many tenants, tenants who in many cases moved into the properties without being informed of   the defect and then can spend years and years trying to get the landlord to fix the problem or give you a transfer to another place and all plea's to council people for help is largely met with deaf ears. How can that be right?

positive energy, thoughts, feelings.

1 Dec 2016
2.50am banging about and heavy footsteps noise above my bedroom on and off for last hour.

4 Dec 2016
Noise really affecting me this weekend. When getting up and coming into living room and seeing how long before the noise above starts - no longer than 10 minutes then I find myself tensing up, becoming anxious and then the tension in my neck/shoulders then having to put radio on to try and calm me down.

No real solutions from landlord Camden council anywhere even in their recent report to the Housing Scrutiny committee (under anti social behaviour - noise) HERE do I have to start calling the police and reporting the noise because the landlord won't/can't provide a remedy for tenants affected?

The Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 HERE says: 
2 Meaning of “anti-social behaviour”
(1)In this Part “anti-social behaviour” means—
(a)conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person,
(b)conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or
(c)conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person.

I see housing are using the councils tick box casp to 'show' they 'looked at' the issue of noise nuisance in street properties and the small change in tenancy conditions to do with carpeting, which really doesn't help at all in my experience - tenant above me reckons to have 3 layers of carpeting which I doubt. In all the landlords handling of this issue is to look like they have or are doing something but not really doing much.

6 Dec 2016
even if I was to get a flat swap ,  i can't afford to move.

I'm stuck here and that fills me with despair.

12.15am tenant above went out and then came back in around 11pm - high heels sounds like it - I put radio on to drown out the noise - then about 15 minutes ago it felt like my ceiling was shaking, then windows were rattling for about ten minutes. deep breaths .......

just went into my bathroom - could hear banging noise from patio area above.

what is going on? I think i know what is going on but i really wish i didn't.

14 Dec 2016
heavy impact footsteps bad in area above entrance area of tenants kitchen and hallway area. Don't hear too many footsteps in tenants living room area.

Pressure noise from water pipes that run through my living room still a problem.

18 Dec 2016
tenant above came in around 2am with bloke. Lots of noise above my bedroom on and off until 6am including the 'love making' noise.

9 Jan 2017
3.20am Lots of banging about and heavy footsteps above my bedroom since about 12 midnight. let cats out and could hear the 'love making' noise and then could hear banging about from out at front gate the bloke left  shortly after that.  Xmas and new year period bad noise wise.

16 Jan 2017
am a bit slow (ok maybe more than a bit)  in getting there but am taking steps via the legal route to try and put a (permanent) stop to (or at least a significant reduction) the noise nuisance .

bring it on.

17 Jan 2017
Lots of banging about and heavy footsteps last night from when tenant above came in late around 12 midnight until around 4am. Then when tenant got up lots of noise. Saw tenant outside as she came back in (think she forgot something) and she seemed to make a special effort to make lots of noise going up and down the stairs for my benefit (really heavy and loud thumping up and down the stairs) so I asked her to stop making so much noise please. This was met with aggression on her part, loud voice, wagging finger at me and telling me not to talk to her  as she doesn't talk to me and then calling me lowlife as she walked away shouting as she went off up the road.

I can't without aggression and name calling on her part approach her directly about the noise.

28 Jan 2017
The noise from flat above has been quite bad the last few days. Am feeling the pain in my neck and shoulder.

Nothing much seems to have changed with me contacting the police about the noise. Housing officer is still ignoring the noise complaint I sent to her. Things not going so great  with physiotherapist (shoulders/neck pain). Am trying to sort the problems out (housing and pain) but its not easy.

29 Jan 2017
Lots of noise again today/eve. found some bloke waiting outside front door in the rain apparently waiting for tenant upstairs to come down. Despite apparently phoning tenant in front of me, he still seems to be waiting 15 minutes later.

Not the first time i've found blokes hanging about aside for tenant. Can be quite busy at times the coming and going.

One time I opened front door (at night) and this bloke was standing there and startled me a bit, but was funny really as he was wearing one of those lamp things that miners wear on his head- he had it turned on and seemed stoned or something and said tenant had harassed him to come up - i said oh you better go up then. you have to laugh sometimes.

Monday 30 Jan 2017
Tenant above walked past me at the front door (with the usual face on) and up the communal stairs and said something out loud and then went into her flat and started shouting and really heavily stomping up her flat stairs - for my benefit i felt. I thought I'm not getting angry - the tenant has enough negative energy inside for the whole street and i ain't gonna add to it. Tenant may be getting 'cocky' because tenant knows the landlord and the police won't do anything to help me so the courts will be the next step.

Monday 27 Feb 2017
what to say - still hearing banging about late at night in tenants kitchen ,bathroom and toilet area and bedroom. Think tenant has someone living there as well.


8 March 2017
Lots of noise the last few days - banging or stomping about what seems like every 10/15 minutes without fail regardless of the time. Landlord Camden council was supposed to get back to me about a meeting they supposedly had with the tenant. If anything the noise is worse since the alleged meeting.

Sat 11 March 2017 
I will be writing up the Letter before Action over the weekend and put it under tenants door. Hopefully I can muster up enough energy to carry this through to where it needs to go. Life seems one battle after another at times - for survival, for some peace and quiet, for your sanity.

Sunday 12 March 2017
The LBA is on hold whilst I try one last other avenue.

Monday 13 March 2017
Not much energy these last few days, but I will get there.

Wed 15 March 2017
3am at the ground floor door to property I could hear tenant on 2nd floor banging about in her bathroom - it was quiet loud.

This is just an example of the noise nuisance/intrusion I have to listen to through out the night. Its the same every night no matter what the time is. and then the loud pressure noise from the pipes that run through my living room. Its not only the lack of sound proofing it appears to be the lack of consideration by tenant above.

And now there are 2 heavy footed bangy about people living in the flat above its double the 'joy'. Deep breaths.

3.16 can hear tenant above walking about and banging something again. Its so intrusive. I can't relax even with the drugs.

This is how the landlord camden council expects some/many of their tenants to live and like we are supposed to grateful or something? I'm grateful for a lot of things but being stuck here having to listen to this day in day out night in night out and the landlord (labour run Camden council) not giving a 4X about the situation isn't one of them.I know I'm not the only tenant with this problem with camden council housing.

I'm getting there just have something else I need to do then its the other avenue then if that doesn't work its the Courts.

I have to admit I am a bit intimidated by the bloke thats moved in (think it was on same day tenant was supposed to have had interview with housing officer)but fcuk it if i need to take legal action I will do it and keep a weapon nearby just in case she sets him on me.

29 March 2017
Coincidences. Bloke moved out from flat above not long after I did last posting of 15 march 2017, then when Camden council housing ward manager replied to my email a few days ago bloke appears to have moved back in again. Odd. No word yet from local MP. I haven't contacted local council members simply because they have no power to help with this and the cabinet member for housing is of no help.

My energy levels go up and down, sleep isn't so great but I will get there eventually even if it kills me.

3 April 2017
Had meeting with housing officer today. It was a positive meeting I think and I was offered help which I accepted because I need it despite being as independent as I can be. We got there in the end. I have tears in my eyes now. I appreciate the help.

19 April 2017
Tenant above was reasonably quiet for a few days and the noise starts again even late at night. People coming and going. Running down the stairs. What sounds like really heavy footsteps about, banging about, dropping heavy objects on floor, banging them down.  Banging doors, banging, lots of banging about, loud noise from hoovering in small area for over 30 minutes [usually above my bedroom at night] hoover sounds like its being , washing machine noise of spinning and rattling my windows. Tenant and lodger makes for double the noise, tenant and many visitors coming and going.

I'm trying to be as patient as I can be but after so many years of the noise and landlord not doing much about it my patience isn't really that great. Am trying not to lose it best I can.

Not heard back from housing about the housing officers visit a few weeks ago. I know things can be slow going, but above applies.

25 May 2017
Was hoping I didn't have to return to this but nothing seems to has happened in regards to the housing officer visit and me getting a social worker, and possibly moving. Housing officer dragging her feet for some reason in explaining to me what it all meant exactly ie floating support team. Will have to have to chase it up.

Tenant above me has recently started again with the noise late at night, the banging the heavy footsteps, banging and now the cold water tank in my kitchen has been making a constant noise because for some reason it is constantly filling up and the noise from pipes in my living room have been very loud of late. The landlord wouldn't lag the tank when I asked some time back. No sound proofing where noisy pipes in my living room are situated. No sound proofing anywhere in the building.

update
found out reason why water tank was constantly filling up - a tap not turned off properly its sorted now.

 I forgot to mention the loud creaky door/s tenant above has - that I can hear quite clearly in my bedroom late at night and seem to hear more of, of late.

16 June 2017
Tenant above has allowed another visitor to park their cycle in front garden overnight obstructing access to the bins - Camden council not long ago put one of those cycle park things in practically next door





Coincidently I also received a letter from my landlord Camden council claiming they will be taking legal action against me for possession if I don't pay the water charges arrears I stopped paying before xmas last year. Plus estate officer who came to my 'home' a few months back and made all the 'promises' really didn't mean what she said [I suspect] just going through the motions I think.

 I think I have a good reason for stopping the water charges considering Camden council won't give back the money they owe me and other tenants for othercharging us. I await the court case for council to apply for possession order.

HERES what happens

20 June 2017
Noticed cycle is back again when I came down to put some rubbish in recycling bin. I couldn't access the  bin so threw the two items on top of bin. Obstructing access to gas metres also.The hand rail was put in a few years back for easier access for severely disabled son of tenant in ground floor flat. An additional step was also added.

More 'fun and games' from tenant in flat above me.

Will stick a polite notice on the rail and see whether it will be taken down or not.

Update
The polite notice I put on hand rail has been taken off.
 


25 June 2017
 Cycle back again

update 11.25pm
brough recycling rubbish down and bike was back again blocking access again. I threw the rubbish on top of the two bins and am leaving it there. A rubbish tip the front area shall be. 

26 June 2017 
I went out earlier to local shop and the cycle was chained right up against my cycle and blocking me using it so I rang tenant upstairs bell and she stuck her head out of her kitchen window and I asked her can she remove the bike otherwise I will call the police[ 3rd time this has happened with blocking my cycle]  - she didn't say anything to me and then after a few minutes the b/f came down in boxer shorts and t-shirt [blk fella, stocky/muscly, short dread locks 30-40y/o, has a little sachel backpack ] and unchained his bike and went to chain it back where its also obstructing acess to the front garden' [above] so  I asked him why he couldn't chain his bike up on poll across the road or over there [i nodded to where the cycle thing is that council installed] but he just looked up at me and wouldn't say anything and carried on chaining the cycle to disabled rail.  And then he went in and I laughed because I guess he was on orders by 'the boss' to not talk to me which I think is funny, but I don't think what he keeps doing is funny. 

Will contact the landlords agent[housing estate officer] as hes her visitor and hes causing a nuisance and she is responsible for him [according to tenancy agreement with landlord not that landlord camden council does fcak all anyway] and I think she encourages him. 

29 June 2017
B/f had his cycle obstructing mine again last night and I'm afraid I got quite upset as I feel like I am being provoked now and I kicked off a bit but b/f wouldn't move the cycle. I think hes moved back in. When I think of it I haven't had the sour looks and sweary agression  from the tenant which could be to do with the skunk I keep smelling of late in the communal hallway.  'They be well chilled out man' - but not enough to not keep causing a nuisance. Skunk is very smelly. Tenant works for Lambeth council and used to work for Camden council. 

 In Camden the landlords agents are too busy now to deal with  tenancy issues other than the evacuation of Chalcots estate and this could take months. I can guess there will be lots more angry and upset tenants in  the next few weeks/months. I can see choas breaking out all over the borough as tenants will have to take things into their own hands to deal with anti-social behaviour [the police aren't much help if any] and whatnot that the landlord is too busy to deal with. 

update 
b/f has turned up again and chained his cycle obstructing mine again. Tenant would have a fit [I know what shes like in some ways] if someone blocked her bright red car in and she couldn't use it or had to move things to move her car. Next time her red shiny car is outside I'll put the 2 big new rubbish bins next to the car see how she likes it? I know I know 2 wrongs doesn't make a right, but I'm wound up right now - its one thing after another and I suppose something had to give at some point. I admit I have shouted a bit again - fcuk it.
B/f popped his head of out of tenants living room window and threatened to chop my cycle in half - haha let him do it - its old and not of much value money wise - her new red shiny car is still being paid for. Both of us can get done for criminal damage - I don't give a toss anymore. Between the upstairs tenant and the landlord I've had enough.

The housing officer and her 'promise' of  a social worker and a housing move - what a bad joke that was - how many other Camden council tenants are given the same line by housing staff only for it to turn out to be bs? 

Update b/f has f**ked of now and taken his cycle with him. Will he be back for round 3? I'm up for it, bring it on. 

The following is my entry [scroll up] for 3 April 2017:  3 April 2017
"Had meeting with housing officer today. It was a positive meeting I think and I was offered help which I accepted because I need it despite being as independent as I can be. We got there in the end. I have tears in my eyes now. I appreciate the help." Raised my hopes up she did but turns outs she didn't mean a word of it.Yes I'm going on about it because I think its nasty for the landlords agents to do something like that. Next time any housing officer comes round here I will record them [every lie that comes out of their mouth]

30 June 2017
Wish I hadn't kicked off now as I've been trying so hard to not let things get to me and 'lose it' but  I think I've calmed down now  and if cycle shows up again I will take deep breaths and remain calm [I hope].  My neck is really hurting today. I'm now anxious about seeing the cycle again chained where it has been in case it sparks me off. What the fcuk is this? Triggers, triggers. Deep breaths, calm, calm, calm. Police lady phoned earlier and I said something about maybe I over-reacted,[I did shout and cuss a bit and make a show of meself]  being sparked off, and that I will try and remain calm. Will do meditation soon and try and ease the neck pain and keep me calm. I don't like the anger I really don't.

Love always.

Update
Housing officer who gave me all the bs when she came down to flat a few months back wants to meet up again - here in my 'home' and I think she wants me to speak to her or something.





9 July 2017
Tenant in flat above has started again with the banging about and heavy footsteps above my bedroom late at nigh. Tonight it started around 2am and its 3am now. When this happens I have to turn the radio on loud enough  to drown out the noise as it starts to get to me after a while. I am so tired of all of this. Camden council lets out these properties but doesn't tell tenants about there not being any sound proofing at all in the property and add this to loud/noisy tenants and its becomes a huge problem.


12 July 2017
I am going around in circles in regards to trying to sort the noise problem out - nothing works for more than a little while and then the noise late at night starts again. I'm going to have take the court route if I am ever going to get some reasonable peace and quiet living here. I get the feeling tenant is doing it deliberately but I can't prove that but for someone who lives alone she does a load of banging about. Council workmen been in tenants flat twice last week, some seem quite cosy with tenant.

The bloke who was doing some decorating for tenant - about 18 months ago, came in a few afternoons - went around clocking off time, dripped white paint on communual hallway lino and left it there and left a bin bag full of newspapers  practically outside my flat door so i had to move it to get by - heard him say to tenant that she hasn't paid him for the work but I didn't hear her reply but a little bit later I heard her 'love making' noises.  Don't know if the bloke was from the council, I suspect he was but I didn't actually see him.

20 July 2017
bloke is back again - this time no sight of the cycle. I went downstairs to put rubbish out and he came down to put tenants out - this time he had his trousers on - and looked at me and I looked at him and not a word from either of us.

As far as I can recall tenant has never stayed over night with any of the blokes  - I wish she would so I could at least then I would get peace and quite whilst shes 'loved up' with the latest bloke - this one is like the tenant very heavy footed and i'm still getting the dropping of heavy things and generally banging about late at night like now and its 2.30am. In my bedroom area its as bad for the banging about - never known anyone to bang about so much - usually at night and late into the night and morning. Once a week I get the 4/5 hours of banging about in her kitchen late into the night - my theory is she takes out all her cups/pots and pans and washes them and them bangs them down hard and then maybe washes them again - who knows but for someone who usually lives alone its a lot of noise. Then theres the sometimes 3/4 times a week hoovering usually around 10pm but sometimes before that and very rarely in the day, that for some reason can take anything of up to half an hour to do in just her small bedroom. Maybe 1/2 nights tenant may be reasonable quiet.

28 July 2017
b/f's 3rd night at tenants flat - noise late at night still the same with only 1/2 nights when its reasonably quiet.

1 August 2017
What tenant about does and which I usually have to hear is replay back to whoever she is speaking to on the phone or in person, her account of what she said when she was shouting at someone or the other. Instead of just replaying the words back in a normal tone and volume she replays the actual loud shouty voice as well. I wonder if she shouts at people to do with her work? Maybe meditation would help.

I don't mean to keep pointing out tenants annoying points as I'm sure she has some good points as well, like she can on occasion be funny, but its the annoying ones that i have had to put up with year in year our and which have taken their toll.  I'm sure i annoy her at times as well.

The banging of heavy things late at night still continues. I think she thinks she likes to be such a 'badass' maybe to fit in with the people she hangs around with, but at her age its juvenile I think.

Sounds like tenant has some sort of heavy wooden board under her bed that she drags out. Sounds like its actually on the floor. The door she has on a cubboard [i think] is loud and squeeky. Some oil on the hinges needed? More recent addition to the loud banging noise late at noise is what sounds like the lid of a metal container. Then theres the heavy footsteps.

8 August 2017
Tenant was very quiet for about 3 day/nights [it was bliss] then earlier today I just knew the noise late at night was going to restart and it did. 

I'm in bed [1.50am] starting to do the guided mediatation and I hear 3/4 loud bangs from above and they put me right off my meditation - I will do it later when I think its safe to do it without the loud bangs when tenant above is asleep. Thats how the noise goes - the odd loud bang here, 2 bangs there, 3/4 there and so on. By bangs I mean banging things down/about  as opposed to put them down. Put my radio on to drown out the noise - am feeling anxious now. I know from experience that if I turn the radio down yet I will be lulled into a false sense of security and the noise will start again. My tolerance for the loud noise is low tonight and I haven't got to the point in meditation where I can block out external noises [if I ever will].

9 August 2017
Tenant making the loud bangs above bedroom again late at night around 2am then lots of loud bangs around 2.45am - could also hear 'love making' noises outside when put rubbish out. The skunk smell is back. I don't know when tenant will be going to bed so will leave radio on to drown out the noises [odd bang here, 3 there sort of thing can be ten minutes apart can be 50 minutes apart] which I can even hear above the radio. May ask [again] the landlords agent can I use their noise recording equipment - apparently they only have one such device which surely can't be true?

18 Sept 2017
Tenant above hadn't been around for much of last week [it was bliss] and now seems to be making up for it with banging and stomping about at every change she gets regardless of the time.

9 Sept 2017
Neighbour above is starting again with the noise late at night, friday night - saturday morning lots of banging about and tonight the TV blaring can hear it in living room and outside and its gone 1am, as well as running down the stairs, in and out in and out.

11 Sept 2017
tenant banging about [in kitchen and elsewhere] and heavy footsteps  all night long on and off on and off and its nearly 3am and shes still at it.

update
an example of what it can be like in the daytime as well - 
before tenant went out around 10.30am lots of banging about above my bedroom [seriously its bang bang banging stuff around] then heavy footsteps and running down stairs then slamming front door. She came back in later and someone [i assume] from housing repairs came - I didn't hear bloke come up the stairs and I didn't hear her go up stairs [amazing isn't it how quiet they can be when it suits] - someone came down - ran down stairs. This sort of stuff can go on through out the day others days its reasonable quiet.

At times i'm lulled into a false sense of security as she can be quiet for hours then its thump, bang, heavy footsteps and repeat. This sort of stuff doesn't help my neck/shoulder pain as I am constantly anticapating the noise day and night.

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.


Rotherham Child Abuse

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/outrage-at-miserable-silence-of-rotherham-abuse-scandal-bosses-1-8740875 Outrage at 'miserable sil...