Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder EleanorRigby Novitiate

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    Default Council House Waiting List

    Hello hope I'm in the right section for my question.


    If you put your name on a council house waiting list they sometimes ask if you want to be put on private housing associations lists as well.

    If you are offered say two council houses or flats and you refuse as unsuitable you may have your application suspended for a year.
    I've heard this rule is common amongst many councils.

    When you go back on after a year are you back at the beginning or is the fact that you were on for perhaps a couple years taken into account when you go back after your years suspension ?

    If you don't get offered any council properties but you are contacted by a private housing association after being referred by the council and have been offered say a couple of properties over say a two year period and you refuse as unsuitable does this affect your place on the council waiting list ?

    When you first sign up for council housing do you get a booklet with all the rules regarding accepting and refusing properties ?

    Thanks.


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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    Well, first of all does your Council have the old points system, or does it now used choice based lettings, where you have to register your interesticon in advertised vacant properties? Tell me that and I can then help I think.


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    Basic Account Holder EleanorRigby Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    Old points system I'm not familiar with the other system.


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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    Well they are a bit behind the times then I believe by the end of 2010 they should have the bidding system in place. This takes away the old fashioned points sytem, puts each applicant into a colour band, ie., red, amber, green, red being lowest priority. They then advertise every social housing vacancy within their area (HA and Council) You are then required to "register your interesticon" in any property you like (although some will be restricted to the highest band), with the idea being that you will only bid for a property in an area you will accept, rather than the Council forcing you into an unsuitable property (hence choice based lettings). You;ll know when this is about to start because they have to inform every WL applicant of the banding and provide them with the means to bid for properties.

    Your council operates a policy which is common, three strikes and out. So, after turning down three properties which THEY deem suitable, they believe your need for housing cannot be quite so urgent, therefore it won't hurt you to wait one year, AND THEN RESUME your place on the WL. They cannot or should not bar you completely, the suspension is usually 12 months only, and during that time no offer will be made to you.

    It is standard practice for the council to ask you to consider HA properties as well. You will find they are responsible for ALL the social housing, they have nomination rights to the private HA properties as well. This is now how most local authorities work. Its not a bad thing to take a HA property, the only difference being is, provided they bypass the introductory tenancy, which is becoming very common place these days, you would have an ASSURED tenancy as opposed to a SECURE one with the LA's own stock.

    Now, I've just noticed you are in Scotland, and much as I'd give my eye teeth to visit your part of the country, I'm not very up on their Housing Law, and there can be quite vast diffrences between you and England and Wales. So, whilst what I am saying is basically right, they may have longer to introduce the Choice based lettings scheme, if they are required to do it at all. But this is something your LA can confirm for you.

    In any case, the general rule is three offers, no take up, suspended for twelve months. And since the Council obviously do work with the local HA's in your area I say that the offers of HA accommodation are going to count towards the three strikes.

    I hope this helps, but do just check on the law where you are for peace of mind, and good luck, hang on in there and you will get what you want.


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    Basic Account Holder EleanorRigby Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    Thanks for that info.

    Yes I agree Scottish law maybe slightly different to English regarding councils.

    Can someone request a copy of the form they filled in when applying for council housing to check what the rules and requirements are ?


    My local council says two strikes and you are barred for a year.
    This is after being offered two properties within 18 months of registering with the council but not by the council themselves but a housing association.

    I'm assuming then an offer for a council property and an offer for an HA property is the same then ?
    I naively assumed that an offer for an HA property didn't apply to the two strikes and out otherwise the applicant might have stated council property offers only.


    The applicant requested a property with gas CH but was offered two properties with concrete floors and an electrical hot air type unit fixed into the wall in each room.

    Also one of the properties faced onto a lane where kids go up and down all the time and the property and the one next door according to the next door neighbour has had windows broken by the kids a couple of years before and as the applicant was over 50 and had trouble with kids and vandalism in a previous property felt unable to take this second property offered by the housing association.


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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    The applicant requested a property with gas CH but was offered two properties with concrete floors and an electrical hot air type unit fixed into the wall in each room.

    Is there a medical reason for this? Electric storage makes for very dry air so if a person had breathing problems such as asthma, then this sort of heating might be unsuitable, also for some skin conditions too. I would think that all that is needed is conf from the GP to this effect, point out the original request that was made, and that should remove one strike.

    Also one of the properties faced onto a lane where kids go up and down all the time and the property and the one next door according to the next door neighbour has had windows broken by the kids a couple of years before and as the applicant was over 50 and had trouble with kids and vandalism in a previous property felt unable to take this second property offered by the housing association.

    When the applicant had the trouble was it recorded with the local police? If so, get your beat officer to do a letter to confirm what happened and then the applicant has a good reason to refuse the second property. They have to consider people's perception of what will cause them fear, alrm and distress these days. They will also be very cross with the tenant who told the applicant about the damage to the neighbouring property, if they find out who it is!

    You can also go to Shelter, and get them to write and point this out to the Council in case they have difficulty grasping these facts.

    So, its two strikes in your Council then? Well, thats seems a bit tight to me, but there you go.

    And yes, sounds like your LA has the nomination rights for ALL social housing - this is quite normal these days, they cannot stand the thought that anyone can get a property which is outside their remit in the first place! Although actually, its really to ensure that those that need the available social housing get it.

    Good luck.


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    Basic Account Holder EleanorRigby Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    Thanks for that.


    They will also be very cross with the tenant who told the applicant about the damage to the neighbouring property, if they find out who it is!


    That's a pity as people will sometimes ask neighbours what an area is like.



    The applicant has and I believe may have stated in their application to the council that they had asthma.

    The applicant asked a neighbour of the property she was about to view later that day about the area and the neigbour told her about the problems with the house she was being offered and that a couple of years before kids smashed the window in the house she was being offered and a few others including the neighbours.
    There is a lane at the side of this house where the front door is and another lane that overlooks the livingroom and the bedroom.
    The applicant didn't want to say to the housing officer who showed her the property that she'd found out from the neighbour in the house at the other side of the lane about the window smashing incase the housing officer said anything to the neighbour.
    If she'd mentioned it the housing officer would have wanted to know who told her.

    With her having problems a number of years before with kids and vandalism she felt unconfortable accepting the house and possibly encountering more problems.

    Can an appeal be made if someone is put off the list for a year ?


    The previous problem with kids and vandalism did have the police involved but the applicant may have trouble remembering the dates of the incidents as this was about 2001.
    Not sure how much info the police need to check back into the incidents.
    I wonder if the name address and year is enough to bring up the vandalism reports on the police computer.

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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    Well, definitely one strike gone for the asthma if you do like i said with a confirmation of it. You should have no problem viewing the original application form, just pop down and ask firstly, failing that there is the SARicon route. Get your friend to ring up and say she keeps a copy of all her documents, and that this one is missing and she worries about things like that, you never know, they might be happy just to send a copy.

    The problems she encountered in 2001 are some time ago, but then it depends what happened and how it affected her, did she see the GP, did it affect her mental health etc etc., is there a record of all this, so on and so forth. I expect a record at the cop shop could eventually be traced.

    But also, try and look at this the other way, this worry about ASB in a new area, so the neighbour said a window was smashed 2 years ago. This happens every where from time to time, and note the neighbour did not say it was a frequent occurence. The kids that did it have grown up a little (or more likely progressed onto armed robbery) and there is no way to say what will or won;t happen in ANY area in this respect. Try and see how much of your friend's refusal is to how she perceives ASB, as opposed to what actually goes on in any area.

    But anyway, I think you'll find we've got rid of one strike, and you can always putin a written appeal to the head of the Housing Dept, local councillor, member of Housing Committee etc.

    Goodluck, I'm sure it will all work out in the end.


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder EleanorRigby Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    Thanks for your advice.


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder shell in hell Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council House Waiting List

    I do know for 100 percent sure that if you are n the waiting list the chances of getting a accomadation are very slim they say anything for up two 5 years wait in london



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