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Not sure if this is the correct section to post,so mods,please move it if necessary.

 

What chance has my wife of suing our local council for causing her stress??

My wife and I own a flat that we have put up for sale.It is empty and ready to move into,having just been decorated and carpeted throughout.

We have had over 15 viewers since mid january,but all have said that although the flat is nicely presented,the upstairs flat puts them off buying ours.

The flat above ours has 3 smashed windows at the front,and 2 smashed windows at the back.There is also a pile of discarded furniture on the balcony.the tenant is known to the council and police for drug dealing.The windows have probably been smashed by dealers that the tenant owes money to.

I contacted the council around mid february over my concerns to the flat, and how it blights the neighbouhood, and has turned away potential buyers for our flat.They promised that the furniture would be removed by last week,but by yesterday,it was still there.They also promised thta the smashed windows would be replaced.Again,as of yesterday,the smashed windows are still in.

I rang my estate agent yesterday and asked why he thinks the flat isn't selling.His reply,was that although the viewers like the flat,the state of the flat above has put them off, causing them to think it is a rough area,and giving them cause for concern.He said there were 2 recent viewers who took 1 look above my flat and walked away without even stepping foot inside my flat.He is going to email me his findings, and will see if any of the viewers would be willing to make a statement sharing their reason why they didn't want to purchase the flat.

All this has caused my wife stress and sleepless nights,and financial hardship as we are having to pay full council tax each month, as well as water rates and electricity bills each month.My wife is having to visit her G.P. next week to increase the medication that she is already on.

Our flat is the cheapest for sale in a 10 mile radius,yet other more expensive flats within our vicinity are selling.

my question is:-

 

Does my wife have a good enough case,(especially with documentary evidence of why the flat hasn't sold),to sue the local council for neglect to their property, failure to carry out repairs,and causing my wife stress/sleepless nights??

Incidentally,when I was on the phone to my estate agent,I was in the communal car park where my flat is, and several council workers were there repairing broken fences and trimming lawns.The housing officer and manageress were also there, heard my conversation, and when I had finished, spoke to me saying that they are on top of it, but they aren't,because nothing has been done.They can't even gain access to the balcony because the tenant has barricaded the door from the inside.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.Both my wife and I are at our wits end.

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Who owns the flat above?

Unlikely the Council, so wife cannot sue them, only complain about flat owner/dereliction IMO. Could take months.

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Who owns the flat above?

Unlikely the Council, so wife cannot sue them, only complain about flat owner/dereliction IMO. Could take months.

The flat above theirs is owned by the council. Newmoses has bought their flat from the council previously.

 

Personally I would enlist help from my local councillor. The tenant above is obviously breaking the terms of their tenancy by damaging the property, which is cause for eviction but if the council are following the legal steps that they should (i.e.writing to them and asking to gain entry) They have to go through a process which can end in them taking tenant to court but it takes time.

I would have thought suing would be costly to you and would not get you any further if the council are doing what they can. Why not ring the council and ask to speak to the housing manager, ask how far along they are with it and keep the pressure on, as I said get your councillor to investigate on your behalf.

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Thanks. Info not provided by OP in this thread, but I doubt Council still owns the property, poss a HA.

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The flat above mine is owned by the council.They are aware of previous issues with drugs and anti social behaviour,as are the police.

The councils housing officer and manageress were in the communal car park yesterday when I was talking to my estate agent.They both introduced themselves.

I wasa told that they gave the tenant a timescale when the balcony needed to be cleared by.That has now passed with nothing being done.They also sent him a letter posted by hand requesting to enter the property(they gave the tenant the necessary 24 hours notice), but he ignored the letter and has barricaded the door leading onto the balcony to stop the council gaining entry.

They told me that they may have to go through the legal process of a court injunction on the tenant.

If there is any more information I can help with,then please fire away and i will reply.

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I forgotr to mention that the council said they can't replace the smashed windows until they get access into the property.I think they are lying,because the windows are double glazed,and it is only the outer skins that are smashed.

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I forgotr to mention that the council said they can't replace the smashed windows until they get access into the property.I think they are lying,because the windows are double glazed,and it is only the outer skins that are smashed.

 

I doubt it's possible to just replace the outer pane as they are normally sealed units and you have to replace the whole unit but even if they are a type of glazing where the outer pane can be replaced it would hardly be practical or safe for the council workers to attempt to do so given that a crazed, possibly violent, druggie has barricaded the premises to prevent council access.

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[i was timed out newmoses]

 

And if your supposition about why they are smashed is correct there's little point in repairing them until the tenant is evicted, they'd just get smashed again.

 

I can't see any point in suing the council at this time. Frustrating as it is you can really only do what others have suggested. Keep up the pressure on the council to resolve the issue and get the tenant out. Submit evidence to demonstrate the impact it's having on you and your wife, and on your wife's health. Involve your local Councillor. So far there's no reason to think council is handling this incorrectly - evictions take time, whatever the circumstances - but if later you find the council hasn't handled this properly you could complain to the Local Govt Ombudsman.

 

Make sure you keep evidence of your complaints to the council. Keep copies of letters and emails, a log of phone calls made, who you spoke to, a note of what was said.

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try reading the housing act regarding dereliction of property and then attempt to get one department to take action against another to put things right.

Sue for distress? no chance but yuou could take an injunction out against the council for allowing the antisocial behaviour. The very start of doing this will get things moving but will cost you a good amount of money to action things.

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