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Systemic corruption - end of my tether


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Hello.

I have been in an exhausting situation regarding my home which is a bedsit in a small block of council flats.

It involves antisocial behaviour which led to threats being made against me by someone with a violent and abusive track record and who has been known to police since he was a teenaged boy.

 

I've heard him scream insane threats at his girlfriend both in person and over the phone, absolutely at the top of his lungs.

I even asked three women's refuge organisations for advice on this, and have logged details with the police.

 

I have been signed sick for a long time with mental health issues, but not any that cause me to fail to understand events or to misinterpret anything. I also have a degree and am a published writer.

I am very mentally capable but exhausted by both my condition and by the events of the last eighteen months.

 

After the threats I fled my home initially intending to, being both exhausted and having lost hope that the council would assist me properly - countless emails were sent to the housing officer, between a third and half of them never replied to.

 

The police were useless and don't even seem to have CAD (or CAB?) reference numbers.

I declined to have DAT equipment installed because of a rational fear of reprisals, a fear rendered legitimate by the eventual threats, a point that even today the council staff weirdly seem not to understand.

I calmed down a bit and then was contacted by police who talked me into returning to my home town saying the matter would be resolved.

 

This was four months ago and I have been battling the council since.

I navigated a three stage complaints procedure and had my complaint dismissedlink3.gif.

 

The arguments they made are false and seem almost psychotic in their evasion of facts, for example they do not address how two other tenants had complained and backed me up, one of them later either intimidated into silence or too dispirited to go on.

 

I mean, this neighbour and I had never even spoken until we talked about the noise and the neglected dogs.

I told them about ten days ago that I would then approach the Ombudsmanlink3.gif.

I think this has put the wind up them.

 

Over the summer I sold belongings to go to the next county to stay in cheap hotels and try and switch the situation off while the dispute and then the complaints procedure went on. I have slept outside a couple of times during this period due to lack of money

- I was partly trying to see if I could bear full homelessness if that's where this might all lead. I know I can't now.

 

The first time I went away I had to as following the threats I had a strong pain in my heart lasting a week and feared a heart attack. The break helped a bit and over the summer three breaks away have bought me time and helped partially restore me to pursue this matter, but I am still pretty exhausted.

 

I have repeatedly felt due to lack of hope and a dispirited feeling given the council staff's poor conduct.

I mean, this DAT recorder nonsense - they are asking me to risk assault and to do their job and the police's job.

It needs to be established that in cases of violent tenants that the DAT method cannot be what dictates procedure.

It seems almost designed to make the person complaining to give up, aware of the potential for reprisal. I believe this is deliberate.

 

Worse still, 'comically' enough the tenant was evicted a week ago, for a relatively trivial reason.

He was using the car park to do up cars to sell on with his friends.

This seems to have mattered more to the council than the distress he has caused me, two adjacent neighbours, the tenant's own dogs, constantly neglected and abandoned in a tiny bedsit, and the tenant's own girlfriend.

 

This eviction has happened either four or I'd say eighteen months too late for me.

Worse, I learn that he now lives in the street where the flats are situated.

I argue that I am endangered further by the clumsy eviction.

 

I know from the threatening approach made to me that the tenant will resent his eviction and those he imagines played a part in it, and I know from his manner that he does not have the self-awareness to accept that his eviction is his fault.

He seems extremely arrogant and used to people doing as he tells them to.

 

He told his girlfriend over the phone that she could not leave her mother's home until he had money and could be present.

To give context to this, he assaulted a man outside the flats who he believed was involved with his girlfriend.

He is a violently controlling person. He is a perpetrator of domestic abuse.

 

I have been told today in a meeting with the housing officer and a colleague that I have until Friday to decide whether to return to the flat. After that I will lose Housing Benefit.

 

When I said that I still intend to approach the Ombudsman the housing officer's colleague, who seemed to be from higher up, suggested that that could cause me problems, but she could not elaborate on this. I feel she had been briefed to try and halt the complaint and that she was trying to exploit my vulnerable condition.

 

It seemed like she backed out of saying anything explicit because she knew there was nothing she could legally and truthfully say. Or otherwise she had hoped merely to make me anxious about an unspecified consequence.

 

I have sent three emails since the meeting today to share thoughts on what was said, and I have said that I don't think the deadline is fair. I have said the priority is my welfare and that as the belated eviction proves my eighteen month complaint that they are in a weak position.

 

Three months ago they said there were no other homes for me to be moved to.

They also didn't tell me what another county's housing adviser told me, that my council can provide financial support to move to private accommodation, including to another county, as I've seriously considered a move there, partly for my own safety.

 

Today they tell me there are flats where I could be rehoused, though in anxiety-causing areas, including a block where there was a murder two years ago - very appetising.

 

It seems to me that the threat of the Ombudsman and my tenacity and perhaps a belated but unexpressed acknowledgement behind closed doors of wrongdoing towards me have very belatedly caused the staff to spring into action, albeit action characterised by further comical incompetence and dishonesty.

 

As they didn't tell me today, I've asked by email late this afternoon if they knew the tenant now lives in the street where the flats are. I feel like the question is a waste of breath because they are taking nothing on board but just swatting my complaints away and trying to browbeat me into accepting a dangerous return to the flat and with absolutely no acknowledgement of the danger.

That tenant's friend stabbed someone outside the flats earlier this year.

 

I ran up £1800 of debt after the threats keeping myself alive and under a roof, and then sold belongings, some of sentimental value connected to a deceased relative, and I have told these two people today that aside from the stress I've been caused for eighteen months (in fact three years because the same thing happened with the previous tenant in the same flat in 2011) I am due recompense for what I've lost and the debt which its protracted period of inaction caused.

 

There was some pretence at seeming to help me today, and they say they will fit a panic alarm in my flat and also a door handle on the inside of the building's door so that if I am pursued I can pull the door closed if I can escape, given that the problem tenant is no more than forty or so metres away - currently there is none and it just fastens with a magnet.

 

They say they'll arrange an interview with the CAB for me, but really if they set this three day deadline all that advice comes too late. It seems like utter chaos really. I know from experience that many of the CAB staff do not have command of the material - only last year someone junior was assisting me regarding an ATOS assessment in which the assessor lied, leading to temporary loss of benefit, later instated. I had anxiously waited for that CAB appointment thinking it might give me much needed empowerment but it was an utter mess. I just feel like the council have made a threat and that I don't know my rights, but that they cannot be what the council's threat imply they are.

 

Where do I stand?

I need to think quickly, depending on how the staff react to my emails this evening and my request to have the ridiculous deadline moved. It's not right that they've made things such a cram is it? It seems disgusting and unethical - they are acting as if I am the one at fault.

 

Additionally can anyone here tell me the extent of the assistance I can get from my council to move?

It was suggested by the adviser at the other county that is help with moving - presumably the van costs - deposit and a period of rent till Housing Benefit takes over. My fear of and the likelihood of an assault, possibly fatal and possible by a group of people, due to the actual prior behaviour of this tenant and his friends, is strong enough that leaving town might be best.

 

I would appreciate all feedback. Thanks.

Edited by antone
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Hi

 

Welcome to CAG, please be patient I am sure the Caggers will be along to give you some advice.

 

Am just trying to break this down.

 

1. Issue is of Anti Social Behaviour. (tenant was evicted but moved a few streets away)

 

2. You exhausted the Councils Complaints Procedure (next stage the Ombudsman)

 

3. The Council state they will stop Housing Benefit unless you return to the property. (due to you being away from property due to the anti social behaviour)

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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That is almost correct

- the tenant was evicted but currently lives in the very street where the flats are situated.

But yes you have identified the circular nature of the problem, that the council housed and then only belatedly evicted a violent tenant but will seemingly not acknowledge itself as the source of why I can't safely go home and are working as if to get me over a barrel. But with apologies for the impossibility of making my account briefer, I have written carefully and checked what I've written. (Could you possibly delete the version in #1 which I corrected to make #2. Thanks. Please do not delete the corrected version.)

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We can't delete the first post in a thread as that will cause the whole thread to disappear. We could replace the content of the first post with that of the second. Would that do?

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Thanks.

 

Actually, what I was told today, that I have until Friday to say I'm returning to the flat, shouldn't they be obliged to put that in writing? Have they slipped up there? The adviser from the other country said that when at one point the homelessness adviser in my country had told me by only email that they can't help me because I have the keys to a property, she should have only said this in writing and after due procedure to establish whether or not I am 'homeless at home', which I arguably have been.

 

It currently now seems that the council have slipped up again and acted in a probably uninformed manner unless it was hoped they'd merely intimidate me into accepting a quick and totally unsatisfactory resolution, i.e. return to the dangerous location.

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Hi

 

With your health issues, do you have a support worker?

 

Are you seeing anyone else for your condition as well as your GP?

 

I hope you don't mind me asking the above and you do not need to answer these, the reason I ask is if you see others for your condition is to ask them for a letter of support as the more evidence you can obtain the better.

 

I can see from your post that this has really affected you, which is understandable when all you have wanted is this matter sorted.

 

Although you were given a time limit by the Council otherwise they will stop your Housing Benefit, Did they give you a letter stating this in writing?

 

You need to keep a written record of everything, and ask the Council to put everything in writing (you need to keep a good paper trail)

 

Ask the Council Housing for an Application Form to move on Medical Grounds (that's the reason I say to get as much evidence as possible in writing)

 

Incident Log-with form fields -----.pdf

Edited by stu007

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Thanks.

 

 

Although I have had many therapists over the years I have not had one very recently, mostly because there has been very little to say now

- we just go round in circles, raking ashes and picking scabs.

 

 

But yes, in relation to this matter a report would be helpful.

However, I was assigned a social worker three months back and he actually wrote a report, a useless one.

He said, although he noted the situation at the flats, that at the time I 'did not present depressive symptoms', which was a bizarre thing to say, and given that he was a social worker and not a psychiatrist or psychotherapist

 

 

I think it was an inappropriate thing to be saying, especially based on one fifteen minute interview.

I've had some many experiences of dodgy conduct and outright cluelessness that I'm quite put off therapists.

One of them gave me a photo of herself in a bikini and blackmailed me to abandon my then vegetarian diet.

Another picked a meaningless argument which nevertheless demonstrated her unwillingness to listen properly.

 

Do you agree then that the thing about stopping HB _should_ have been in writing? Have they acted wrongly in only doing this verbally?

 

The pain in my heart which returned during the meeting today has worsened during the course of the day and I will be trying to be seen tomorrow in hospital after ringing the NHS direct number.

(The stress today has also caused a psychosomatic-type skin disorder to flare up, like eczema or psoriasis can.)

 

 

My current and useless GP's surgery is very near my home and the general area the problem tenant uses and it is problematic getting an appointment there.

 

 

I will try to ring there if I can't get assistance elsewhere, but I just cannot see fitting everything in before this ridiculous Friday deadline, which explains this heart pain. I am even emailing a friend next tonight to give her some details in case I have a heart attack in the night, so that the council can be prosecuted.

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Hi and a welcome from me. While Stu is the person to talk to, I would like to add a few words.

 

If you have already escalated this to the Ombudsman then good although they could take a while to resolve this. They are not known for their speed (over a year in my case many years ago).

 

As the police and the council are aware of this individual, either party could have helped by getting an injunction to ban him from the area. I appreciate that some people ignore injunctions but it would then give the police more power to remove him.

Can you get a Personal Attack Alarm? It doesn't help your immediate situation but it may help when you have to go out. If you have to go out at night, there are torches that have a couple of functions you could use. I have one that has five modes and is an LED type. They are very bright and when pointed into a face will temporarily blind someone. My torch also has a strobe function that is so disorientating that it may deter someone.

 

With the council, try and stick to writing as much as possible as a record of this will be available to the Ombudsman. If you can, record any phone calls. Whether you will get compensation for the debts you have incurred is a grey area as you would have to mitigate your losses. If any creditor is chasing, contact them in writing and explain the situation and ask for an interest free 'breathing space'

 

I would like to know which idiot thought it would be a good idea to fit a handle on the inside of the security door. These doors have hydraulic closers on them to stop the door slamming. Pulling them closed won't work as you will meet resistance from the closer.

 

A panic alarm fitted to your 'home' direct to the police is a good idea as once you have it, you are placed on a database for immediate response when the button is pressed.

 

I do feel for you as nobody wants to find themselves in your situation however, talking to someone, at length, does help (been there-done that) so you could try a different therapist to see if they can assist. Even a GP (not always your own) can give some help.

Good luck.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Hello. Thanks for the replies, considerably warmer than what I've endured in another forum which has been rabid right-wing stuff that I cannot even bear to look in on now. Yesterday after having had strong pains in my heart since halfway through my meeting with the council staff on Tuesday I rang 111 and was advised to go to an A&E department. The ECG and the doctor find no problem but he said to go to my GP for pills for anxiety if I'm going to be experiencing this again. Frankly I can imagine experiencing it daily if I'm going to be coerced back to the tenancy.

 

I emailed my housing officer four times to make enquiries based on the meeting on Tuesday and have not received a reply. I rang her office and was told she'd be getting back to me yesterday. She didn't, on either of the numbers I left. What's more I had gone into our council's offices and led to one of their internal free phones and spoke to someone else who also said the housing officer would be getting back to me. As I made this call a woman was on the other phone next to me, irate because she couldn't get through to the very same housing officer.

 

There seems to be no reliable source of advice on my rights, though there might be shows of support. The CAB are hopeless, I'd been steered to them last year over my ATOS assessment after misconduct from a lying assessor. My ESA had been halted, later reinstated when a stray compassionate DWP employee reversed their decision, and I'm afraid the person advising me did not have command of the material. Hats off to them for wanting to work there but the matter was too serious and dicey for me to be getting shaky assistance.

 

I feel absolutely coerced in this and I don't know what's best. I am going to the council offices again today and will spend all day there if need be, and will be telling them about my hospital visit. As far as I'm concerned talks have broken down with my housing officer, and she has only just stepped into the job from someone else. If they move another nuisance into the flat downstairs I don't feel I could productively contact her.

 

What would you do?

 

I'm considering:

 

It's too late to send mail by recorded delivery, with this deadline tomorrow, so I will take a letter in and ask for a receipt. I'll say in the letter that I have been coerced into resuming the tenancy. Coerced being the right term because I've not been offered an alternative. If I hand the keys back because I have just grounds to feel I cannot be safe there then I'm regarded as having made myself intentionally homeless though it simply just has not been a choice. They say Housing Benefit stops if I don't confirm resumption of the tenancy. The choice I have it seems to me is to either be homeless or to lie or to risk assault and daily anxiety and heart pains. It seems to me that if this is lawful then the law is some ass.

 

I asked to see other flats that I was told about but as no one got back to me yesterday I've effectively had my already laughable deadline period slashed by a third. I will press to see the flats today. I was told on the phone words to the effect of that wouldn't be a problem, only for nothing to come of it.

 

I am worried the Ombudsman procedure is corrupt and only a _show_ of democracy and independence but which really only exists to back up Goliath. And then what lawyer would touch a case where the Ombudsman has already said no? I know I'm right to pursue this, it's been disgusting and full of lies, laziness, callousness and misconduct, mistrust of myself presumably through a bigoted attitude towards mental health, failure to respond or attend to actual violence and threats to others, both people and animals.

 

Worried also that no one will reply to this...

 

I've considered also saying I'll resume the tenancy and then going into a hospital of the mental health type, there's one a bus ride from here, and having a stay in which I tell them what has happened, in the hope of assistance and letters of support. I've considered going to a Buddhist monastery I visited fifteen years ago in the north, to try and ask to stay as a 'lay monk'. There was one there when I was there. He mucked in but did not wear the gear etc. But I hardly believe anything let alone the Buddhist creed. It'd be both a fraud and a real grind to be there and pretend to give a toss. I think of my death and it feels unjust, with all the awful blind selfish evil people living on instead of me, my nieces and nephews not understanding it.

 

I'm afraid that rightly or wrongly I was the one to suggest the inside door handle. I've seen one in a similar door in flats in Croydon. But the handle would only work on the same principle as trying to cackhandedly pull the door to faster by grabbing a nearly un-grabbable part to pull. It's not a mechanical problem really, not with this door.

 

I've looked at attack alarms and sprays and really want to get some but I suppose I need to ask the police about the legality. A website can say they're legal but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The one I looked at said, 'legal in the EU' so Mrs May might even be about to endanger me more than she and her colleagues already have...

 

Thanks for your time.

Edited by silverfox1961
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Morning. Sent you a PM

 

In slight defence of the council, Since the cutbacks by the Government, they are having to do more with less. I would also suspect they have other cases to sort as well and are probably badgered by other people who are in less need than you.

 

My suggestions are to bite the bullet and go back to the bedsit. It isn't ideal but at least it will be a roof over your head. Whilst there you can still force the council to do what they are paid to do.

I would also find the name and email address of the Chief Executive of the council and write to him/her. Any letter will be fielded by the CE's secretary but it may end up on the desk. Hand deliver, get a receipt.

 

With the LGO, I can't agree with you that they are corrupt. I can only speak in my case which was minor in comparison to yours but they did side with me. They even visited my council to get the papers the council were unwilling to send. They helped in my case, they may in yours too.

 

Try to look at things at things in black and white-no emotion- and lay out in very short sentences what the problem are that are causing you the most grief. Fixing one problem could help with fixing the others.

In my opinion, get the council to move you will sort the majority of your issues. Take anywhere for now so long as it is away from where you live now. You can sort out another move later.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Thank you. Yes, I stress that I'm not saying the Ombudsman _is_ corrupt but that I feared they would _prove_ to be and that therefore I'm trapped. I feel hopeful because I know I'm right and that genuine poor conduct has occured.

 

I'd agree that another flat would be a great start but I really need to see one or more today with the deadline being tomorrow and I don't quite understand how you've said ot go back to the bedsit as well as seek the other flat? I'm thinking that if I say I'm going back to the flat they will shut the door on a move. Should I hand deliver a letter saying I'll go back to the flat _if_ they arrange another for pretty soon? I mean, these other flats are empty.

Edited by id665310
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Sorry. What I meant was that you could go back but 'under duress' I accept the council may say that as you have a roof over your head, their obligation to you ceases. That is not true. You have made them aware of the issue. They seem to accept that there is an issue but are dragging their heels over helping in the hope you will go away.

 

My suggestion to go back was for you, not the council. If they don't help, you could end up intentionally homeless (even though the opposite would be true). By going back, you have a roof and you continue to get your HB paid.

In my opinion, this council have let you down-badly and as such, complaints/Ombudsman should be continued. You can still go to the council offices as often as you like. Hopefully the council will help as these other flats are empty although the flats may need improvement before letting out.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Hello. Thanks for the replies, considerably warmer than what I've endured in another forum which has been rabid right-wing stuff that I cannot even bear to look in on now. Yesterday after having had strong pains in my heart since halfway through my meeting with the council staff on Tuesday I rang 111 and was advised to go to an A&E department. The ECG and the doctor find no problem but he said to go to my GP for pills for anxiety if I'm going to be experiencing this again. Frankly I can imagine experiencing it daily if I'm going to be coerced back to the tenancy.

 

I emailed my housing officer four times to make enquiries based on the meeting on Tuesday and have not received a reply. I rang her office and was told she'd be getting back to me yesterday. She didn't, on either of the numbers I left. What's more I had gone into our council's offices and led to one of their internal free phones and spoke to someone else who also said the housing officer would be getting back to me. As I made this call a woman was on the other phone next to me, irate because she couldn't get through to the very same housing officer.

 

There seems to be no reliable source of advice on my rights, though there might be shows of support. The CAB are hopeless, I'd been steered to them last year over my ATOS assessment after misconduct from a lying assessor. My ESA had been halted, later reinstated when a stray compassionate DWP employee reversed their decision, and I'm afraid the person advising me did not have command of the material. Hats off to them for wanting to work there but the matter was too serious and dicey for me to be getting shaky assistance.

 

I feel absolutely coerced in this and I don't know what's best. I am going to the council offices again today and will spend all day there if need be, and will be telling them about my hospital visit. As far as I'm concerned talks have broken down with my housing officer, and she has only just stepped into the job from someone else. If they move another nuisance into the flat downstairs I don't feel I could productively contact her.

 

What would you do?

 

I'm considering:

 

It's too late to send mail by recorded delivery, with this deadline tomorrow, so I will take a letter in and ask for a receipt. I'll say in the letter that I have been coerced into resuming the tenancy. Coerced being the right term because I've not been offered an alternative. If I hand the keys back because I have just grounds to feel I cannot be safe there then I'm regarded as having made myself intentionally homeless though it simply just has not been a choice. They say Housing Benefit stops if I don't confirm resumption of the tenancy. The choice I have it seems to me is to either be homeless or to lie or to risk assault and daily anxiety and heart pains. It seems to me that if this is lawful then the law is some ass.

 

I asked to see other flats that I was told about but as no one got back to me yesterday I've effectively had my already laughable deadline period slashed by a third. I will press to see the flats today. I was told on the phone words to the effect of that wouldn't be a problem, only for nothing to come of it.

 

I am worried the Ombudsman procedure is corrupt and only a _show_ of democracy and independence but which really only exists to back up Goliath. And then what lawyer would touch a case where the Ombudsman has already said no? I know I'm right to pursue this, it's been disgusting and full of lies, laziness, callousness and misconduct, mistrust of myself presumably through a bigoted attitude towards mental health, failure to respond or attend to actual violence and threats to others, both people and animals.

 

Worried also that no one will reply to this...

 

I've considered also saying I'll resume the tenancy and then going into a hospital of the mental health type, there's one a bus ride from here, and having a stay in which I tell them what has happened, in the hope of assistance and letters of support. I've considered going to a Buddhist monastery I visited fifteen years ago in the north, to try and ask to stay as a 'lay monk'. There was one there when I was there. He mucked in but did not wear the gear etc. But I hardly believe anything let alone the Buddhist creed. It'd be both a fraud and a real grind to be there and pretend to give a toss. I think of my death and it feels unjust, with all the awful blind selfish evil people living on instead of me, my nieces and nephews not understanding it.

 

I'm afraid that rightly or wrongly I was the one to suggest the inside door handle. I've seen one in a similar door in flats in Croydon. But the handle would only work on the same principle as trying to cackhandedly pull the door to faster by grabbing a nearly un-grabbable part to pull. It's not a mechanical problem really, not with this door.

 

I've looked at attack alarms and sprays and really want to get some but I suppose I need to ask the police about the legality. A website can say they're legal but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The one I looked at said, 'legal in the EU' so Mrs May might even be about to endanger me more than she and her colleagues already have...

 

Thanks for your time.

 

 

Actually one of the reasons why you had a bad reception over there is that you called someone a moron, it does seem that you are being more polite on this board so I hope you get the help you need (BTW I didn't comment or reply to any of your posts on there)

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I haven't got any regrets about what I said on the other site. Very bigoted right wing attitudes were being used against me and that needs to be identified. We owe people like that no courtesy at all and I'm not going to be all liberal about people being illiberal. I'm not at all easily given to writing like that online, and stopped getting drawn into that kind of exchange in the late 90s. But especially with Brexit and the like the country is so vile now that I see no real reason not to chuck a bit of mud around at the architects of this grim descent. It's very telling that my comment got deleted but the bigoted remarks did not. I don't mind though, it taught me to stop using that site promptly enough.

 

Yes, I'm intending to talk to Shelter and Porchlight. I think I spoke to Shelter at one point but an updated chat might be a good thing. At any rate, I handed my note to the council regarding resumption of the tenancy an hour ago and will be posting my letter to the Ombudsman in a few days.

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Hello again. I want to ask about something related if anyone here knows.

 

If I utilise the Ombudsman, does this prevent me going to solicitors or can it be supplementary to a court case? The problem I foresee is that the Ombudsman might be able to assert that the council makes reparation in the form of rehousing me and so on, but there is still the matter of both my costs in the last four months and a strong sense of a need for recognition of eighteen months or as I say, three years) of distress, lost sleep and frayed nerves. I'm neither greedy nor materialistic - there's literally no thing I want, and I lived happily enough in a mere bedsit for twenty-one years - but it is entirely just that their is compensation. I think someone suggested, maybe elsewhere, that I didn't have to go to the cheap hotels etc. I had no real alternative other than sleeping rough because of my very problematic family circumstances and the only very rare availability of my one friend's sofa. But in any case fourteen months of getting three or four hours sleep and the very poor handling practiced by the council and so on are reason enough for compensation.

 

If both the Ombudsman and courts can be used, it seems that a positive outcome from the Ombudsman would be a plus in gaining a solicitor's aid.

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The simple answer is no. If you begin legal proceedings whilst the Ombudsman is investigating, they must stop. The legal proceedings would take precedence.

 

If the Ombudsman finds against you or offers a resolution that you don't agree with, you can then reject the Ombudsmans decision and then begin court action. Taking civil action can be costly as well since some cases do not fall into the legal aid bracket.

 

back to the Ombudsman for a minute. In the majority of cases the investigation will be by an adjudicator who makes the initial recommendation. If you disagree with the adjudicator then the case will be escalated to the full Ombudsman to decide however, it is rare they overrule the adjudicator.

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Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Another post unapproved. We on CAG try to help, not to judge. Some of us even try to be neutral, neither right wing nor left. CAG members sometimes make comments that could be seen as 'flaming' but that is not always the case and where we see others trying to do so, we try to moderate this. The site team spend a vast amount of time volunteering to monitor what is going on and take action where needed.

 

The OP wants advice on what to do, not discuss the whys and wherefores of the situation.

 

Assist, don't criticise.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello again. I want to give an update on this matter because things have just taken a sinister turn as of yesterday. A brief summary for readers as I don't expect people to have me at the forefront of their minds... Fourteen months of antisocial behaviour culminating in threats made to me by the problem tenant dealt with all along very badly by the local council. Four months away from the flat and then coerced into returning with threats of housing benefit having to be stopped otherwise. (I've read since that in situations involving violence that housing benefit can be paid for up to 52 weeks if there's an agreement to return if the situation is resolved. Prior to the meeting last month nothing had been offered to resolve the matter, and so it seems to me that the threat regarding housing benefit was unlawful - that the staf were banking on my being worried into cooperating in ignorance of the law - and that a subsequent eviction order would have been found unlawful once the chain of events was revealed.)

 

A month had passed since my meeting with the two council representatives at which there was talk of a panic alarm being fitted. Because I had not had a letter or call about the date of the fitting I contacted staff again. I got an email two hours later from another staff member, someone senior, who has been told blatant lies about what was said and done at the meeting a month ago. Blatant and obvious lies. I have replied to this senior staff member, and then sent a shorter email to the two women present at the meeting, calling the lies what they are and going through them point by point. I've asked them to think seriously about what they're doing and I've said that I have solicitors' addresses that will deal with legal aid clients.

 

I don't want to complicate posting here too much about the nature of the lies and hope that people interested in responding will take it on trust, but basically the older woman present at the meeting is claiming that options were given to me that just weren't, in fact these options were ones I'd learned of myself from a council employee at another borough and from reading - the women present either obscured these options, as had their colleagues previously, or did not know of them. The younger woman present when I brought up the option for example of receiving council aid to move to the other county actually said that she did not know about the nature of this aid and would have to find out. Finding out this and the panic alarm were the two things agreed to, and neither of these things were done. Someone might suggest that if this does become a court case it would be a case of 'their word against yours' and there were two of them, but honestly the lying that has gone on and the prior shoddy handling of the whole matter is so comical and farcical that I would think any legal professional would trip these people up in no time.

 

Now that things have taken this turn - going from ineptitude and laziness to outright corrupt behaviour - I feel both a bit of nerves but also fuelled by anger. A bit of me, because this is so serious to me regarding my wellbeing and having been seriously wronged, is thinking it's my David and Goliath moment, but even this is tongue-in-cheek because I'm aware that the situation is so pathetic and banal really, so small time compared to what I read on the news, and yet this is my fight and surely many other locals have been wronged by the same people and will continue to be if there is no challenge of the behaviour. I'm ready to follow this through and want to get as clued up as I can and to do things by the book and not scupper my chances. It occurs to me I could use social media to solicit corroborative stories locally as the local council is viewed very cynically by just about everyone I meet. Today I've read a pdf produced by the same council about Corruption and Fraud which ends, laughably now, with an Appendix: 'The Seven Principles of Public Life', and I've read articles today about local councils in the UK serving employees leaving service with caging orders, articles that warn against a 'coming age' of corruption in local government as a result. That age seems quite clearly to be arrived as far as I'm concerned.

 

I want to ask the police to seize the work computers of a few of the staff members as evidence, I don't know if that can be done. I don't know if I'm missing something, some knowledge. Because one staff member now has told a series of lies in the same day is that criminal activity yet or is it only criminal activity if done in court? If she claims it in court and is found out is that perjury? I have been imagining that the older woman, in her 50s, has rung the younger one, in her mid-20s, to try and get their story straight, and am wondering if someone will be foolish enough to let a colleague drag them down.

 

I cannot leave this situation empty-handed now. The notion of that is just too offensive.

 

Any thoughts? If I need to clarify anything just ask.

 

Thanks for your time.

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I'm a little confused as to why the police would seize their computers? Not sure they would bear the cost of forensic examination to establish if they have been lying or not.

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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At present being both angered and a bit awed by the task I'm sure that not everything going through my mind is doable, hence willingness to listen. That said, if as seems likely my situation is the tip of an iceberg of habitual corruption then obtaining evidence of email correspondence between crooked council staff seems legitimate, though I'm prone to imagine a police force protecting the goings-on of a right wing council rather than myself. (I've just put in a claim for damage to property by police when they forced entry to my home during an earlier episode in this story, and in a phone call they made to me transparent lies based on naivety about the workings of the damaged item, a laptop, were conveyed, which doesn't inspire me with much faith. Someone from the Met has just assaulted my 11-year-old nephew as well. I feel both awed by what is going to have to be fought but also fuelled in an almost now pleasant way by righteous anger.)

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I think possibly you need to take a step back and read what you have written. I think allegations of corruption are a little strong. Incompetent possibly, lazy probably, but corrupt, no.

 

I think you should just deal with the matter at hand which is your housing need and put taking the world on onto hold.

 

To be frank, if they are up to no good (huge if) it's highly unlikely that they have been stupid enough to discuss it via council email accounts.

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Complicated Housing Benefit issue - very flawed conduct by council

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