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Making a complaint to council about asbestos left in garden. Need help thinking through.

(10 Posts)
elfycat Wed 13-Jun-18 13:50:38

This is for a friend. She got the keys to a house on Monday, having been in temporary housing after a marriage break up. In the garden is a pile of broken up asbestos sheets that were not there when she looked round & accepted the place.

She has young children, one has diagnosed ASD and can be unpredictable and lacks understanding, meaning that the garden will have to be out of bounds until sorted - fully locked back door type of thing, despite the second toilet being accessed from outside.

The council have this on their to do list, and have been chivvied along today. It might be sorted this week. The garden fence is also down and this will be a few weeks to fix.

She accepted the tenancy from Monday but did not see anyone as the keys are in a locked box you get the code for at 0930. She's been calling about the handover time for the past 2 days and today was told it will be next Monday and she'll have to pay rent on both properties for this week.

My first query is: is the house suitable for habitation with broken asbestos in the property?

Second. Should she be entitled to a reduction in rent for the part of the property that is unusable? ( and in June with nice weather and energetic boys I would class the garden as an important room, as well as the second loo being handy with at least one of them toilet training)

Finally. Is there anyone else we can complain to? About the safety of this family, suitability of the house etc. The council have said the house is habitable so they're not worried.

I'm a private landlord and I'm pretty sure I'd not be allowed to let this house out at the moment, I don't expect the council to be held to a lesser standard. I'm also an ex theatre nurse and I e literally seen first hand what asbestos can do so I have a low tolerance for the stuff.

Kingsclerelass Wed 13-Jun-18 14:01:37

I think a bit of pragmatism is necessary here.

Someone has fly tipped some asbestos onto council (housing association?) land and the council or HA are responsible for removing it. Yes, it could be dangerous but on the other hand they are at breaking point in terms of resources and will probably get it cleared up as soon as they can book a specialist. They can't just send the waste lorry round.

The house itself is habitable so if I were your friend, I'd pay both rents to avoid a problem with credit ratings, but then request a refund afterwards. She won't know how much to claim until the problem is solved (2 days, 2 weeks etc).

In a climate where so many people are stuck in B&Bs or sofa-surfing, it's important but not that important iyswim.

TheQueef Wed 13-Jun-18 14:03:47

The council didn't leave it?

Really they are being reasonable moving it for free. Chalk it up and enjoy the secure tenancy.

ParellelReality Wed 13-Jun-18 14:06:13

Reduction in rent because she can't use the garden for a few days? Come on.

LIZS Wed 13-Jun-18 14:09:08

Just keep kids out of garden until it has gone. It may not even be asbestos. If it was removed from the property as asbestos it would need to have been done under controlled circumstances including disposal.

flowerslemonade Wed 13-Jun-18 15:29:31

Wow I would love for the council to come and help me with... anything - removal of anything... or to actually have a garden.

x2boys Wed 13-Jun-18 16:11:34

i doubt it tbh i have a child with Asd and significant learning disabillities my garden was full of junk when we moved into our housing association house and my fence is very low , my fencing us my responsibility apparently.

x2boys Wed 13-Jun-18 16:13:20

and we only have one toilet so shes lucky to have two

AlonsoTigerHeart Wed 13-Jun-18 16:17:03

The house is habitual, not having use of a garden isn't going to scar the children for life is it?
I mean, come on now.

Frequency Wed 13-Jun-18 16:24:46

The council or HA probably did leave it. I have all kinds of shit in my garden the HA left. Most of it is my responsibility to move.

When I had actual shit in the garden because they didn't plumb the toilet in properly, I eventually threatened them with Environmental Health. Funnily, after weeks and weeks of back and forth with and excuses as to why they couldn't manage to fix it until X date, they found someone to fix it the same I day I told them I would be contacting EH. I think asbestos is more dangerous than human waste, so in your friend's shoes, I'd go down that route.

And you are right, a private LL would never get away with half the shit HAs/councils do.

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