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Rented housing inspection

(20 Posts)
ddii Sat 22-Mar-14 10:43:50

I have lived in my rented council house for over 13 years and never had an inspection. However I know people that have been in council properties much longer and they haven't had an inspection either. I've never really bothered the council about repairs, most things I've just got on and done myself. The house is in a really good state of repair, is well looked after and very clean and tidy.
A few months ago, I had to contact them due to damage caused by all the bad weather. It became a bit of an issue really and spent nearly 2 months having to chase them up. They are now making my life a real misery. They have been out now 3 times and this week used the excuse they needed to do a housing inspection. When they came, they started going round taking photos of all my things in every room. I could understand if they were taking photos in the kitchen of units etc, or in the bathroom of the bath and sink, but she took photos all round the lounge, one wall has a unit against with orniments and photos on, another wall has photos on and my tv on a unit, in the bedroom she took photos of things like my wardrobes and my bed which has some teddies and things on. In another room she took a photo of the window sill with all my orniments on but never bother to take photos of a built in cupboard which actually belongs to them. I now feel dirty and violated. I was broken into 8 years ago, and I went through so much then, being depressed, this feels exactly the same as that, since they have been I can't stop crying I feel so down and can't help wondering what they are doing with the photos, showing them round everyone in the office and all having a good nose at what belongings I've got. I really just want to throw everything away now as they have just tarnished everything. And I really don't want to live here anymore at the moment the streets would be preferable to this.

specialsubject Sat 22-Mar-14 11:11:33

no, I don't think that the streets would be preferable.

you are not dirty nor violated. You need to contact the council on Monday and find out what was going on. And I also think you need some mental health help as this is not a normal reaction. Please try to stop crying and get some help.

ddii Sat 22-Mar-14 11:23:47

You have no idea how I am feeling, at the end of the day, what are they doing with the photos and who are they showing them to, by showing the photos round all and sundry I might as well just leave my front door wide open to allow anyone to just walk in and wonder round my house to see what belongings I have. If you read my post properly you would see that the photos they took were of my personal belongings and not anything that belonged to them. And as for your comment about not being violated, well that's how I feel, suppose you'd tell someone that it was their fault for being raped if their skirt was too short

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sat 22-Mar-14 11:23:48

That's awful sad
I'd make a complaint and ask wth they were playing at. I wouldn't have given permission for photographs anyway, but understand if you were misled or even felt intimidated into allowing it.
They're supposed to give you more notice for a tenancy inspection and bear in mind your human rights which include right to a private and family life.
Yes they have a right as a LL to keep an eye on the state of their properties but really, talk about overdoing it!
The last person that did mine went off with a flea in his ear after moaning about silly things and they haven't been since lol.

thanks And brew hope you feel better soon, definitely ask for an explaination and the hard copies of the photos back or to be destroyed, this will help empower you x

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sat 22-Mar-14 11:26:46

I don't know why some peoples attitude seems to be that if you're a social housing tenant you have to put up with and accept this shit tbh angry

ddii Sat 22-Mar-14 11:29:38

Thanks ThingsThatgobump. I was really put on the spot, she had already got the camera out taking photos before I even knew what was happening. I did challenge them but I was on my own and there were 2 of them, I raised objections several times but she just ignored me and carried on taking photos saying its what they did and as it was totally unexpected I wasn't sure what my rights were. Really the only way I could of stopped here was to physically take the camera off her and then I would of ended up being done for assult. It makes me feel so bad cause the photos she took of my bed with teddies on and my sons room with all his personal things, I don't know who she is going to show them too. Just have images of some pervert looking over them, its so creepy

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sat 22-Mar-14 11:35:47

Ok hopefully to calm you, they do have to have crb checks ect so hard as it is try to shake the thought that they might be wrong uns - hard I know, and you have a right to feel cross, but as far as council employees go most are ok and take confidentiality very seriously ect.

What's not right is the lack of consultation and care as well as shits given about your feelings

A strongly worded complaint and request for explaination and later on disposal or return of the unnecessary pictures taken should do. Tell them they're welcome to keep any of their actual property, or any needed as evidence to support damage done by the bad weather.

ddii Sat 22-Mar-14 11:40:26

To be honest, its all about them intimidating me because when I had the damage I had a guy come out to the property and his behaviour was really inappropriate. He kept touching me putting his hand on my arm and on my shoulder. I did tell this women about this and she said they would investigate it. I had a letter later to say they'd had a meeting and basically nothing had come of it, the next thing is they are responding like this. Feel its just to get back at me for making a complaint.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sat 22-Mar-14 11:55:44

Hmm touching is inappropriate however some people see it especially arm touching as comforting nurturing touch.
When he was doing this was it because you were upset or distressed by the damage?
Did you take steps such as moving away or tell him that him touching you was unwanted ? Not that you should have had to but different people/different reactions ect.

I'd ask who it was investigated by, ask for minutes of any meetings held.
Go higher if you're not happy, if they write to you to tell you they cannot resolve your issue that's them saying they can go no further, this allows you then to approach the lgo, local government ombudsman, and make a complaint to him.
Usually there are three stages, complaints dept, area panel, then last resort is the LGO.
Try your mp?

ddii Sat 22-Mar-14 12:05:54

Thanks Bump, Yes I did step back but he moved towards me, it was really frightening. It was the head of the housing dept that did the meeting/investigation. Not sure if this guy was crb checked though as he was a building inspector, he came out on emergency in the evening to assess the immediate risk to safety, and really crb checks and conviction check only tell employers about how someone has behaved in the past not as to what they will do in the future, not that i'm saying it can be any other way. Just really exhausted and worn down with it all. Know I can make a complaint higher just not sure I have the energy for it. Thanks for your concern and advice though

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sat 22-Mar-14 12:29:07

There's no rush.
Mainly I just wanted to offer comfort and practical advice as you sounded really down.
I'm a tenant too, and often feel looked down on and like I'm supposed to put up with being subjected to whatever my LA deems fit, thankfully only two crap experiences in 20 yrs as a tenant but I'm one of the lucky ones apparently.

Do you have a tenants and residents association? Maybe pop along to their meetings, held once every three months usually and I found it helps towards commanding respect.

I've worked with the council and on social events have seen the disdain with which tenants are often spoken about. That leaves ones like us who care about our homes as if they belong to us under the same umbrella as those who treat their place like crap and that's really sad.

Anyway, you have 28 days I think to register a complaint but don't quote me on that lol, you can also check out solicitors online who deal with housing issues and even if you don't consult one there's nothing wrong with name dropping and mentioning that you're considering consulting so and so with regard to the situation as you're not happy.
This can make things move along.

Fwiw in sorry you've been treated like this.

specialsubject Sat 22-Mar-14 12:52:25

no, I didn't say 'accept it'. I said 'contact the council and find out what is going on' as a first step to what will probably be a complaint.

ddii Sat 22-Mar-14 13:08:11

specialsubject it was the other stuff you said implying I have a problem I need help with as opposed to they were out of order

Mygoldfishrocks Sat 22-Mar-14 13:25:17

special is correct though. your reaction to this is completely disproportinate. yes they may have been out of order in which case you should complain.

but comparing it to rape victims and crying etc indicates an anxiety issue within yourself

ddii Sat 22-Mar-14 13:40:29

yes well thanks, i'm feeling very low and vunerable at the moment and your attitude has been really helpful, NOT, thanks, won't bother using this site again if that is how people are

Mygoldfishrocks Sat 22-Mar-14 13:50:11

dont be silly. im trying to help.

its glaringly obvious from your posts that your mental health is suffering at the moment. you know deep down that the council have no personal interest in your belongings.

please consider seeing a doctor as im sure that will be beneficial

hope you feel better soon

Badvoc Sat 22-Mar-14 13:57:13

You do sound rather overwrought over something pretty minor tbh.
My mum is a council tennant, and yes, sometimes they are treated like crap by sub contractors etc but your reaction to some photographs of rooms in your house seem a bit OTT.
Perhaps you need some help wrt the break in? Perhaps you have PTSD? need to speak to someone and get help.
Your reaction to this issue is not normal.

Badvoc Sat 22-Mar-14 13:58:02

And yes, comparing yourself to a rape victim was totally inappropriate.

HaveToWearHeels Sat 22-Mar-14 16:54:17

I agree, your reaction is rather OTT, I think you have issues. I would ask the council what the hell it was all about but crying over someone taking photo's of your possessions is not normal behavior.

lovingmatleave Sat 22-Mar-14 18:43:52

Find this a bit strange. The only reason I can think of them taking photos is maybe for insurance claim purposes eg if they thought you were going to claim against the council's insurance for damage done because of council (in)action. Have worked in a housing office before and I can assure you photos of personal stuff are of no interest and no one is going to be looking going ooh look at that ornament. The only time I ever looked at photos were of houses that had been abandoned and all the stuff left in it and we had to inventory it.

I also know that repairs can take ages and the whole system can be very inefficient. Speak to the manager of the office and ask exactly what the photos are going to be used for,how they will be stored (eg electronically or printed out)

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