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Minimum Standards

January 5, 2017

This morning I received an astonishing reply to the complaint about the state of Steven’s home when we first got the keys and the ongoing issues we’ve had ever since.

Just a quick reminder, these are the photos that my sister took, the day after we got the keys. Bear in mind, the council expected Steven to move in immediately, so they believed this condition was acceptable.


Here are a few claims that the council have made in reply to the solicitor’s complaint:

“We note your comments regarding the cleanliness and decorative standard of the property
at the time of letting and can confirm that the property met the Council’s minimum lettable

“You will appreciate that the Local Authority is unable to redecorate properties
prior to re-letting and that properties cannot be prepared for letting in the same way as a
property in the private sector”.

“The void works show that the property was cleaned and redecorated in order to make good repairs that
were carried out”.

“They (the damp inspectors)considered that the property was in a good state of repair and that the damp
conditions inside the property were the result of the drying of washing on the radiators and the lack of ventilation”.

“The boiler and central heating works are carried out by a contractor, *******, and my clients do not have access to their records, however I am instructed that they have confirmed that all works requested of ******** have been carried out”.

“Clean flat. Clean flat in preparation for new occupant.
Graffiti: Remove graffiti. Remove graffiti non-absorbent from any previously decorated or surface including overcooling
as necessary”.

It’s all bollocks and I apologies for boring the pants off my readers with these never ending tales of the flat but I’ve learned that it is important to document every last detail and this blog is as good a place as anywhere.


From → Social Care

  1. Too bloody right, Mark. KBO, your readers support you 100%.

  2. There is something very wrong when such obvious lies become normal and acceptable. Could you take the council to the small claims court to recover the gap between what they purport to have done and what you had to do? It’s a basic issue of accountability but I know they just try to wear you down.

  3. Maddy permalink

    Have you got a copy of their standards/lettings policy?

  4. Sadly the only way is legal and persistance! Wearing isn’t it 😳

  5. Pauline Thomas permalink

    60 odd years ago my mother-in-law moved from her rented house into a beautiful all mod house under the local councils slum clearance scheme in East London.

    She was vetted for cleaniness, tidiness and her gardening skills. (her previous garden was inspected and passed).

    How in god’s name in these days of wealth, modern technology and what have you, do we now have council’s that operate like slum landlords. It beggars belief that they actually believe that it is okay to do this. What utter arseholes they are.

  6. simone aspis permalink

    In Brent all Landlords have to be registered with the council and inspected – I assume for minimum accommodation standard – wonder whether your council had one – and would they approved the state of Steven’s flat for letting – any movement on getting a permanent tenancy agreement after spending a lot of money and time getting it furnished. Great idea – to get redress from the local small claims court – I assume you will also be claiming for not only the actual cost of the refurnishment but also the hourly administrative or support worker’s wages rate and loss of earnings. If the flat was done to minimum standard then you would not need to take time off work and support worker’s time in dealing with the LA etc. Might as well go for the full monty – good luck!

  7. Shirley Buckley permalink

    Mark of course you are not boring us. You are giving us the awful details of dealing with the LA, and helping us all in our battle against them Have you the time, money, etc. to go for DISCRIMINATION? This is what it is.

  8. Actually, I feel the LA probably handed over the money to people to do the decorating, but people take the money and run.
    Not only are care providers given money and then not monitored or checked re value for money, other people contracted also cheat the LA.
    The LA then can’t be bothered to check services, which is why we are almost bankrupt as a nation.
    Full of unhappy people not receiving care, forced to live sad lives, which service providers live in luxury – they call this ‘efficiency savings’.

  9. But as the LA commission and pay for these services they are liable, but who can sue them ?

    Under the tenancy agreement the T can sue, or Mark, as his litigation friend, but would need to get Prescriptive costs order in case he lost, as could then be ordered to pay LAs expensive lawyers and experts.

    As more money and duties are being devolved to LAs and HSCTs, with far less accountability for services and money spent and as with Winterbourne etc no one is held to account, as the legal relationships and actions have been made impossible.

    This is another big advantage of monopoly, commissioned privatisation – a rip off of the impotent and vulnerable, and one can only assume, this to be the intention of those, who owe a duty to those persons, to provide the services with public money, and whose managers are handsomely paid for not doing so.

    When is a political party going to stop this worsening, and remove it as the modus for now all public services ?

  10. very worried they have you here , taking care of the graffiti covers ‘ decoration ‘ and the last photograph with the generous filler applied ( tick no major cracks ) lettable standard . Hate to see Steven paying some swine his/her £400 hour fee in recovery of fees.

  11. weary mother permalink

    I have already commented that my sons LA had repeatedly withdrawn support to well below safe minimum- five years ago to three hours in total between him and his flat mate – reduced to two when I challenged this.

    Both are seriously learning disabled – son has sight, speech and is seriously physically disabled also. Solicitors managed to get some some support returned. Took years.

    When all support reduced to two hours, drug addicts stole copper piping from burned out flat above and flooded sons flat We had warned housing association repeatedly of risk from druggies and also pipes freezing for no windows – open to elements – and had asked them to turn the water off in this flat.

    Sons flat and possessions were destroyed. I sat all night soaking wet in flat on the night of flood with water pouring on my head begging out of hours who never replied. Housing Association turned water off in morning. (Son and flat mate taken to family members house)

    LA did nothing. Even weeks later a care manager refused – stated ‘we no longer do social work’.

    Family did all , Thankfully, family had ensured furnishings and possessions were insured. Son and flat mate lived with me for weeks and weeks while flat was dried out and refurnished.

    The Housing Association only very reluctantly agreed to dry flat out but, at first, refused to decorate – as ‘tenant responsibility’ – it took hours more on the phone and reminders in writing that they had been advised by us repeated of the dangers of flooding from flat above. In the end they redecorated.

    LA did nothing – NOTHING – at all.

    When son and flat mate were returning with me to dried, redecorated and refurnished (by family) flat weeks later – by complete luck a pleasant care manager answered phone . She was appalled -also the previous team manager had been replaced by a kinder one,..and .some support was returned.

    Then too soon after, this compassionate (newly qualified) care manager left and a much harsher (it seems) team manager arrived – new assessment – and a solicitor had to be obtained (with usual difficulty) again –

    The – cycle goes on…and on…and on…and round and round…….

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