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Couple who lost child after unlawful eviction name surviving twin after 'angel' housing officer

16th September 2014

A couple who lost one of their twins after being unlawfully evicted from their home have named their surviving child after the housing officer who helped them through the trauma. Elizabeth Eroghen, 29, and her partner, George Ebong Akpan, 56, were twice unlawfully evicted by their landlords, despite Ms Eroghen being heavily pregnant with twins. The mother subsequently went into labour two months before her due date and ended up spending five days in hospital, tragically losing one of her babie...

Fraudster ordered to pay £11,000 after subletting social landlord's property

16th September 2014

A tenancy fraudster has been ordered to pay up nearly £11,000 after unlawfully subletting a social landlord's property. Despite owing Watford Community Housing Trust (WCHT) over £3,000 in rent arrears, Edward Crawdon advertised the two-bed house in an attempt to sublet it. The crook managed to collect several deposits before WCHT spotted that the property was being advertised for rent. Last week, a district judge ordered Cawdron to give up possession of the property and pay WCHT &...

Tenants evicted over messy gardens

15th September 2014

A number of social housing tenants who refused to tidy up their gardens have been evicted. Landlord Irwell Valley Housing took steps after the tenants failed to comply with injunction orders to clear their gardens of debris. In June, the County Court of Tameside ordered the tenants in the Denton area to bring their gardens into a clean and tidy condition within 21 days. Angela Raftery, Irwell Valley's executive director of neighbourhoods, said: "The message could not be clearer. Irwell Valley ...

Stop notices issued after 19 illegal 'shoe box' flats uncovered in former hostel

5th September 2014

A London local authority has uncovered 19 tiny illegally built flats in a single building. Islington Council's officers were no doubt astonished when they made the discovery on Holloway road - and have now slapped orders on the miniscule dwellings to stop them being rented out. The former hostel was converted without planning permission, with the tiny apartments falling well short of the council's minimum space standards. The illegal enterprise was discovered as part of a programme to survey t...

Rogue 'beds in sheds' landlords warned

5th September 2014

A London borough's rogue landlords have been warned to get their house in order by the local authority. Waltham Forest Council says it is engaged in a "relentless pursuit" of landlords who construct 'bed in sheds'. The so-called 'narrowest house in Britain' - a plywood home consructed illegally in a terraced row in a Waltham Forest street - has now been destroyed. Mohammed Akhlaq, 53, of Zim Properties was issued with an Enforcement Notice by the council, ordering him to remove the bathroom, ki...

Coalition rolls out immigration rental check scheme

3rd September 2014

The coalition government has begun an immigration rental check pilot scheme across five local authority areas in the Midlands. From 1 December, private landlords in the regions of Sandwell, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley will be required to check that their prospective tenants have a right to live in the UK before letting to them. Though the new rules will only apply to tenancies begun after 1 December, landlords that rent to anyone not legally entitled to reside in the country a...

Eviction for fraudsters who lied on social housing applications

3rd September 2014

Two people who claimed they needed social housing have been evicted from their homes after making false claims on their applications. In separate cases at Tameside County Court, housing association New Charter Homes has gained possession orders for the two fraudulently obtained homes in Ashton. Scott Seel, 34, must hand the keys back to his home after claiming that he was sleeping on the sofa at a friend’s flat on his social housing application form. In fact, the fraudster already had a...

Opinion: Allwright at the frontline of housing enforcement

3rd September 2014

Received from an anonymous and tongue-in-cheek source, the following account of TV sensation ‘The Housing Enforcers’ takes a look behind the scenes at the programme that is fighting to right wrongs and reach amicable, legal resolutions between the UK’s tenants, landlords and housing officers. In this first instalment, the crew member who acts as Matt Allwright's stunt double - whose identity is guarded at the BBC with a similar level of secrecy as that used for The Stig - dumps s...

Yet more HA staff to appear on BBC One

1st September 2014

Yet more staff from the social housing sector are set to appear on BBC One this week. Claire Coyle, tenancy enforcement manager and Mari Johnson, concierge, of North Lincolnshire Homes (NLH) will star in the channel's 'Caught Red Handed' show, to be broadcast at 11.45am tomorrow. The social landlord was invited to take part in the show after a network of CCTV cameras at Market Hill, Scunthorpe captured a serial arsonist. NLH will join fellow social landlord Circle Housing Circle 33, whose staff ...

HA's anti-social team to feature in BBC show

1st September 2014

Two members of staff from one of the UK's largest housing associations are set to feature in a BBC show. Circle Housing Circle 33's Varinder Bharj and Laura Newey were filmed for 'Street Patrol UK' earlier this year as the pair came to the aid of tenants by tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) across North London. They will appear on screen tomorrow in the new documentary series, which showcases the work of the country’s housing associations, councils and police forces in tackling ASB. A...