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Foreign Office official steals £thousands in benefits

27th November 2014

A fraudster claimed thousands of pounds in housing and council tax benefits despite being employed by the Foreign Office and Richmond Council. Celene Harris helped herself to £9,200 in benefits she was not entitled to, Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court heard this week. After pleading guilty, the crook was handed a three-month curfew order and must remain at her home in St Margaret’s Road, Twickenham between the hours of 9pm and 6am. The council's deputy leader, Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, s...

Housing developer hit with £11,000 fine after burying waste

26th November 2014

A housing developer will have to pay fines and costs totalling more than £11,000 after pleading guilty to charges relating to the management and disposal of waste. Stephen Edgar of The Esplanade, Sandgate faced three charges at Folkestone Magistrates' Court last month.  Shepway District Council began an investigation in September 2012 into Edgar's development of four detached properties at Seaway Gardens.  During the investigation council officials visited the site several times,...

Fire rips through business blocking Tottenham Hotspur stadium development after club claims firm's 'intention was to cause delay'

25th November 2014

Police are this evening investigating a suspected arson attack after a business standing in the way of Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur's plans to develop a new stadium was devastated by a fire. The incident comes just days after the club claimed that the firm's intention "was to cause delay" to its development plans. The Archway Sheet Metal Works (ASMW) premises on Paxton Road burst into flames around 5am yesterday. The firm's owners, who are locked in a legal battle with Spurs over ...

Men arrested after explosion destroys council flat

24th November 2014

Two men have been arrested in connection with an explosion that destroyed a Birmingham council flat yesterday evening. Emergency services were called to Aldersmead Road in West Heath at around 8pm last night after receiving multiple reports of a loud bang. A 27-year-old man and a man in his 30s were taken to hospital with serious injuries. Both were later arrested on suspicion of causing an explosion likely to endanger life. The pair's injuries are not described as life threatening and they re...

Council urges MPs to take action against 'revenge evictions'

21st November 2014

Camden Council is calling on MPs to stop landlords from evicting renters unfairly by voting for the Tenancies (Reform) Bill next week. The Bill has come about in response to the more than 200,000 renters who were evicted or served notice in the last year after reporting poor property conditions to their landlord. If passed, the Bill will prevent landlords from serving an eviction notice on their tenants for six months if councils find their property’s living conditions need improving. The ...

Racist thug banned from housing estate

21st November 2014

A racist thug involved in a series of vicious attacks against Asian men has been banned from a north Manchester housing estate. Fidane Dehaney has been given an ASBO excluding him from the Dam Head estate in Charlestown after social landlord Northwards Housing took action. The 18-year-old has also been banned from associating with fellow gang members. In September Dehaney and a gang of youths were involved in a violent assault on Haddington Drive, when they shouted abuse at the victim, using of...

Housing association demands more powers to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

19th November 2014

A housing association is backing a campaign to give more powers to social landlords to carry out essential gas safety checks and prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. With HAs facing a four-month wait to gain legal access to a property when a tenant refuses entry for a gas check, Eastlands Homes is demanding the same powers as local authorities which are able to gain same-day court orders to force entry. Gas safety checks are vital to keep people protected from CO poisoning and the threat of ex...

Social housing tenant evicted after 50 years because of hoarding problem and death threats

17th November 2014

A tenant has been evicted from the social housing flat he has lived in for over 50 years because of a hoarding problem and for making deaths threats. Landlord North Hertfordshire Homes (NHH) started eviction proceedings against Wilf James over concerns that his hoarding habit has turned his property in Letchworth into a fire hazard, and for being aggressive behaviour towards the 9,000-home provider’s staff. The hoarder made an effort to clear most of the rubbish from his flat last month ...

BMW-driving housing benefit crook sent kids to private school while swindling £thousands

11th November 2014

A welfare cheat who sent her children to private school and drove around in a BMW while illegally helping herself to £43,000 in housing and council tax benefits is facing prison. Jurors at Croydon Crown Court heard that crooked Angella Brown, of Silverleigh Road, Thornton Heath, was also given a social home after lying to Croydon Council that she was homeless and forced to live in overcrowded conditions with a friend. In reality, the thief was married to her landlord and owned a property...

ASB tenant's home repossessed after making neighbours' lives hell

5th November 2014

A social housing tenant has had her New Forest home repossessed and has been given a five-year Anti-social Behaviour Order (ASBO) after a catalogue of incidents against her neighbours. Sovereign Housing Association took action against Helen Marsh, 44, after she routinely verbally abused her neighbours on Earlswood Park, New Milton; was responsible for excessive noise nuisance; and made a series of false allegations against them. Sovereign was awarded outright possession of Marsh’s home by Bournemo...