sohohousingblog

Normally you hear Soho Housing Association tenants views through "independent" assessors, who then go on to join the board of Soho Housing Association. Get the truth, direct from a tenant, here.

Archive for the tag “landlord”

Why doesn’t Soho Housing care about its bad reputation?

oneI used to be baffled at the thinly veiled insolence shown by Soho Housing to some tenants. For example it is not unusual to find the glossy newsletter, as in the most recent edition, leading with an article gloating about two tenants who have just been evicted.

I have come to the conclusion that when an organisation has friends in high places, as Soho Housing does, it will naturally evince sentiments of contempt for its more unpopular clients. There is no need for Soho Housing to engage with us, as, when it stops harassing us, it can rely on the harassment to be continued by Westminster City Police, and , then, when as a result of a complaint to the police complaints authority, the police harassment pauses briefly, the baton can be taken up by Westminster City Council.

Westminster City Council is running my harassment at present, the police having taken a break as a result of a complaint I made. Ironically, they actually have more power than the police when it comes to invading your privacy and entering your home for no particular reason. Their factotum Yeno Thorli is the present all powerful harasser, who is obviously determined to enter my home for, apparently no reason other than curiosity.two

This takes me back to an earlier post, in which an unknown person tried to let themself into my flat, using a key supplied by Soho Housing. Was that person Yeno Thorli? Perhaps Yeno Thorli visits my flat regularly while I am out.  There seems to be nothing in law to prevent council officials like Yeno Thorli behaving like cat burglars.

Soho Housing Association Breaking into your flat 3

ImageHere is a copy of my latest correspondence with Westminster Council Environmental Health.

Dear Ian Hennessy

I acknowledge receipt of your letter of 14 May on which I make the following points.

  1. You say that the flat was found in a dirty condition. I refrained from cleaning it when I knew of your visit since I wanted to demonstrate that the smell is not coming from my flat.
  2. For a very long time there has been a bad smell in the corridor but you have done nothing about it. You can see that it is not attributable to my flat. Accordingly, I request you to deal with the smell as a matter of urgency.
  3. As a matter of general comment, I dislike the tone of your letter. You have not found anything about which you are making requirements and I feel an apology would be in order.
  4. I also dislike the suggestion in your letter that I have psychiatric problems that are causing problems with which you have to be involved. It is irrelevant to any environmental health issue whether or not I have support from any other organisation.

Needless to say, I have received no apology from Ian Hennessy and Soho Housing Association has done nothing whatever to locate the cause of the alleged smell in the corridor of the building, even though they professed to be so concerned about its importance that they had to call out Ian Hennessy, the Westminster Council Environmental Health inspector to deal with it.

I said in my last post that Soho Housing Association is using the same corrupt departments of Westminster City Council and the same corrupt elements of Westminster City police against me, as it did before, and now it appears they may be about to repeat the police scam they did earlier.

It is a very simple scam: I found myself receiving a large number of debt demands in the name of a person who did not live at my address. A police warrant was obtained in the name of this person, who is, in fact, dead and my home was broken into on the basis of this warrant.

I am now receiving a large number of debt demands in the name of a Mr A Ryan, who may or may not be dead. All efforts to contact the debt collectors have failed and, for all I know, a warrant is being applied for as I write.

This kind of scam has no consequences for the police. On the previous occasion I could complain to the Police Complaints Commission, but the police had only to say that they sincerely believed that the dead person lived at my address, to get the matter dropped. If I were to do the same thing now, they would not even have to answer the complaint.  On past showing, they would simply refuse to record it on the grounds that it was repetitive.

Soho Housing Association: breaking into your flat

breakAlthough Soho Housing Association is always inviting itself to visit you in your flat, it does not like to be seen as breaking into its tenants’ flats. However, break-ins do occur and as the flats cannot be accessed without the co-operation of Soho Housing Association, it is safe to say that they aid and abet these break-ins.

My life as a tenant of Soho Housing Association has been marked by a continuous threat that my home will be broken into by contractors or other associates of Soho Housing Association and on three occasions this has actually happened. The most recent occasion was the time when Soho Housing Association applied to have me imprisoned indefinitely in a mental  hospital. The time before that, my flat was broken into by Westminster Council, again with the connivance of Soho Housing Association.  Before that, Soho Housing Association allowed Westminster City Police to break into my flat on an obviously fake warrant.

Apart from the actual break-ins listed above,    I have suffered numerous events of people purporting to be contractors for Soho Housing Association, banging on my door or ringing my doorbell in an intimidating fashion. I was terrorised by one particular contractor, who bore a strong resemblance to a police officer who had been involved in a previous break-in. This person would turn on his electric drill and stand outside my front door with it. The sound was reminiscent of the sound made by the locksmith when he breaks into my flat on their behalf. They always employ the same locksmith. He seems very enthusiastic about his work and it must earn him a good living.

Soho Housing Association, kangaroo courts

11385415-kangaroo-road-sign-with-australia-mapNaturally when a tenant is having problems with their landlord, they try to seek help.

Soho Housing Association provides a number of avenues that a tenant may use to try to redress the problems that they acquire as a result of being a tenant of Soho Housing Association. Without exception they are tortuous and time consuming and the tenant will normally find that the avenue leads them to a blind alley.

In my case, my first resource, when I found I had problems with Soho Housing Association, was to seek solidarity with other tenants. I heard there was a Soho Housing Tenants Association, so that was my first port of call.

Imagine my dismay, when, on my first attendance, I found that the Chairperson of the tenants association was none other than the wife  of the Soho Housing Association Board member who had been watching my flat! I had no choice but to try to put my case before the other tenants, but by looks and facial expressions, the Chairperson made it clear to them that they were not expected to take what I said seriously. I wasted a lot of time attending these tenant meetings, and, at the end, my situation was worse than when I began.

There was apparently, another channel open to me. This was the Soho Housing Association Residents Forum, but that turned out to be a kangaroo court, in which tenants were encouraged, not to complain against Soho Housing Association, but to voice unfounded accusations against their neighbours, ( for instance, so and so is a drug dealer), presumably for the delectation of the listening plain clothes police officers, also tenants, who attended these meetings.

Soho Housing Association financial irregularities

Ian BrittonSoon after my tenancy was acquired by property developer, Soho Housing Association, I and other tenants began to notice huge arrears recorded on our rent accounts. It proved impossible to get these errors corrected, although we petitioned Soho Housing Association for  months and months. Eventually our rent accounts went back to recording accurate sums of money, but we never got an explanation for what had happened and the large arrears remained on Soho Housing Association main account, only now they were recorded as bad debts. As a shareholder in Soho Housing Association, I attended the Soho Housing Association annual general meeting to point out that it was unfair to record the missing money as bad debt, as this made it look as if the tenants had owed it in the first place, which we had not, and as if we had not repaid it, which was untrue, and as if Soho Housing Association were the sort of organisation that forgives financial debt owed by its tenants, which is most emphatically, not the case!

In those days, I was unaware of two things about Soho Housing Association.

  1. It is normally a total waste of time to try to bring up any issue at any meeting of Soho Housing Association and expect to see it resolved in the tenants favour. This only happens in the case of a few, privileged tenants.
  2. It is normal Soho Housing Association practice to blame the tenant when things go wrong. The reason for this practice appears to be financial. The cheapest option when it comes to insurance claims, lawsuits and so on, is to blame the tenant. If the mental health of the tenant can be impugned, then there is no liability and nothing to pay.

Contractors hired by Soho Housing Association soon become aware of the two points above and naturally they exploit them to the maximum, knowing they will never be blamed for any shoddy work or poor practice as long as they are careful to heap opprobium on the victim, ie., whichever unfortunate tenant of Soho Housing Association they are working for, at the moment.

Soho Housing Association: subsidence and rodent infestation

Soon after my tenancy was acquired by property developer, Soho Housing Association, I was required to move out of my accommodation. Subsidence had been discovered in the building I inhabited and I was moved to another flat in the same compound.

Shortly after I moved in, this flat too, started showing signs of subsidence. I reported to Soho Housing Association that there was a widening crack in the floorboards. Their response was to tell me to get a carpet.

As, possibly, the result of sudsidence, but more likely because Soho Housing Association will not pay anybody to clean the place regularly, I had to learn to live with a damp smell in the front hallway, which seeped through to my flat, from time to time. Soho Housing Association encouraged the other tenants to think that the bad smell was the result of my, allegedly, filthy habits.

Meanwhile, the crack in the floor began to admit rodents to my flat. Again, Soho Housing Association told me this was my responsibility. I invested in electric devices which helped a bit and eventually, Soho Housing Association engaged a pest control company, at the tenants’ expense.

The firm put down some poison but it had no effect, and their contract was terminated. The rodent problem continued, however, and I had to keep food and valuables under cover, in the bath to try to protect them from being nibbled by mice, which were everywhere by now.

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