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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70505
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a tenant with the local council in a tower block and 2

Resolved Question:

I am a tenant with the local council in a tower block and 2 weeks ago another council tenant was moved into a property very close to mine. Since he moved in there has been a constant stream of problems involving anti-social behavior and over the weekend a gang of 6 or more youths attacked the property, the tenant and his friends and somebody was stabbed in the head. The tenant knows the people that did this. I gave a 5 page statement to the police the night this happened and they view the incident as a major crime and will be looking to try and take it to court.

After speaking to the council this morning they are still considering putting him back in there (when they have repaired the extensive damage to the property) even though I expressed my concerns about being so close to these people as I may testify against them in court. I am the only independent witness to what happened.

If you need more information I would be happy to try and provide it, but I would like to know what options are open to me in this situation. Am I entitled to expect more support from the council as the police have already asked me about possible intimidation from the assailants. 10 people were arrested in total, 2 more are unaccounted for, and about 10 others were "sent home" after being questioned by the police.

Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

PS The lad is 17 years old and may have just come out of care. I don't have a copy of my tenancy agreement to hand but should be able to obtain one.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it likely that the council's action is in breach of my tenancy agreement? Do I have the right to expect to feel safe within my home? Would I be able to take legal action against the council if they are in breach of my tenancy?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is there any suggestion that the tenant was involved in the misconduct?

Or is it just that they are friends of his?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The motive for the attack is unclear at the moment, but it appears drugs have been on the premises. It is fairly certain he did not initiate the violence.


 


10 people were arrested and the police are still interviewing them. The police implied the tenant was not one of those arrested.


 


I wanted to be clear where I stand on this as I know he can be held responsible for how visitors behave at his property, and he definitely knows the people involved.


 


My main concern is how they will view me testifying against any of them, as they are clearly capable of very violent behavior and neither are they afraid of forcing their way into a property.


 


I expressed my concern to the council about living so close to those involved but they seemed surprisingly blase about it. The member of staff I spoke to was young and appeared inexperienced at dealing with these sort of issues.


 


The police asked me about witness protection. Would I be better taking this issue up with them rather than the council?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Well, he can be responsible for the conduct of those who visit at his invitation. If its just that he is attracting trouble though then that would not offend unless they are there because he invited them - for instance, they were at a party on his property. If its just that uninvited they turn up and bang on his door and shout abuse then thats not down to him in law although I do see the point that you imply - it is down to him in fact because it never happens to the rest of us as we don't have anything to do with people who do things like that.

To be wholly honest though, I think you will struggle to get them to do anything about this unless there is clear evidence of participation or incitement. Of course, its not just a case of forcing the council to act. The council have to seek a possession order against him at court to get him out and, on these facts alone, they would not get it. I don't know whether there is more evidence than meets the eye.

Witness protection would be a good idea. That is not to say that you cannot pursue the issue with the council. That is the only thing that would seem quite positive about this. They don't offer witness protection to people that they don't believe are in serious danger.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
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