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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31300
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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The tenancy of the local authority house we live in is in my

Customer Question

the tenancy of the local authority house we live in is in my wifes maiden name she did mutual exchange and then put in for the right to buy the previous housiing association property was in her name where she lived before we met 12years ago she pays full rent and council tax but after submitting the right to buy application found out that she could not get enough loan to proceed.She then asked me to be added to the application as we both work i agreed and on enquiry to the local housing office she was told that i would need to submit a letter plus proof that i have lived with her for 12months this was handed in and she was told everything was in order, i however also bought a flat on the right to buy from a different council long before i met my wife which i sold, we checked to see if one is allowed to re apply a second time and the law say,s you can but obviosly the discount may be less which is not an issue. We were expecting the application to be re assessed and for us to be given a new application form so that i would enter my details and things would be re assessed accordingly, instead we received a letter saying that we may have been attempting to commit fraud? and we have both been subjected to cautioned taped interviews my wife produced our marriage cert as they disputed that we were married. we recieved council guidelines setting out that you may bring a Friend, Relative, or solicitor to the interview it did not mention specific relative's so i asked my Brother a non blood relative to accompany her as she is a vulnerable person and has a long history of severe Depression, and Anxiety this was made clear to the Fraud Officer before she went in to the so called interview which ended up being a 2 and a half hour interrigation. My interview was set on the same day by the same individuals for 12 30pm in fact i was left sitting in the reception area until 1 10pm without any explanation, as I am a busy working individual i decided to leave and asked the clerk to point out that i had attended at the requested time but am now leaving and to explain this to the officer when he emerged. There is a lot more to this as I was eventually interviewed on another date and subjected to a series of irrelevnent questions, we have bassically been informed that Epping Forest Council are proceeding with a summons but this has gone on for 12months without any summons materialising. I have communicated in writting to the council at every stage and requested a written explanation from them.Basically their responses have been weak, but given the situation my Wife has been profoundly worried and unwell mentally, feel that the Officer has taken this case personally because i have challenged him, but although we were told we would receive the summons soon this was approximately 2 months ago. my question is are they allowed to make us wait indefinately? If convicted and we have done nothing wwrong are both 50 yrs old and have never had any criminal record, both our professions require annual C R B checks which would result in probably the loss of our respective jobs where do we stand. many regards
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Have you complained to the Chief Officer of the Council? How much is the fraud for please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have not applied to the Chief officer, the alleged fraud is apparently that we have attempted to commit an offence with regard to the appliction of the right to buy. The right to buy application has been suspended due to their investigation. It has not been processed by Epping Forest Council, because i believe that they do not believe that I have lived at this Property, which they have been given proof of. They have contacted my Employer, whom have been aware of my change of address.The issue is the Tenancy is in her maiden name as that was used when the exchange took place around two years ago, was my Wife legally obliged to use her married name, as all of her bills and Bank account are in her maiden name. This was more convenient as it would be hassle to change everything over, and she was under the opinion that it makes no difference. We have not been allowed to proceed whilst they conduct their enquiry. At this point their has been no Contract signed, and also was my Wife legally obliged to inform them that i was resident, as she pay's full rent and Council Tax, and is not in reciept of any state benefits, Regards Stephen.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok. What is it you would like to know from me?.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for getting back to me but i have given you a basic overview of the stance that Epping Forrest Council have taken. This is even before I was asking to be added to the right to buy.So what I want to know is what I have already asked you? 1/ Based on what I said in my previous 2 emails to you,Have we broken any housing Right to Buy laws? 2/ Given that my wife has the Tenancy in her name and pay,s full rent and Council Tax, should she have declared that i have been living with her, as she did this when she had the Housing association place where I lived with Her for 4 yrs and they said as long as She is paying full rent etc and is not claiming Benefits it does not matter. 3/ Has the Council the right to accuse us of any wrong doing? And are they allowed to keep us suspended like this for 1yr? The dwelling is hardly livable, has no functional Kitchen, has dangrerous Asbestos, but they will do nothing to the property because of this ongoing action they are taking and due to the fact that they are investigating an alleged attempted fraud as I have Already explained. 4/ Legally what is our position here? To conclude Alex with the greatest of respect I am asking you to review what I have outlined to you as your response," of what do i want to know " you should have summised from what I have made you aware of please address this as it is unfair that you are still asking us what we want to know. Many Regards, Stephen.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
On what basis are they saying fraud?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

on the basis that I am not legitimately living at this address, and that we have claimed the right to buy wrongly in the second instance by adding me to the original application, when we expected them obviously to re appraise the application, by me being now added, i e sending out a form to get my details. Instead we were sent a letter telling us that we may be attempting to commit fraudulent purchase and were told we had to attend individual interviews taped under caution, which is what happened, and the last we were told by them is that their Barrister is preparing for us to be summonsed to court

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Did it ask if you had ever applied before?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no, as i said it was my wife who made the initial application, my right to buy occurred 13years ago and before i knew her the property has been sold,no connection between the two, why are all of your responses one line,i'm not convinced having given you all the info you have been given that you are for real. very poor service from a supposed qualified legal proffessional, i am in disbelief at your responses, any averagely educated legal proffessional would give a proper detailed answer from the information you have been given, i've told you that my wife made the initial application, and later we requested that I be included but they did not ammend things so that I could provide them with my particular details, and please no more useless one lined responses, if you are not capable to clarify what you have been asked, then please refer me to someone who has real knowledge, as this is a serious matter.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, the opportunity for me to submit my details about my previous purchase from Newham Council was not given, Epping Forest council just immediately wrote to us accusing potential attempted fraud, and as I mentioned we were asked to attend individual interveiws under caution

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I have submitted a reasonable explanation of the situation as it stands but i have been given no answers, only one lined questions, absolutely no definitive response, i cant believe how vague and useless the one sentenced the the so called legal expert has provided, very,very poor i'm afraid a waste of time,effort, and money?
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thanks I'm willing to wait thanks for getting back to me regards stephen

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,