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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Sorry that the narrative is a bit lengthy. My wife and

Resolved Question:

Hi. Sorry that the narrative is a bit lengthy.
My wife and I live on the top floor in a block of 6 flats (2 per floor) and own our home as leaseholders. There is one other leaseholder in the block but the other 4 residents are tenants of the local Housing Partnership. We get on very well with all residents except for the neighbour who lives across from us. We have experienced ongoing harassment for over two years by the neighbour who lives across from us.
Our neighbour has continuously harassed us for over two years now; ranging from dropping her discarded leaflets on our doorstep and on a couple of occasions through our letterbox to leaving her smelly rubbish bags on our shared landing for days on end. She also verbally abused my wife both in the confines of the building as well as in the street (the police got involved on this matter and she was issued with anti-harassment warning which she subsequently broke on 3 occasions but no action appears to have been taken by them).
On entering the block there is a communal hall with 6 storage cupboards (one for each flat). My neighbour continuously pushes all sorts of rubbish and leaflets under our door and has even thrown a banana skin on my car’s windshield which was parked in the block’s off street car park.
We returned from a two week holiday on 22 September and found (i) that our door mat had been thrown through the communal window onto the communal balcony (it cannot be retrieved as the Housing Partnership cannot find the key to the access door) and more seriously (ii) the padlock on our storage cupboard had been superglued so we are going to have to employ a locksmith to cut it and purchase a new padlock. We called the Police and a criminal damage report was made. The Police are of the opinion that cameras should be installed to film our doors and catch the “perpetrator” on the act and use the images as evidence.
In short, the Housing Partnership has done very little and are against the use of cameras because of the HRA. We have provided them with virtually hundreds of photos of leaflets, rubbish bags and rubbish under our storage cupboard; but they maintain that they cannot use them as evidence as they do not prove that our neighbour was the perpetrator. Without cameras we will be unable to identify the perpetrator.
Where do we stand about the installation of cameras to gather evidence? Surely the super gluing of our padlock is a criminal act. Do you know who is right as to the use of cameras? the Police or the Housing Partnership? We were thinking of using battery powered motion activated mini button style cameras fitted above the doors pointing downwards to cover a small area in front of them and hopefully identify the perpetrator.
At the moment we feel that our freedom to enjoy our home in peace has been denied and that the Housing Partnership has a duty to protect us from such situations including criminal damage.
Your advice will be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Cameras can be used. As long as they are not pointing directly into a window or at a person they can be used to cover general areas. There is no law against this, only point direct into someone's window. The partnership also has a duty to protect you and you could sue for loss and damage.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You said "There is no law against this, only point direct into someone's window". Can you please confirm that you mean the cameras can be used as long as they do not point towards a window.
The area I want to monitor is my own front door on the second floor landing and my storage cupboard door in the communal entrance on the ground floor. There are no windows there.
The concern I have is that I am a leaseholder and how would this be viewed by the Housing Partnership?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I confirm cameras can be used as long as they don't point towards a window.
There is no issue with you monitoring your own property, I can't imagine that would breach the lease.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Obviously I do not wish to advertise the fact that I have installed the cameras otherwise the perpetrator will know that they are there and will carry out the acts outside the field of view. Do I have to fix a CCTV sign?I have to go out in a few minutes time so will not be able to respond to your advice until later in the afternoon
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No, only businesses need to have a sign. You dont - you can just put them up covertly.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks you. Could you please confirm that the installation of the covert cameras to monitor my front door and storage cupboard door does not contravene the HRA as the Housing Partnership are suggesting.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It does not. Private individuals can't contravene the HRA only public bodies can. You are not!
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice.
I am now confident that I can legally install the cameras to film the perpetrator in the act and use the images as evidence to give to the Police.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luck.
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