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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Good afternoon. I am in dispute with the local Housing Organisation

Resolved Question:

Good afternoon. I am in dispute with the local Housing Organisation over the noise nuisance their tenants subject my family and i to. I live in a house and occupy as a leaseholder the basement and gound floor. The first floor and the second floor is occupied by a family with 5 children under the age of 13 9 3 boys under the of 10) Their communal areas (Kitchen /livingroom) are directly above my two bedrooms and there is not sound proofing . This as you can imagine has caused so many problems including flooding from above.
All this has peaked as the family have gone to the Council and slandered me by telling them untruths about my behaviour. This includes fabricating an incident and accusing me of racially abusing them and their children (I am Caribbean and they are Asian)
The Council claim to have investigated the matter, but have not informed me of the outcome of their investigation and have said they will continue to monitor the situation. The Police and the neighbourhood Police have been involved.
My question to you is how do I go about taking out a civil case against the parents who reside in the property above me? I am not prepared for them to make false allegations against me and for them to go unchallenged. Could you give me a steer in the right direction please.
Regards,
Ms P
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Is this a Housing Association or Council property please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is Council Property and I am a leaseholder
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If its Council property, on what basis do they refuse?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I am not understanding your question. Refuse to take action against the family?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes, on what basis do they refuse to take action against the family?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure. I think it is a political decision and I have mad a formal complaint, as the officer who was assigned the case is of the same ethnicity as the family who is causing the nuisance. Anyway, I really want to know how I can take a private action against the family and the local authority and would appreciate a response that gives me this steer.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok - well they should. The tenants will have a clause in their agreement which says not to cause noise or annoy others. You need to write to the Chief Officer of the Council and make a formal complaint about the lack of anything going on.That department will investigate matters for you and why nothing is being done. If you get a response back which is not favourable you can then go to the Local Government Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can examine your complaint at: www.lgo.org.ukThat should resolve your problem for free. Of course you can take legal action as this is a form of nuisance but would involve you going to Court to get an injunction. I would therefore consider the Council complaint route first.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have made numerous complaints to no avail. My issue is the lies they have told in their complaint against me. The allegation of racial abuse is not acceptable. The Council seem reluctant to do any thing and my question to you is what can i do to take this issue to court as a private citizen. It is slander and not acceptable. In another society, I could have been thrown into jail or worse based on their lies. I need to take some action and again ask what is it that I can do.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Slander is difficult and expensive. You would need to show that you have suffered 'serious harm' and issue proceedings in the High Court. To get the matter to trial you are looking at circa of £20,000 in legal fees and if you lose you would be responsible for costs of the other side.However on the other hand you may be able to get an injunction for harassment to stop them contacting you directly/indirectly.You would need to complete form N1:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdfAnd N16ahttp://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdfThe Court would list the matter for hearing and decide whether to make an injunction. If the court does and they break it, this is contempt of Court which they can be warned, fined or sent to prison
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The slander is that they have maligned my name with the Local Housing Office and made spurious claims based on lies. They cannot be made to think that they can do with with impunity and I just want to know how I raise this as a citizen in the courts. They need to feel the error of their ways. If I had not written to the council on the day of the flooding from above, I would have been given a ASB on the balance of probability. What can i do?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
however that is not enough. If you want to try you can but you can only issue proceedings in the High court. You won't get legal aid for this and they are very specialist proceedings.But if you can show serious harm then you can bring a case.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Or you can complain to the local government Ombudman about the way it's handled.That is at www.lgo.org.ukCan I clairfy anything else for you?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So are you saying in law that anyone can make up lies and slander my name and reputation and I have no redress in law. Is this right? So anyone can make up anything about someone and get away with it. I am speechless
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you have suffered 'serious harm' and this must be diagnosed or recognised then you have a case. If not then you do not even get off the ground.I agree the law is unfair but the Defamation Act 2013 is quite clear - you must show serious harm.I am very sorry but I have to be honest.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Can I clarify anything else for you?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do you define serious harm?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If its depression ie going to the Doctor. But even then you would need to have a psychiatric assessment to have a direct link to what has happened.If you bring a claim you have to prove you have suffered serious harm as a direct link as what has happened.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify the position for you today?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I must say that i am very disappointed with the responses I have received. I cannot believe this is how the law works. So anyone can make up an allegation and face no consequences-Really. I do not think I am going to get the response I want from you. So there really is nothing more that you can do for me.Thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sadly I can only tell you what the law is. The law changed in 2013. If the law needs to be changed that is a matter for the Government and MP.sHowever here is the section of the Defamation Act 2013:Serious harm(1)A statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.(2)For the purposes of this section, harm to the reputation of a body that trades for profit is not “serious harm” unless it has caused or is likely to cause the body serious financial loss.Therefore you can see you must show serious harm to even bring a complaint.You could potentially see this has harassment and seek an injunction to stop it, but again there would be no legal aid.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Can I clarify anything else for you?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luck!Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget! Thank you.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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