Must a HA disclose previous ASB history of neighbour to

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Must a HA disclose previous ASB history of neighbour to

Postby Lincolnshire_Poacher » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:14 pm

new tenant?

A friend moved into a Housing Association flat in a house conversion comprising 2 flats. Because she'd had noise nuisance probs with previous tenants in a purpose-built block, she specifically asked if her new neighbour was OK. The Housing Officer showing her the flat said that the existing tenant was "a nice man - very quiet".

Truth is that this "nice quiet man" had already a 4+yr history, documented with both the HA and the Police, of noise nuisance and both verbal and physical aggression towards other tenants in the street, and now she has become his target.

I know that in selling houses, one must declare neighbour disputes, but do Housing Associations have a legal requirement to disclose past history of this sort - particularly when they've been asked a quite specific question?

Any input would be welcome, a pointer to laws governing this topic particularly so.

Many thanks,

L_P
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Re: Must a HA disclose previous ASB history of neighbour to

Postby Mesolithic » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:00 pm

Hi,

The HA should not disclose such information as it would breach data protection laws.

The analogy with a seller of a private house having to disclose a dispute is flawed as the kind of disputes a seller is obliged to disclose are those related to the property, i.e. disagreement over the location of a fence, rather than issues with the behaviour of a neighbour such as loud parties or verbal abuse. Additionally, as a private individual, the seller of a house is not subject to data protection law.

If she hasn't already, your friend should be discussing the problems with the HA and pressing them to take action under the neighbours tenancy agreement. If she is being threatened, she must involve the police and the HA, there are meaasures such as injuctions and bail conditions that can be applied for should the situation warrent it.

If there is any liability on the HAs part, it would probably only exist if your friend was being moved on the recommendations of health professionals for medical reasons (i.e. stress) due to previous similar neighbour issues and the HA had all this information available to them and did not use it to vet the suitability of the property she was moving to.

Regards

Mesolithic
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Re: Must a HA disclose previous ASB history of neighbour to

Postby Conveyancer » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:27 pm

I have no idea if the HA were prevented from disclosing the other tenant's history, but whether they were or not they clearly made a misrepresentation. Relying on the assurance that the tenant was a nice quiet man the OP's friend took the tenancy. Prospective tenants are just as entitled to rely on warranties as prospective purchasers and are entitled to damages if they suffer loss or detriment. The OP's friend needs to make it clear to the HA that she is not happy being misled and expects firm action to be taken failing which she will sue for misrepresentation.
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Re: Must a HA disclose previous ASB history of neighbour to

Postby Mesolithic » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:24 pm

Misrepresentation is an interesting point. Perhaps the HA is open to being sued by the OPs friend because of the answer given to the question asked.

Interestingly, just as to disclose a tenants bad history would breach Data Protection law, so would disclosing a tenants good history. In the circumstance, the only proper and legal answer the HA could give to such a question would be to say that they could not answer it due to data protection law.

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