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GLERA and City of London

Apparently the City have decided to visit all tenants and leaseholders on the Estate in person to meet them and inspect the interior of the flats.

http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s99586/Reports%20for...

The City state that the key objectives of these visits are to:

• improve resident safety and comfort by providing advice or referral to other agencies on:
o home and fire safety, including evacuation advice and an assessment 
of any risks;
o repairs and maintenance;
o domestic energy advice and housing benefits;o issues such as hoarding and safeguarding;

• improve the quality of tenancy data on the housing management information system to a minimum baseline standard;

• improve future communication and engagement with residents by updating electronic contact details and preferred methods of communication

• help ensure proper and efficient use of housing assets by identifying instances of:

o tenancy fraud, misuse, disrepair or unauthorised alteration of properties;

o under-utilisation (including illegal sub-letting, non-occupation, under- occupation;

o overcrowding.

The first of these aims sound reasonable, but the last section, on tenancy fraud, unauthorised alteration etc sounds quite intrusive and would appear to be an unusual step to take without reasonable grounds. We are not aware of other landlords behaving in this way.

What are people's opinions on this? Is is sensible management or is it overly intrusive? Is it something that GLERA should be taking up?

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I don't see any problems with this    I had a tenancy visit around 2012 by (name omitted) and everything was fine.   It's good that the CoL are checking properties to ensure that only the legal tenants are living there!

I have mixed feelings. Parts of it seem very useful and potentially helpful others seem a tad draconian and intrusive, particularly when you have had a visit a year or two ago. Showing  two forms of ID seems a bit over the top when you have lived here for a decade or more 

I agree Christo.  The COL have every right to check properties to make sure only the legal tenants are living there and I support that.  However, why would they need a camera and tape measure to check on illegal tenants?  

Christo said:

I have mixed feelings. Parts of it seem very useful and potentially helpful others seem a tad draconian and intrusive, particularly when you have had a visit a year or two ago. Showing  two forms of ID seems a bit over the top when you have lived here for a decade or more 

I don't think it is intrusive at all, why shouldn't they check if everything is in order an no one is sub letting? If I owned a property I rented out I would want to check on it every so often. I actually found the last visit quite useful as I was able to ask questions I had on a one 2 one level rather than trying to discuss them in the estate office.

I agree with Richard. If you've nothing to hide, then what is the problem!? Well done to the CoL for checking their tenencies. This should be a regular thing. Offenders should be thrown out of their properties straight away.

There is no problem with visits. The possible problem is with wasted visits and duplication of info or worse poor safety of collected data. For example we were visited last year. Plus we provided the City with photos and ID in the past. If they need that again what’s happened to the info already provided? All reasonable questions. 

There are or were flats divided up into bedsits that could have been fire risks. We used to live next door to one and reported it. The city visited but I am not sure they had the power to do anything. Not sure now as we are no longer in that block.

What is an issue is that it is costing £138,000 which presumably all residents will be paying for.

In reply to Christo.  I live next door to said flat, it has been standing empty for the past 2 years.  It’s a 3 bedroom flat, which has no tenants whatsoever.  

I’m not sure what’s going on with the property, as the owner is elusive.  Not liking the fact there could be leaks, mice, mould, damp, or squatters!!!   Hopefully if and when we have an inspection, they can answer a few questions on this matter!!

Good point raised Tracy!

If the City want to do this then why should the residents pay?  I am not paying for someone to come in here spying on me.  Let them chase after illegal sub letters and not genuine residents.

Tim Godsmark said:

What is an issue is that it is costing £138,000 which presumably all residents will be paying for.

Good idea. If it helps sort out all the iffy lettings going on why not, and I don't think 138k split between everyone is too much to pay if a few things get sorted out.

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