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23 May 2012: Lambeth London Living sends in ‘the enforcers’

A disabled tenant has praised Lambeth London Living staff for coming to her aid following a campaign of harassment and threatening behaviour against her.  Thirty-one year old Jane (not her real name) was helped by her local tenancy enforcement officers – part of a housing team that has recently celebrated its one year anniversary. They provided support and arranged for a series of security measures to be installed in her home to protect her.

Three tenancy enforcement teams operate across the south, central and north of the borough. These top teams of specialist trained officers were set up to tackle nuisance and anti-social behaviour on estates. They also manage tenancy audits, enforce tenancy conditions and deal with unauthorised occupants and squatters.  They have been successful in tackling a range of nuisance behaviour ranging from noise to the misuse of communal areas, or as in the majority of cases, they have intervened to prevent 'low level nuisance’ from escalating.

Tenancy Enforcement Manager, Margaret Akinso said: “The vast majority of tenants are, by far, peaceful and law abiding, and thankfully the extent and kind of harassment that Jane suffered isn’t common.

“I’m pleased that my team were able to help Jane and to make her feel safe and secure at home. No-body should suffer the way she did and I would urge anyone who is on the receiving end of anti social behaviour to tell staff at their area housing office, so we can investigate and take any necessary action”.

Tenants experiencing harassment or anti-social behaviour should contact Lambeth London Living on 0207 926 6000.

Case Study

Thirty-one year old Jane suffered a sustained campaign of harassment and nuisance behaviour that began when a firework was thrown at her window.

She says: “I thought it was a one off incident, but a day or two later, they (the ‘attackers’) came back and threw stuff at my window.

“I was scared – scared of living in my own home”.

She contacted the police as the harassment went on for a few weeks. They advised her to speak to her landlords, Lambeth London Living, and she was put in contact with her local tenancy enforcement officers. As it became clear that the situation was ongoing and serious, a joint risk assessment meeting was held with Lambeth London Living, Lambeth Council and the police.

A series of measures were taken to make her safe and secure, including installing a new fire-proof letterbox and a special shatter-proof window, and her case was closely and regularly monitored by her local tenancy enforcement team.

“It’s difficult to explain how stressful the whole thing was”, she says. “Even though I had the care and support of my family, the tenancy enforcement officers re-assured me, and I’m thankful for that. They should be awarded and praised for their work.

“What I was going through may not seem like a big thing to other people. But it was big for me”.

“I feel a lot more secure and safe now. I didn’t know that Lambeth London Living provided a service like this. Before I knew it existed I felt like I was hitting a brick wall when I was looking for help. The service (tenancy enforcement service) gives people like me the reassurance that something will be done about their case”.