Are Sanctuary Housing above the law?

Shadow Justice Minister, Andy Slaughter MP

Also see 2019 blog Deaths, incompetence and lies – the multimillion pound housing associations destroying lives 2016 blog A nationwide scandal – Sanctuary Housing and 2016 updated Housing association complaints – no regulation of service quality! and others here.

If you have had serious problems with Sanctuary Housing or Sanctuary Group, please join the independent facebook group Sanctuary Housing Independent Complaints Group – Countrywide, which has over 800 members (December 2016). It offers support and advice from others who have suffered at the hands of Sanctuary Housing – the incompetence, the frequent breaking of tenancy agreements, the threats, the lies and all the rest of it.

Sanctuary Group (Sanctuary Housing Association) – a monster that must be stopped. An “exempt” registered charity who often lie, cheat, and bully people, including their own staff. Some services are very poor, repairs are often a bad joke, tenancy agreements are frequently broken by Sanctuary’s incompetence and bad practice. They are largely funded by the taxpayer (housing benefit, the government), tenants include some of the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and poor people in Britain. Sanctuary Group (fingers in many pies) makes over £40 million surplus (=profit) every year. The Chief Executive is on £310,000 (and has now been made a CBE – Tim 2015).

In 2012, Sanctuary were awarded £90 million through the government’s Affordable Homes Programme, the highest allocation in England. In the same year in Scotland, they received similar grants of £10 million. The Chief Executive has spoken of “delivery of 5000 homes at a combined capital investment of £750 million over the next four years”. Sanctuary completed its takeover of Cosmopolitan Housing Group in March 2013, creating the UK’s largest social landlord, with 95,000 homes owned and managed.

“A scandal which should be exposed.”
Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith and Shadow Justice Minister, May 2011 – on the performance and unaccountability of large housing associations, at the House of Commons.

“Tenants who pay their rent should be entitled to expect their landlord to address failings in a speedy way, but it looks like Sanctuary is falling well short of that.” Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St. Austell and Newquay in Cornwall, February 2013. “Sanctuary Midlands is letting its customers down… It hasn’t focused on what results it is getting and whether these are effective… The Association needs to do much more to ensure that services perform well.” Ann Bennett, Audit Commission Lead Housing Inspector, April 2010 “One of the worst housing associations I have had to deal with… useless.” Tim Loughton on Sanctuary, Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham in Sussex, late 2008.

Sanctuary being an “exempt”  registered charity means that the Charity Commission has no monitoring role whatsoever – it’s a tax break. Not only do they not pay tax, Sanctuary appear to be largely unaccountable to anyone at all. The Audit Commission no longer has housing inspectors. The Homes And Communities Agency, the new social housing regulator since 2012, deals mainly with financial regulation.

Francis Bennion

Prince Philip

Sanctuary Housing Association was originally founded as The World Of Property Housing Trust by influential barrister Francis Bennion (according to his website, Mr. Bennion was still vice-president of Sanctuary until his death in 2015) in 1968-69. Support came from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects, several MPs including the then Secretary of State for the Environment Peter Walker, billionaire Paul Getty, many other very rich and very influential people, and big support from Prince Philip and the Queen – including a personal financial donation. Oddly, Sanctuary seem to have kept this rather quiet – all a bit masonic perhaps? The Church of England Pensions Board recently signed a £250,000 contract with Sanctuary Group. Are these apparently strong links to the government and “the Establishment” the reason why no-one will hold Sanctuary to account?

(See 20th August 2011 comment for more info and link – Tim)

If you have a genuine case (whether you are a tenant, relative, student, front line or management employee, property-owning neighbour, or anyone else), please don’t give up. By standing up to Sanctuary Housing Group you are also helping many others in similar situations. Don’t be intimidated by their uselessness, lies, threats, and the problems of getting your voice heard.


Sanctuary head office

Sanctuary Group head office, Sanctuary House, Chamber Court, Castle Street, WORCESTER, WR1 3ZQ

Phone: 01905 334000

Rather than just the above or local-ish offices, impersonal e-mails or call centres, or their long-winded and very very dodgy “Complaints Procedure”, you might have more luck with the following direct Sanctuary Housing Group phone numbers and contacts at Worcester:-

Simon Clark, Group Director – Housing. E-mail: Direct Dial: 01905 334064 Extension: 34064 Mobile: 07894 599107

Group Director for Housing and Communities, Simon Clark

Direct dial: 01905 334064 Extension: 34064 Mobile: 07894 599107 Email: Unfortunately, Mr. Clark clearly demonstrated Sanctuary’s now legendary arrogance and state of total denial on BBC television (Inside Out South West, 18.2.13), in relation to Sanctuary’s diabolical treatment of a group of tenants living in homes officially assessed as legally unfit for habitation.

Senior PA to Simon Clark, Claire Griffiths

Direct dial: 01905 334167 Fax: 01905 334956

Director of Sanctuary Home Care & Extra Care, Donna Culley

Direct dial: 01905 334091 Mobile: 07900 160602

Assistant to Chief Executive David Bennett, Heidi Hodgkin

Worth knowing her name if you’re trying to make contact with Chief Executive David Bennett, who is based at the Worcester address.


If you have been on the receiving end of Sanctuary’s uselessness/lies/threats – don’t just moan on this blog! GO TO YOUR MP – they are paid to represent you!

Or go to your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau.

Or write to your local or national newspaper – FOR THE SAKE OF EVERYONE ELSE – PLEASE DO IT!

Some tenants get results by going to the Housing Ombudsman, but many people’s experience is that they are a waste of time.

BBC WATCHDOG (many, many people have complained about Sanctuary but no interest at all so far – Tim 2015)
Watchdog, W1 NBH 07C, BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA.

Panorama, Zone D, 4th Floor, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, UK, W1A 1AA

Here’s a different point of view, expressed anonymously and not altogether convincingly – note the dismissive tone towards vulnerable and disadvantaged people but perhaps he/she is just doing his/her best in a difficult job?

“I’ve worked in complaints on and off for 30 years and let me make something clear to you, 7/10 people make stuff up or get it totally wrong hence their complaints are never upheld.

How about releasing the results of 20k of sanctuary residents from last year on how they view the service? The results were that the majority were satisfied with Sanctuary in many areas polled. 92 on this blog versus 20,000 – YOU DECIDE. If you are going to blog, at least be open minded and impartial.”

A “majority” in “many areas”, this is a bit vague isn’t it? And Sanctuary has over 70,000 tenants (95,000 since the takeover of Cosmopolitan in 2013, Tim), what about the other 50,000? Yes, people only have to read through a few posts here to make up their own minds about Sanctuary, no doubt about that. Obviously the posts on this blog are not the whole story – that’s probably even worse!

In 2009-10, according to page 18 of their annual report, not-for-profit charity Sanctuary Group made a “surplus” (i.e. profit) of £23.8 million. During 2010-11, profits went up to £24.7 million. Since the takeover of Cosmopolitan, profits have soared to £72 million for the year 2012-13.

Legally, no tax is paid on this.

Much of the multi-million pound profit comes from the government and the taxpayer in the form of housing benefit from some of the most vulnerable, disadvantaged, and poor people in Britain.

In 2009, with the help of Barclays Capital hedge fund, Sanctuary issued £200 million pounds of bonds. These were secured against the group’s rented housing. In April 2012, a further £300 million pounds of bonds were issued. Not-for-profit casino banking anyone?

Original post:-

There may be one or two people out there who wondered what happened to the devastating noise disturbance situation my ex-partner and I were going through in 2007 and 2008.

Eventually the housing association concerned moved their tenant out (The second crazy teenage anti-social behaviour nightmare in two years – we were attacked and threatened on our doorstep, with loud screaming and swearing at all hours, amongst other things. There was a hint that the tenant had previously had an ASBO, we never found out for sure…), they properly sound-proofed the flat below ours, and their unfortunate local manager moved on. My ex is now being treated with the respect that any innocent member of the public deserves. She does actually own her flat after all!

It took five visits to our local MP Tim Loughton, a few ridiculous meetings with Sanctuary Housing, and well over twenty letters to Sanctuary and various other organizations (eventually including the now defunct Housing Corporation, West Sussex Supporting People, and the head of local police) before they took us and several of our neighbours seriously. The police and the local council were reluctant to get involved, although they were helpful at times, especially the supportive but ultimately powerless PCSOs. “It’s not a police matter”, we were repeatedly told. The Environmental Health recorder didn’t get results. No-one seemed to be seriously bothered about the stinking “skunk” cannabis, we wouldn’t have minded ourselves if they’d kept their windows closed.

For over a year, Sanctuary Housing’s behaviour was astonishing:- blatant bullying tactics, lies, dishonest back-covering and incompetence by several managers (fortunately we had evidence of this – you really should be ashamed of yourselves local manager Peter Jackson, Sanctuary Supported Housing head Tim Susans and regional manager Wendy Fletcher, what were you doing? Astrid Kjellberg-Obst and Steve Wood of Sanctuary Care Limited, is all this okay with you?), local and national offices ignoring many of our letters including a very reasonable one sent through their complaints procedure, contradictions and lack of clarity about what the law actually was on more than one occasion, written false representations of what we had written to make it mean the opposite i.e. outrageously manipulative lies, the back-tracking on their original offer of sound-proofing, the accusation that we had not been co-operating with West Sussex Mediation Services – when in fact they themselves were preventing this from proceeding by not returning the mediation people’s phone calls.

Presumably they thought they could bully us into shutting up? It was obvious there was a real long-term problem but they preferred to try and make us look unreasonable for daring to complain. In the meantime my partner had serious depression, migraine headaches and I virtually had a nervous breakdown both before and after moving out. Both of us had problems at work due to exhaustion and ultimately our relationship itself did not survive the nightmare. The neighbours across the road, a lovely friendly retired elderly couple, were extremely upset by their complaints not being taken seriously.

“Sanctuary Housing? Oh no!”, said a nurse friend of mine when I told her about all this. “They kept ignoring several serious complaints and sending us threatening letters when I was in their student accommodation in Brighton. Being a student nurse was hard enough already, the university had to get involved on our behalf, it was a nightmare”. So much for Sanctuary Management Services, their student branch. We and our MP couldn’t help wondering how many other people up and down the country have been on the receiving end of Sanctuary Housing Group’s grotesque and morally bankrupt unprofessionalism. And just plain indifference.

On their website, Sanctuary Housing describe themselves as “An industry leading social enterprise helping to set standards across the entire sector” (They’ve since dropped this headline but the attitude is still there, TB). In his patronizing, clueless and ill-informed letter of denial TO OUR MP, boss Chief Executive David Bennett couldn’t even be bothered to get our address right, apparently confusing us with a Sanctuary property in Berkshire.

David Bennett, Sanctuary Chief Executive, now a CBE

According to an article from The Guardian in September 2003, the Chief Executive of this “not-for-profit” organization was at that time receiving over £200,000 per year from tax-payers money.

(According to another national newspaper 25.9.09, as head of this exempt charity, Chief Executive David Bennett is unbelievably now on £288,000. A social housing fat cat, the equivalent of a greedy banker. He is third on the list in this article:-

£288,000 for someone who, in his letter to our MP, showed himself and Sanctuary up as totally incompetent and arrogant!? September 2010 update – he’s now on £285,446. September 2013, £310,000. He was made a CBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list – an absolute disgrace.)

Former Group Chair, Nick Baldwin

The money is obviously rolling in as they expand their “not-for-profit” empire, around 80,000 (95,000 since March 2013) homes making them the biggest Registered Social Landlord (RSL) in the country. Thanks for sorting out our situation in the end Sanctuary, but our life together was destroyed in the meantime.

Yes, all the above is actually true! No full apology or explanation was ever offered. Useless. Uncaring. Arrogant. Disgusting.

About Tim
UK musician (pop/rock/prog), astrologer for 30 years (the deeper stuff), care and support worker #ExtinctionRebellion "We're all f***ed, so be nice." ~ Russell Brand

714 Responses to Are Sanctuary Housing above the law?

  1. Ian Roberts says:

    Wow! – You have my deepest sympathy for the way Sanctuary Hereward have treated you, but i can assure you, this is not an isolated incident.

    I have lived with Sanctuary for nearly 12 years and of those, the last seven, we have been in dispute over a specific issue.

    I too have experienced mail going missing or just ignored. There does seem to be an issue with communication, as they do alter their position both verbally and in letters on a almost daily basis.

    I have nothing but disgust for the staff at head office, as its seems to be more important to close ranks and protect work collegues to the expense and detriment of the tenants.

    I am awaiting a court date, for a judicial review for my issue, but Sanctuary have gone and topped this by threatening my with a “re-possession order”, if i do not halt legal proceedings.

    In my mind, this pathetic attempt, which was made verbally, is a bullying tatic, which they seem to use on a regular basis.

    Sanctuary? Hardly!

    Am looking forward to my day in court.!

    • Frances says:

      Thanks for exposing these fatcat, low-life Landlords. Santuary, (hardly, by the sound of what you and others have suffered.
      I was about to swop with a tenant in a Sanctuary Housing run Flat.
      So glad I read your Blog.

      I have had years of hell from ASBO’ d neighbours, the 24 hour drugs and music has been finally reduced, so my exchange would not suffer so much, but I dont want to jump into a similar scenario, so thanks for the warning about Sanctuary!

      • Anne says:

        I live in a Sanctuary bungalow and I am very happy here. I have had several repairs carried out, all on time and to a good standard. I find the staff when I ring to always be friendly and helpful. I do live on a over 55’s complex though so that may be why we do not have any anti-social behaviour, yet! I am aware of the moral implications behind Sanctuary with regards to their charitable status although I find that day by day the world is becoming more and more morally bankrupt. Having been a private tenant for several years before securing this property I probably do see some things differently. I was paying a very large part of my disability benefits in ‘top-up’ rent to a private landlord who really did not care about gas checks etc.
        I was a taxpayer for many years and do appreciate that I now pay, in my opinion, a very fair rent for a above average property with a much more safe and secure tenancy. I cannot, at my age, stand on my principles about the morality of certain sectors because, in this case, my principles do not put a roof over my head.

    • kevin says:

      Ian how did it go as I live in a Sanctuary housing and with the bad weather we have had water is coming into people flats one has of the people here have been in and out of hospital about her neck and had her stuff soaked thought and the laundry has be shut about 6 times now due to the rain? water getting into the building and can’t find out about there duty of care in the tenant’s and landlords act as this is now beyond a joke now and I feel that Sanctuary should be held responsible for there property’s why was the tenant’s and landlords act set up in the first place I live in Maidstone kent

  2. timburness says:

    Hi Ian. Oh dear, it all sounds very familiar. I’m not surprised that this may be widespread, we suspected as much. We certainly had more than enough evidence to take them to court but we just wanted to get on with our lives. All the very best of luck with that one.

    Our experience was unbelievable. Where is their self-respect, let alone respect for others? Perhaps they have problems recruiting staff? Was it due to a box-ticking bonus culture? Are they deliberately trying to make themselves look useless?! Our MP was pretty shocked and he’s seen a few things in his time.

    To anyone else reading this who has suffered at the hands of Sanctuary Housing Group – don’t give up. However much of this is going on, they will eventually have to clean up their act if enough people stand up to them.

    It looks as though they have got too big to function properly.

    “Committed to excellence” they continue to boast on their website. I genuinely hope that this is the case in the vast majority of their expanding empire of 70,000 homes. With us however, one of the many police officers we spoke to was nearer the mark:- “They don’t know their arse from their elbow!”

    • Kevin says:

      Hi Tim and Bryan here is some news for you we had a fire here about two to three weeks fire brigade was here then they come and done an inspection and it failed we have been told that we are going to be evicted has they have to do as lot of work where i live they say it is going to take up to four years to do but they must have failed in there duty of care under Health and Safety act to ensure the the place was safe and healthy for people to live here under the landlords act it has caused a big stink here but will keep you up to date waiting to get a copy of the fire report back that should prove the did fail there duty of care

      • Judy says:

        I have been fighting with this company for 6 months due to damp issues, and I have proof that it was put forward for a complaint back on 8th of Feb, and nothing happened, so I went to my local CAB and local council, who have been very helpful, and I eventually got a letter from Sanctuary, saying that it’s now at the investigation stage and they have 20 days to investigate the situation, so I pulled them up on the 20 day policy, and asked why is 20 days fine for you to look into this, while I have been waiting for over 120 days, at last count. No answer to this question, but they have got a few days left. So will keep you updated about there investigation.

  3. timburness says:

    Taking a broader view, this post by a Housing Association tenant on a housing website (Inside Housing) seems to sum up a lot of the problem:-

    “HAs have been encouraged by government policy to become property speculators who sideline in social housing, tenants’ property functioning as a useful loan guarantee for market speculation. The ‘charitable status’ is a joke – their profits (sorry, ‘surplus’) pay whacking salaries to Chief Executives of £170,000+ for presiding over often appalling levels of services. The Housing Corporation & Ombudsman have failed, in the opinion of many tenant complainants, to regulate properly for years and displayed extreme bias… The new Tenant Services Authority has been talking tough about dealing with HAs – but then why weren’t these same officials tough when at the Housing Corporation?”

    Good question.

    Anthony Mayer of the TSA has said “I don’t think it much matters if you are big or medium, you can be big and have a regional or local focus.” Well that certainly wasn’t our experience. Sanctuary “we take this very seriously” Housing didn’t have a clue what was going on in our little neck of the woods, nor were they remotely interested. Maybe this was because they had only recently taken over the flat and others from Ashley Homes and Shaftesbury Housing, part of the well-publicized empire-building of Sanctuary Group. No hang on – you would have thought that would make them MORE concerned about any complaints wouldn’t you?


    As our complaints eventually got passed to different managers in offices many miles away from us (Reading, Littlehampton, and their head office in Worcester), Sanctuary Housing became even less professional than the local manager Peter Jackson who reduced me to tears down the phone and who lied in writing to our MP. (Mr. Jackson now works for Cura Independent Services in Worthing, West Sussex. I guess he didn’t put “Bully” and “Liar” on his CV? Possibly not ideal for therapeutic work with troubled and vulnerable young people? No apology ever received from him of course.) Our hopes were briefly raised when we got a letter from Astrid Kjellberg-Obst, Sanctuary’s Director of Corporate Services, saying an investigation into the local manager’s conduct had started and that we would receive a full reply within 10 days. We heard from them properly over a month later, when the threats, back-covering and general dishonest nonsense went up a notch as Tim Susans and later Wendy Fletcher of Sanctuary Supported Housing threatened us with their “Persistent, Serial and Vexatious Complainants Procedure”! (Whatever that is… does it even exist?)

    My then partner and myself were completely innocent members of the public whose lives were being destroyed. Sitting many miles away in their offices, the Sanctuary managers had the unbelievable nerve to threaten us!?

    Er… let me see if I’ve got this right. As taxpayers, my ex and I are actually helping to pay their wages!?

    I strongly suspect that they themselves have never been on the receiving end of long-term extreme noise disturbance from neighbours, or indeed that they have never been physically attacked for politely asking neighbours to keep the noise down at 4 in the morning.

    Why on earth didn’t they just acknowledge that there was obviously a real long-term problem that people had been complaining about for years, deal with it quickly and save themselves a whole load of trouble? The complaints from us and our neighbours (like my ex-partner, they own their own homes) were never taken anything like seriously enough from the start.

    Good God, one of the senior managers could even have tried – how’s this for a radical management suggestion – TALKING WITH US! We had sent them plenty of evidence that showed we were completely reasonable people just trying to get on with our lives. This was the second time in two years that our lives had been devastated by a tenant.

    Sanctuary Group continue to expand their empire.

    • Beesmad says:

      Hi Tim

      Very sorry to read about your problems with SHA, needless to say you are far from alone with this kind of devious lieing behaviour from Sanctuary. My wife and I are in the middle of a very bitter dispute with Sanctuary who have lied and manipulated their way towards trying to force us to sign an ABC for things we have never even done. Apparently we will be evicted if we don’t sign the ABC. Having a minor detail like “evidence” does not appear to deter Sanctuary from their vulgar, abusive lies and character smears. They have made accusations in the past and we have beaten them time after time, but the methods they are currently employing to intimidate us out of our home astound me. Perhaps we could talk Tim, we may be able to help each other? Look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards, Mark Lovell. (Cheers Mark, thank God it’s all history for me now but will be in touch soon, Tim)

  4. Zoe says:

    I used to live in a sanctuary housing hostel in Lancing. I was thrown out due to a member of staff making up a couple of things which i’m fine with now as my life is sorted now days. This was all 3 years ago. The last contact I had with them was a couple of years ago because I went to stay with a friend who lived there for a night but couldn’t stay unless i paid my debt from when i was there before of £7.00 so i paid it upfront and stayed the night. NOW 2 YEARS LATER AT MY GRANDPARENTS ADDRESS A LETTER OF £45.25 IS BEING DEMANDED FROM A DEBT COLLECTING AGENCY FROM ME AND THREATNING COURT ACTION IF I DON’T. The dead line is Monday and I just don’t understand why i should have to pay something that I don’t owe surely records of me should have been deleted when i paid my actual debt of £7.oo oh well as usual i’ll be f***ed and won’t be anything i can do other than ending up paying even more money i don’t even have………………..

  5. timburness says:

    Hi Zoe. Obviously it’s up to you and I’m no legal expert – but if the situation is as clear-cut as you describe, I strongly advise against paying up. There is plenty you can do! Try writing to Sanctuary regional manager Wendy Fletcher in Littlehampton (Google for the address) who may be sympathetic if you can present your case clearly and reasonably – It’s important not to get too angry, they can use that against you! Alternatively, you could first go to the Citizens Advice Bureau who can help you with any letter-writing to the debt collectors and Sanctuary. I also strongly recommend an appointment with Tim Loughton MP (again you can Google his site and contact) who is well aware of Sanctuary’s bullying tactics. If you have a genuine case, he will be on your side. Best wishes, Tim.

  6. timburness says:

    I found the following from an internet forum last year, discussing Sanctuary’s newly-acquired (it was previously council housing) Shiregreen Estate in Sheffield:-

    “I wrote to Dave Bennett, chief exec of sanctuary twice and these problems are now to be sorted out (yeh! right) but since, i have had not only a vist but also a phone call wanting to know why, wait for it, i owe less than £10 rent. When i had stop laughing went and paid £20. Seems complaints are not tolerated at Sanctuary Housing… i just think it was a not so subtle way on their part of saying, if you complain we will harrass you…”

    • Hi Tim
      Thought I would let you know that it was me who put those comments on the “Sheffield forum” in 2008.
      Update, I’m still waiting for the repairs to be done 4yrs on.
      In the mean time I have had several letters “asking” me to move (I have lived here over 20yrs and retain my right to buy, a fact Sanctuary do not like.) under the guise of “we have some nice new flats, maybe you would like one , And you may not be able to pay your rent when it goes up or your house is now to big for you (the offered flat was actually larger than my wee 2bd house and in an awful area) Me! “Will I still retain my right to buy?” SH officer” Errr, maybe, well not really”
      Conclusion, Maybe SH are not doing my repairs because they hope I will get that fed up I will leave and they can then move in someone who won’t have that right..

      I have also had so called complaints made against from they say other agencys that are hand in hand with them, I cleared these up but it goes on my housing record.

      Also even before my neighbour moved in one of their officers came around and left her diary sheets to fill in if she had any problems with her neighbour. (those on the other side own their home) they then came back a few months after to ask her again and she gave them a talking to about stirring trouble unneccessarily . What would have happened if she had been like the other 3 lots of tenants that they let to, who were a nightmare?

      I am once again going to try and get things sorted out by writing to head-office but I won’t hold my breath in the same way I don’t when they ring to arrange appointements for their cowboys, cough, workmen to give a no-show or bosh-up job. Did you know that repair or replace broken gutter, actually means, take a bit of muck out of it and bugger off,? No! me neither .

      Will keep you informed of any progress or should I say lack of.

  7. Ian Roberts says:

    Just thought you might be interested in an update on my issue with Sanctuary…….

    As you know i have been waiting for a judicial review to happen, which has been a long and stressful process.
    The Equality and Human Rights Commission suggested one last attempt at opening a dialog with Sanctuary, They suggested they would act as a mediator in concilliation talks.
    I was quite happy for this to be put to sanctuary, unfortunately and typically Sanctuary didn`t even bother to reply to The Equality and Human Rights Commision communication.

    In the mean time i have recieved Pre-court papers from sanctuary accusing me of harassment, making 280 phone calls in 4 days and an alleged threat to harm an unamed member of their staff.

    This was 5 weeks ago, and i have still not had any official court papers in relation to this matter……

    I wonder why?

    Because it is all fabricated and intended to try and intimadate me to withdrawing my case against them.

    They do not have a shred of evidence to back up their wild claims, as it is all untrue……..

    Lying is all they know when it comes to resolving issues that they know they are at fault, definately smacks of deja vu here!

    Will keep you updated!

  8. Zoe says:

    Thanks tim have already phoned them several times just waiting for responses now. Someone who works there has ovbiously tampered. A lot of strange things go on with that company I swear, there are a lot of people in the wrong job……….. Not at all surprised to see what Ian just wrote!! Good Luck! Sure you won’t need it.

  9. timburness says:

    I hope they ring you back Zoe, you never know your luck!? Good luck from me too Ian, I am very interested in the final result! TB

  10. timburness says:

    Interesting to hear Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s recent comments on antisocial behaviour, following the suicide mother Fiona Pilkington case. He has told the police to do more. The police and others say that “local authorities” must also play their part. Presumably, housing associations with not-so-local-managers are counted as “local authorities”?

    More on what George Galloway MP has called “the perversely named Sanctuary Housing Association”, from an ex-employee in Sheffield:-

    “Sanctuary staff have a lot to cope with – the management is pants – the general staff are bullied pressurised and belittled on a daily basis – the sickness record is unbelievable 24 staff including 3 senior managers and 7 line managers leaving 14 general workers of which 12 have been off work with work related stress and depression speaks volumes! A lot of the departments are managed by people in hull or leeds that dont understand shiregreens (estate in Sheffield) problems or needs and often tie shiregreens staffs hands in dealing with people…”

    Ah yes, that will all be part of Sanctuary Group being “committed to excellence”, this covers everything, right down to the abusive treatment of their own front-line staff.

    Don’t forget folks, Chief Executive David Bennett is on £288,000 of taxpayers money per year!

  11. wally0163 says:

    Hi Tim
    Thought I would leave a post following our chat. Sanctuary on its web site claims to be an “investor in people”. I have worked with them sometime on the front line, taking all the abuse and crap from upper managers who regularly coerce middle managers into closing ranks.
    Their staff like myself are intimidated bullied and treated like robots, frightened to open their mouths for fear of losing their homes.
    They have absolutely no duty of care to their staff, sad in todays world.
    One of my tenants was even threatened with his own tenancy on Friday of last week because he chose to support me,and he is classified as being vulnerable, the very people we are supposed to protect…..

  12. timburness says:

    Hi Wally, they really are unbelievable aren’t they?

    Sanctuary Group are very positive about having met the “Investors In People” standard since 1997:- “Investors In People was praised as a tool to help the organization to improve key areas of the business including employee morale.” Hmmmm.

    According to their own website, Investors in People is “a flexible and easy to use standard which helps organisations transform their business performance. Our frameworks are outcome focused…”

    Going by all the above on this blog, the Sanctuary Housing Group “outcome” seems to be pretty clear…

    They don’t care about anyone!

    Rather strange for a charitable organization supporting vulnerable people?

    • tim says:

      hi last year sanctuary had a christmas meal for the employees which was for charity they actully raised £95 for charity

  13. wally0163 says:

    well I am on the front line and regularly have experienced poor management of upper managers coercement of middle managers, no duty of care, I am blown away that a company can and does get away with this treatment with no come back at all.

  14. timburness says:

    According to a recent post on Inside Housing, not-for-profit Sanctuary generated an “operating surplus” i.e. profit of over £30 million pounds last financial year. Then there’s the Sanctuary Group £200 million pounds worth of bonds, recently issued through Sanctuary Capital plc, a subsidiary vehicle set up by the association for “capital markets issues”. All good not-for-profit business practice? Of course, it all goes back into maintaining their high standards, the public and private sector joint investments in the re-generation of communities, house-building which provides jobs for the economy, and so on and so forth. Of course!

    Sorry, I for one am not remotely convinced by the integrity of Sanctuary Group. Maybe the Audit Commission (a watchdog that monitors public spending) should also be concerned? SOMEONE should be?

    It would be nice if Sanctuary cared, just a little bit even? Surely not too much to ask for?

  15. Anita Robbins says:

    Do you know of any employees who have taken Sanctuary to Court for unfair or wrongful dismissal

  16. timburness says:

    Haven’t come across that one Anita.

    Citizens Advice Bureau is a good first stop for checking out the legal situation.

    Season’s greetings, Tim x

  17. timburness says:

    Financial irregularities and bad practice by Sanctuary?

    All denied of course.

  18. Barbara says:

    From an early age I have grown up with my mum working within Sheltered housing. This involves living on site and dealing with the elderly almost every day. A few years ago we recently moved to a Sheltered Housing site owned by Sanctuary Housing and just like the other one this involved living on site with the rest of my family. Day by day , I witnessed the turmoil my mum had to struggle with from Sanctuary. And although I never really understood the situation myself, never did I ever hear a good thing about the company. After being wrongfully suspended for a ridiculous amount of time, my mum was treated teribbly by the company and barely received the support that she was in need of. As an employer, it should have been Sanctuary’s priority to ensure that during suspension and investigations that their employee’s are well looked after and not left in the dark. I know for a fact my mum felt very isolated and didn’t have the support she needed which lead to all sorts of problems. The idea of sanctuary being ‘investors in people’ is total rubbish, wheres the support for the employee’s?? (Good question Barbara! I hope things improve. Tim)

  19. Are Sanctuary Housing targeting the disabled for cash?

    Hubby who i care for and i have the misfortune to live in a Sanctuary Housing Association one bedroom flat. They have employed a company called Central Ticketing Birmingham to issue parking tickets to non residents and Sanctuary provided residents with parking PERMITS to display in their cars. They must be on show at all times We have always complied with this. On the 6th October 2009 we were issued with a parking ticket for £85 Ticket said we didnt have up to date permit which was a blatent lie. Of course we appealed and then of course we lost.

    Received letter from ticket company on saturday saying we had failed the appeal and threatening debt recovery and court action unless we paid £60 + surcharge within 14 days Hubby couldnt take the stress anymore and paid it. I plan to dock this amount off the rent. I intend to take this to the local press and housing ombudsman.I still belieive we were targeted because of the false belieif that the disabled get loads of benefits. Sorry for the rant.

    Also when i phoned sanctuary today to ask why non residents were not being ticketed i was again told they could do nothing about it They could not guarantee that it wouldnt happen again when pressed. She said it wouldnt happen cos we had a permit. ERM we had a permit in October It still happened She said to produce photographic evidence if it happened again. We did that in October too. We still lost the appeal for something we shouldnt have had to appeal in the first place.

    Husband has ischemic heart disease and the stress would have put him in hospital so when we received the letter on Sat 16th Jan which threatened debt recovery spiralling costs and court action we were basically bullied into paying up even though we are innocent and they are in the wrong. Sanctuary housing manager keeps saying it is not their responsibility even though ticket company is employed by them. But in their words the ticketing service is “contracted out” so the ticket company can do what they like. Unbelievable.

    (I’ve edited this down a bit Elizabeth, I hope you don’t mind. Try and keep your cool if you can, otherwise the corporate clowns will use your anger to try and make you look unreasonable. Stick to the facts and follow it through in any way possible! Wishing you the very best of luck, Tim)

  20. Of course i dont mind Heres an update Sanctuary phoned today saying that ticket company will be paying us back. Apparently sanctuary have to action this by sending them an e mail and they will be paying us back in two weeks time so we should be getting our money back However there is still no guarantee that this wont happen again and in one way their decision came too late I had already taken the details into the local newspaper office. None of it should have happened in the first place. So what to do now!

    Bought t v guide today I noticed Tim Loughton has taken part in an upcoming t v programme Tower Block of Commons Was it a Sanctuary place that he stayed in?

  21. timburness says:

    I don’t know Elizabeth, now that would be interesting, haha! Glad they are sorting it out for you, better late than never.

    Sanctuary Housing Association’s lawyers have also used bullying tactics:-

    Thank you all, my comments are closed for the time being. I hope this blog makes a difference.

  22. Tim Multon says:

    Hi Tim, I have read through a lot of comments that have been left on here, and sympathize with all, My Fiancee & I, and fello neighbours, are due to suffer a plight with Sanctuary with regards to them proposing to knock down and rebuild a 73 bed Very Sheltered Housing units in Gravesend right in front of our house, does anyone know what the term Very Sheltered Housing and what it really means? why Very and not just sheltered accomodation?
    has anyone ever gone up against one of their planning applications and what was the outcome? I would love to hear back from anyone, thanks.

  23. timburness says:

    Hi Tim, good luck with this, I found the newspaper articles. I’m guessing you were referring to Extra Care Sheltered Housing? I have come across this through my own care work, although I am no expert. There is some controversy about extra-care housing and whether it is always good value for money. The general idea, as you’ve probably found out by now, is that it costs more and that residents get more support and a better deal. As regards your situation with Sanctuary, to quote my nurse friend Jodie from my original post:-

    “They will try ANYTHING!”

    Threatening a local council with a public inquiry if they don’t get their own way, going completely against the wishes of 150 local residents? Yes, that sounds like our “community-minded” friends at Sanctuary.

    • Stephen says:

      Would be interested to hear further comments about Sanctuary. I am a former employee – made redudant in ridiculous circumstances. I know of a few others too…

      I might have one or two interesting snippets…

      Fortunately I walked out straight into another job no thanks to SHA! Pillocks!

      Would be glad to talk…

  24. timburness says:

    Finally, “official” recognition of at least some of Sanctuary Housing’s problems. A recent inspection of Sanctuary Midlands by the Audit Commission (who monitor public spending for the government) concluded:-

    “The quality of responsive repairs depends on who undertakes the repair. Sanctuary may repair empty homes to a high standard, but it does not relet them quickly and it failed to safety check over 200 gas appliances last year. Customers can not always access services easily, diversity is underdeveloped and it cannot demonstrate value for money.”

    Ann Bennett, Audit Commission Lead Housing Inspector, said:

    “Sanctuary Midlands is letting its customers down by not providing strong and consistent services that meet their needs… The Association needs to do much more to ensure that services perform well and that the quality it is delivering meets customer expectations.”

    According to their new website, Sanctuary Housing Group appear to be at least trying to take the Audit Commission’s findings seriously. From what I’ve seen and heard, I wonder whether this large, hyper-commercial, box-ticking, corporate organization is capable of sorting itself out? Good luck to them.

    Alternatively, in their usual style, they could always threaten the Audit Commission with their “Persistent, Serial and Vexatious Complaints Procedure” or some other bullying rubbish!

    To anyone else reading this who has suffered at the hands of Sanctuary Housing Group – don’t give up. However much of all the above is going on, they will eventually have to clean up their act if enough people stand up to them.

    • tim says:

      hi just to let you know that some of the sanctuary employee’s are not happy with sanctuary actions, so we are taking action the union and the staff council have got involved just waiting to see what happens. if nothing happens we will be going on strike and we will let the papers know what is happening,sanctuary don’t like being put in the papers?

  25. Stephen says:

    Interesting result of the inspection…whilst I was still employed by Sanctuary we had a mock inspection of our region – guess what…responsive repairs and gas servicing got slated amongst other things. Value for money got a caning too…

    Paul Hayward who had only been appointed to head up Internal Maintenance Serivces last year appears to have been despatched into the outside world along with yet another director… Sanctuary seem to get through directors with reckless abandon… Steve Wood, Nick Abbey, Jo Curry and now Astrid Kjellberg-Obst – all jetisoned in less than clear situations, some with mighty big pay-offs (hush money?). And other staff dumped unceremoniously in curious ways too. Fascinating stuff. And yet people like Ian McDermott survive…

    There were interesting(and expensive) legacies of the merger with Shaftesbury – maybe £1/4m misspent on a maintenance contract…(“but it was very flexible”!!!! – you’d hope so in the circumstances). I have an ex-colleague who’d love to blow the whistle…

    (Curiouser and curiouser… Tim)

    (An article I’ve just read suggests that Steve Wood is still with Sanctuary? Tim, June 2010)

  26. Denise Christophersen says:

    Hi Tim

    I am also a former employee, one who as Stephen describes “not ceremoniously dumped” and one of the few who did not receieve a pay-off. On the contrary it cost my family some £2000.00 in legal fees and we are still suffering the consequences. It will take a little time for me to formulate my comments, but once perfected, I will most certainly forward them to you, together with the inside knowledge I have from my former position as PA to the Regional Director Jo Curry. No, Sanctuary Housing do not operate within the limits of the law. (Cheers Denise, looking forward to hearing more, I hope things get better for you, Tim)

  27. I had the misfortune of working for Sanctuary Management Services Scotland for seven months. As an ex soldier who had served 24 years in the forces, I have never witnessed so much bullying and mismanagement of staff in all my time until working for Sanctuary. My manager had on many occassions acted unprofessionally and had constantly undermined my authority with several members of staff who would have been dismissed for their conduct had they been working for almost any other company. A certain individual was twice reported for bullying/threatening behaviour as well as other sackable offences Mobile phones on site (Student Accommodation). When this was reported to my manager for action I was informed that the other members of staff were picking on the indiviual because he was Polish and they were acting in a racist manner towards him. Funny that one complaint came from a Lithuaniun member of staff.

    After our Housekeeper left the individual applied for her position and was surprisingly successful considering he had been reported so often for his conduct. I informed my manager that I would resign over this if he was succesful. Sure enough because I was the only manager to stand upto her and had the backbone to make a descision I resigned. I had email access restricted, was ignored by my fellow managers and treated like a leper. Needless to say I was released with my months salary withing 24 hrs of resigning.

    I had tried to email head office in Glasgow with a list of concerns and all emails were returned as undelivered.

    • always interesting to hear other sides of the story

    • Anonymous Somewhere south of the Midlands says:

      Another ex employee here. Similar story trying to get a result for residents and dared to speak up and tell them they weren’t following their own policies. But then I was already at the end of my rope with their promote those who are in the cliques and ignore those actually qualified for the job process. I wrote a number of very carefully worded emails to relevant heads of service and was basically told between the lines to shut up trying to help and keep my head down and butt out or face their disciplinary process.
      Needless to say I found another job and handed in my notice within weeks.
      Should have jumped ship before Sanctuary finished the takeover but I actually liked the tenants and enjoyed speaking to them every day and having a personal connection.
      Sanctuary is so large that when tenants call up they’re often talking to someone hundreds of miles away who has no idea of their situation or history other than a couple of notes on a computer so how can they take ownership of a case or a personal interest in those they are working to help.
      From seeing everyone’s repair woes I will say this. Don’t you think if repairs were done fast, if people were listened to more that people could take more pride in their homes and therefore keep them in good condition? If the landlord doesn’t seem to care you’ve got leak why would you bother to look after the property. Sanctuary have to give a little to get back in return.
      I always thought you should believe what a tenant says unless a visit proves otherwise so why is damp always condensation caused by not ventilating the property?
      Personal opinions only others may have had a brilliant time there.

  28. timburness says:

    “As an ex soldier who had served 24 years in the forces I have never witnessed so much bullying and mismanagement of staff in all my time until working for Sanctuary.”

    That is quite a statement Calum! What the hell is wrong with them and how come they get away with all this?

  29. Finally received my exit interview questionaire with an apology for thebreakdown in communication as they were in the process of changing their system.

    • Stephen says:

      Exit interview – what’s one of those? It never occurred to me when I left in a great rush that I ought to have pushed for an exit interview.

      Having managed to extend my redundancy consultation until I’d been there over 2 years, they cast out all my proposals for alternatives and required me to leave virtually immediately on “garden leave”. Exit interview – fat chance. I’m sure they wouldn’t have liked what I had to say.

      In truth I was just glad to be away.

  30. timburness says:

    Very good to see 50 housing association bosses, including David Bennett of Sanctuary Housing Group, “named and shamed” by new housing minister Grant Shapps in many daily newspapers yesterday.

    “Chief executives need to be subject to the same scrutiny as other public figures whose salaries come out of the public purse,” Mr Shapps said. “It is important that we shine a light. Everyone in the public sector should be subject to the same levels of scrutiny and transparency.”

    As has been observed elsewhere (Inside Housing), naming and shaming only works if the people involved actually feel shame. I could be wrong, but I have a strong hunch that on over £250,000 per year, David Bennett is not the sort of person to feel any shame.

    “We have built a reputation as a leading provider of social housing and care services based on our ability to deliver excellent services. Through careful financial management and a consistently honest, straightforward approach our reputation for excellence will continue to grow.” Oh really Mr. Bennett!? You really are having a laugh, aren’t you? And at the expense of taxpayers and some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

    Looking at my copy of it now, I still can not believe the letter he wrote to our MP! Totally useless and arrogant!

    Did he really think an MP would write to him if there wasn’t a serious problem? Unbelievable.

  31. Sue Reynolds says:

    Sanctuary Housing repairs are an absolute joke! I have lost count of the “no shows” from various contractors -wasting valuable days off work. When they do turn up -the repairs are shoddy and of a very poor standard. A blind man with no thumbs could do a better job. I have often been told by by the “workmen” that Sanctuary advise them to carry out the repair the cheapest way possible – a sort of patch-up and tosh over – often resulting in them having to return to fix the original repair!

    Sanctuary are notorious in not following up complaints. Countless emails and letters go unreplied to-files are lost and notes are not logged. Everytime I think I am getting somewhere -the said contact ups and leaves or gets relocated to another site. There are no”paper-trails” and you have to start from scratch again. God help those who are Care in the Community tennants -or those who are elderly or dont have English as their first language – they really are at the bottom of the pile -Why hasnt’ Panorama or WatchDog done an undercover programme on Sanctuary Housing?They would have plenty of ammo.

    I am fortunate [or unfortunate some would say] to live in Pimlico on the “Denbigh Triangle” -these properties are considered prime real estate. One bed-roomed flats on St Geoges Drive can go for £300,000 plus. I sometimes think there is some sort of conspiracy to “run down” the properties so that Sanctuary can sell them off. On the top foor -There is an eldery gentleman who is Care in the Community -It would make you weep to see how he lives -the same with the refugee bloke immediately upstairs from me -who had a hole in his ceiling the size of a telephone book where the rain poured through for TWO YEARS! On the ground floor is another Care in the Community – she has set fire to two previous Sanctuary properties -so what do Sanctuary do? -put her on the ground floor…Doh!

    The poor lady also collects rubbish -and in Summer the stench can be awful…..I could go on but to tell you the truth it just wears me out.

    • timburness says:

      “Why hasn’t Panorama or Watchdog done an undercover programme on Sanctuary Housing? They would have plenty of ammo.”

      My thoughts exactly Sue.

    • tim says:

      hi there sanctuary have just done an in house the Maintenance team are ism, internal Maintenance services that’s how they get everything cheap

  32. timburness says:

    The latest Corporate Charlie to speak on behalf of Sanctuary Housing Group is Sanctuary Group Chair Nick Baldwin. Sanctuary were “extremely shocked and disappointed” to hear of the Audit Commission’s negative assessment of Sanctuary Midlands. Er… you all seem to be a bit out of touch Nick?

    Defending David Bennett’s £269,000 salary (crikey, he seems to have taken a cut of £19,000 since last September, steady on there!), Nick Baldwin said: “The board of Sanctuary Group, the largest social housing provider in the UK, believes that it is important to employ the right calibre of leader to run a complex organisation that provides housing and social care to people living in more than 76,000 units of accommodation throughout the country. David Bennett has an excellent track record; he has spent more than 25 years with the organisation and has significant and broad experience of the sector.”

    Oh well that’s okay then, what are we all upset about?

    More on Nick Baldwin and the Sanctuary Board and Executive, including Mr. Bennett, at their website

    Remembering everyone’s experience on this blog, the following from their website is possibly the most obscene load of hypocritical nonsense yet:-

    “Corporate Social Responsibility is not just a corporate phrase, it’s the way Sanctuary has been doing business for the last 40 years. We are committed to running our business in an ethical and socially responsible way to contribute positively to the communities in which we operate.”

    • sandra says:

      Hi, I have only just started to work for Sanctuary Housing as Head of Care I’ve only lasted 6 weeks. found them to be bullish, very business originated to meet needs, what about meeting Care needs???? I should maybe not say this but, they have lost a really good employee, I handed in my recognition letter today

      • Abdulrasac says:

        Hi Sandra,

        Can you kindly send me an email regarding your experience with sanctuary housing. Am currently living in one of their house, and have had lot of bad experience regarding maintenance. I notice that they have a large turn over of staff, and they are not truthful
        Will you be able to give me more infor I can use against sanctuary thanks
        They also seem to have large amount of lawyers I their payroll

  33. val says:

    I am in sheltered housing being bullied by other residents, and the managers of the scheme seem unable to stop the abuse.

    after reading your site it seems I have a fight on my hands, and they call this supportered housing, I dont see where the support bit comes in

  34. timburness says:

    Hi Val. If you have a genuine case, do everything you possibly can to stand up for yourself and DON’T GIVE UP. Best wishes, Tim

  35. Tim says:

    Hi Tim, Just a bit of an update for you on the so called ‘Extra Care Housing Scheme@ that Sanctuary are still trying to push through @ Gravesend, Kent. with the vast help from Her indoors, we have so far gained 158 signature’s against the development. We had it delayed by the local council for 1 month, this was mainly due to Sanctuary upsetting the head on the regulatory board, we then had it again delayed further with a hearing date yet to be set again due to them having to re-design plans – Who says the little voice doesnt get heard…… ! More to follow, Tim

  36. timburness says:

    Good luck to you all Tim! Not that I’m a big ConDem fan, but you might be more likely to be respected with the new government’s local agenda? One would hope so. TB

  37. Andy Muckinlley says:

    Just had a run-in with Sanctuary regarding a complaint I made to Sanctuary regarding misconduct of one of their staff. The investigation was farcial and confusing to ‘witnesses’ 80 -90 year olds!!! Every complaint made to Santuary about this person is ignored or at best paid ‘lip service’ to. Even my local CAB is aware of Sanctuarys reputation.
    Tradespeople have complained they have to wait months and months to get paid!!!

    (“Lip service”, yep, that sums up a lot about Sanctuary… Tim)

  38. timburness says:

    Sanctuary Group continue to expand their empire. The latest addition is Sanctuary Carr-Gomm:-

    To anyone else reading this who has suffered at the hands of Sanctuary Housing Group – DON’T GIVE UP. However much of all the above is going on, they will eventually have to clean up their act if enough people stand up to them.

    If you have a genuine case, feel free to post details of any misconduct here, including the names of any of the Sanctuary staff concerned if you wish.


    It looks as though they have got too big to function properly.

  39. timburness says:

    Very interesting in-depth report by Andrew Purkis (former Board member of the Charity Commission) recently published by the Baring Foundation:-

    Click to access HousingAssociations.pdf

  40. Lucy Higgins says:

    I am 9 months pregnant and have to put up with somebody who defecates and vomits on the landing outside my door. I had not one day off sick from work during my pregnancy but while on maternity leave had to get down on my hands and knees and clean the mess up myself because they couldn’t get hold of anybody to do it. This has been a regular occurance, Sanctuary took no action at all untill I involved the police as it happened again and again. Sanctuary then couldn’t do enough, phoning me every 5 minutes! What a pity they can’t get my name correct, the follow up letter they sent me was addressed to Mr J Fox the previous deceased tenant!!! There is also a care in the community that lives directly above me, who has screaming fits in the early hours of the morning, Sanctuary brussed this asside to! I am quite scared when left alone in my own house, and am worried for the health and safety of myself and my child. I also have had mail stolen. It would be so simple to put up cctv it would solve these issues but that would be far too simple wouln’t it?
    On the corner of my street there is a new state of the art refurbished house with , wall to wall carpets and blinds. Sanctuary have given these flats away to Westminster City Council. Sanctuary treat their paying tenants like second class citizens. They should make sure there own properties are a decent standard first.

  41. val says:

    yes I am too fighting a losing battle, I am in sheltered and have only been in dispute with them for 3 mths, I have had to endure bullying from other residents, intimidation, cannot use the facilities, and even ended up in hosiptal because of the situation I am in and sanctuary dont seem to care

  42. ulie oi says:

    oh tim.bullying by staff its a joke .ive moved in santuary about a month ago and the bullying constantly and accusing is driving me nuts…..its scary how these people treat u.i am now on anti depressants and suffer with migraines.i feel like im stuck with abusive people….

  43. timburness says:

    Antisocial behaviour problems for Sanctuary in Cornwall:-

    It took them three years to deal with it.


  44. Zinzi says:

    I’m an employee at sanctuary and i feel like i’ve been bullied to, i’ve only been there a few weeks and they are already thinking of getting rid of me for unjustifiable reasons, the first month i was there i had hardly anything to do i think they want to blame me instead of realising they don’t even have enough work to fill out my 6 month temp stay there,i was also accused of being ‘rude’ for smiling saying please and thankyou 0.0
    i think i might leave
    it seems like a demi-urge company

  45. timburness says:

    More recent antisocial behaviour problems for Sanctuary Supported Housing in Bexhill, Sussex:-

    Yet again, some very familiar comments from neighbours about disrespecting the elderly, the inadequacy of Sanctuary management and the waste of taxpayers money by this so-called “charity”.

    Anne Fennessy of Rother District Council said “We understand the concerns of residents who contacted both the council and Sussex Police with complaints about anti-social behaviour.” Pardon me for saying so but NO, you don’t “understand the concerns” if you haven’t experienced this kind of ongoing nightmare yourself!! (My apologies and sympathy if you have.) Please be quiet Anne Fennessy – it would be more honest if you said “Well sorry, we don’t really care, Sanctuary Supported Housing are a bit rubbish really, I’m just glad we don’t have to deal with these youngsters ourselves.”

    As for the police, it would be nice if they started treating “anti-social behaviour” as CRIME. The new government have been talking about this, maybe it will actually happen, there’s certainly a lot of talk about it in the media.

    “The manager of the scheme, Cathy Wilson, has appealed to residents with complaints to make them directly to her rather than go straight to the police or the council.” Ah yes, we don’t actually want anyone DOING ANYTHING about the situation do we Cathy? Not until AFTER people’s lives have been devastated anyway. Said Cathy:- “We are committed to maintaining good relations with our neighbours and would be happy to talk to them directly and reassure them over any concerns they may have.” Ah yes, this is the kind of patronizing cr*p we got while our lives were being destroyed for months on end.

    Well done to Mrs. Abbott and Mrs. Swain for speaking out to the local newspaper.

  46. Derek Booth says:

    Me and my wife have been sanctuary tenants for 17 years and to this very day every time we need a repair its fight and frustration time. MPs Councillors, I through the lot at them. We are both in our 50,s the house and garden are really good ,the crap that sanctuary call new tenants wreck ,deal drugs ,and could not give a shit about there house ,and yes you’ve guessed it they get the repairs done no hassle at the moment Ive been promised repair work it never came off , so Ive written to my MP i will keep you up to date with the problem they should be called Sanctuary We,ll Promise you everything and give you nothing but bad repairs and bad neighbours housing ,really it is not funny just very worrying for me and my wife ,has we are both disabled and that dont worry sanctuary

  47. littlejoe says:

    Thought you might like to hesr sanctuary housing’s latest wheeze; Estate staff, (thats caretakers & gardeners to you), have just been told that their salaries are to be cut by £2500 per year!
    They say it’s to increase customer satisfaction – yeah, and what about cutting the directors salaries then? No chance!

    • tim says:

      i looked at the paper work they gave us at the meeting to them we are not caretakers we are cleaners and our salary will be £14.300 that’s over £ per year, caretakers handymen will loss £2500
      per year! you are right the directors will not have there money cut

  48. SUE REYNOLDS says:

    what is Sanctuary Housing’s facination with white plastic trunking? There “so-called” improvemments to our communal property are laughable. They are hell bent on ruining the interior of a stucco fronted Georgian Grade 11 listed building by running hidious white plastic truncking up the walls and across ceilings then boring through my walls a to do the same in my flat! Over my dead body! They say this is to supply a digital communal aerial for the TV. They also want to repeat the process with a communal Fire Detector. The planned works are both hidious and intrusive.When I spoke to the workmen on the job -they agreed that it was awful and that they wouldn’t have it in their homes! I have pointed out that having been a paying tennant [I work full time and pay full rent] for the past 25 years -I have a perfectly adequate Fire Detector [in full working order] plus I have a Sky aerial -with Sanctuarys permission. Trunking went out with the 1950’s -Once again, Sanctuary just want the cheapest option possible, to hell with the tenants who keep a good home and care about their property. Do I have any rights??

  49. jumbo jimbo says:

    Reading the above, I felt compelled to add the following, only to demonstrate how dangerous in my view Sanctuary Care can be. For the better part of three years they installed a hidden instruction written by Lisa Bek that any Sanctuary Employee or Contractor that attended my home had to do so in pairs for their protection. This instruction wasn’t shared during a DPA Subject Access Request…illegal. Was moved to Sanctuary Care Management who said this has been removed so it wasn’t possible to see a copy of it, except of course it was still there! Had a contractor at the door today with a written instruction for supervisor to attend because of my ‘mental health problems’ who spoke to me as if I was retarded! It transpires the written assurances that Lisa Beks improper instruction had been totally removed from Tim Susans were menaingless and that a call centre staff member went on to verbally discuss with a drainage contracting firm their anecdotal views about my ‘mental health problems’. Had the contractor not shown me the works order, I would never have known! I’m told they’re going to launch an internal investigation but aren’t obliged to disclose what it uncovers because of, prepare to reach for the smelling salts’ staff confidentiality! Social Services have filed 2 POVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults) Alerts to try to protect me over recent years. I reckon Sanctuary are not to be trusted on any level and that anyone considering taking them on needs to be fit and well and relatively unvulnerable because once it starts (and I’ve had 9 years of it) these people never let up. I’m sickened by being lied to, lied about, misrepresented. My complex disabilities make moving an impossibility and I do feel pretty desperate about what’s undoubtedly still to come. Does anyone know where Lisa Bek now works?

  50. timburness says:

    Thanks for your post Jumbo Jimbo. Thanks again to everyone else too.

    You are absolutely right to say that Sanctuary are not to be trusted on any level. From bottom to top – it is obvious.

    I am sure that many Sanctuary staff genuinely do great work, they are a big organization and some of it must work well. From my own experience, any type of management role in supported housing and/or care work with vulnerable people is not easy – in fact it can be a bloody nightmare. But in our situation and many of the above, not only did Sanctuary not care, they didn’t even care that they didn’t care – if you get my drift Jimbo! There is one letter that we received from Tim Susans that really does make you wonder how on earth a bloke capable of writing a letter like that got to be a senior manager.

    And I don’t think I even mentioned their threat that demanded I stop writing on my blog! From a letter of 14th July 2008:- “I must also make it clear that Sanctuary Housing will not proceed with either the sound proofing works or the mediation if Tim Burness continues to post derogatory and inflammatory remarks about Sanctuary Housing Staff and the Association on his blog. Any further postings of this kind will result in Sanctuary Housing invoking our Persistent, Serial and Vexatious Complaints Policy and Procedure against you both.” They must have found it themselves, I’d only written a mildly complaining short paragraph or two at the time. All they did was make me more determined to tell my story, it seemed a more constructive (and cheaper!) course of action than taking them to Court. I’m still waiting for this Persistent Vexatious thingy over two years later…

    Spot on about “anyone considering taking them on needs to be fit and well and relatively unvulnerable” Jimbo. They obviously get away with stuff because they are used to dealing with people who have problems defending themselves. The bureaucratic nonsense of “Complaints Procedures” in organizations like Sanctuary (for both residents and staff) is well known to be a farce that puts people off complaining – some people say that the Housing Ombudsman is similar. The tone of several letters we received, and even David Bennett’s letter to our MP, was patronizing in the extreme. Perhaps they have come to believe their own PR hype that they regularly pump out in newsletters and on the net, which always starts with something along the lines of “Leading housing provider Sanctuary Group…”.

    Merry Christmas to you Jimbo, if you celebrate Christmas that is. All the very best for 2011 my friend! Tim B.

  51. timburness says:

    From Jane Lansdowne, originally posted elsewhere on this blog:-

    I have again been reduced to tears no repair man came. This christmas was the most miserable and coldest I have had and at 57yrs I have had a few I am also disabled and suffer from asthma and clinical depression with a 15yr old daughter. We live in a 2bedroom house S.S. housing and down stairs we have 1 storage heater that does not work, I was told that it would have to be replaced but of course there is a waiting lists, I was then loaned 2 2kw fan heaters to keep us warm over christmas all they did was cost me a fortune to run. It was so cold that we could not open front door as it was covered in solid ice. I then received a letter and 2 text messages to say a workman would be coming on 30/12/2010 he never showed so now I do not know what to do. I really have had enough now my health is suffering but Sanctuary do not care, all they do is pass the buck, you never get a staight answer maybe I should write to the media, what do you think? thank you for taking the time to read this. Jane

    Hi Jane, I hope things have got better since you wrote. Do whatever you think appropriate, Sanctuary need to be held accountable for their actions – or lack of them. Wishing you a happier 2011, Tim

    • Derek Condon says:

      Hi Jane,

      probably your best bet to get Sanctuary to actually deal with your problem would be to ask the environmental health department of your local council to examine your home. They have the power to enforce repair orders; even on private landlords like Sanctuary. However, you may need to keep pushing the environmental health department for a while to get them to take the appropriate action. Don’t give up, you have a right to recieve the service you are, after all, buying from these people. I hope the rest of the yesr turns out to be very good for you. Derek

  52. Bryan says:

    I moved into so called sheltered housing run by Sanctuary. The light in kitchen was broken and so was the bathroom fitting. 8 months later and several no shows and waste of time appointments later kitchen light fitted just before christmas.Bathroom light still not. Filled in complaint and Complaint manager did utmost to squash it. Apparently their policy is not to get work done so as to save money. They have developed a complaints procedure in my opinion designed to waste the year you have to go to the housing ombudsman. Amazingly they have failed to install in these properties the new kitchens and bathrooms they got money from the EU for- according to a manager the money has been lost.Our local MP is too busy trying to become a shadow minister to do much to help us

  53. timburness says:

    The Church of England Pensions Board has signed a three-year £250,000 contract with Sanctuary Group to manage repairs, maintenance and improvement works on their homes for retired clergy. It has to be said – God help them.

  54. Derek A. Condon says:

    Re:- Sanctuary Cumbernauld, I thought that perhaps the Office of Fair Trading might be able to help us fight these highly offensive organisations. Everything to do with Sanctuary in any of its disguises seems to be rotten to the very core. I am heartened though to find that we are not alone in our distrust and indeed hatred of these companies and their dictatorship ideals.



    This was sent to the Office of Fair Trading:-

    The OFT seem to be under the illusion that, I am either asking for help as a private individual, or that a scam affecting only 500 households is too small a concern for them to be bothered taking it seriously. There are two companies involved in this; first Cumbernauld Housing Partnership Ltd (CHP) and then Sanctuary Cumbernauld (a trading name of CHP, since being taken over by the Sanctuary Group). These act as landlords to the tenants and “factors” to the private owners of flats within 12 high rise blocks in Cumbernauld.

    Whether tenant or private owner we are paying through the nose for services we are not satisfied with. The costs are always anything up to 10 times what would be fair and appropriate and the “service” is appalling. These companies seem to be unanswerable to anyone from the Government, though supposedly regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR). SHR, an executive agency of the Government, seem to only look after the interests of these private companies; with the clear emphasis being Sanctuary Housing Association, the Sanctuary Group, Sanctuary (Scotland) and Sanctuary Cumbernauld (formerly known as Cumbernauld Housing Partnership Ltd.). Surely, as housing regulators, they are tasked with looking after the interests of the people served by these companies and not the companies themselves?

    The people who live in these blocks are being given no actual choice regarding the demolition plans of these companies. Worse still, the so-called “consultation” exercise is clearly being carried out after the proposal to demolish was made public, thereby blighting the entire market. However, the companies involved “claim” not to have decided and the Scottish Government has not yet agreed to fund this forced demolition. A choice, by definition, means selecting an option from more than one available – yet these companies and the regulator seem to think that having only one option constitutes a choice; it does not! This has resulted in the private owners, who are after all the majority stakeholders within these blocks, being unable to move, unable to sell their properties; therefore they are effectively trapped with only one way out, that being to accept the only offer available – demolition, and a pittance of compensation which does not reflect the amount of care and attention they have lavished on their properties over the years. As far as the tenants of Sanctuary/CHP are concerned, they are supposed to accept declining standards and increasingly damp conditions, which their own landlord has actually caused by a lack of proper maintenance of the flats, which they own and rent, since they first came into being. Does this appear to be fair in any way to any of the residents?

    The so-called “consultation” exercise being carried out by Sanctuary/CHP is neither fair nor impartial, it is biased deliberately to give the result that Sanctuary/CHP want. If all of the governmental, council and trading standards organisations are unable, or perhaps unwilling, to properly investigate this aspect in particular, then justice is neither being done nor even being “seen” to be done. Can none of them see the more than obvious lack of transparency and absence of truth that permeates everything that Sanctuary/CHP have done here in Cumbernauld? Are these bodies simply turning a blind eye to the truth, or are they afraid to challenge these companies for some reason known only to themselves? Why are the people of Cumbernauld being treated in such an unfair and clearly “commercially biased” manner, while our elected officials and consumer protection agencies seem prepared to allow this to continue unabated? Regardless of what Sanctuary/CHP may say, they are not acting in the best interests of the residents, they are acting in their own interest only! Quite what they gain from treating us all in this manner is as yet unclear, neither company is able to be properly scrutinised under the Freedom of Information Act, simply because they are private companies; so does that mean that they can do or say anything they like with absolutely no accountability to the people they claim to serve?

    We contacted the OFT in the hope that you would help us to address the unfair, seemingly biased and malicious abandonment of properties within these blocks, by Sanctuary/CHP, that their behaviour could be brought into the light of day and that our rights as “consumers” of services from these dictatorial entities could be stopped, under law, by your involvement. The Office of Fair Trading should be interested enough to investigate our case, especially given that the practices and behaviour of these two companies are so blatantly unfair. We have all been placed in a situation from which there is only one way forward, to accept demolition and shared equity re-housing whether it is “actually” necessary or not; it is not: there are other financially feasible options which they refuse to even consider. Meantime, Sanctuary/CHP, supposedly a “Registered Social Landlord” are being allowed to abandon selected properties within the high rise blocks to the detriment of all residents whether tenants, owners or private landlords and their tenants. Since most of the problems regarding “rain penetration” are a direct result of the bad workmanship of Sanctuary/CHP’s contractors and exist primarily in those properties owned by these companies, which then subsequently cause damage and water penetration to adjoining properties within these blocks, should they not be held to account for their lack of care and attention to their own flats? Should they not be forced, under law, to repair these abandoned flats (25 out of 216 which they own, from a total of 566 flats – 62% being privately owned.) thereby making them habitable? Should these two companies be allowed, through their own (probably deliberate) neglect, to cause actual damage to these buildings and then use their own lack of care and attention to force the rest of the residents to accept demolition and the threat of Compulsory Purchase Orders, while this blatantly unfair practise is the only option they are prepared to consider; despite the simple fact that they are themselves the primary cause of most of the problems which exist within these blocks? Do you think this is either fair or acceptable? Also, consider the following very carefully:-

    Sanctuary stated openly at a local council meeting that it was “…not part of their remit to have an open and fair vote…” about the acceptance of demolition, they intended to only ask a few people, whom they had hand chosen, to vote in favour of the only option on the table. Surely this is unfair trading at its very worst?
    In conclusion, you ask if we are satisfied with the response from the OFT? We are emphatically not satisfied with your response. As it stands, for us you are now to be seen as part of the problem and not of the solution If unfair trading like that described above goes un-investigated by your organisation, then the rule of law is already dead and we live in a dictatorship run by private companies, like the two detailed above. Are you able to help us?”

    Yours sincerely,

    Derek A. Condon (Chairman – RFOA)
    Registered Factored Owners Association – Cumbernauld

    • Derek A. Condon says:

      Dear all,

      This is an extract of the reply we got, eventually, from the OFT.
      Surprise, surprise, yet another official consumer protection body that won’t take any responsibility, or even consider taking any investigative action, of any kind.


      Dear Mr Condon

      Thank you for your further e-mail of 31 December regarding your concerns about the actions of Sanctuary Cumbernauld (Sanctuary) and the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR).

      We have noted the points you have raised and have the following comments. First, we appreciate that you contacted the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to assist in addressing concerns which you consider to be ‘unfair practices’. However, the work of the OFT is not to assess whether practices are fair, but to ensure that markets are working well for consumers. We undertake this through the enforcement of consumer and competition law as well as analysing markets. The issues that you have raised relate to a dispute over the management of and the future plans for a specific block of flats. As we stated in our previous letter, the OFT is not best placed to deal with these issues.

      Whilst we note that you are dissatisfied with this response, it may therefore be helpful if we outline our position in relation to the specific concerns you have raised. In particular, we understand from your e-mails that you raise three main concerns which we will address in turn:

      – the services provided by Sanctuary;
      – the lack of transparency and alleged bias in the consultation on the demolition plans for the block of flats;
      – the actions of the SHR and in particular its relationship with Sanctuary.

      With regard to the concerns about the costs of and level of service provided by Sanctuary to the Cumbernauld block of flats, the wider issue of the service and costs of management companies is one that the OFT considered as part of our market study into Scottish Property Managers in 2009 . The purpose of the study was to determine whether the market for residential property management services in Scotland was working effectively. The study assessed the current level of competition in this sector and investigated whether the existing mechanisms, through which owners of flats in a block or homes employ property managers to look after common and shared property, gave rise to significant consumer detriment.

  55. former employee says:

    I worked for Sanctuary and they are a nightmare. They treat their staff with complete disrespect. Morale is so bloody low. change after change after change. Despite making 23 million profite and directors getting pay rises guess what staff are told no payrise this year and we should be thankful we have got job. This is only half of the storey.
    Sanctuary do however have plenty of really good quality people who work for them. I worked with some ace dedicated people who want to do a really good job but the powers that be are so controlling and you have to play the political game.
    Besides we have a saying staff should be seen and not heard.

    • Lucy says:

      I’m a former employee. My colleagues were dedicated and worked hard. We built up local partnerships with other organisations, had systems that worked pretty well and tried to do our best for our tenants. Until Sanctuary gobbled up our HA and gradually we realised we were all totally dispensable. Initially we tried to be positive, adaptable and make the best of things. We tried to initiate dialogue to explain some local customs and practices that had worked well to see if we could meet half way. NO .. it was their way or no way. They were expanding so fast their internal systems could not cope. The strain of the increased workload caused by complicated & long winded systems that didn’t always work was very difficult. It was very frowned upon to question the constant change. The attitude was keep up or get out.

      It’s a very unhealthy workplace and its a shame because they do have some fantastic staff. I felt that the intolerant & uncaring attitude came down from somewhere up top.They are obsessively corporate and would rather get something wrong the Sanctuary way than have something work that didn’t come from them. They want to micromanage & control everything to do with staff. They monitor everything & everyone & so much time is spent on reporting details of everything & being monitored it hardly leaves time to do the job.Only faults get picked up, not successes.

      The thing is, I think those in power do believe their own hype.

      We were constantly told how important tenants are & how we should give 110% service but they failed to listen if we said ‘we can’t give good service because ..’ or ‘we did give good service until you made us do …’ . That was just excuses & if we couldn’t do it there was a competency issue to be dealt with. (it was always our inadequacy … never the systems!) They also failed to see that demoralized staff who are just pressured but not supported probably won’t be giving the best service. There are good things about Sanctuary … the people … they talk a good service …. their policies, procedures & training were better than previous …. If they just listened & genuinely wanted to hear instead of just concentrating on ‘beating’ everyone. If they treated staff like a valuable resource instead of an army of drones …

      • Tim says:

        Chief Executive David Bennett has a lot to answer for.

      • Alex says:

        Hi Lucy

        I’m in a position now to help make this more public. I only need people such as yourself to get in touch with me. The BBC are pushing to have a report out on Sanctuary in 3 weeks time. I’m approaching all who have been dealt unjustly. If you want to know more my email will at the end.
        Sanctuary took me to court after I went to press ! Now we have a Crown Court inquiry date for May.
        Please get in touch Lucy !


    • Insider says:

      What is interesting is how the group not only treats its tenants but also how it plans to treat its staff, together with breaches of regulation & legislation which; if made public would lead to chaos within the business streams and ultimately the forced break up of the group ….camera crews on your front lawn David…..more to follow….full documents under consideration to be uploaded to Wikileaks via Tor shortly

  56. Rose Bowie says:

    Dear All,
    I am surprised that Sanctuary are able to get away with so much underhand stuff without full Government backing.
    They got our largest housing association for free. Can you imagine? A whole company, not yet bankrupt, given over in the guise of being a Subsidiary, with a 5/6 million annual turnover for nothing in return except a bunch of charlatans to run the business. The regulator here approved it! Either the regulator is stupid or the regulator got something out of it. Which? There needs to be a full independent inquiry into what really went down.

    The service now sadly in the housing association has gone down hill, to the detriment of the tenants. Sanctuary’s newsletter is so full of spin it makes one dizzy. My teenage grandaughter says the whole thing was tailored to Sanctuary’s whim of demolition, and gigantic profit. In a not for profit society, that means inflated salaries, big fat expense accounts grossly inflated maintenance, and development costs, with bonuses to the biggest con men. Just like the banks!
    No industry in the UK is sacred.

  57. timburness says:

    Very much like the banks. Blatantly and shamelessly putting profit before people. A very dodgy racket that is cloaked in respectability, and now too big to be held accountable for its widespread bad practices – or are we all missing something? Would anyone who has had a consistently more positive Sanctuary experience like to defend them here…..?

  58. jumbojimbo says:

    I noticed from the last propaganda (newsletter) that they’re running a 65% satisfaction score for repairs. I may not be great at numbers but that means 1 in 3 repairs are not being satisfactorily completed. Surely this is one of the worst in the sector? Our tenancies suggest we should be entitled to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of our homes. The reality it seems for most is that nothing is further from the truth.

  59. Derek Condon says:

    Hi Tim,

    I have found your blog very informative and indeed encouraging, just knowing that we are not alone helps substantially. I heard on a talk show this morning that some private schools were trying to get “charitable” status, similar to that enjoyed by Sanctuary in all its forms. The comment that stood out was that these schools should, at the very least, be contributing something more than lip service to charity in order to get this special status.

    Considering how much Sanctuary are worth, you might think that they would also contribute something more than a few pounds to charity but they don’t. Charitable Status for companies like these is no more nor less than a tax dodge – how not to have to pay any VAT. I am also still awaiting a reply from the Office of Fair Trading but I don’t think I’ll hold my breath. None of our elected officials, nor statutory bodies seem to be willing to take up any challenge to Sanctuary’s position about anything. What I can’t understand is why? Anyway, keep up the good work and pass my best wishes to everyone who has a problem with these organisations. I for one will not give up, they must be held to account by the authorities eventually, especially if we all keep demanding it.


    • I formed and ran a charity successfully,and am constantly surprised now by the lack of charitable treatment from charities”Ive been on the receiving end of this and of course it is illegal,but they all scratch each others backs these organisations,and so charity” is starting to be meaningless,admittedly there still are some excellent charities out there but numbers abusing the tittle appear to be growing,of course you can always complain to the charities commission,always assuming they are not in someones pocket,by now

  60. timburness says:

    Thanks for sharing and your first class contributions Derek, very pleased to hear that this blog has been helpful. “Why?” is the biggest question we had with our original Sanctuary experience. Keep on keeping on, we got our result in the end, even though it half-killed us. I’m sure a lot of people give up after a while – not acceptable! Sincere best wishes, Tim.

    • Derek Condon says:

      Hi Tim,
      would it be acceptable for us to use some of these comments to make large posters “highlights” and some smaller leaflets in order to distribute the information among our residents, particularly those who do not have computer access? Many of our residents are elderly and don’t have the internet to see this vital information but we feel that they need to know that we are not alone.



  61. Bryan says:

    Further to my last comment I did refer them to the local MP Meg Hillier but I dont think she will do anything. I had five attempted breaks in in what is sheltered housing over 8 months and not one visit from the antisocial behaviour team whose remit is to contact people in 5 working days – a joke as you can see. Andrea Cheun one of their business managers in charge of repairs said to me it is part of their policy to ask detailed questions about ongoing repairs that have not been finished to ensure its a sanctuary matter and also to make it stretch out so it never ever gets done.
    I wish someone would refer Sanctuary London and South East to the Audit Commission for their poor repairs and lack of repairs etc but I think we might need to get European help on this issue as there seems to be a lack of willpower to do anything by departments in the uk. I am desperately seeking urgent rehousing with anyone but sanctuary.

    Your MP is PAID to represent her constituents in exactly these kind of situations Bryan – don’t let her off the hook! Thanks for posting and good luck with everything, Tim

  62. SUE REYNOLDS says:

    Can anyone explain in a nutshell what the “Social Housing Agenda” entails? Am I right in thinking that Housing Associations like Sanctuary are selling off some of their properties in desirable areas [London mainly] at a vast profit [with the backing of Government] with a view to re-housing the previous poor tenants in alternative areas? Is this what happened to Wolfson House -the large block on St. Georges Drive in Pimlico?Where did all the old people get sent? Come to think of it, the recently refurbished block on the corner of Denbigh Place and St. Georges Drive suffered the same fate. Turfing people out of their homes is unacceptable.Surely it is evident that not enough “new build” social housing is being planned for or built. Where wil it end?

  63. Derek Condon says:

    Hi Sue,
    Though I am unfamiliar with the sites you mention in London, seldom having been there, I strongly suspect that you are right. From my own experience of Sanctuary, in all of its various guises, it would appear that they are first and foremost a property developer and as an afterthought a Registered Social Landlord. Though they are supposedly a not for profit organisation, we have to wonder where their “surplus” goes. Presumably the wages for their senior people are substantial and I would be willing to bet that their pensions are equally enormous. I suppose they have to “dispose” of any surplus (ie, Profit) somehow.
    Also, going by our experiences here (Cumbernauld in Scotland), they are willing to use very underhanded tactics which utilise propaganda and fear to force people to conform to their plans. Here, they announced that our flats were being demolished via the local newspaper, fully nine months before they started to “pretend” to consult us. There are many elderly people living in these flats who are now very frightened, this allows Sanctuary to force their proposals through, regardless of how it affects people. Being afraid is not a good place to start negotiating from. This is the main reason that I am prepared to fight them, in any way that I can. I find their methods extremely dictatorial and their propaganda insulting. Their methods could perhaps be best described as “Corporate terrorism”, the use of fear tactics to get their own way, completely regardless of the truth, is nothing more than despicable. Social Housing built by private companies like Sanctuary, is not a cost effective alternative, to councils and indeed government built council housing. Many more houses could be built, for the less cost to the government than those built by Sanctuary. Yet another very clear indication that Sanctuary are in it for the money, not to provide quality social housing. The government it seems would rather pay more for less housing than actually tackle the issue themselves.

  64. Tenant of Sanctuary cumbernauld says:

    I recevied a house from Sanctuary which had £20,000 pounds of work done to it and a garden with no garden I was told it was my responsibility to prepair the ground and lay a lawn which will cost about 4 or 5 hundred pounds which i do not have.
    After being in the house a few weeks the gasman came to commision the gas system and found that gas was leaking from the system luckily for us it was beside the the meter outside the house.
    i also found no washing line poles or whirligig.
    gaps in the windows which u could see daylight.
    drafts at front door and patio doors i have had to put curtains to keep the drafts out.
    where the fridge/freezer fits in the kitchen there is a big heater on the wall which stops us from opening and useing the freezer.
    I have contacted Sanctuary cumbernauld about repairs on october 2010 but am still waiting to get repairs done and still fighting with them about the garden. I feel like I am talking to a brick wall, am so disappointed but will carry on and see what happens…

    • the_truth says:

      the garden is your responsibility, as per your tenancy agreement,washing lines are not sanctuary’s responsibility. Both are never a landlords responsibility where ever you go. My LA agreement also states it is my responsibility for the garden, as does the private landlord tenancy i held before.

      As for the other problems I can only apologise. If you are on benefits, you can get warmfront or an equal company to draft proof for free. I only wish I could give you my contact details as I would personally chase and take ownership of these repairs for you. like me and many other staff do daily

      • Tenant of Sanctuary cumbernauld says:

        Hi “Truth” I read your comments and thought I would give you an update as too what is happening now, there has been some movement on some of the repairs.

        CHP/sanctuary have now decided to rotovate the ground but I am not sure what this means, for my part have to put the seed down once this is done which will be fine if the Ground is ok for planting the seeds. Anyone any advice on this? And “Truth” you are right, there is nothing in law that says they need to give you grass in a garden. But this does not mean to say its right; its just mean. CHP/sanctuary built about 50 new homes and they all got a lawn, so why am I different from the other tenants. Also I had to get a local councillor involved before CHP/sanctuary would budge. My thanks to him for his help.

        CHP/sanctuary is responsible for providing an area for drying your washing whether it is washing poles or a whirligig which they say they are going to sort out.

        As for the gaps and drafts. One of the living room windows is to be replaced soon (under Scots law CHP/sanctuary are responsible to make sure every home in wind and water tight) which has not been sorted yet and this was checked by CAB housing lawyer.

        The fridge/freezer problem is to be sorted and someone has been out to measure for a new heater.

        As for the gas leak no one from CHP/sanctuary has been in contact about the leak to explain or apologize or anything; all they asked was,has it been fixed (Yes no thanks to you) if someone had chucked a cigarette or was digging outside the meter box with a pick axe, which was meant to happen but all the snow put that on hold. Thank god! At least 2 homes could have been destroyed and adults and kids could had been killed or injured who is going to take responsibility for that.

        There are other problems with the house which are minor ones, remember there was £20,000 spent on this house just before we moved in. I would have thought that someone would have checked the house for defects before signing the house off as ready for the tenant. Most of the repairs should never have cropped up if the people concerned had done the job right in the first place.

        I would like to point out that I am disabled, with lung problems and have had to have part of one removed, I also have asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and get puffed out easily. My son is 15 and has a rare cancer (Rabdosacoma) for which he is being treated with chemotherapy and so spends a lot of time in hospital (CHP are aware of this). I have enough on my plate without having to fight with my landlord, they should be responsible. Honest, fair, approachable and to have some manners, instead of treating us like the enemy. I can only speak about Sanctuary Cumbernauld. There was one woman from repairs who was based in England (sorry can’t remember the call centre’s name), who was very helpfully, kept her word and chased up the window replacement for me. Now we have our own call centre here for repairs and I should not have to call England to get a repairs done again.

      • Tenant of Sanctuary cumbernauld says:

        Just a update on the garden,the workers were out at the weekend and had a look and could do nothing as the so called garden is a pool of mud and rotovateing/sewing seeds would not work so they are putting a report in to chp/sanctuary with regards to this so we will see what happens.

    • Frequently the biger the company the more awful the care is,we have been left with broken gas fires etc,I feel for you all,to much power in the hands of a few

  65. Jason rix says:

    I have had problems for over 5 years with sanctuary failing to start or complete any repairs, I have been forced to pay for these out of my own pocket. It’s sick that they are able to get away with. I have now given up making complaints or expecting a call regards complaints and to read about there profit of over 23 millions, what a joke

  66. robertroebuck says:

    Hi there everybody

    My name is stuart white i am putting these details on this site from my freinds laptop with his help because i am dislectic. I am unfourtunatly a tenant of sanctuary housing and it is that capacity i email you allthough i am an officer on my regional residents forum and i represent that region on the national forum but i emphasise i email as a tenant of sanctuary the reasons why will become clearer later.

    Sanctuary without doubt consider themselves above the law and behave lawlessly with no consideration for their customers i.e. tenants. Now that we as tenants have lost the protection of statutory regulators ie the audit comission and tsa they have now let loose their Autocratic,Draconian Management without Tenant consultation into freefall.

    The story no, facts that now follows,will demonstrate this to you.It is hilarious and beggars believe but i assure you is true.

    In september last year they proposed to pay volenteer board members a governance payment of £150,000 peryear supposedly out of efficiency savings, thats a laugh want they meant was reduced services to tenants.The present chair was the chief executive of an energy company on a six zero salary and is now a non executive director of the same energy company,paid i might add and they ask us tenants to pay him £25000 pa and other volenteers £8 to £12 thousand pa each. I challenged that and because i did they tried to intimidate me by putting me through a kangeroo court and regional director investigation for which i was found not guilty but as i had included in the sane letter reference that i would write to mr e pickles MP it was deened to be threatening. How farsical can you belive however another example of sanctuary attempting to intimidate me and i am not an employee but a tenant involved in resident involvenent.

    The result was they said they would consult with residents via the quartly your voice magazine and their website how farcical the window of opportunitywas two weeks,they closed the website 31 10 2010 had a board meeting october and ratified the payments to commence !st April 2011 very ethical and transparent i do not think,do you?.

    At the same time in september they stopped the cyclical work program nationally ie new bathrooms,kitchens,painting etc also stated that the repairs budget was overspent and they would only carry out emergency and essential repairs,so much for efficincy savings No!a reduction in tenants services so much more to demonstrats Sanctuarys care for tenants,their own statement,what a falsehood!

    Their next plan of action without consultation is to set up a Central Customer Service Centre in rural Banbury.Closing down other local call centres which will effect some 65 members of staff to redeployment or redundacy having done the following: 1.Identified staffing levels.Site location.IT equipment costs and entered into a 90 day consultation with staff.IE employment law. Without consulting residents, in particular the residents of Sanctuary Midlands East of whom 95% come from the Indian subcontinent, Africa etc, whose first language is not english. Showing complete contempt for the laws of this land by not abiding to the racial amendment act 2000 and the new equality act of 2010 by failing to carry out a Racial Impact Assesment which they are duty bound to do so. THEY THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW. But they are not because I have reported them to the legal dept of the EQUALITY COMMISION who have advised me they will be taking what ever appropiate action this requires.

    Sanctuary were hit by a snap audit inspection by the audit comission in march 2010 in the midlands region and it was a bad one.They then submitted a response stating improvements they would undertake what a farce now tha the regulatory bodies are in the demise standards of services is on a never ending downward spiral, i will be contacting the Audit Comission advicing them and requesting that they do a revisit. Lets see if sanctuary are above the law.

    History proves that when a subsidary joins them they carry out this process of bringing that subsidary under their control. They send their own QA team in and then state the subsidary is threatning their standards and take over the management of services which as resulted in a deteriation of services in the East Midlands. It is of interest to note that sanctuary disbanded their Qa team followin g the snap audit so much for so called professolisim,how farcical.
    The next process is then to bring the subsidaries staff under ther management control and then carry out staff reductions,transfers to other regional offices and and seek seats on the subsidary board to gain control.Eventually this brings the demise of the subsidary example Beth Johnson,Hereward,Charter and soon maybe Asra.This must be put astop too.

    They are now planning to cancel the Regional and National Forums and set up National and Regional Scrutiny Panels by April 2011 these members will be interviewed and selected by themselves setting up there own team to tick their boxes and enable them to demonstrate to what ever regulatory body that they are involving residents in scrutenising them. How farcical and if anyone dares challenge them would they be treated like i was over the board payments.They have also said that no complaint unless of a seriuos nature should be reported to any MP.They now feel that they are so above the law that they can forbid the democratic right of any citizen of th UK to go to their elected representative,who the hell do they think they are?i know they think they are ABOVE THE LAW.

    To further demonstrate their intention to diminish resident involvement they are going to cut an original budget of £2,800,000 by 50% of which £1,400,000 was staff costs, which means a 50% staff reduction and 50% of the balance being left for a reduced resident involvement budget. However they can still protect FAT SALARIES e.g. Chief Executive David Bennett’s salary of some £300,000 pa managing some 85,000 tenacies – twice as much as the Prime Minister who runs a country of some 60,000,000. Despite that huge salary, they can’t meet the normal standard expected services for 85,000 residents. They also pay voluntary board members £150,000 pa. They also waste vast sums of money engaging outside angencies and consultants when surely the substantial salaries they pay directors and senior management should not require this wasteful expenditure.

    However i for one would question due to neptuisim if we have the best of senior management because there as been many internal promotions of staff as sanctuary as grown without external advertisenents for some positions.For example a subsidary housing director of 3,000 tenacies was promoted to Group Housing Director of 85,000 tenacies and this post was not advertised.Have we the best person for that position? I personnaly think not.

    I am aware that there is a growing underswell of residents discontent with Sanctuary’s services to such a degree, that several MPs and local authorities have been contacted in areas such as the Midlands, Sheffield, Cumbernald, Exeter to name but a few. How much longer must this continue?

    This is a clear waste of taxpayers public finances and I am aware that Sanctuary are bidding for funding to build 10,000 more tenancies and this adding a vast amount of them to those residents already suffering under Sanctuary’s management.

    I ask all Sanctuary residents who are dissatisfied with their services to write to their MPs to help rectify these problems.

    I myself have involved Ministers Of State,MPs and Investigatory Journalists of the National Media and I implore The Housing Minister,Secretary of State to investigate this situation that prevails to date causing contineuing anguish to Social Housing Residents of Sanctuary.

    Anyone wishing to contact me please contact me as follows:
    FLAT 12
    TEL 07954363293

    • the_truth says:

      again rubbish, the call centre is a direct response to consultation of residents concerns of too many different phone numbers and having to go through several departments to get an answer.

      The call centre a threat to east midlands….. asra (east midlands office) is staying in control till late this year until the multi-lingual team is in place. So NO THREAT there.

      the TSA will remain in charge of regulation till it is transfered (On their website so again another non factual comment from stuart)

  67. robertroebuck says:

    very well said on behalf of tennents Stuart

  68. timburness says:

    Yes indeed, thank you for that Stuart, much appreciated. Not surprised to hear of the usual sham “consultations”, and that Sanctuary have also intimidated a tenant representative.

    The consistently massive gap between their shiny PR front and the total lack of respect for real people is staggering and way way beyond a joke.

    Please take action in any of the above-mentioned ways people. YOU are the only ones that will bring about change.

    Yes, YOU!

  69. reg says:

    I fully agree with most of the opinions on this site, but I must defend some excellent staff whose work loads are increased, budgets cut and put in a position whereby they are prevented from giving the service to the tenants. This does not stop them from trying though (it just makes for despondent employees). This is all led from Worcester who builds shiny new offices at the same time as cutting funding to the regions, repairs and much needed planned works. These same regions staff have had terms and conditions eroded, also being on a pay freeze now for 3 years. These same regions the staff are paid at reduced levels. There is never any consistency within the company, long term forward planning only thoughts on how to spend as little as possible maintaining the stock and how to grow as quickly as a company, They say look at me look how big I’ve become.

    As I started off bare with the staff in your region understand they are frustrated with restructures year on year, prevented by cuts and a way forward. They are constantly threatened with losing their jobs if they speak out.

    The question should not be what Sanctuary regions are doing but what does Sanctuary Worcester (head office) actually do? Do they have any direct contact with tenants, are there any housing officers based there who have direct contact with the tenants. The regional areas were better managed under local offices with local call centres.

    (Thanks Reg, important points there… unfortunately my experience of several of their staff was a million light years away from anything ‘excellent’, for whatever reasons. People’s lives were being destroyed – no exaggeration – and they couldn’t have cared less. Tim)

  70. joker says:

    I totaly aggree with all the above.
    With the cuts coming there are vulnerable people who are going to suffer that live in sheltered.
    The scheme managers who care have their hands and mouths gagged or tied.
    There jobs are on the line and the tenants dont want to lose them.
    Sanctuary north has not consulted with any tenat over the budget cuts to try and keep the security of there scheme and support to live indepedant lives with support.
    If sanctuary dont step up and be counted and the schemes lose all there support.


    • the_truth says:

      The cuts are due to Supporting People charge being reduced, or even scrapped.

      • joker says:

        Not all due to the Supporting People charge.
        In fact Sanctuary got fat with taking the highest amount possible in the SP charge and it was only going to be in place for a few years and then sanctuary started to expect it. Some other housing companys did not.
        So not all truth that it is because of the cuts.
        And when will my family be told of the reductions of rent and payments!!!!!
        and why just outside of the town they are spending 1.2million in building new to sell houses !!!!!

  71. john gaston says:

    My Daughter moved into house in Basingstoke. On day she arrived couldnt move in, no electricty check done on house. Had to wait three days. Had to clear debt on metter so she could have electricty only to find gas was not on, no check done on gas service, gas pipes not connected to gas connection in kitchen. Nobody would help at Reading office, nobody has phoned back. Three small children and no heating, local rep was in Basingstoke, didn’t answer or visit. Are thy about to go broke?

    • the_truth says:

      The electricity supply is between you and the electric supplier, not sanctuary, so what should they do in light of that fact?

      Secondly the gas is disconnected from the supply for safety reasons whilst the property stands empty. You have this explained at you at sign ujp, get a leaflet about it and a sticker on your sign up pack again explaining this.

      Maybe this blog can check the content is factual before posting it? I could write any old crap and Tim would chirp in and write “shame to hear about this, keep fighting the cause” whilst there is NO truth about it. I’ve worked in complaints on and off for 30 years and let me make something clear to you, 7/10 people make stuff up or get it totaly wrong hence their complaints are never upheld.

      how about releasing the results of 20k of sanctuary residents from last year on how they view the service? If you are going to blog, least be open minded and impartial

      p.s the results were majority satisfied with sanctuary in many areas polled. 92 vs 20k YOU DECIDE

      • timburness says:

        Thank you. I apologize for my chirpy comments and there is of course no way I can check all the facts on this blog. Unfortunately I have had sufficient first-hand experience to suspect that the big majority of complaints here have some legitimacy. I may be wrong. In the interest of fairness, I am going to quote you at the top of this blog if that’s okay with you?

      • Derek Condon says:

        Well, well, hello Peter! Who would have thought that Sanctuary would have had one of their “spin” doctors reply on this blog for them? If Sanctuary want to comment here it would only be fair if they chose a better blog name than “the truth”!

        92 vs 20,000, really? How nice to quote statistics like this and give me such a nice target to respond to. I have evidence of Sanctuary’s statistics manipulation tactics which I can provide to you if you would like. We, here in Cumbernauld, have a residents “satisfaction” survey which was carried out by Sanctuary which states that 30% of the people whom they asked to contribute to this survey were actually members of the former Cumbernauld Housing Partnership (CHP), now Sanctuary Cumbernauld. This survey claimed 92% satisfaction regarding repairs, among other things. They interviewed 316 people of whom 92 were “members” who were involved with them. This was then used to provide the evidence that the company had “improved” its performance sufficiently to be taken over by Sanctuary. Meantime, Sanctuary were driving everything at CHP, though from behind the scenes not openly or officially but secretly. Before “the truth” starts to complain about my comments here – I would suggest that he bears in mind that I have a considerable amount of evidence to back this up.

        In fact there is more than sufficient evidence to prove that Sanctuary have deliberately mislead, misinformed and actually lied to the residents here while doing the same to the Scottish Government. So before “the truth” comments here again it would be wise to note that if necessary I will publish all of our evidence on line for everyone to see so that they can all decide for themselves. Also, I think you owe Tim an apology because if anyone is actually telling the truth here it is him, not you!


      • joker says:

        you must be a member of staff on an excellent wage !!!

  72. Richard Roll says:

    My mum, 80, lives in a ‘Warden Controlled’ property in Sidmouth. Several years ago she complained about staff on-site; since then she has been bullied and harrassed by these staff. She is unable to complain formally because Sanctuary have advised her it will cost her hundreds of pounds. Her life is being made an absolute misery. Unfortunately I live hundreds of miles away and due to my work/financial situation I am unable to help her.

    Sanctuary don’t want any trouble; they will put all the obstacles they can in the way to prevent anyone rocking the boat.

    note – I have just written to her MP on her behalf.

  73. Richard Roll says:

    How does one go about toppling the Board of Trustees or whatever they are called? I could – I WILL, given the chance – do the job for 20k a year, and do a better job than they are doing!

    (Hi Richard. Yes, what the hell are they doing? On the other hand, it looks to me as though the whole structure of Sanctuary is to blame, as much as anyone in charge. It looks as though they have got too big, too greedy, too quickly and lost touch with the mundane realities and practicalities – a classic business mistake, amongst other things. Tim)

    • anyone can complain to the charities commission,although they have changed the wording,if the charity is not being charitable and causing harm” is perhaps what it now says,any charity can have their status stripped

      • CRAIG says:

        With all due respect Judith, Sanctuary Housing Association are an Exempt Charity, who the charity commission have no governance over. It is merely a tax break. As TIM’S heading states ARE SANCTUARY HOUSING ABOVE THE LAW? In affect. they are……… FOR NOW!

      • I am trying to reply about the fact someone has rightly pointed out this is an exempt charity(that makes interesting reading on wikipedia) I did miss that due to my ADHD,that explains why no one seems to want to inspect in any great detail anything,as with many cases,is themselves inspecting themselves to some extent,if all funded from same place,shame with so many comments on here something seems amiss for sure

      • CRAIG says:

        And the road to hell was paved with good intentions!

  74. jumbojimbo says:

    I feel sufficiently motivated reading truths comments to suggest the following as my own personal opinion.

    Firstly, I don’t think truth is very good at sums. I’ve a letter from Sanctuary stating they have 70,000 tenants. The recent newsletter I received showed that they couldn’t manage a 2/3rd approval rating on repairs makes for some 21,000 tenants who don’t think the repairs service a lot of cop. Truth suggests high approval ratings ‘in some polling areas’, this is exactly the type of disengenuous statement that we know to expect from this lousy, bunkered organisation. To then suggest that 70% of Sanctuary Tenants invent their complaints or have no basis of fact seems to get us to the usual nonsensical parody I, and other contributors to this post have come to expect from them.

    No-one posting on this blog suggests universality of experience, but I personally take great exception to being called a liar by implication. I think your blog is a good thing Tim. It is revealing that you get bile and anger over a washing line and/or something misunderstood by the tenant. It’s safe to assume I should think, that the tenant before posting to the blog would have tried to contact the call centre to try to ask for help. Likely more than once. The point in some ways is that it is clear that the tenant, whatever the misunderstanding or required resolution, received help with neither as a result of contact with Sanctuary. The tenant doesn’t have to be right, the tenant is allowed not to understand, the tenant can be plain wrong in law, fact or opinion, but that doesn’t make them liars. In my own view for truth to suggest a correlation between upheld complaints and tenant voracity is obsecene.

    My own experience is that Sanctuary will stop at nothing during the complaint process to disadvantage, misrepresent and corrupt fact. Their responses are written and constructed, not for dealing with the tenant but finding sufficient semantic or legal ambiguity/misunderstanding – beyond the comprehension of the majority of tenants – so as to appear just (and I mean just) about plausible, should there be sufficient subsequent basis to get to ombudsman or law.

    Don’t let the anger from truth get to you Tim, keep up the good work, there will come a time when good things happen to good people. At the very worst Tim, support the tenant to be wrong but be treated with sufficient decency so that they understand why! All the best. J xx

  75. timburness says:

    Spot on with all your points Jumbo and thanks for your support! I don’t think ‘the truth’ is remotely convincing with the stats either, but a point of view worth having here I think. He/she might be a genuine Sanctuary worker trying to do his/her best in a difficult job, I’m sure there are many as I’ve said several times. But that doesn’t excuse Sanctuary’s overall disgusting PR arrogance, poor standards, dishonesty and lack of integrity and kindness towards many, many people. Tim

  76. Bryan says:

    I think what we need to do as a group is to contact Liberty and get them to take our case to the European Courts. I might be wrong but I am sure Sanctuary are in breach of articles 13 14 and maybe even 15 and more.
    That might make the legislature in this country deal with Sanctuary eventually

  77. Bryan says:

    I left out Human Rights Act. I live in sheltered accomdation today a elderly woman collapsed in the corridor no one from Sanctuary to help her. Thanks to the local authority Hackney a labour authority getting rid of the wardens we are left with poorly paid support workers who are not familiar with uk laws.

    It is amusing that our local MP Meg Hillier is not interested in helping us perhaps it will upset her march up the shadow cabinet. It dont surprise me as on most issues she votes against the people of hackney and does not even live in the area.

    • life does seem to get more and more bizarre in UK,to use the word,that my GP threw at me,so many people in high places and organisations turning away, you do wonder why,are they not looking at whats under their noses,spose its fear,of being bullied themselves?all I can think of

  78. anon says:

    No-one wants to take responsibility for anything at the highest levels, no-one seems able to make a decision about the simplest things. We have had significant investment and the schemes in the midlands are excellent but the treatment of the lower level staff and the tenants leaves a lot to be desired.

  79. David Carter says:

    Hi Tim,
    I wonder if you ever had a look at the issue of the absence of Sound Insulation in Sanctuary Housing Schemes. If you had it will add another dimension to the discussions and explain many things that are the basis of the replies to you posts.
    With advances in Sound Insulation techniques there is no reason for Sanctuary to continue to rent flats where people cannot even talk in their own flats and have to be constantly in fear of doing simple things that, as human beings, we all have the right to do in our homes, things such as turning on a light switch, taking a shower, talking, moving about in the flat and so on. It is therefore time someone has a serious look at the problem and tries to constrain Sanctuary to get their houses in order by providing sound insulated flats to rent. Then, as if overnight, many cases of anti-social behaviour will come to an end because tenants will feel so secured in their flats that there will be no reason to threaten their neighbors for doing in their flats what they themselves are afraid to do. The saying seems to be, ‘well, if I cannot do certain things in my flat, then you must not do those things’. This, in my opinion is the origin of the so called anti-social behaviour that is wrecking the lives of tenants.

    • timburness says:

      Hi David,

      Yes, I completely agree. This issue was a big part of my own troubles. Eventually Sanctuary, and to some extent Adur District Council (apparently the flats were originally built as temporary holiday homes), acknowledged that there was a real problem with the lack of soundproofing between us (home owners) and our Sanctuary neighbours. Sanctuary initially said they would take responsibility for this, but we were then told that “there isn’t enough money in the kitty” to carry out proper sound insulation. This was before we found out about their obscene profits.

      A few months after that, in her own home, my ex was treated very rudely by one of the people carrying out “sound transference tests” on behalf of Sanctuary. We later found out via our MP (even though the extensively-documented problems had been going on for over a year by then, with a great deal of police involvement and complaints from other neighbours, “leading housing provider” Sanctuary didn’t have the courtesy to inform us themselves!) that these tests had apparently proved that the soundproofing was of acceptable levels, so no further action was required. Either the tests were completely inadequate/inaccurate, or Sanctuary were plain lying.

      Complete bullshit, however you look at it.

      Totally freaking useless. Yes, THEY NEED TO TAKE SOUND INSULATION SERIOUSLY!



      (With apologies to other Sanctuary staff who may be doing their genuine best to help people.)

  80. colin says:

    As part of there growth Sanctuary have spent millions on a new office and now sacked 15 staff in each part of the country to pay for it. In Hull 15 people told your gone in August, the same week as they have yet another 30k plus job on there career page.



  81. disgruntled employee says:

    The job cuts colin talks about are only the tip of iceberg. Sanctuary took over Charter and subsequently aquired massive spanking new premises in Banbury. Sanctuary have set up a ‘contact centre’ at these offices, it is not yet up and running but is expected to be in June/July 2011. The aim is to deal with Housing queries, i.e application, tenancy issues as well as rent queries.
    As yet Sanctuary have not made it clear whether they intend to move the Customer Service Centre (CSC) from Hull, common sense would say if they are spending this much money and making this many staff redundant from rents and housing call centres, they will eventually make CSC staff redundant (approx 100 people)and move them to Banbury.
    Sanctuary employeed two Resident Engagement Officers in the North (based at Hull and Leeds) approx 1 year ago, they have been informed they will be made redundant, this work will be taken up by other staff. This shows Sanctuary dedication to resident engagement. Why create 2 brand new posts, then a year later make them redundant?
    I completly agree with colin on his last comment, jobs for fat cats in head office in Worcester. Sanctuary seem to be forgetting their core business, some of these fat cats probably never deal with tenants, they are too busy trying to invest in some other care home or take over another ailing Housing Association and making more profit……….. sorry I mean ‘surplus’.
    Sanctuary try to paint the picture of a caring housing association, they treat their tenants appallingly and the staff even worse.

  82. affected staff says:


    • disgruntled employee says:

      Perhaps if Sanctuary employed qualified procurement officers who can be approached to set up the business requirements for the job.There is no way specifications can be met. In local authority qualified staff are on hand all the time to give their professional advice, Clerk of Works and their teams. These were lost when the housing stock was taken over by Housing Associations,and their short term financial gain without costing out the total overall running costs of their aquired housing stock. Which are now becoming the new slums.

  83. Ian Roberts says:

    Hey Tim,

    Its been a while since i last posted on your blog, but i check back regularly to read with interest and find myself feeling nothing but sympathy and empathy with many of the genuinely awful cases of poor treatment by Sanctuary towards their tenants.

    I realise that some posts are minor and not really relavent to Sanctuary`s mismanagement, but i find the MAJORITY have a running theme of experiencing poor or no service from Sanctuary.

    I REALLY appreciate you taking the time and trouble with your blog to allow others to express their anger and frustration at Sanctuary.

    But is it not time we set up a forum where we can gather all of the genuine complaints, concerns and issues we have and actually do something about these appalling cases of poor treatment and mismanagement?

    Your blog has been an AMAZING starting point for many of us to vent our frustrations, but not much can be achieved if we do not join together and do something more constructive in bringing Sanctuary to account for their actions?

    I propose as a starting point, a group on Facebook, where it would be easier for people to communicate with each other and share experiences……I do not wish in anyway to take the shine off your blog, because had it not been for YOU and your BLOG, i would of felt very isolated and vulnerable in dealing with my issues with Sanctuary….

    There are many good staff working for Sanctuary and unfortunately the bad experiences seem to be outweighing the good work some of the staff do.

    Its about time we took hold of this issue, gather as many complaints and problems as possible and redirect them all to the appropriate Bodies, who will then be forced to act on them.

    Its only a suggestion, but i really feel this could help many vulnerable tenants, who are getting no-where making individual complaints.

    Would you object if i linked your blog to a Facebook Page i intend to Create?

    Without YOU, none of us would of had a voice, Your a hero in my eyes!

    Keep up the good work
    Best Wishes

    Ian Roberts

  84. timburness says:

    Thank you Ian. (I’ve always wanted to be a hero, bless you sir!) Yes, completely with you on that one, I think Bryan was suggesting something similar a few posts up and I’ve been thinking it myself. I’d be happy to step back a bit if needs be. A Facebook page sounds good. Will e-mail you. Very best wishes Ian, Tim

  85. jumbojimbo says:

    From my perspective, a facebook sounds like a cracking good idea. Anything that examples Sanctuary’s behaviours toward one individual will prove to be a vital support tool for anyone else trying to cope in the future. The wider the audience the better! Great Idea. If I can help, mail me.

  86. Derek Condon says:

    Hi Tim,

    The very latest from Cumbernauld has been a “vote” taken door to door by a research company on behalf of Sanctuary (Cumbernauld. Neither Sanctuary nor the research company are covered by the Freedom of Information (Scotland)Act and therefore absolutely nothing that they say can be verified on any level. One very interesting comment from the company who carried out this “survey” was the following:-

    “…you are correct that the final response rate was 71%. In research terms this is statistically significant and indeed this response is significantly above the turn out rate for the general election…”

    Now, this is not a general election and even if it was the politicians do not go door to door to collect your votes. Sanctuary appears to have asked (?) only 402 out of 566 flats residents which equals 71% of the total. Was this accidental, could they really not manage to contact 164 residents, probably most of whom are private owners? So, “…statistically significant …” would seem to be the preferred method for Sanctuary to fit their statistics to the result they intend to get.

    Statistics are so easily manipulated to get the answer they want while deliberately avoiding asking fully 100% of the people they intend to force their will upon.

    Sanctuary (Cumbernauld) have stated that they will release the survey only after they have a board meeting to discuss it.

    Despite announcing the results(? via the local paper on the 2nd of March. This was 8 days before they wrote to the residents to inform them of the result. PR clearly trumps treating people who will be affected by their survey with respect by simply informing them, before reading about it in the newspaper.

    Sanctuary (Cumbernauld) are also apparently trying to have Cumbernauld declared a “Housing Renewal Area” by the Scottish Government which would then allow them to force demolition regardless of the concerns of any residents. So much for the claim that Sanctuary are a socially responsible landlord then.
    If they get their way then they can force their plans upon the people of Cumbernauld, without any right of appeal, and probably with minimal financial compensation for those forced out of their homes and into “shared equity” alternatives.

    So, if we do not agree with their proposals, plans, or trademark dictatorial behaviour they will simply use compulsory purchase orders (CPO’s)to force their will upon us all. Of much more concern is the fact that they are apparently deliberately causing damage to their own rented flats by neglect and abandonment. This is very likely a ploy to make sure that the high rise blocks, in particular, are neglected so much that Sanctuary can convince the Scottish Government that Cumbernauld should be a Housing Renewal Area.

    This would amount to an apparent attempt to mislead the Government into doing things Sanctuary’s way without any need for consent from the residents whom they will therefore be able to force into complying with their expansion plans.

    Tenants of Sanctuary Cumbernauld would therefore be expected to live in ever declining standards of accommodation until they are re-housed, whether they want this or not. While any private owners are simply railroaded into acceptance of “shared equity” by Sanctuary’s own deliberate neglect of adjoining properties. This despite the fact that the majority of private owners have looked after their flats very well, while only Sanctuary are failing to do the same with their flats and therefore are guilty of using their own neglect and abandonments (28 so far and counting) as justification to force demolition upon the private owners.

    Sanctuary only own 38% (216 out of 566 flats in Cumbernauld) so the private owners amount to 62% of the total ownership. Why is it that none of our elected officials (MP’s, MSP’s, councils etc.) seem to be even slightly concerned about this rather questionable if not deceptive behaviour on the part of Sanctuary and indeed certain other parties who have been involved? None of these have shown even passing interest in investigating our concerns, for over two and a half years now.

    Can I ask if there is anyone out there who has had experience of the voting methods used by Sanctuary? If so, could you let me know what your experiences were please? I also agree that a Facebook campaign might be worthwhile but unfortunately I have no idea how to go about this. However, I am more than willing to help in any way that I am able to.

    These people must be held to account somehow and they will be if I have anything whatsoever to do with it. It is good to know that we are not alone in our fight with this despicable, arrogant company in all and any of its assorted guises.


  87. disgrutled employee says:

    As an employee of Sanctuary I reviewed certain procedures and found out they were blatantly ignoring the law. When I produced the documents they refuted them.

    Bullying and intimidaton is the order of the day if you do not write what they want to hear, and they gang up on you and send you to Coventry.

    With Sanctuary housings profits they have over £20m to spend on solicitors.

    As the majority of Sanctuary Housing tenants are on a low income it would be prudent for them to go to the CAB or other organisation and use the legal aid scheme to get back at them. Building and planning issues are the responsibility of local authorities therefore building issues should be raised with your own local authority who in turn will write to Sanctuary Housing.

    (Hello employee, thanks for your important, highly relevant and helpful comments. In our case unfortunately, the local authority – Paul Spedding, Executive Head of Housing, Adur District Council – showed no interest whatsoever in our issue, and wrote to our MP to say it was Sanctuary’s responsibility. But because we didn’t give up and were meticulous in keeping records and countering their lies, Sanctuary did eventually get the flat soundproofed. Tim)

    • disgruntled employee says:

      Tim regarding Paul Spedding, you should have ignored him totally and gone directly to the council chief executive and threatening him to go to the press. If that didn’t do any good you should have got a list of the elected council housing committee and sent documents to them with a provisio that you name and shame them in local press as thay are accountable to the public.

      You could also used the freedom of information act to force Paul Spedding to openly allow the publice to see what is exactly going on.

      The charity commission can also have some sway in enforcing Sanctuary to provide evidence if they are not fulfilling their role as a charitable organisation.

      Any documentation between any local authority and Sanctuary Housing is in the public domain and therefore open for scrutiny using the freedom of information act.

      • timburness says:

        Thanks again employee. Great info there for anyone else having problems.

        But we were already physically, mentally and emotionally shattered by that stage – going to the council chief executive, housing commitee, charity commission would probably have been beyond us – and many others in a similar situation.

        Our relationship had broken down (it never recovered) and I had moved out. Nobody cared. Initially a woman called Amanda Brewis at West Sussex Supporting People was helpful, but even she ended up trying to make out I had been lying to her – she hadn’t read our letter properly. ALL these people try and cover their own backs, rather than take any responsibility. Nobody cared.

        As we and our neighbours were getting increasingly angry, Sanctuary were also putting their own vulnerable tenant at risk by the way. We felt quite sorry for the tenant, up to a point. Even though there were big teenage ASB problems outside the flat too, the diabolical soundproofing inside wasn’t the tenant’s fault. Nobody genuinely cared.

        Over two years on, thank God this is history for me now.

        TO ANYONE FROM SANCTUARY AND THEIR CONTRACTORS WITH HALF A BRAIN CELL, OR AN OUNCE OF COMPASSION, OR JUST THE TINIEST TINIEST BIT OF PERSONAL INTEGRITY (apologies to Sanctuary and contractor staff who are blessed with many fully-functioning brain cells, a compassionate nature, and a healthy amount of personal integrity) :-




        As others have said, God help anyone dealing with Sanctuary who isn’t articulate, mentally strong, or who doesn’t have English as their first language.

  88. disgrutled employee says:

    It is worth noting that there was a big press release when Sanctuary Housing was joining up with Worcester university to build new accommodation at the site of the old hospital site as a joint venture. Some how it all melted away and was never mentioned.

    If you ever go to their head office in Worcester it is like fort knox to get in. Full of Group 4 security guards and CCTV cameras everywhere. What are they trying to hide or protect their lying and deceiving management team. The Worcester site bleeds staff like a jugular vein as staff cannot put up with their bullying and intimidation tactics. One manager said when they were reapplying for the Investor in people award (they did lose it at one stage due to staff comments). She said in front of all her staff that it was a waste of time. Quite clearly it is for Sanctuary, Investors in People have had the wool well and truly pulled over their eyes.

  89. disgruntled employee says:

    I read with interest that Astrid Kjellberg-obst has now left Sanctuary over 12 months ago. Most probably she left because she found herself having to make untruthful and embellished statements about internal situations, and her inability to hush up the HR director Bernadette Bird and Janet Robbins (Group Facilities & Purchasing Manager) being cited in a employment tribunal case which was settled out of court, with a gagging order placed on the employee by Wragge and Co., their solicitors.

    Conversations were overheard between Janet Robbins and Bernadette Bird of horror when they received a document from the Industrial appeal tribunal citing them in a case against them.

    When the case was over it the Janet Robbins gloated with her junior management on how she won the case.

    It seems strange that Janet Robbins and the Bernadette Bird were shown doing a charity stint with their solicitors Wragge and Co. in Birmingham.

    I also believe Bernadette Bird was also involved in an incident where David Bennett was accused of financial impropriety and was ably assisted by Bernadette Bird who was then a junior member of his team getting him off the hook. He then as a mark of his appreciation promoted her to HR Director of Sanctuary.

    Had I known all of this I would not have applied for a job at Sanctuary.

    I also wish to state that within Sanctuary there are staff who listen and report back to their managers about any comments made by staff who do not tow the line.

    Worth knowing that Sanctuary frown upon Union membership and have a staff association. Guess who is in charge of the so called independent association? Bernadette Bird – well well.

    • timburness says:

      Hello disgruntled, were you ever gruntled by the way?

      In exactly the same way that I was threatened myself by Sanctuary Housing staff, I must warn you about posting derogatory and inflammatory remarks about Sanctuary Housing Staff and the Association on this blog. Any further postings of this kind will result in me invoking my Persistent, Serial and Vexatious Complaints Policy and Procedure against you. And I might send you to bed early too! With no bedtime story!

      There. I bet you’re really scared now, just as I was! Tim x

      Joking aside folks, don’t forget that Sanctuary is a registered charity, largely funded by taxpayers and the government.

      Er… is this okay with everyone?

  90. jumbojimbo says:

    Tim. Two things.

    1. Watch yourself over some of the most recent comments, senior manager and disgruntled employee may well be on point and dead accurate, but their comments run the risk of your vital blog being got.

    2. If there is an ex-employee base reading this blog, does anyone know anything about langley close, dovercourt?

    Best regards

  91. Derek Condon says:

    Hi Tim,

    I agree with jumbojimbo, deletion may be the best option. We don’t need any hassle about the content of your blog, it is far too important as a means of finding out what is happening up and down the country.

    I have been in touch with many people who have been affected by the behaviour of Sanctuary and firmly believe that your blog will help any people affected realise that they are most definitely not alone. The more people who know this the better for all of us in our fight to have these companies held to account for their actions. I know that this is not an easy thing to deal with but we have to be careful about what we put in print, especially on the net because once it is out there it is open to anyone to read. There is no point in giving them extra cause to marginalise any of us who complain about them. Love your enemy; it will drive them nuts or maybe even sane! I do wonder sometimes how any of Sanctuary’s staff, especially their most senior staff, manage to sleep at night. Do they even know that what they are doing is just plain wrong? Are they so unaware that they think that they are behaving in a civilised and humane manner especially when we all know that they are not? However, it is said to be impossible to make anyone understand anything that they are, in fact, “paid” not to understand. So perhaps they are simply paid to be ignorant of the needless suffering that their way of working actually causes? If so then clearly they deserve our pity and not just our anger.


  92. timburness says:

    Agreed. Several posts deleted, with apologies to “disgruntled employee” and “ex senior manager”. As entertaining as a bit of juicy gossip (even if true) from Sanctuary Worcester HQ might be, I don’t believe it serves the purpose of this blog.

    As senior employees of “leading housing provider” Sanctuary, Janet Robbins, Bernadette Bird, Helen Morris and Heidi Hodgkin are of course individuals worthy of the greatest respect. Ahem. Honestly. No really… in the tradition of Sanctuary’s true community spirit, perhaps they would like to pop round to my place for tea, cake and lively conversation some time?

    Sometime around 2006, Sanctuary made the local BBC News on television down here in the South. A tenant had been trying to contact Sanctuary about a fellow tenant who they thought might be in serious trouble. Repeated phone calls to Sanctuary were ignored and it eventually turned out that the tenant had been dead in their own flat for several days. Were they held accountable for this by anyone at the time? As usual, highly unlikely.

  93. staff member says:

    After reading most of the above and the deleted before it was removed i have to say there is both a lot of truth and fiction in it sorry to say most the staff things would seem to be true.
    there may well be a lot of self loving members of staff in the group but most want to do all they can for the tenants cos with out you we would have no job.

    In this part of the country we have a massive % of great staff that will do all they can to help residents in any way they can both in repairs and housing issues of all types. The same go for tenants the largest % are great people and make the job what it is rewarding ( trust me i do not do it for the money) but there is a % that are the pitts and its these that take up so much staff time that the majority of residents do not get to see staff or property up grades that they want. i have seen kitchens that are weeks old smashed up by new tenants then the group made by enviromental health fit a new one for it to happen again.

    its true Sanctuary are not fault less but how many of us are. Next time you deal with staff please give them a change give a hello and a smile it costs nothing and remember we are only the grass root staff not the 100k plus paid staff and to staff reading this if you hate the job why not find another one and the same smile at residents they pay your wages and are human

    • timburness says:

      Nice to know that some people care at least… Please feel free to point out anything you consider obvious fiction that hasn’t already been drawn attention to, thanks.

      • staff member says:

        It is true most staff on the ground do the best they can. im always very alarmed when people say they can not get repairs carried out if they report these through the Customer Service Centre (CSC) these should always be followed through., if not there are checks in place to pull these up and it does work. i would like to think it is more human error people forget to do some thing. i know i have done it in the past most staff would not try to cover up others faults its not worth the stress.
        People have said theyt get no responce from complaints i deal with complaints and will always hold my hands up if im wrong. some times the reason for complaints is they have other reasons often none payment of rent and they use disrepair as a reason not to pay there rent. i can not speak for other areas but i have direct contact with residents in the area i work in and 99% are great people and most are happy with the service they get

  94. timburness says:

    Sanctuary is a big organization. Some of it must work well, even very well. Very difficult to know how much of the whole truth, which can be complicated, one is getting on this blog sometimes… and in one or two cases, exactly who is posting and why!

    As a sideline, I’ve just been reading about a House of Lords inquiry that has described Britain’s big four auditing firms as “disconcertingly complacent” as regards their role in the banking crisis of 2008. The House of Lords is urging the Office of Fair Trading to review their dominance. The largest firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) comes in for particular criticism from the economic affairs select committee. And who are Sanctuary’s auditors? PricewaterhouseCoopers.

  95. Cannot be named says:

    I have found your site and are totally shocked at all the messages and very upset at the company we are now working for. (Was Carr Gomm employee) Sanctuary played the game well when they were shortlisted to be one of our merge partners. It was lies and rubbish what we were told. This is a take over not a merge and I believe they are going to destroy everything about Carr Gomm!!!! I think they just want the properties we own, as that is where the money is. WIN WIN WIN situation for them.
    It would appear that our values/ quality & mutual respect for staff and clients is to be destroyed staff are fearful of jobs and working condition. They are trying to remove our union. We have officially been TUPED across today (??? what consultation) We are already being subjected to bullying emails and lack of respect from Sanctuary. They are clearly a business there to make money for themselves at any cost. We are expecting huge pay cuts/ schemes to close and our redundancies taken away.
    We try to protect our clients they have no idea how badly we are being treated! Staff morale is at an all time low. We need legal help to take on Sanctuary who think we are nobodies!!
    It is a VERY SAD DAY.
    I am even fearful at contacting you but am so down and shocked at what is happening to us.
    Who am I to have a say in what they do I am just a vey sad and desperate employee who is trying to do my job and support the vulnerable people I work with each day. I am now a vulnerable employee too!!!

    (Sadly inevitable. Richard Carr-Gomm would most definitely not be impressed if he was still alive. The Sanctuary cowboys really do need to be stopped… don’t be intimidated and try to TAKE ACTION AND FIGHT BACK in any constructive way possible. Tim)

    • joker says:

      I am so sorry you are now part of Sanctuary. Yes they are a UN feeling company towards there clients and hire only selfish people. When they have a chance with so called re-structure job roles, then the fair outspoken people who care about other peoples rights are OUT OUT OUT.
      a very sad day

  96. Ian Roberts says:

    Just wanted to let you know that when a repair was reported to Sanctuary Carr Gomm, you would be sent a Green Sheet Report with a repair reference number, a expected time scale for your repair to be completed, and also encouraging you to give feedback on the Service you received from Sanctuary Carr Gomm Call Centre Staff, if the job was completed by the expected date and finally comments on the contractors in regards to the job and if you were satisfied.

    This has now terminated forthwith, for reasons unknown.

    But it doesn’t take a Genius to work out that if they were receiving many negative reports on poor repairs and repairs not being completed in the timescale they estimated, they had set, or just poor service in general in their possession. They can now claim to to have no ACCURATE figures for when things go wrong or tenants receive unacceptable service……..

    For those of you wondering when the Facebook Group will be up and running, it is in the pipeline…..please accept my apologies, but we WILL eventually hold SANCTUARY CARR GOMM to account…….

    As a footnote, i was surprised (and pleased) many of Sanctuary Carr Gomm staff have joined this forum to express their views in a very forthright manner…It just goes to show, that its not just the vulnerable tenants that suffer too….

  97. Sanctuary to account says:

    I am an employee of Sanctuary Carr-Gomm. The link to this blog was put on our discussion board on Friday, so many staff have now got access to it! That is the good news – the bad is that on Monday morning the IT department were instructed to remove our discussion board.
    The bully boy management team do not want us communicating to each other. We need to fight back and as suggested at the beginning of this blog, complain to the press and our MPs and see that fat cat Bennett and his henchmen are brought to account!!!!

  98. Very Scared says:

    Readying this blog is quite frightening and it is unbelievable that these people can get away with what they are doing to the most vulneralbe in society – residents and employees. Has anyone out there reported them to the Charities Commission and if so what was the outcome?

  99. timburness says:

    I think I’m right in saying (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) that Sanctuary being an “exempt” charity means that the Charity Commission has no monitoring role whatsoever. As I understand it, despite government cuts and re-structuring, until 2012 the Audit Commission and the TSA are still supposedly monitoring housing associations. They are the people to contact.

  100. jumbojimbo says:

    Tim… I’m now considered vexatious and all communication has been shut down by Eamonn Dillon Area Director Sanctuary East. This is a totally horrific honorific with Mr Dillon is discussing legal action against me under the terms of my tenancy with Mr Ian McDermott (Sanctuary Group Director). Mr Dillon describes a letter written to him as “another one of his (my) nasty little ditties” and applying his vexatious policy to “ending this ding dong with the said ‘gentleman'”. He put gentleman in inverted commas. I presume this has to be Sanctuary code for something else! I wrote to David Bennett Chief Exec alleging Institutional Abuse a number of weeks ago, no reply. I’ve written him again with exceeding strong supporting evidence. I’m not expecting a reasoned response or the promise of appropriate protection. More likely a legal action against me. I think they’ve the arrogance and the money to do this. Truthfully I’m beside myself with worry. My carers likewise. Best regards.

    Don’t let them get to you JJ… all the best, T

  101. timburness says:

    Here is another “serial and vexatious complainant” against Sanctuary. It appears Sanctuary Shaftesbury (and Oonah Lacey from TPAS, the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. Or should that be Oonay?) were… ahem… not entirely professional or honest with a “mediation” procedure. Surely not? Hats off to Mr. G.R. McLaughlin down in Cornwall, I’d keep an eye on this one.

    Next up… Sanctuary ripping off students again – it’s the smaller comment below the main one:-

    “Some people were charged 300 quid for dents and scratches on those chairs they have in the rooms, the kind that can probably be replaced for probably about a tenth of that price… One thing we’ve been doing is sending our stories in to Watchdog to try and expose the cheats and liars responsible.

    Surely not? Do these students have no respect for “Leading Housing Provider” Sanctuary Housing? I don’t know, youngsters these days… more “Persistent Serial and Vexatious Complainants Procedures” for Sanctuary to dish out.

    And no-one is stopping them! It’s “Carry On Up The Sanctuary” starring Sid James, Barbara Windsor, David Bennett and his unfeasibly large moustache, bank account and pension scheme…

    For God’s sake, someone out there please do something about this disgusting organization.

    • Derek Condon says:

      While it may seem at times that no-one is doing anything about Sanctuary, rest assured that many of us are. You are doing your bit by writing to Watchdog and the like and this will help to raise the profile of our complaints as a whole. The media need lots of verification from various sources before they will take a risk and get involved. Unless of course they are the News of the World, in which case they appear to make up what they don’t know for sure, to sell papers.

      Keep on sending complaints and evidence to the press and eventually they will investigate, well that is the theory at any rate. If everyone affected were to write to their MP’s, MSP’s, councillors and the media then sooner or later they will take an interest; we have just got to keep sending them our information till they realise that this is a very serious matter and not just “Persistent Serial and Vexatious Complainants Procedures” as mentioned above.

      Sanctuary will be held to account for their behaviour and more importantly, their misbehaviour, very soon if we keep on keeping on.


  102. graham lang says:

    Am quite appauled that the council in Cumbria and Supporting People have not looked into the latest take over in the area by Sanctuary Housing Association from Carr -Gomm Housing.
    This is once again a large compnay coming into the area taking over a well run company.
    How is this going to affect the delivery of the services to the most vulnerable people in our society.
    Supporting People set standards and Carr gomm was one of excellence so how is this going to be delivered now from a company who’s reputation is one of cutting salaries, jobs and hours off contracts so that the person who is the Director gets his whooping salary of a £288,000 and a company making a profit of £23.8 million pounds.

    • Tim says:

      From both my personal and professional experience, Supporting People is a classic “tick box” bureaucratic organization. It is a government funding body, no more, no less. Any genuine interest in the quality of services is limited. They don’t want to rock the boat any more than anyone else.

  103. Elizabeth says:

    i have just recently recieved a home visit letter from Sanctuary. It says they have a coommitment to visiting their tenants regularly. Ive been here seventeen years and never had this before. They want to check our details are up to date and enclosed a resident profile form. We have been sent these through the post twice before and filled them in and sent them back. The letter says we will also be ensuring that your home is in an acceptable condition. This sounds a little intrusive or am i overreacting. Has anyone on here had any experience of this.Thanks.

    • Tenant says:

      Sanctuary Cumbernauld has started doing this according to my two daughters who have been visited,i have not had a vist yet but do not look forward to one.

      • Elizabeth says:

        How did your 2 daughters deal with it and was it very intrusive or disruptive?

      • Tenant says:

        At the time they were angry about it as they turned up with no notice and asked to come into there home,s and asked questions about who was in the house and looked around the home,since then i have told them not to let sanctuary in the house or talk to Sanctuary with regards the house unless it is arranged before hand and to make sure that i am there when this happens as Sanctuary Cumbernauld tend to be nasty and have no respect.

  104. Just to thank you for directing some of your contributors to my website regarding the ‘serial and vexatious complainant policy’ still in force against me. For a good read of how this came about, not forgetting how corrupt T.P.A.S. have been, please read the link ‘The Medevil History Of Castle Sanctuary’ also on my website. Good luck to all, Geoff

  105. timburness says:

    Three Labour MPs (John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Slaughter) have criticised housing associations for becoming too large and unaccountable.

    “…a scandal which should be exposed.”

  106. robertroebuck says:

    A freind of mine who is a sanctuary tenant and heavily involved
    in resident involvement has been completly ostrecised and removed from any regional and national activity because he placed an article on this blog in january all the information within the public domain. Everything he said about cuts to resident invlvement staff and budgets have come true and to a greater % of cuts than he originally thought.

    Originally we had a budget of £1 per property for resident involvements and grants to 50p per property and all the other monies going to the cost of setting up Sanctuarys own selected tenants Scrutiny Panels so that they can demonstrate to whatever Regulators that their actions and management is being Scrutinised WHAT A JOKE WHO DO THEY THINK THERE KIDDING definitly not me nor my freind. To further substantiate this my freind was also banned from the launch and commencement of our Regional Panel at Birmingham. Lots of residents there to the embaressment of the Regional director complained and demanded to know why he was not there as beyond any shadow of doubt he was and still is a champion of tenant issues and rights it was amusing to note that there was nothing but a red face and stoney silence from the Regional Director.

    My freind following consultation with me and having taken legal advice plus rallying support from variuos MPs and Ministers has decided to prepare a writ under a possible Breach of His Human Rights under the Human Rights Act.

    Sanctuary will know who my freind is as they are constantly monitoring this blog and they will know what to expect.

    Something must be done somewere either in the Media,House of Commons or the Courts as there are to many residents and in particular excelent being discarded,bullied,derogotised and treated appallingly with no union protection just a Sanctuary controlled Staff Council. I and my freind have recently witnessesed the demise through enforced cold calculated dismissals and redundancies of some excellent staff who will be sorely missed by residents associated or not with them.

    I implore all blog users, Sanctuary staff included, to encourage all residents to contact and continue to contact their respective councillors, MPs and Crown Ministers to enforce them to act swiftly with all powers necessary to bring Sanctuary to account. Do not be afraid of them for my freind and your actions will show that indeed SANCTUARY ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW and that collectively or through my freind show them in a Court of Law that they are not and that TENANTS RIGHTS ARE MORE CREDITABULE AND LAWFUL THIS ORGANISATIONS MISMANAGEMENT AND BULLYING MUST BE STOPPED.

    Robert Roebuck

    keep up the good work and fighting them my friend

  107. robertroebuck says:

    Hi all disgruntled Sanctuary residents. I notice that the majority of hits on this blog
    relate to dissatisfaction over REPAIRS let me give you some advice as to how you
    can combat this issue.


    Under your tenancy Repairs Handbook Sanctuary are obliged to carry out non essential repairs
    within a 28 day cycle,if they fail to do this you can do one or other of the following examples
    to address this but you must keep Sanctuary informed at every stage,so for any repair not carried
    out within 28 days do this:-

    1. Request of sanctuary in writting when they intend to carry out the repair,stating that in the
    meanwhile you will be obtaing 3 quotes from external sub contractors and if the repair is not
    completed on or by the new assurred date that you will instruct the lowest tendered sub contractor
    to expidite the repair and forward the bill to sanctuary.

    2. If you are on Housing Benifit, do not do option 1 but instead inform Sanctuary that you have made
    a complaint to the Revenue and Benifit Dept of your Local Authority requesting that they withhold
    payment of housing benifit until you confirm to them that the repair has been completed.


    It is also of interest for you to note that if the nonrepair situation exceeds 8 weeks you can claim
    from your Local Authority as a form of compensation the 8 weeeks Housing Benifit and your Rent would
    also be paid.

    DONT BE AFRAID give it a try and lets show Sanctuary that Residents can use the Law to demonstrate

    Final piece of advice Read your Tenants Repair Handbook and go to your Local Authority if you feel
    you need any further clarification.

    Unsigned but i ASSURE YOU i am a SANCTUARY TENANT

  108. timburness says:

    Both can be contacted confidentially:-



  109. Concerned says:

    I am a member of staff working for sanctuary carr-gomm. Since the merger with Carr-Gomm, front-line staff helping vulnerable people have been de-skilled, with Project Workers being deemed unworthy of accessing systems such as tenant rent accounts and access to purchase ordering systems and we had access to view our scheme budgets. This organisation is top heavy with management.

    Staff now have to go through bureaucratic procedure after bueaucratic procedure just to order renewals and replacement items for supported properties. Some managers in the Worcester office are so rude that if you e-mail them a request for an invoice to be raised, or a cheque or payment to a local supplier, they don’t deem us worthy of a response and often ignore queries. I have failed to have mileage claims paid, without any query, reason or response.

    They recently failed to consult with tenants and staff about the proposed revised rent amount before the current financial year.

    Again staff were ignored by their senior finance and accounting managers when asking how much the rent will change to, and how tenats hadn’t been consulted and pointing out the fact that tenants had a right to receive a proposal of the revised rent,in case they want to have that assessned by a fair rent panels. Tenats are still paying at the previous rate. Housing Benefit is being paid at last years rate. Nobody seems to listen, or even care.

    They pay their project & support staff considerably less. Knowing their attitudes toward money I fear our period of TUPE – protecting our T & C of employment from when employed by Carr-Gomm will be running out in the very near future. They tell us nothing and our union, which we will be losing in October is like a toothless animal, I dread having to have any kind of dealings with the ‘staff council’.

    Hopefully something will be done to bring them to account. They can’t go on like this.

  110. Concerned staff says:

    To Concerned,

    Richard Carr-Gomm would turn i his grave if he knew what have happened to his “brain child”, The Carr-Gomm Society, set up for vulerable and lonely people in the 60’s. Gary Lashko (ex. Cheif Exc. of Carr-Gomm) have done a brilliat job of taking a small and viable housing provider to the wolfs. Many project staff could have done a better job, observing the incredible waste going on, particularly when it came to hiring agency staff. Apparently this is the second time GL has lead a housing organisation to it’s knees. One wonders how on earth he gets these jobs with a record like this??? A few months after the so called merger/takeover, he left the Group!

    The service now, for clients, can only get worse, and Concerned above – look for another job!!! I did. There are no winners but the accountants and Cheif Executive of the Group. I think it is called asset aquisition. I do appologise to all my clients for leaving the sinking ship. I had a choice – they have not. The Group are slowly squeesing out old and experienced staff by making life uncomfertable and is now recruiting at nearly 30% less salary. Imagiene, two workers side by side, doing the same job??? What is the saying? “You pay peanuts , you get monkys”. I fear for our clients – all very vulnerable people in sociey (mainly mental health clients but also other special needs). It appears that the Group is deliberatly trying to fail inspections from Supporting People (funders) so that they can get their hands on Carr-Gomms assets/properties.

    Finally, when the Group sends their auditors in to the schemes to inspect, it becomes very apparent that they have no idea about the specific issues/needs around supported housing cliets and is viewing our clients as having the same needs as people in care homes etc. Their lack of experience is very evident and my precition is that, within a short space of time, the name Carr-Gomm will no longer excist. It will be swallowed up by the GIGANTIC Sactuary. Sanctuary is a business model/money maker, not a provider for the weaker in society. God rest you Richard!

  111. trevor says:

    sanctuary as far as i am concerned have tried to murder me by leaving me in a flat that is infested with rats and mice,and is far below the decent homes standard.

  112. Chantelle says:

    I am currently taking up complaints with sanctuary housing only to feel like i am banging my head against a brick wall.

    I have been a tenant with them now for 8 years only to find out at the end of last year that my kitchen hasn’t been earthed since i moved in and i had repeatedly told sanctuary there were problems as i have had items go bang (brand new included), i even had to reach behind a microwave while it was on fire and throwing out sparks as the electrics didnt trip out, on top of that we had a fire back in 2006 in a heater that they had not checked before i moved in (reason i know this is because there was toys etc that were not in the age group of my children) my 2 children were in the room at the time and the was behind the bedroom door if it was for my 3yr old both of my kids could have been seriously injured if not worse, But to sanctuary this fire was my fault (even thought the electrics didnt trip out) and i was to pay for all damages which i refused.

    When the electrician that came around last year and found the problem he stated that yes it WAS santuarys fault for all electrical problems that had happened and was disgusted that out of the 5+ previous electricians that had been to the property said that nothing was wrong (even tho it failed a simple plug in earth test and voltage was around half was it was ment to be).

    On top of this we have suffered from mould in the property but this is also our fault and we are ment to live with our windows open through all weathers to stop this happening, they did eventually put in an envirovent (not that its helped much) but they done something i spose, and the people that come to put in the vent left a bag (not even sealed properly) of ASBESTOS in my downstairs cupboard which i didnt notice till around 6months later due to them chucking it right at the back it was only through a major spring clean i found it so i phoned up the repairs line 8hours later after another 4 phone calls they eventually sent out someone to collect it, and the only thing he said was “where is it” not a sorry or anything just grabbed it and ran to his car and drove off.

    I have sent an email to the complaints department (still waiting on a reply) stating that due to the things that have happened there neglegance etc i was compensation + abatement of rent due to the disrepair in some rooms and told em if i dont get a reply i will be seeking legal advise next.

    But its bloody stupid we should have to go through all this just to get a property that is safe for people and their families to live in.

    • Andy says:

      I am absolutely gobsmacked at your story! Asbestos? Faulty electrics? If that had been me and my kids I would have been straight onto the media and nobody would have touched the evidence until I had been on the news revealing EVERYTHING. THEY CANNOT GET AWAY WITH TREATING PEOPLE THIS WAY! Good luck in seeking legal advice Chantelle and don’t give up! They cannot be allowed to get away with this.

      • beesmad says:

        Chantelle, I empathize with you completely, you are entirely right in what you say. However, I would advise caution in your dealings with Sanctuary Housing. Make sure you keep copies of all correspondence, get as many witnesses as you can to verify any issues you raise. This cowardly bunch will use any and every method available to smear & discredit you, as you have already discovered. From my own long unpleasant experience of dealing with these people I can tell you, you will need all the help you can get. Try and get as many impartial bodies on your side, and don’t hold out too much hope with Official bodies like Ombudsman, MP, Local Authority etc as they are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Best wishes to you, M.

  113. beesmad says:

    Hi all

    Thought I would update my previous post from last year. My wife and i who are both ill have had endless conflict with Sanctuary in our region, London & South East. They have been unable to act professionally in dealing with any issues we might raise. They have taken sides and colluded with other tenants against us. They have made numerous accusations against me over the years without so much as a shred of evidence to support their vile character smears.

    I was recently accused of “vexatious complaints”. Why? because I have repeatedly had to challenge what appears to be outright prejudice against me from staff, some of whom who I have never even seen before. Their “evidence” is nothing more than “staff have said” statements. They have stopped doing our repairs, I won’t contact them for fear of further accusations. They have telephoned my wife and threatened her, leaving her in tears.

    We were represented by the Citizens Advice Bureau in our case last year, who to this day are still waiting for Sanctuary to reply to them with details of how they allegedly dealt with our complaint of harrassment, and to provide their so called “evidence” to support their assertions that I have been threatening, abusive and violent. They have contaminated a Police investigation and breached our data protection by disclosing medical information about us without our consent. They took sides in a neighbour dispute against us, supporting their so called “Tenant rep” (news to me!) even though we had supporting evidence from witnesses and the Environmental Health Department.

    They are a disgusting organisation who bully and intimidate vulnerable people who dare to question any of their policies or services, or lack of both. Everything I do has to be a matter for them to discuss, putting cctv to protect ourselves lead to a visit from the housing office who said Sanctuary had a “policy” concerning cctv. never mind that half the estate have cctv fitted, were they intervied as part of that alleged policy? No.

    I am now waiting for another letter threatening me. Why? Because I had the audacity to cut shrubbery that was in our communal garden that was supposed to be “maintained” as part of our service charge but was allowed to grow so dense and high that it denied us access to read out own Gas & Electric meters! I had a knock on my door this very morning from the caretaker who moaned that it “doesn’t look very good”! Well pardon me, if he had maintained it properly and kept it to a size that wasn’t 4 feet high and so dense i wouldn’t have had to touch it at all. The meter’s have been there since the property was built 14 years ago. I just feel like i’m being set up for more conflict, Sanctuary want to finish what they started in 2001, smearing my character and getting rid of me.

    I have a ton of paperwork from them, much of it is copied at the local Worthing Citizens Advice Bureau so it can be verified. They have threatened me so many times and been so prejudiced against me, they have an axe to grind that goes back to 2001 when I got my MP involved with their abysmal treatment of my wife who was left with no heating for almost three full years as a result of the housing officer and repairs dept negligence. My wife only weighed 5 stones at the time and as a result of the extreme cold she was forced to live with she contracted Reynaurds Syndrome and got cfsever frost bite.

    I could write page after page but i don’t want to bore people. What i will say though is this: No matter how hard the path they lay in front of you, no matter how dark the tunnel appears, no matter how deep the well, do not give up. This organisation has to be called to account for the bullying, neglectful and prejudiced way they deal with people who they allow their personalities to conflict with. It has to end.

    Many thanks & good luck with your efforts

  114. Elaine Dickinson says:

    Dear Tim – I have just found this website and feel quite relieved that i am not on my own, so many unfortunate people having to deal with staff of Sanctuary.

    I have been a tenant for just over nine years. for the first 5 and a half years i had no problems. unfortunately my neighbours died and in July 2007 and family moved into their flat below. Things were not too bad for the first few months and then in January 2008 they showed their true colours, loud music to all hours and constant banging. unfortunately we live in a new build, hence no sound proofing!!!! I contacted sanctuary by phone, letters, e-mails and the responses I got, well to be honest were a joke, every contact I received from them left me feeling I was the villain!!!!

    The tenants below are both heavy drinkers, one evening in june 2009 i went outside to put the rubbish out and the abuse i received was totally disgusting, i told my husband what had happened and he called the police whilst taping the rest of what this man was shouting. the police arrived and did not do anything just tried to question him and left. eventually they served him with a section 5 and a fine, he would not accept this and took it to court and lied! he was found guilty and given a 200.00 fine and a one year conditional discharge. i informed sanctuary of this and asked them to listen to the tape to let them hear what this family are capable of and to date they have not, not surprised! the man has also hit my dog in the face and called the police and told them my dog had bitten them, when the police arrived he said the dog did not bite him but went for him! the list is endless and on contacting sanctuary to report issues, they are rude and as i said before make me feel like i am the villain.

    sounding proofing tests were made on these flats in december 2008 and last week when contacting sanctuary regarding another noise issue i was told that a new member of staff will be joining sanctuary in july this year and hopefully but no guarantees the sound proofing may take place!!

    as we live in a small area even having to take my dog out to do his business is totally unbearable as i am terrified to go outside not knowing what willl happen.

    Thank you for reading this
    ED Shenley

  115. jumbojimbo says:

    My electrics caused an explosion, I had to be decanted to hospital, they tried to use improperly obtained medical information to convene a case conference to discuss my fitness to hold a tenancy, Social Services said no way at which point they decided the house was safe but didn’t repair the lighting for three weeks. I was required to decant at 1 hours notice on the Friday but by first thing on the Monday morning the house hadn’t exploded, it was never unsafe, They wouldn’t pay for damaged items, my insurers said no way because cause was disrepair. I lost £7,000 of stuff, the whole house smelt burnt out, I had no lights or proper power and heat for nearly 6 weeks and even then, it became clear 2 years later with contiually failing lighting, that my home wasn’t to electrical code and everything was pulled out again when I had to be decanted for weeks because remedial works costing more than the cost of building it in the first place. My home was built adjacent to a pumping station, if you stand on any of my drain covers you can move the water levels in the toilets and shower. The lousily maintained pumping station intermittently belches fould odours into my home and a works order for my windows (dreadful) raised last Nov (2010) still hasn’t been completed. They promised monthly cleaning of the pumping station and didn’t do it. Within the last six months theyve lost my care plan (a very sensetive document) and within the last nine improperly disclosing information about me to a contractor. We had a meeting in January this year and can’t get Shaftesbury to agree to another one. I can evidence them agreeing what untruthful story to tell, likewise once again seeking legal action against me.

    I promise all the above is true. I complained everywhere, the Ombudsman was a whitewash and said they had no basis to challenge Shaftesbury even if they are lying, refused to let me see what paperwork they had submitted or comment on its truthfulness. Remember, they lie!

    I see Sanctuary Care (and it’s predecessors), same chief exec anyway, as a social ill. Shelter says bad housing wrecks lives but for anyone to properly acknowledge the harm being done to so many, so often needlessly, thoughtlessly, abusively, unthruthfully and incompetently by such well paid people behaving so very badly requires greater exposure than this blog can achieve. It also needs the people who are paying them to do this to people are held to account.

  116. Sanctuary Housing Association. I look forward to the day when it’s complaints procedure will truly protect the customer/tenant from the abuses and failures of it’s employees.

  117. Elaine Dickinson says:

    Dear M – I read your response to Chantelle with interest, I too contacted the Ombudsman and was informed they would investigate. Within a couple of weeks I received a response from them, stating that in their view Sanctuary had done everything possible to resolve my problems!!! I find this very hard to believe as i gave them so much information and evidence that Sanctuary had totally ignored, so i would agree, do not bother with the ombudsman.

  118. Tim says:

    With the help of Housing Minister Grant Shapps and the Homes and Communities Agency, Sanctuary are set to expand to over 80,000 homes, becoming the biggest housing association property developer in the sector.

    “(Sanctuary Group) plans to build 8,000 homes by 2015, meaning, if the HCA accepts its bid for affordable rent cash, the association could single-handedly deliver around 5 per cent of the government’s overall housing target.”

  119. Bryan says:

    I think the Ombudsmen are told to curb their actions. In the case of the nhs ombudsman complaints at all time high yet no trust is in the dog house. Local Authority Ombudsman bends over backwards to accomodate the Local Authority even when they have clearly broken the law. So it does not surprise me that the Housing Ombudsman is no different. If the MPs feel so strongly why dont they ask for a judicial review into Sanctuary and audit commission investigation? I know in my area Sanctuary have held mock inspections to make sure they cover all the areas and sweep problems under the carpet.

  120. matthew says:

    sanctuary group make me go out to work in boot wich my toe were come out my side then they give me size 11 made me go out in they took me over 7 week to get pair 9 boot. plus my gf had give bith to stillbith and they would not write down on back work foam talk me in to put in stress all this with dysprsxia

  121. Vincent Campbell says:

    As a well known national lobbyist for Military Veterans & Families and other vulnerable groups, I recently undertook a task for a lady who has been force-fed ignorance, arrogance and lies from Sanctuary Housing, Ely, Cambridgeshire. The member of staff of Sanctuary Housing to whom I wished to discuss the problems endured by this lady, was curt and offensive. This member of staff of Sanctuary Housing whilst seeking to talk over me and refusing to listen to what I wished to relay to her, simply informed me that ‘I’ was being rude and that she was terminating the telephone call, which she promptly did.

    I followed the procedure of complaint and am currently awaiting the response of my dictated further complaint which has now been escalated to Stage 2.

    Throughout this affair, I have personally been the victim of lies, double talk and abuse that my client has claimed to have experienced. Indeed, thus far, Sanctuary Housing believe that I am a liar.

    Come a date no later than 15 August 2011, should Sanctuary Housing continue to parade themselves in their current state of utter dereliction of duty and pyschological behavioural pattern, I will indeed demonstrate to Sanctuary Housing the meaning of ‘Deeds not Words’


  122. Hello Campbell. Having been at the mercy of Sanctuary Housing Associations complaints procedure numerous times I hope you fully understand that Stage 2 will be investigated by a more senior member of staff who’s aim will be to protect Sanctuary and it’s staff above all other considerations.

    I sincerely hope Sanctuary Housing, Ely, Cambridgeshire, is not as corrupt as Sanctuary Shaftesbury, and I wish you well.

  123. Vincent Campbell says:

    Geoff, thanks for your support and words which appear to echo throughout the land where Sanctuary Housing continually under-perform. I would of course seek early conclusion to the satisfaction of the good lady and the restoration of my reputation, however, as you point out, self preservation is the priority of Sanctuary Housing. In light of the likely outcome, I relish the path which lays before me as I set about holding these animals to account.

    Is it possible that the route source of all problems at Sanctuary Housing is financial irregularities?

    I wish you well in your ventures.

  124. jumbojimbo says:

    Investigation? Like hell! The word implies some degree of arbitary judgement and quasi independent review. In my experience what it means is delay, distortion, concealment and used as simply stage dresssing just in case you’re close enough to nail whatever your issue may be sufficiently to make them think they might have to meaningfully respond or be held accountable at some later point. They’ll ignore anything they don’t like, corrupt the evidentiary record by slanderous and or untruthful recordings by their staff, for the benefit of their staff, safe in the knowledge that single voices can be muted and that their appeals panel is as corrupted as their complaints investigation and that the ombudsman is toothless and there are almost no legal remedies (or aid) to support the tenantry. I do urge Geoff to excercise great caution in his forward journey, advise that he retains every scrap of paper (they’ll corrupt theirs) and that he records every conversation properly. They’ll be misrecording him like no tomorrow. God Bless. J xx

  125. Thanks J. Rest assured I long ceased meetings with and telephone calls from Sanctuary Housing just to avoid any form of ambiguity. What I have is many hundreds of copy letters and emails to them and many hundreds of copy letters and emails back. I also maintain a large collection of images to substantiate my complaints against officers and inadequate service. One of the main reasons why I can name names on my website is due to the wealth of evidence I have accumilated against them.

    I would recommend more tenants complain in writing/email and insist on a wriiten reply. The tenant has a right to this as his/her preferred method. Officers do not like this method because they cannot just get away with the level of dishonesty which they would normally expect to get away with. The bottom line is the tenant has a record.

    I still look forward to the day when Sanctuary Housing Complaints Procedure will protect the tenant from the abuses and failures of it’s Officers.

    All the best, Geoff

  126. Paul Heasman says:

    Hi I have discovered this blog by accident but it comes during a particularly frustrating period with Sanctuary and just after dispatching another letter to the group chair about the way the management treat their customers and neglect their properties. We have had many years of neglect which have seen us have to virtually go to war to get even safety related work done. What strikes me about the cases here is that there is a wealth of documentation and other evidence – but that everybody has been acting alone. Has there ever been an attempt to co-ordinate that information and present it to the regulators/government in a ‘class action’ manner. Who knows with such a weight of evidence even the TSA in its death throes might be tempted to prove a point.

    If such a move is already in place please direct me to it.

  127. Tim says:

    Hi Paul.

    This has been touched on before here – Ian had his reasons for not starting a facebook page. Perhaps I should take at least part of the responsibility for taking things further?

    A first step could be me mailing everyone (nearly everyone anyway) on this blog with a couple of basic questions such as 1) Would they be prepared to contribute key written evidence and/or documentation, names of MPs they’ve seen etc.? and 2) Who do they think it would be best/most effective to approach – some suggestions made already here, I would have thought a simultaneous intitiative on as many fronts as possible, a bit of research required beforehand…?

    Must admit I’m slightly reluctant about this due to time and energy involved. My dealings with Sanctuary are history but I still feel passionately that they must be held to account. Obviously everyone on this blog has already been fighting their own battles with varying degrees of success. Any brief thoughts anyone 🙂 I think we can all agree that this blog is more than long enough already!! Tim

  128. Tim says:

    I’ll try and message everyone this weekend.

  129. Bryan says:

    Hi Tim

    Good idea was going to suggest a coordinated approach should be taken. Also why dont we do a epetition that way the MPs will be forced to debate it and it will be interesting to see who opposes any action on sanctuary ie who is canvassing on their behalf.

  130. Derek Condon says:

    Hi Tim, Good idea making a coordinated approach may help. The only trouble I can see with this idea is – to whom do we protest? I’ve been at this for three years now, the longest three years of my life too. I have yet to have even one decent committed reply from a politician – most like sitting on the fence until everyone else agrees with anything they get involved in. However, I cannot think of anything else that stands a chance of working and I’ll help if I can. I already have sufficient very damning evidence, obtained under the Freedom of Information, act to hang Sanctuary ten times over – if that is, we can ever get anyone to listen? Tried to get the media interested but our plight is too complicated for the feeble minds employed by newspapers, TV news etc. to understand. They want 100 words or less and this affair can only be described, accurately, in just over 1000 words; so still not much success on this front yet. Besides, I strongly suspect involvement at very high levels in the UK Government must have been there, for Sanctuary to be allowed to grow so big so fast. Getting everyone to stand together has proved almost impossible here in Cumbernauld at any rate, yet there is still just enough time to change this if we act now. One thing is for certain, Sanctuary must be held to account for their behaviour once and for all and as soon as possible too. Let me know what I can do to help and I’ll do my best to hold my end up. The petition idea may be the best option but the last I heard it takes 100,000 signatures to get the Government off its backside for an epetition. Worth a try though.

  131. Tim says:

    Completely agreed on all points Derek. Those are the problems. Have had some good feedback from a few others. Still worth a try I think.

  132. Derek Condon says:

    Well, count me in Tim, these people must be exposed to the light of day and not before time.

  133. Hello Tim. I know I am not a regular contributer to your site but I do agree with others in offering whatever support I can given the constraints of my earning a living, exposing Sanctuary Housing and naming names via my website, twitter and other social network sites.

    My only misgivings, echoed by others, is who would we protest to and who could we trust to do what is right for abused tenants. Tenants who already have little faith in those in government who have been aware of the issues for a long time yet have still done nothing in real terms.

    I still believe tenants need to organise and become an organisation with their own website and which would represent them as a collective group/membership. Gather information, give out information and advice to tenants, and call Sanctuary Housing to account if any tenant can identify and prove an employee is not representing the tenants best interest etc. etc..

    Although I would sign a petition I believe it could prove embarrassing.

    Best wishes

    Geoff McLaughlin (geoffscameras)

  134. Stevie says:

    you have my support tim anything i can do to help,its about time sanctuary were exposed.

  135. Sue Reynolds says:

    Happy to support you in any way I can .The idea of getting a petitin up and running is a great idea….where do I sign! Sue [Pimlico]

  136. Following a thread from my message last night what about setting up a charity for the benefit of Sanctuary Housing tenants ? You already have a membership of sorts, contributers to the blog, and could accept contributions up to £5,000 before having to register I believe. We all know too well that Sanctuary Housing Association is itself a charity and does a wonderful job raking in it’s ‘not for profit millions’ and protecting only itself, we just need to protect ourselves from them and call them to account as a body rather than as individuals. Might be worth thinking about.

    Regards, Geoff

  137. current staff member says:

    HI all
    I’m certain that im going to get lots of people that will slag me off for the following.
    I have worked for Sanctuary for a number of years now in the property section and have answered a large number of complaints
    i number of them have been real complaints but have been the results of one off members of staff not the company. before you say im a sanctuary fat cat no i am not im one of the people that see our customers every day face to face and try to get the best possible for the customer from our contractors and budgets.
    Sanctuary is for from purfect but what is purfect?
    the private landlord that sells the house never does repairs or charges what ever rent he wants
    the bank that will evict you for none payment of morgage .

    MAybe the people that have a genuine complaint should try feeding the complaint via the repair line or the website it will not be brushed under the carpet and in the region i work in we do all we can to make like better for residents, Yes we do make mistakes and get complaints but i also get quite a large number off thank you notes.

    May be if you do not like the answer to the complant you should write direct to the group exec that covers that part of the group ie Simon Clarke for housing.

    • Tim says:

      Hello “current staff member”, thanks, if you’ve read the above you will appreciate that many people will already have gone down every possible road with no luck. However, this appears to be who you mean?

      The e-mail address you have sent me is for Simon Clarke, as you have spelt his name. A tenant (below) has confirmed that the spelling is actually Simon Clark and that the e-mail address is:-

      “As Group Director – Housing & Communities, Simon takes the lead on all Social Housing activity across the Group (with the exception of Scotland) and line-manages the respective regional teams.” Sanctuary website.

  138. Hello Simon. Having just been threatened with another 6 month period of ‘serial and vexatious complainant policy’ against me for not letting them brush things under the carpet, having been recently subjected to 40 days of harassment to make me move out, I find no comfort in your words but expect you will be promoted to Regional Director in no time for speaking the right language. You may be working for one of the better ones but I hope you never have to choose between remaining honest or remaining employed.

    Regards, Geoff

  139. Tim says:

    Hello “current staff member”, thanks for your constructive, but superficial, comment. Here is that e-mail address for Sanctuary’s Housing Executive again:-

    “Current staff member”, does none of the above bother you? Have you read much of it, or any of it, properly? As someone who has worked in different forms of care, nursing and front-line support (including housing projects) for over ten years, I am er…. not impressed, to put it mildly! All the above is very obviously 100 or 1000 times worse than “Sanctuary is far from perfect”!

    You and many other Sanctuary staff may individually be doing a great job in helping people (not an easy job, nice one – seriously), but as far as I can see from my own DIABOLICAL experience and all of the above, Sanctuary as a whole is an absolutely APPALLING organization. A registered charity – largely funded by the taxpayer from housing benefit and the government – many examples of bullying, lies, greed, a staggering lack of accountability for their actions that can and do ruin people’s lives, general incompetence…

    Still, BIG PROFITS are being made, and that of course is the most important thing to Chief Executive David Bennett. It looks as though Housing Minister Grant Shapps is quite happy for them to expand even more. Oh dear.

    Best wishes, Tim

  140. Duck! says:

    I worked for Sanctuary Housing for a year, thinking they were a worthwhile organization that helped society. Loved the people there but I know that there is something very wrong with the way it is being run. Their business practices resemble that of a private company but with infinite more freedom, operating within a tax haven. Like it or not we live in a corrupt society, Sanctuary is now too big an organization not to be accountable.

    The internal restructure that has been taking place over the last 18 months is destroying the heart of the company. First they said it was to make savings to provide better service to tenants (not happening) then they said because they were losing money but when I challenged the figures I got garbage back. At this time in the recession, did they really have to invest so much money in the restructure and create a lot of unemployment? They did consult with staff but didn’t take anything into consideration, they had already made the plans, it was a case of finding facts to justify it, and they did. What is the real plan?

    Please stop them before they get away with it!
    Mr Bennet – tell Mr Clarke where the door is … or better still, you’ve had this job for too long now, made a lot of money, let someone else do it, they can’t make things worse.

  141. beesmad says:

    More than happy to help Tim. I’ve been rather ill and had no energy, physically or mentally to continue to confront Sanctuary, so i’ve been keeping my head down and letting them get on with it. But the time has come I think, will all these people above who have been mistreated, to act against Sanctuary. They need to realise their actions are causing hardship and their operator’s licence can be withdrawn, and to my mind it should be. Anyone who has been negatively affected by this crude organisation, NOW is your chance to seek justice and acknowledgement for your struggles. Take it, and good luck to you all 😉

    Best regards


  142. present member of staff says:

    Hi Tim

    Yes i have read all the above and im a little ashamed at the actions of certain parts of the organisation i work for but and there always is a but. I work in a certain region and we get little complaints for the part i work in and it is i believe cos of the actions of staff on my grade or below, i know there are issues in other areas but till i found your site i did not know how bad.

    there has been hug changes in sanc over the past 18 mths regarding staff and contractors and the start of sanc own maint arm called IMS thats a complete joke. they brought in a group of unemployed muppetts to have high level jobs. one told everyone “im the hench man brought in to get ride of all exisiting maint staff” and he did. not many of us still have jobs and our lives are made hell. they then have got ride of all existing contractors and brought national ones in again at massive extra cost but means they can control them from the ivory tower at head office.

    Me and many other staff want to give the best possible to tennants and do like the job as it was we will not speak up as they will find away to get rid of you and in the present climate there is not many jobs out there.

    I would urge you all to complain every day till you get an answer. Request inspections for repairs and ask for an appointment. If they do not turn up, claim the £35 comp – it will get to them. If they inspect and say no to repairs or replacements, request it in writing again. If no responce complain in writing – it will get to them. Complaints have already doubled since they have had there own internal repair staff, its a joke. You can log on the web and complain, ring up or write, i say do all of them.

    They have a complaint e mail. All e mails start with persons first name then surname then @ then
    Find peoples name and send your complaints direct to as many as poss, they also thave a address. The more you send the more people will need to listern, it will get at them.

    Tim hope it is ok to advise the best way to complain trust me it gets at head office they are graded on the number of complaints they get

    e mail example just put a staff members name at the front
    ie simon.clarke (might quite with a bit of look)

    ( I think the last phrase means “quit with a bit of luck”, Tim )

    Thanks for your helpful comment and info “present member of staff”, it is much appreciated. I hope your work situation improves, it sounds a nightmare. The complaints e-mail on their website is actually – does the one you suggest still work? Could you tell us which is correct? Cheers, Tim

  143. Vincent Campbell says:

    Dear present member of staff, although laced with uplifting protocol, your post fills Mr Vincent Campbell with zero confidence. A 2 week time period has produced 1 Tenant in distress to 5 Tenants in distress. A common pattern of pyschologically bullying the elderly who retain a ‘Right to Buy’ then offering other accommodations with new contracts is sickening. This is not the democracy our young men are dying to uphold, maintain & protect. Mr Vincent Campbell will produce “Deeds not Words” for Sanctuary Housing.


  144. Tim says:

    In case anyone missed it, here is Simon Clark (as spelt on website) NOT Simon Clarke (as spelt by two staff members and one ex-staff member above)

    “As Group Director – Housing & Communities, Simon takes the lead on all Social Housing activity across the Group (with the exception of Scotland) and line-manages the respective regional teams.” Sanctuary website.

  145. jumbojimbo says:

    I can 100% confirm his email as: – here’s his mobile number too Mobile: 07894 599107

  146. jumbojimbo says:

    while we’re at it here’s his direct dial and extension number

    Direct Dial: 01905 334064 Extension: 34064 Mobile: 07894 599107 Email:

  147. jumbojimbo says:

    Just one other —
    Donna M Culley
    Director of Home Care & Extra Care
    Sanctuary Care
    Telephone: 01905 334091
    Mobile: 07900 160 602

  148. jumbojimbo says:

    Oh and here’s simon clarks pa’s contact details too

    Her name is Claire Griffiths
    Senior PA to Group Director – Housing and Communities
    Sanctuary Group
    Sanctuary House, Worcester
    telephone: 01905 334167
    fax: 01905 334956

  149. jumbojimbo says:

    Your blog is bloody fabulous and offers an evidentiary chain running through common themes which I think boil down to … if you complain they’ll throw everything they’ve got at you until it becomes so complicated and confused and extended over such a time period, they’ve gotten the advantage regardless of the justness of the cause. They’ll rely on it! Their Chief Exec earns more than the Chief Exec of the NHS and I believe there is something inherently corrupt and indecent in the way they do business.

  150. Lisa says:

    Let me tell you about sanctuary. We were told a house was “ready” to move into in February but when we went to see it, the boiler was unuseable, the back door was rotten, the plug sockets had things stuffed into them, the overflow in the bathroom had razors and childrens crayons stuffed down them, the decrotive state was appauling, on top and underneath cupboards was filthy, inbetween radiators was dirty, the temp switches on radiators were broke, there was no inspection certificate for gas or electric, there was rubbish and glass in the garden. WE EVEN FOUND A SCREWD UP CERTIFICATE IN THE BIN SAYING THE BOILER WAS DANGEROUS AND THIS WAS FROM AFTER WE WERE TOLD THE PLACE WAS READY TO MOVE INTO!!

    They gave us some vouchers for decorating but this did not even touch the sides seeing as there was human excrement left on walls that we noticed a few days later.

    We hd a 2 month old son and they wanted us to move into a danger zone, the previous tenants had used drugs and never used the gas as they used to burn rubbish in the gadren, when we asked about the doors being unsafe and the poor state of the place, they said well its affordabke hosuing, well that may be so but this is 2011 and there is a standard of livingfor human beings!

    we work and pay our own rent, we have been here nearly six months and there are still problems left behind from the previous tenants and trying to get them sorted is terrible.The rent has laughabky gone up but we are the only houses with old fashioned wooden doors thatrattle in the wind! The windows have woodden frames abnd the glass is blown, sanctuary are behind with the times, the homes are losing heat and are not safe, the bathroom is 16 years old and the toilet did not flush properly, we still get rubbish appearing up out the overflow and the bath has enamel coming off, when we asked about new bathrooms and safer front doors, they say do it yourself!

    I have never come across such a bad housing association, I would love to see something done about them and I bet a lot of their properties would not meet modern day standards. We made them bring a surveeyor to look before we moved in and he said it was not ready! How can they be allowed to rent out properties to people who are already most likely vulnerable situations, they are being alowed to take advantage. We have done their dirty work for them and tried to bring our place to a decent standard of living but it has been soul destroying. I have photos of what things were like and still is for some part of it. Anti soial behaviour is a big problem, I have been very dissapointed and gutted as I just wanted to have a safe and comfortable home for my family.

  151. Bee says:

    I moved into a Sanctuary Shaftesbury Property with my husband and 2 children after doing a mutual exchange from a Kingfisher property, the house was, and still is in most places in a terrible state!

    The Kitchen in particular had been severely neglected and the whole house had been abused by previous tenants, our little ones bedroom had been used by the cat as a toilet for some time, and I had to soak the floorboards with bleach. But after all the cleaning scrubbing and hard work, both our boys now have there own space, and as there is a 9 year age gap, this was why we moved.

    The moment I moved in I knew they were useless. Firstly I was told I couldn’t have any repairs done for 6 months because I had done an exchange! (this is rubbish) I had called to report that the toilet was not flushing. then I was told that they were only doing Health and safety repairs. this is also Rubbish. I have had conflicting information, staff members changing there stories, poor work carried out, that is when I could finally get any done.

    Every contact I have with this association is Dire!

    Having been a tenant of Kingfisher for nearly 8 years prior to us moving, I can say that Sanctuary Shaftesbury are completely Useless in almost every department.

    I complain every time something does not go as it should, I make contact with my housing officer regularly who also admits to being at the end of his/her tether! nobody returns my emails, and I am still awaiting the replacement of something that was originally logged in October 2010! I have it in writing that this is to be done and has been agreed, but every time its chased, nothing happens.. there Systems lose emails, staff members do not return telephone calls and messages are not passed on.

    I will continue to Complain when they do not meet expectations. Nobody should feel bullied or threatened into keeping quite about poor service. I pay my rent, my Tenancy agreement stipulates Sanctuary’s responsibilities to ME and all of YOU as a tenants.

    I have spoken with the Housing Abundmenson, who were useless, but did advise that if I do not get adequate responses or solutions to complaints that they may intervene by mediating!?

    I have spoken to my local Authority who advised that If a housing Association does not meet Health and safety Requirements and or the requirements set down in the ( open to interpretation) Decent homes standard legislation that they do have the Authority to Order them to complete the work.

    Lisa, I feel for you above! if your property was a vacant then this was totally unacceptable!as there are clear guidelines and standards in place for Vacant properties before they can be let.

    Mutual Exchanges on the other hand do not have any minimum standard requirements. So the fact that I chose to move into a house (big enough for my family) that had bare Electrical wires hanging out of the boiler that could have killed the first person to touch them was my own stupid fault!

    I should also mention that Sanctuary are removing the current repair response cards…. for what reason I am unaware, (of course I have asked!) but I am sure that by removing an avenue for feedback they will improve there statistics!!

    This Blog is Fabulous! and I will continue to follow..
    Thanks for the RANT!…

    • Elizabeth says:

      Sanctuary are also going to stop sending appointment letters for things like the gas safety check. They say its up to the tenants to arrange it with gas company over the phone.
      Eight years ago i was working in a job in retail and had to take a day off for the gas safety check.
      Well guess what, yes my boss asked to see the appointment letter as proof of what i was saying. Im afraid that some employers are like this.
      However how is a tenant going to achieve this in the future now that they are stopping the letters? I can foresee a lot of tenants being docked their wages and in turn docking their rent so surely this will cost Sanctuary more money in the end!

      • Bee says:

        I am sure that not confirming appointments in writing has something to do with the fact that they are rarely able to actually attend the appointments they make, if we don’t have it in writing then we cant evidence that they didn’t attend as agreed..

        I total agree with your point about employers, some employers require confirmation in writing of Hospital appointments so your quite right, surely if confirmation is requested for this purpose they have to provide it? seeing as the Gas safety check is a legal obligation from both sides, Sanctuary in carrying it out and the tenant in enabling access.

  152. Hello Tim. I noticed you have been having a few problems with ‘Inside Housing’. They have censored me and removed my comments on Sanctuary Housing and TPAS more times than any other. It is very unhelpful of them to sanitise what people really know and think because they would much rather use their site just to suck up to the wealthy and the powerful however corrupt they may be. The Moral Collapse of honest reporting perhaps. Regards, Geoff

  153. Andy says:

    I am currently on the Sanctuary waiting list and all I can say is thank GOD for this blog! After reading these comments there is now NO WAY I will be accepting any offers from this association. My partner is currently being housed by Sanctuary and he was also informed that his property was ready for him to move into; however since moving in he has reported a list of repairs that are yet to be done and he has also been told that he could “sort them out himself”.
    This all happened before I came across this blog so I now realise that this treatment of tenants is a regular occurrence.

    My heart really does go out to anyone who has to deal with this disgusting organisation; do not fight them alone, join forces and do not give up!

  154. mary says:

    Craig Murray ex Rector Dundee University and ex UK Ambassador writes about student accommodation provided by Sanctuary.

  155. Tim says:

    Thanks Mary, a very well-written and well-observed piece.

    Overpriced tiny rooms with security guards – and some questionable financial deals cropping up again. This can be added to the bullying and mismanagement at Sanctuary Management Services posted earlier on this blog (24th May, 2010) by ex-employee Calum Harkiss, and the extreme overpricing of replacement furniture (charged to students) posted by a student, in a link also on this blog (13th April 2011). Not forgetting my own friend’s big problems with them when she was a student nurse in Brighton.

    The Supermassive Sanctuary Student Housing Rip-Off indeed.

  156. Tim says:

    It is obviously true that Sanctuary Housing Group does do some great work and possibly even lives up to its own hype in some areas:-

    “The project is part of a larger £99 million regeneration of Shiregreen by Sanctuary.” Good stuff, you would hope they are doing SOME good with the money they’ve (legally?) swindled from taxpayers elsewhere? The regeneration of Shiregreen has involved massive help from the government, no doubt complete with tax breaks and other perks. One way or the other, Sanctuary will of course do very nicely themselves at the same time, make no mistake.

    Meanwhile, back in the less glamorous everyday lives of some tenants, Sanctuary just can’t get it right:-

    Six months to get her windows fixed, with several botched jobs. You might think this a bit of a “non-story” if you saw this in your local newspaper, not important, “grumpy old lady”, so what. BUT THIS IS PEOPLE’S LIVES SANCTUARY ARE MESSING WITH. Many similar Sanctuary tenant complaints crop up all over the country, as proved by many posts on this blog. This is a “charitable organization” with profits of over £20 million who continually bleat on about being a “Leading housing provider”?

    Well done Vera Beever for speaking out to the local newspaper – that’s what it took to get Sanctuary to do the job properly!

  157. Tim says:

    The history of Sanctuary makes curious, and perhaps disturbing reading:-

    Mr. Francis Bennion (an interesting character by any standards – barrister, World War II pilot, he’s been highly influential in parliamentary law and a number of areas, he’s in Debrett’s) started The World Of Property Housing Trust back in May 1969, it became Sanctuary later on. According to Bennion’s website he is still vice-president of Sanctuary Housing Association, although there’s no mention of him on Sanctuary’s website.

    “A fundraising charity aiming to be a vehicle for a return by the property-world for their financial successes”, backed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects and others. Sounds fair enough, if a bit high-powered, so far.

    However, later we get to the bit about er…. Buckingham Palace… “HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip made a personal donation…”. Then there is the fund-raising dinner at St. James’s Palace with a speech from the Duke of Edinburgh to 147 very influential and very rich people (several MPs including Peter Walker who also spoke, Paul Getty, Sir Cyril Black, Sir Edward Caffyn etc.) praising the new organization…

    Sanctuary seem to have kept this very quiet – a bit odd? If they have strong links with the Royal Family and the Establishment in general, you would have thought that this would be something to be proud of? Or have those links been severed for some reason? Seems unlikely if Bennion is still vice-president?

    Surveyors, architects, royal family, the rich and powerful all clubbing together – this is all a bit masonic isn’t it?

    If the connections still remain, would this explain why no-one appears to be willing to hold Sanctuary to account?

  158. Bee says:

    If you have been on the receiving end of Sanctuary’s uselessness/lies/threats – don’t just moan on this blog! Go to your MP – they are paid to represent you.

  159. Tim says:

    Still good advice Bee, but how many MPs are scared of rocking the boat themselves? This is corruption on a big scale.

    • Bee says:

      I have written to my local MP I will let you know the response.

      You should Email your blog to all the Newspapers.

      • Tim says:

        Good luck Bee. I have contacted two (the ones I think are more likely to deal with it intelligently and responsibly – hopefully) national newspapers with a link to this blog. If anyone else would like to do the same, please go for it. I just hope someone has the balls to pick up on it!

        If you feel strongly about this, please take action people.

  160. Anon says:

    Another astonishing fact is the number of staff who have company cars. Sanctuary are not allowed to make a profit. Any surplus must be be reinvested but a large number of staff are given company cars including BMWs and porches. I work for a different RSL where no one has a company car and I think we are more the norm!!

  161. Hello Tim. In response to the 6 month ‘Serial and vexatious complainant policy’ against me, which recently ended, I have now been threatened with another until February 2012. In reply I have invoked my own complainant policy first, certainly the ‘vexatious’ part, upon Sanctuary Shaftesbury Housing Association for threatening to invoke penalties on me if I choose to exercise my lawful rights. The details of this can be found by cutting and pasting the following link :

    The link is a letter which will be sent to every MP, every Organisation, Body, and individuals who have influence over Housing issues and Housing Associations and will be sent out over the coming months. I would appreciate it if any contributers on your site with a twitter account will follow geoffscameras to help me reach as big an audience as possible nationally.

    All the best to you, Geoff

  162. Derek Condon says:

    Sanctuary Cumbernauld are now asking factored owners to accept “offers” of new flats without seeing them (no “show” flat to see before agreeing to move in). Also, no idea of how much the owners will get for their existing flats, nor sufficient detail regarding the “shared equity” deal. So, no one has any idea of exactly how much actual “equity” they would end up with under this deal. Initially this was supposed to be a minimum of £40,000 or approximately 40%, now this could be 20% or even less. Of course Sanctuary, as usual, seem to be not only “above the law” but apparently exempt from it – where the heck are our politicians when they are needed?

    Can you imagine asking anyone to buy a flat, even under “shared equity” without actually even “seeing” what they are getting into first?

    Despite “Blighting” the market by announcing that demolition would be happening (long before even pretending to consult any of the residents and owners?), they are also trying to tie the so-called “compensation” deal to the present day market value. This is not acceptable because they caused the blight in the first place and long before pretending to consult any private owners.

    Meantime, the tenants are expected to continue to live in flats which are not being properly maintained, are becoming increasingly damp (as a direct result of poorly fitted replacement windows with only a one year guarantee ???) and this obviously very seriously affects the private owners who have actually properly maintained their own flats. Meantime Sanctuary continue to abandon flats which they refuse to maintain in any manner to the detriment of all residents and our politicians, the so-called regulators and councillors let them do this with total impunity. So much for the rule of law, democracy and even our human rights then?

    Would you buy a flat, or even a car, without even seeing it first? Would you accept a deal which does not even tell you how much you will get for your existing property or what your “share” of a “shared equity ” deal is going to be? Would you accept a deal without sufficient information to even make a decision? Why are our politicians and so-called “regulators” turning a blind eye to this more than obvious abuse of real people by this astoundingly arrogant company? How do we hold them to account for their actions, particularly when they seem to have the complete and unquestioning support of our politicians, councillors and housing regulators?

    In short; are Sanctuary really “above the law”? This definitely appears to be the case, especially when all of our elected officials and other relevant authorities seem to be prepared to let Sanctuary just do as they please. Why?

  163. neeneenoodle says:

    Hi everyone, after first calling and notifying sanctuary repairs department at the beginning of January that there was a hole in the bath of the property I had just moved into, I have been told time and time again someone would come out to fix it.
    It has been measured ready for a replacement.
    Since then there have been FOUR dates someone has meant to have come out to repair it.
    FOUR times no one has come out to my property to repair the bath.
    Everytime I have called I get the same answers;
    “Ive tried to get through to the contractors but there has been no answer, I’ll send them an email and try calling them again and I will ring you later to let you know if I’ve had any response.”
    I get no call back from Sanctuary Repairs, or any response of any kind.

    A shocking response I once got when calling once was:
    “Do you not have a shower you can use?”
    Excuse me!? Seriously? No I don’t. And even if I did, surely the water would still end up in the bath, going down the hole in the bath and end up leaking downstairs into my neighbours property?

    A few times I have been told there is no record of any repairs needed to be done! As soon as I mentioned names of people I’ve spoken to, like ‘Becky’, and I ask to speak to their manager or put me through to complaints they suddenly ‘find it’ on the computer. This has happened several times!? But then again they give me the same speech about the repairs people not being contactable and they will get back to me, which they never have done.
    When I have been ‘successful’ in getting a date of a repair, the repairs team to replace my bath have not arrived. When called about this I have been told:
    “There is no log on the computer of a repair meant to be done to your property on this date”
    Which is bizarre as I have had the repair date and time sent to my phone via text and a letter in the mail about it?
    Another answer to this question has been:
    “Im sorry I’ll ring up the contractors and get back to you”
    And can you guess whats coming? No one gets back to me.


    Its bad enough that my property has a make shift door bodge job (as a replacement for the previous tenant after the police kicked in the door after her son before she moved out) with a huge gap at the bottom that lets in the cold, an overnight water heater that doesn’t work, flickering lights (a wiring problem? God knows) and wooden windows that don’t close correctly. (I’m looking forward to winter by the way… Not).

    I’m at the end of my tether.
    I have called over and over, keeping as polite as possible, my phone bills have been extortionate as the number for mobiles to repairs doesn’t work. So I have had to call the 0800 number from my mobile!
    With all the money I have spent on phone calls I could have taken lessons in plumbing and repaired it myself!

    I am now writing to my MP regarding this situation, and also seeking legal advice regarding this matter, as it has gone on too long.
    My neighour across the street has waited over a year for his kitchen to be fixed. Im not waiting any longer for my repairs.

    My partner and I are wanting to start a family, and he is finally moving in now he is financially sorted (which he is apprehensive about considering the lack of bathing facilities, hot water, and insulation problems etc etc).

    I was wondering if anyone could offer me any advice, or help, and has anyone else been having similar problems?

    • staff member says:

      i dont know what part of the country you live in but its shocking what has happened. is it the intermal maint service that are fitting it.
      you need to go to the local council and speak to there enviroment health they will act.
      stop your rent but advise the rents team that you are stopping the rent due to no essential repair put the money in a seperate bank or keep it in you raccount so it can be paid when the works complete out it in writting in a recorded delivery post it to your local office and get it to be signed for.
      i work for them and think its discusting if you put the order number on here ( BUT DONT PUT YOUR PERSONNEL DETAILS ON HERE I CAN IF YOU WANT LOOK IT UP ON ORDER NUMBER AND CAN ADVISE YOU DIRECT AS YOUR DETAILS ARE ON THE SYSTEM). its totally up to you.

  164. Derek Condon says:

    Hi, can you tell me how big the hole in your bath is please. Then perhaps I can advise you on how to carry out a temporary repair. I have some ideas which may help but I need to know how bad it is first.

  165. CONCERNED says:,J48A,49STVO,1K08U,1

    Hi All,

    I have been following this site with interest and am totally shocked and outraged by not only the behaviour of Sanctuary towards their tenants who include the most vulnerable people in society. I am also concerned that the people and bodies who claim they are there to investigate proplems seem to whitewash complaints or investigating them.

    Aplologies if you have seen the above link before, however, when I saw this campaign on Shelters website I thought of The Sanctuary Group immediately. I think it may well be worth reporting the behaviour of these people.

    • russell says:

      I have had no Heating or hot water for 6 weeks and my boiler is like the staff at Sanctuary – it does not work. Everytime I mention this to staff I get no response, this is supposed to be supported housing, it is beyond belief.. I have been sleeping on the landing because of the smell of gas and one of the so called support workers is making false accusations about me, everytime i ask for support all I get is nastiness. Sanctuary in South Shields is by far the worst place that i have ever been, now I am sleeping out a lot as I cannot take much more of this hell-hole or of the horrible uncaring useless staff

  166. elaine says:

    Russell, appreciate what you are going through. For the 2nd time since July I have had excessive water leaking from the boiler through the kitchen ceiling and also into the cupboard which holds all of the electricity meters etc.
    I have been without hot water for 2 weeks now and the company selected to do it have not contected me, I had to chase and they cannot get hold of the parts. Have used 6 days of my own annual leave waiting in for repair workers who have failed to turn up.

    Trouble is when you ring them, they take great delight in being of as little help as possible, but already have a complaint in with them – looks like they intend to completely ignore it! Regards Elaine

  167. neeneenoodle says:

    Hi, I had a call from Sanctuary complaints regarding my repairs that need doing, apparently someone is going to come out this Tuesday to fix my bath, someone will come out to look at my boiler and a joiner is going to come and look at my windows.
    My door however they refuse to do anything about as when I swapped properties with someone I took the property as it is. This seems odd considering its a health and safety risk as the door keeps banging and opening with all the wind we’ve been having and as whoever replaced the door didn’t measure it and cut it correctly there is a large gap at the bottom letting the cold in.
    But hey ho…. At least if they do fix my bath and water heater I’ll be able to actually wash myself. (fifth appointment lucky?)
    For my ‘trouble and wait’ by the way, I will get £10 compensation….
    After writing to my local MP though, he has now written to the chief executive of Sanctuary now apparently and I’m waiting to hear back if he has had any response from him. He usually sorts people out, so maybe I will have more success through my local MP.
    I wish I’d never swapped to this property in some ways, I think I’d rather be out in the sticks again away from family and my hospital for appointments rather than deal with Sanctuary and all the stress they’ve given me. I can see why the woman I swapped with was so eager to get away!

    Midland Heart were amazing and so professional if you ever had a problem. They would be out within a few days of reporting a repair, and if you ever had a problem with anything (neighbors, repairs, etc) your local housing officer would come round for a cup of tea to talk about the issue and would resolve it asap.

  168. russell chadbourn says:

    I have had no support session for 2 months and this is supposed to be supported housing. I have to travel 12 miles every day to get a shower because I have no hot water, also I have been in hospital 5 times since being at Sanctuary, this place is making my mental illness a lot worse. I have wrote to several people at Sanctuarys main office but just like the staff at South Shields no response. When I mentioned about the heating system and hot water one of the staff members at South Shields said theres nothing I can do and shut the door in my face. How Sanctuary are getting away with this is beyond belief. I am desperate to get away from this hell-hole before I end up back in hospital or commiting suicide. It is freezing cold in here and its only September, The windows won,t close properly, theres a massive gap in the door and they refuse to put my curtains up for me. Cannot face the winter in this hell- hole.Thanks for reading my post.

  169. Tim says:

    Don’t worry Russell, Neeneenoodle, Elaine,

    Sanctuary not-for-profit profits are up from £23.8 million last year to £24.7 million for the year 2010/11.

    This is the most important thing – of course.

  170. Russell Chadbourn says:

    Just been to Newcastle sports centre for a shower. This is the only way I can keep clean as I have no hot water, no point asking the staff at Sanctuary South Shields they are about as much use as a chocolate tea -cup. When this place was run by Car-Gomm the repairs were dealt with the same day. Since Sanctuary as took over it’s like a nightmare,as soon as they took over they took the computers away that some of the tennants liked to use, also they took everyones keys off them, so now we have to ring the office bell from outside the block to get in the flats, sometimes standing outside for 10 or 15 minutes before anyone answers the door.Thanks for reading my post.

  171. Sanctuary Housing Group Director confirms Cornish tenant was misled by TPAS and Sanctuary Housing. Mediation Scam.

  172. david varnam says:

    one word for all of us – watchdog?

    • Derek Condon says:

      Hi David,

      been there, done that, still no response from Watchdog. Maybe if we all did the same though; we might finally be heard. I personally wonder just how far up the Government tree this – Sanctuary being seen as “above the law” goes! What possible advantage is there to the Government in allowing this all to go on unchecked and unchallenged? Well, we all know that our politicians are in it for themselves, not for the people they purport to serve – so, the answer is likely to be, all the way to the top; in my humble opinion at any rate. Still, as Tim has made clear on many occasions, we need to keep on fighting to be heard because they cannot ignore us forever. If, we continue to demand action from our politicians, councillors and so-called “Authorities”, we will get there in the end.


      Derek Condon

  173. catherine says:

    I am currently doing a homeswap, as I cannot afford to privatley rent, to a house with Sanctuary housing group it is in Colchester essex but after seeing this site I am getting worried. I am currently with tendring council but need to be in colchester. Are Sanctuary housing group the same everywhere?

  174. Tim says:

    I could be wrong Catherine but – No, I don’t think Sanctuary are the same everywhere. If they were, they would surely have been stopped by now… er… wouldn’t they??? I genuinely wish you the best of luck if you go with them.

    Apologies for not having written a letter on everyone’s behalf as I said I would, I really am too busy these days. However, I have continued to push this blog and it’s message to many media outlets – with no luck whatsoever. Absolutely no-one appears to be interested, but between us, the message MUST be getting through somewhere…

    In the meantime, I go with David’s suggestion above,


    I shall try them again myself.

  175. wazza says:

    I completely agree with the way they treat staff and tenants as i see this every day, supervisors and management are out for themselves all hiding and dodging questions not giving straight answers and deffinatly not taking responsibily for anything!

    The internal maintenance staff do a very good job but are restricted by being given unrealistic times to complete work and being run by people who dont have the first idea about how building work or repairs are done. Surveyors are incomnpotent and dont no the first thing about the job the rest of them use the i.m.s to get themselves known as knowing everything and to lie to everyone that they can do the job when it is the i.m.s sorting things out and making management look good internally!

    The so called surveyors dont measure list materials or anything, they are paid a fortune to survey and give details to i.m.s and externalls but you end up with a visit from i.m.s or externall to have to measure up and re survey then re book job bk in. REDDICULOUS!!!!!!! talk about wasting money. in fact they will hang you out to dry if it means they have to get involved.

  176. ‘Deed of Deception’ from ‘The Medevil History of Castle Sanctuary’, involving TPAS and Sanctuary Housing, explained.

  177. russell chadbourn says:

    Anyone who is thinking of moving in to a Sanctuary property please dont, as if its anything like sanctuary South Shields it will be a total nightmare expierience. It is now so bad at Sanctuary South Shields that I am sleeping out on the streets until I get somewere decent to stay. The staff at Sanctuary South Shields lie, bully and intimidate and any support sessions are more like interegation sessions. Once when i politely asked the staff for my medication it was thrown on the floor and the door was slammed in my face. I can no longer tolerate the mental abuse , grief and stress that sanctuary staff are causing me. They are going out of their way to make my life a misery, now they are making up all these false allegations against me, how they can lie bully and intimidate vulnerable people like they do is beyond belief, and if any of you have any repairs done by Sanctuary feel yourseves lucky because i have had none done, and I am having to sleep out because living at Sanctuary South Shields is almost driving me to a nervous breakdown., thanks for reading my post.

    • catherine says:

      But I don’t understand why they would do all of this?

      I am moving into a house and my landlord will be Sanctuary housing group in Essex area. I hope nothing bad will happen as I have a 20 month old son to look after and I don’t have any money.

      I truly hope things get better for you and for everyone else who is having problems with some Sanctuary HA.

  178. russell chadbourn says:

    I don,t know if sanctuary are the same everywere. I can only talk of my expierence in Sanctuary South Shields, but according to some of the posts on here it seems to be happening all over the country. I am supposed to be living in supported housing It was lovely when I moved in they asked me what colour I wanted my flat painting, i had use of the computers I had a key to let myself in, we went on days out and all the staff were friendly and helpful, but then it was run by a company called Carr-Gomm, then comes the nightmare it gets taken over by a company called Sanctuary, then everything changed for the worse, the computers get taken away, they take everyones keys off them so we have to stand outside ringing a bell for sometimes ten or fifteen munutes, the nice friendly helpful staff get sacked and are replaced by horrible nasty aggresive intimidating staff, who bully, lie and interogate, they are like spoilt little children if you don,t do exactly as they say they kick off and if you say anything back to them they call the police and make up ridicoulous accusations. I have been accused of ripping a radiator off a wall making a hole in the wall and writing on a table. I am now seeing citizens advice about sueing for slander and purgery, since Sanctuary have took over I have been admited to hospital 5 times, included the Bede wing a psyciatric hospital, if i don,t get away from all this mental abuse, grief and stress and harasment they are causing me I am going to end up seriousely ill with a total nervous breakdown I am now on treble the medication I was because of these people

    • Stevie says:

      Hi Russell sorry to hear about the problems you are haveing and am not sure how you put things right but try and keep your chin up and dont let them get to you.i hope in the near future things get better for you …

  179. russell chadbourn says:

    Thanks steve for your post. i only hope that Sanctuary Essex is different from Sanctuary south shields. i really feel for catherine, just hope and pray she does not get the same treatment from staff that i am getting, and with a 20 month old son to look after would be awful to go for weeks or months without heating or hot water,anyone getting bullied and lied to and falsely accused or having trouble with sanctuary not carrying out any repairs, could try the Citizens advice, stay strong and don,t let the horrible nasty staff members get you down.

  180. Staff Member says:

    Hello All,

    I am extremely upset about what I have read in this blog but would like the opportunity to stand up for the company. I have worked for Sanctuary for over 5 years in the Worcester head office. A lot of what has been written above is pure fiction and should not be taken seriously. The Group has a caring feeling and tries to put tenants at the forefront of whatever they do. It is easy to criticise and jump on the ‘Sanctuary hating’ band wagon but there are numerous positives about the company which should not be ignored. I have met some of the most lovely people whilst working in Worcester, all of whom are extremely committed to their work. From my experience, the managers I have been lucky enough to work with have gone above and beyond in an effort to support employees and tenants.

    • Robert Roebuck says:

      Funny how you stick up for Sanctuary. Having been involved in a lot of groups as a tenant, when ever i have rang Worcester HEAD OFFICE messages have hardly ever been given, phone calls never replyed to or delayed and this goes up to David Bennett him self.

      One other thing, i have put in a lot of hours free of charge from resident association chairman to reginal RRF chairman over 14 years. And guess what – in 4 years i am still waiting for repairs to be done.

      Its about time Sancturay were honest with tenants and staff and stopped waisting money on all their hair brain ideas. Tenants come first is that not were told all the time? Somehow this is not true and the group knows it .

    • Hello “Staff Member”. Unlike you I am quite comfortable to give my name in support of my view, based on sound evidence, that the company you work for is probably the most corrupt landlord in the this country. A corrupt landlord which is at his worse when it lets customers down then tries to cover it up then starts blaming and punishing the customer for it. As in life things cannot be negative all the time but with an employer like yours it will most certainly always be more negative than positive. Geoff McLaughlin

    • Mark L says:

      Staff member. Your post reeks of pr smokesreen & mirrors. Who do you think you are to dismiss the posters you have claimed have written fiction? Do you have any other “evidence” to support this assertion other than your own so called “experince” of working in an office with a tiny number of staff from this ruthless, gutless conglomorate? I didn’t think so.

      Your post is par for the course, a glimpse of how many Sanctuary employees think about themselves and those they are paid to “serve”. Yes, that’s right, SERVE. Your corrupt and conscienceless company rob this country of millions of pounds of public under the pretext that you are being trusted to provide good quality homes, with good quality services to some of the molst vulnerable members of society. That includes treating those people impartially and with respect and dignity. That’s what being a so called “Professional” means! From my own experiences of dealing with your “Company” over the past 10 years, I can confirm they are without a shadow of a doubt the most vulgar, intimidating, lying and manipulative, selfish, self obsessed, prejudiced bunch of thugs I have come across, in any walk of life. I have been in many different places with many different people buy have never had the HELL your company have bestowed upon me, ever, anywhere before.

      My wife was left to freeze for 3 years, she was hounded out of her flat by drug addicts, lied to by members of the Church Road, Hove branch of Sanctuary. In particular that useless, lying, despicable housing office Alison Chapman, whose behaviour was nothing short of criminal, hiding evidence from Police during investigations, making up stories, telling packs of lies to any outside bodies called in to investigate her corrupt behaviour. But then we are talking about a woman who carried on having an extra marital affair with the estates caretaker, even after his wife and kids were thrown out of their home by Sanctuary, while the caretaker continues to enjoy the comforts of a 3 bedroomed house with garage and gardens while his wife struggles with their kids. Sanctuary quickly moved the housing officer to the Brighton branch just in case word got out that she been covering up tenant’s valid complaints with smears and lies of her own for a decade to protect her reputation, colluding with the caretaker to manipulate senior management and ostrasize tenants.

      I have lots of witnesses and statements should Sanctuary ever wish to pursue any of the malicious lies and false allegations they have made against me in the past and would relish the opportunity to tell a judge the REAL TRUTH about this disgusting leach of an organisation.

      What do you say to that Staff Member? HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME SANCTUARY!!!

  181. Tim says:

    Hello ‘Staff Member’.

    If your post is genuine, I respectfully suggest you open your eyes and ears a bit. Please read the content of this blog and the comments and supporting links more carefully. In particular, you might find the many comments from staff members and ex-staff members an eye-opener, they reveal much about the underlying reasons for many of Sanctuary’s problems.

    Best wishes, Tim

    • James Reymond says:

      Dear clearly deluded ‘staff member’ . Truthfully, I deeply take exception to your sweeping generalisation that the often harrowing accounts of what your organisation is doing to people as pure fiction. I know for sure that my postings are entire 100% non-fiction, truthful and that I am certainly not the liar you are maintaining I am. Here’s a challenge for you… post your name, title and contact details to the blog and undertake personally to resolve the issues of such tenants who contact you as a result of your posting. If you resolve them, I’m sure the contributors to the blog will be quite happy to commend your resolution of their issues to future viewers. If you choose not to rise to my challenge, it is probable that readers of Tim’s excellent blog, will rightly conclude that the opinions you express can be qualified by your continuing anonymity and that simply calling those expressing dissent and dissatisfaction liars is emblematic of the malignant, venal and corrupted way Sanctuary does business to the continuing detriment of tenants and others alike.

  182. Stevie says:

    Staff member. There may be a few nice staff members within Sanctuary but they are few. In cumbernauld, Sanctuary have destroyed my community and did this via the backdoor they also put my famley in danger by not checking the house for gas leaks, they have no respect,manners or understanding and dont know what the word truth means…


  183. Elizabeth says:

    Weirdly we have had a letter for yet another gas safety check even though we have already had a check this year. Its from the National Gas Compliance Team at Sanctuary Group which is not the same company as before. There is NO way our check is due in the next seven weeks when its already been done this year.

  184. Tim says:

    Two journalists from the Guardian newspaper who cover housing issues are Kate McCann and Randeep Ramesh.

    Kate McCann has already written about the problem of unregulated and unaccountable large housing associations such as Sanctuary. Randeep Ramesh writes on social affairs and recently covered similar ground in relation to the Housing Ombudsman.

    Kate McCann or try

    Randeep Ramesh or try

    Worth a try folks.

  185. russell chadbourn says:

    Oh really staff member,i suppose its fiction that some tennants have had no repairs done for months or years, you,re typical of sanctuary staff , put all the blame on the poor vulnerable tennants because sanctuary staff are to useless and un-caring to do a job. I suppose its fiction that i have just come out of South shields hospital ward 1 having been on drips and a heart machine for 3 days because of the constant harrasment bullying and mental abuse by so called support workers at sanctuary I suppose its fiction that i had to drink a bottle of concentrated charcoal to bring all the tablets up that i took because i cannot tolerate Sanctuary staffs lies, character smears, bullying and abrupt and aggressive attitude. you have the cheek and nerve to come on here staff menber and accuse tennants of making things up after all the suffering that sanctuary staff have put us through,Sanctuary should be prosecuted under the trades description act for calling their nightmare supported housing.I suppose its fiction when i have to go backwards and forwrds to the crisis team and the samaratans every other day because of the neglect bullying, lies abuse and un-caring useless staff at sanctuary South shields.
    Staff member if you have nice staff in worcester please can you send some of them to South Shields as here we have the most un-friendly un-caring abrupt, aggresive useless staff that is possible. Also you can tell, your fat cat managers that if I get any more wild false pathetic allegations that i will not hesitate to sue for slander.

  186. Tim says:

    Hi Russell, I hope things get better. I’m sure you’re already aware of every option, but I would have thought your Care Co-ordinator (or similar) could arrange for a transfer of accommodation, or is there a shortage of alternatives? Good luck with the CAB if you go down that road. Best wishes, Tim.

  187. Tim says:

    I thought it was worth looking at this article again, perhaps while trying to keep party politics out of it.

    “Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, said he did not perceive any accountability in the majority of housing associations, while Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith, said large associations were corporations in all but name.

    Mr Slaughter said: ‘The trouble is that, while they would like to think that they are out there wheeling and dealing in the business world, they are very poorly run and are doing a very poor job for our tenants. It is a disgrace.

    ‘…These are people whose only job is to provide affordable housing for people, and they simply are not doing it. That is a scandal which should be exposed.’

    Also, I think some of the comments below the above article are important.

    “I’ve been saying… that housing associations have got too big and too much like corporations. Particularly L&Q and Peabody – their tenants are frightened in my experience.”

    “I used to work for a very large association and frankly it was simply a corprate structure. Staff on the ground were committed to the ethos of social housing but those that the corporate centre, and especially at Director level and above, treated it as a means to gain empires and feather their own nests. Clearly they had lost sight of the purpose of the organisation they were working for. I would support strongly any moves to break up large associations and remove the power bases of these hard nosed, back stabbing parasites.”

    I am still absolutely stunned by the comment from ‘Staff Member’ above! “A lot of what has been written above is pure fiction and should not be taken seriously.” they said. If this person really is a Sanctuary Staff Member, they have just totally confirmed how utterly useless and uncaring they are! Can’t they see that? More generously, perhaps they are a kind and caring person who was genuinely shocked, but it’s much easier to decide we are all liars or troublemakers with nothing else to do with our time I suppose? Good God! Maybe this Staff Member’s been brainwashed at Worcester Head Office or something haha!?

    Does anyone have any similar very bad experiences from other large housing associations? How big is this problem?

  188. russell chadbourn says:

    Hello tim thanks for the reply. i have been with other housing associations but nothing as useless or with bullying staff who tells lies, interogate and make up wild false accusations about tennants,like Sanctuary do. their latest trick is when i complained about my flat being freezing they came in and opened all the windows, the sataff just come into my flat as they please i have no privacy, also my post is being opened by staff. i have an appointment with the crisis team on friday with a view to getting away from this nightmare. i have no respect no dignity and no privacy, sanctuary are disgusting.

  189. Latest rogue in my ‘Rogues Gallery’, Oonah Lacey of TPAS. I have been advised today that Oonah Lacey was sacked by TPAS in July 2011. Something to do with allegations of fraud. Anybody out there know anything please. Best of luck to all.

  190. russell chadbourn says:

    Geoff you have my deepest deepest sympathy for what these parasites have put you through, will somebody please do something about this disgusting organaization.

  191. I live in sheltered accommodation in Barrow in Furness, its a 8 flat building and the people in their have various degrees of mental health probelms (a couple are also special needs) and we are getting increasingly concerned by the attitude of the staff, it has come to the stage were people are having doors slammed in their faces and this is totaly out of order. One of the residents suffers from epilepsy and she a bath and this causing her concern because she is frightened that she may throw a fit whist in it, she requested that Sanctuary put in a shower unit and they refused point blank and said that if she wanted a shower she would have to fork out for one herself, this is despite the fact that they fixed showers every other flat.

    Because of their actions they have now put a vulnerable person at risk and this is bang out of order.

  192. Latest rodent in my ‘Rogues Gallery’, Simon Clark, Sanctuary Housing’s Group Director – Housing & Communities.

  193. Tim says:

    Hello All,

    It is roughly three years since my own dealings with Sanctuary finally finished, although the devastation has had personal and professional long-term consequences. For me, it really is time to move on from all this.

    Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the 250 comments here. I plan to leave the blog up indefinitely.

    If this blog has practically helped, raised some awareness about how to take action, and re-assured a few people that they are not alone – it has done it’s job.

    If anyone would like to contact me I am on Facebook, also e-mail

    I will not be moderating further comments here, apart from obvious spam or anything offensive.

    The very best of luck to everyone! Best wishes, Tim 🙂

  194. normc1957 says:

    Hello, My name is Norman Mc Namara and i with my wife, moved into a brand new Sanctuary Extra care build just over 12 months ago along with many others, some who paid over £160,000 for their flats. ours was awarded on medical grounds like others because of my early onset Dementia. We had all settles in together and things were really great when Sanctuary housing dropped the Bombshell that they were going to use “OUR” community facillities, ie lounge, assisted bathrooms, resteraunt ect for Day care srvices !!! This was done with NO consultation of residents or those that had spent THOUSANDS on their own private flats. Despite a HUGE protest, a petition signed by 97% of residents and threats of legal action due to being MISS SOLD the private flats the have not only refused to even discuss this with us until now (I will explain) but have juust decided to Buldoze over everybodys thoughts and feeling and go ahead anyway.

    I contaced councillors on the Torbay council who were also horrifed at the thought of this happening and one of them said they didnt know anything about this until we (the residents) had moved in yet still no consultation or information was put our way. Even when a couple of Councilors and our own MP Adroan sanders tried to contact them they were still very unresponsieve!! Eventually after watching the coming and goings of staff interviews and meetings between providers with the management of Dunboyne we recieved a letter from a Dorector of Sanctaury called Simon Woods saying he is willing to come to Dunboyne on the 18th july 2012 at 2 0 clock, and talk to the residents to “Allay there concerns” which is, as you know, mamagement speak for “We are doing it anyway!!”

    Its not just the way they are doing this as if they answer to NOBODY!! but the disrupition it will cause to all residents here and especially those who have like myself , Dementia and find it hard enough as it it to adjust to different situations!!

    Can you please help us and investigate this? this is the link of prevous comings and goings of the Sanctuary group which might or might not help you get some backgrounnd on them.I am actaully on holiday betwwen the tenth and seventeeth of July but i am back at Dunboyne for the 17th to attend the meeting on the 18th . We have a residents commiteee and a chairperson called Auriol Bradbury .com who would be more than willing to talk to you if you need to know anymore about this should you want to ring between the 10th and 17th. If you want to ring me bofre these dates, then please please do, hope you can help, the residents of Dunboyne Court need your help, very best wishes, Norman Mc Namara

    Link To Sanctuary Housing Information

    • Derek Condon says:

      Hi Norman, unfortunately you are not alone in having problems with Sanctuary. Due to Government backing and the highly dubious way in which the so-called “authorities”, such as the housing regulator do Sanctuary’s bidding without question, it is entirely unlikely that you or indeed any of the thousands affected by this despicable company will ever be listened to. The sad but true fact is that Sanctuary is indeed above the law, can behave as they please and indeed operate as a dictatorship. This is entirely due to the fact that the Government, so-called authorities, and even local councils are all afraid to rock the boat by challenging anything these despots do. In a way this is almost entirely due to the ongoing Government policy of privatisation of all social housing wherever it may be. The rights (there is a misnomer if ever there was one) of the people affected by this policy, have and continue to be entirely subjugated to the financial concerns of Sanctuary and successive Governments long term plans to privatise all social housing. Though this is not an “official” policy the actions and apparently deliberate inaction of the authorities involved, prove that this is in fact a deliberate policy on the part of the housing regulators of each of the 4 countries in the UK; England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. These are effectively private companies just like Sanctuary thought they claim to be “executive agencies” of the Government; also known as Quango’s. Each is operated at “arms length” by the Government who are supposed to oversee and control them but effectively abdicate all responsibility of every kind to these organisations. This makes challenging them almost impossible, after all if the Governments are for them; who can really stand against them?

      So, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it is very unlikely that anyone affected by these despicable “people” (I use the word “people” with a great deal of doubt though, since humanity is most certainly not part of their creed) will ever be able to have their concerns heard let alone acted upon until the Government stops their blind acceptance of anything Sanctuary tell them via the housing regulators who are also rather short of humanity themselves. I do, however, wish you all the luck in the world with your challenge against Sanctuary and hope that at long last the Government will listen to the people rather than the will of Sanctuary.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Norma. I’m in exeter. Please read my piece. My email is

      Look forward to hearing from you.


      • Alex says:


        If they have agreement ie a Boarder’s Agreement. Then that is their loop hole. You are not Subletting under that situation. Also to sublet obviously they require permission. More grey where you have a boarder. You only need notify landlord there is one extra person/s resident for fire safety.

        Hope this helps


  195. Brian says:

    Sanctuary no doubt believe they are above the law they have gone the Scrutiny route with tenants panels to scrutinise the organisation as a replacement to the audit commission, but they do not ask for external members to make up the panel and bring a balance of expertise on the matter. No doubt the tenants are more likely to swallow the figures issued by the various teams which are all massaged to show them in a good light. An external examination is the only way to highlight issues and problems within such an organisation but it requires a body with teeth and this govt. have abolished the bodies that used to do the job. Campaign get your MPs MEPs to help you its the only way to get change.

    • Alex grey says:

      Brian watch my coments we are truly going for them. They’ve put us into poverty ! They couldn’t follow standard complaints procedure for us as it’s over Tennent commitee heads ! They won’t tell us what they are doing to sort dwellings. Ours have to be done by autum. It’s great you don’t pay your rent you’re evicted. Sanctuary don’t follow law nothing happens ! Until they pissed me of !


    • Janet says:

      Hi I am in an over 60’s sheltered housing scheme. I receive a magazine from sanctuary every year. In this there is a “Question & Answer” page, where the tenant asks a question and Sanctuary replies. Great you would think? sorry no, the tenant who was supposed to be asking the question was NOT at the meeting. I think its about time we all started a petition against sanctuary.

  196. Alex grey says:

    Sanctuary Housing. Uhmm how about 15 properties majority class 1 cold hazard dwelings from construction from negligent oversight. Producing debts and unable to get out ! This is my number if you to know more 07875125690 even enviromental at council are having problems with them. We are trying to take them to court under the fact the dwelings are not fit for purpose. We have full SAPS reports now. I hope you contact me as I’ve been fighting this now for 5 1/2 years.


  197. tim hickman says:

    I’ve had a house with sanctuary for 5 years. When we first moved in a 4 foot retaining wall in the garden was collapsing, when I spoke to sanctuary they said I would have to get a quote and bill my neighbour who is also with sanctuary half the cost of the repair. I’ve also had to replace the bathroom suite do to I’ll repair, put up a new hand rail on the stairs because it was missing, all the windows needs to be replaced because the seal has failed and we have condensation between the glazing and they won’t help at all, the lock on the back door is broken but once again it is up to us to put it right. Is this all ok or are they Gering the tenants to modernise their houses for the next person to move into when we’ve had enough of them?

    • Alex grey says:

      Ok banisters are health and safety so you go direct to environmental health & private sector planing at your council. Same with bathroom. Also call housing ombudsman and make formal complaint to them. My email address is mail me and I shall help more. Sanctuary have helped me get black listed since I moved here. I will do all I can.


    • Alex grey says:

      Re wether they are going to modernize go online and search sanctuary housing association 2012/13 refurbishment and repairs schedule this should help you find out if any work is planned for all properties in your area. Sanctuary should not have let the property until the minimum safety areas had been put right ie stair banister. Also provided a property inspection report. If they failed you must report to ombudsman. Call them for the report complaint form. They will sort and maybe get you compensation. First tho you must make official complaint to sanctuary using their procedure. Pain yes but worth it as you have to show you are doing it right even if they are wrong. My situ is going through legal on behalf of 15 flats. Why I can’t post much about it at mo. Do email.


      • Forgive me for saying so Alex but the assumption that using the official complaints procedure will in some way be above board in the hands of a corrupt company who will use the procedure to protect only itself, is somewhat foolhardy. The last time I tried it I spent over 800 days at stage 2 with the Housing Ombudsman at stage 4. Sanctuary Housing will abuse the complaints procedure to protect itself which is why, like you, I too seek a legal remedy. The notion the local authority is trustworthy when dealing with Sanctuary Housing is also a nonsense. In most cases they are in bed with one another though I do agree it is more important to lodge as many complaints with the local authority as possible. A local authority worth having is one which has actually prosecuted Sanctuary Housing for being a bad or rogue landlord. Unfortunately I know of none. Good luck with your action. Regards, Geoff

      • Alex grey says:

        I understand exactly what you saying. As for time spent for I to reach the stage in proceedings that I have has been 5 1/2 years, something like over 2000 days and been in an access dispute for my daughter. Ive spent days in library with my head in buildings control acts, tenancy legislation, environmental standards white pappers for living conditions regs, then double checked all facts before using the law to make the law work for the tenants. Plus held down a full time highways job. We have now offered the case to several law firms after checking all available similar case studies. After more calls and meetings I care to think about we have a firm under taking the case. They are national and can pull resources to go against Sanctuary. I used the law to force our council to act by use of MP. Yes it’s a hard struggle but if you can show you are right with fact + survey reports your 3/4 the way there. Our case when it happens by autum will be posted.


  198. Alexander grey says:

    Tonight Sanctuary Housing stand before their tenants answerable to them ! Stage 2 now 🙂 they’ve admitted that the properties are totally Substandard ! Shall post their recompense tonight ! After so many years of hardship for us Sanctuary are now against the wall and in a corner. I may not be able to post all publicly but feel free to email me. My address is in a previous blog 🙂


  199. Brian says:

    We need to get Sanctuary examined by a select committee due to the high level of corruption and the falsification of their complaints and other stuff. Its not for nothing Sanctuary have the record for being the worst housing association in europe. Maybe its time to get the press on board and do a expose.

  200. Mrs H Miller says:

    Hi ALL, has anyone looked at Flagship Housing in Suffolk? Flagship clearly think that their own Tenancy Agreements mean nothing!!!!! And, that they (Flagship) can bully, lie, harrass tenants, threaten tenants using their solicitors,threaten with court cases based on spurious,or even (untested,twisted) points of irrelevant unassociated, complicated ,expensive points of property law??? I am a victim of such actions by my housing association, and, believe it or not I have a huge legal bill now, BUT surprisingly NO action by THEM in court has been taken, even with them threatening to do so, and court papers filled!!???Very very long story but i need help, i have gone through complaints system, mediation, ombudsman (who are biased and crap). WE ARE HAVING OUR situation reviewed by ombudman, etc, etc, etc…OH and we did contact our MP too.. NO we have not broken any laws,,,,, just said NO,,,as within my rights under my tenancy agreement.!!! My story is one of those ‘ you couldn’t make it up’ scenarios. I have every intention to go to the press with my story…AND i am aware that i am not alone. You can join, or comment etc Flagship Housing Group on their facebook page.

    • Alex says:

      Please I would love to noire about your situ. This is my email and phone number. I’m happy to call you back 07875125690 we have a simaler approach I think. May be good to compare. Our situ is coming to a head after many years.


    • I agree .Glad i read about the ombudsman cause i should then go down the route of watchdog.I felt the stage 3 hearing was biased.have commented and recommended things to no avail .disgusting as their or one of their execetives earns 150,000.00 pa as one would say charity begins at home(flagship)

  201. Richard Baker says:

    I was a Sanctuary tenant for six years, this was the most unpleasant period of my life. I lived with very bad neighbours and awful problems with getting repairs carried out. I got the feeling that you could do as you wanted in a Sanctuary property, just as long as you paid the rent on time. Everything bad that has been said about Sanctuary is very familiar to me.

  202. This week’s winner of the “Sanctuary Housing Idiot Trophy” goes to David Bennett CEO Sanctuary Housing. #BahHumbugs.

  203. Previous winner of the “Sanctuary Housing Idiot Trophy” went to Wragge & Co, mega big law firm. #Pirates.

  204. Denise says:

    I have lived next door to tenants placed by Beth Johnson Housing, who have now merged with Sanctuary Housing. For the last ten years every tenant they have housed have been a complete nightmare. The first tenant was supposedly mentally ill, and left his boxer dog locked in the house for days on end. We live in a terraced house, and we could hear the poor dog who was obviously distressed, barking constantly. After much complaining to Beth Johnson and the RSPCA, eventually the situation was resolved. It did take my husband and I having to have noise monitoring equipment from the Council in our house before anything got sorted out.

    We then had a woman and her 5 year old move in. Within a week of her being there, she had had her front window smashed. This was the start of five years of hell. She had paint thrown over her car, she was drunk the majority of the the time, she played loud music late at night, she shouted and swore at her daughter, and even had a fight outside the house and had her hair ripped out. She was a complete idiot. I repeatedly complained to Beth Johnson who were next to useless.

    When she moved out, another single mother was moved in. All was ok for six months, then she disappeared for around 5 months, only to come back to the house without her baby but an abusive boyfriend in tow. I later found out she had been in a family unit and obviously couldn’t cope and had her son taken from her. He was less than two at the time. She had had other children who too had been taken from her. On returning, she then went on the bender of a lifetime and had a stream of drunks and tramps visiting the house at all hours of the day and night. After a few horrendous events and a few anonymous phone calls to the Sanctuary Housing Call centre, my husband and I decided to open a anti social behaviour case against her. We had been reluctant to do so as we are trying to sell our house and any neighbourly disputes have to revealed. We have eventually been successful in having her removed from the property, but by god it was by a huge amount of effort on my part. I was constantly on the phone to the housing officer to check that things were being done because I simply didn’t trust that they were doing their job. We were offered no support by them about how to cope with the situation. It was only by me contacting the local council that I was able to get in touch with people there who I feel really cared. I had to visit the Sanctuary Office six times in person, twice I was reduced to tears by the whole experience. The last time I visited, was with our other neighbour who was also having to put up with ASB. We had had to endure two nights in a row of horrendous behaviour, resulting in one of the drunken visitors attempting to stab himself in the house. In one week between us and the other neighbours, we had to phone the police out 7 times, and during these two awful nights, we had phoned the police 5 times!!

    It was an absolute living nightmare. The whole experience lasted for 6 months, and I honestly think it would still be going on had I not persistently complained to the local offices. We religously kept log books recording all the incidents and I think I filled in around 6 books. The eviction process was allegedly speeded up for us, and ironically she was evicted for rent arears in the end. Strange how an eviction order for anti social behaviour takes two months to come into effect, yet when it comes to money it is a different story.

    I have made an official complaint over the whole unfortunate event, and have received a mediocre response from the investigation, but I am not stopping here. The property is now empty and it will be a sensitive re let, but to be honest I don’t trust them, so I am writing to Head Office to highlight my concerns. I will not rest until I am totally satisfied that someone decent will be housed next door. We still plan to sell our house. I am totally fed up of living here, after many years in this house, thanks to Beth Johnson and Sanctuary Housing I have a rather nasty taste in my mouth and want to be free of them and their awful tenants.

    • neeneenoodle says:

      Haha tell me about it! Sanctuary have done NOTHING for me since I moved in over 2 years ago, there are outstanding repairs on my property from the PREVIOUS tenant. I gave birth to a beautiful son two months ago and they STILL have done nothing. I have tried every avenue, repairs requests, complaints, contacting my local MP, my local council etc. I hear nothing back from Sanctuary. The only time I have had anything from them lately is a letter for the rent, which my partner has been paying, turns out it was an error on their part processing the dates the rent comes out. But you wouldn’t believe how fast that letter came out with threats of kicking us out.
      I’m not desperately looking for new accomadation. In the meantime I have contacted environmental health as there is a leak dripping down onto my fuse box by the front door (our only exit from our first floor property) and all the black mould (as well as many other dangerous problems). It was one thing healthwise with me and my heart condition but now with a 3 month old baby? It’s disgusting. I find it sick that Sanctuary can allow people to live in such dangerous conditions.

    • Anon says:

      Dear sir or madam,

      I am writing to you regarding constant loud TV noise, and strong tobacco and skunk fumes coming from 33B DENBIGH PLACE SW1 V2HA ,that spreads into neighbourhoods flats and communal space.

      Flat is occupied by gentleman who is shouting from 7am till late. His shouting is accompanied by loud TV he has alot of visitors daily many people sleeping over night, his fumes are damaging the health and quality of life of other tenants the whole building stinks of smoke.

      There is coffing and spitting from him and his mates every day and its discusting . Pimlico grid had a recent make over, paradoxally, our building stench regardless and inside of his neighbours flats people with asma are particularly effected.

      Landlord santuary housing is aware of the problem but not much is done, they seem not to understand that they need to put air vents in his flat and make life easer for others. Well behaved tenants. not to mention his graffiti on freshly painted wall with intercom.

      would you be kind to go and visit randomly, and investagate why santuary housing is ignoring this life threating problem.

      It’s impossible to sleep from his TV he is watching very aggressive movies, it’s very disturbing for children having to listen to his swearing its impossible to eat while him and his mates are coffing and spitting.

      Thanks for reading please help

      Godbless you

      Yours Sincerley


  205. Charley B. says:

    I am sorry to say I work for sanctuary on the ground as a maintenance operative and they have sod all respect for us either having been transfered into them from another company they were full of false promises, for us and the tenants I am looking for alternate work as I dont want to work with their ethics, the favorite work insentive is “If you don’t do that or go there you will be on a disiplinary” being transfered into sanctuary I have seen them employ their own work force which in several years of working for them have all had yearly wage increases but if your not on sanctuary contracts you don’t get anything, and the answer from Sanctuary is “If you don’t like it you can always leave”
    The top of the tree is rotten and as straight as a hair grip if they cleaned up their own back yard and didn’t pick on the ground force who want to do a fair job for the tenants things may get better but I realy don’t think it would.

    It’s the old saying Were all right jack so pull up the ladder and let them all sod off.

    • Alex says:

      Strangely I can believe that ! I’ve herd a lot over the years about in house bullying. Directorships only looking at profit margins. Doing best to pass the blame to others. Their own senior surveyors are given no lee way act. The bottom end staff I have met are told don’t pass problems on. We only want to know what the tenant has done wrong.

      They are now trying to evict my daughter and I for putting rent to heating now. We live in a class 1 hazard dweling.


    • Anon says:

      23:34 pm 9th Febuary 2013

      Blonde man came up banging threatening to kill me flat 33b denbigh place Sw1v 2hA

      • Bryan says:

        You have a right to enjoyment or your premises and as such anything which interferes with your health is a serious issue.I know this is something that can be dealt with in a court of law you will have to take Sanctuary Housing to court you can contact the british lung foundation for help with this issue.
        Dont waste your time with their complaints procedure its there so they can insult you and purposefully misunderstand what you say. Apparently they have almost zero complaints on ASB and very few on housing issues(think what you may of their massaging the figures)

        The sooner Sanctuary is exposed for the corrupt organization it is the better and I think we should start campaigning against our MPs who refuse to do anything about them and their parties that is one thing that will make them sit up and take notice.

        I myself will shortly be going to court on similar issues and taking them to the ombudsman and a couple of other govt depts.

      • Alex says:

        Defiantly right Bryan but you must also follow complaints procedure. A court would expect it. A pain yes but required

        Percivere in all directions


      • as they say the law is an ass

      • Alex says:

        The Law is not an Ass. It’s understanding its procedure that’s a pain ! The Law is there for all. It’s just making sure you do your homework and having certified facts. Then you have to balance it. It’s not easy. But it is there for all !
        Unfortunately nothing rarely happens as fast as we wish. But if your weight of facts out weigh the other you can make case. It’s having the conviction to act that decides. Saying I have the facts and doing nothing you’ve waisted effort and others time in securing the facts.
        Yes it takes time. That’s the down side if you have no money. Yet there are ways to get your case to Crown Court if you have the confidence.

      • sorry alex no harm done but it is an old saying “The Law IS AN ASS” probably because it it seems only people with money have access to be defended.with so many agencies out there people should not have to subjected to that sort of treatment which shows societyis poorer for not defending peoples rights

      • Alex says:

        Oh I know the old saying. Yet I’m defending and holding to task Lanlord in full Crown hearing with no money. It’s getting there that’s tuff as hell and having the security of fact to take major risk to achieve it. Not many will risk it. What I’ve done I can’t say here. But it’s been major risk based on evidence.

      • hi Alex i wish you well and it is a pity that more people dont stand together against these bullies.keep us informed how it goes.I also believe in getting proof have taken photos ,keep a diary of events so do know how time consuming and draining it all the best

      • Alex says:

        Many thanks. And well done all should keep accurate detailed facts !

        Things are heating up here now 🙂

      • Alex says:

        Note for all.

        How many of you when taking on a tenancy in the last 6 years received an EPC ? Were you given the chance and explained what it was ?

        If No to the above report to Trading Standards !! Compensation is £200. Pass round even if you don’t like your neighbour 🙂 its for all regardless !

        You are allowed time to decide wether you can afford to run a property based on the Energy Performance Certificate 🙂

      • no i dont think so.another thing to follow up
        thanks for the tip

  206. Alex says:

    Sanctuary now trying to evict my daughter and I for heating instead of rent after 11 years.

    This is a lcomunication from exeter city council to sanctuary.

    Hello, Colin. Senior Surveyor Sanctuary

    I understand that a residents’ meeting took place on Tuesday evening, at which the Sidwell House tenants were briefed as to the works and timescale proposed to overcome the Excess Cold hazard currently existing there. As you know, we met on 15th. November and you outlined the proposed approach as it stood at that time.

    At this stage, there are a number of issues which need to be finalised and /or clarified and I will now set these out:

    Finalisation of the works proposed to be carried out to overcome the Excess Cold hazard;
    An indication of the SAP which will be achieved in each dwelling in the development as a result of the carrying-out of the works;
    Setting firm dates for the commencement and completion of the works;
    A Work Plan for the carrying out of the works, complete with milestones and decant proposals;
    Confirmation that in the meantime, as flats where Category 1 hazards exist become vacant, they will not be relet until such time as the hazard has been mitigated to the required degree.

    I would be grateful if you would provide me with your response to these issues as soon as possible.

    It has been put to me that it would be desirable to secure the required thermal upgrade of ceilings in the development by underdrawing the existing ceilings in thermal board. Clearly, it is for Sanctuary to decide how best to attain the target SAP for the premises, and I know that it is your intention to deal with this aspect through replacing the roof covering with thermal board, but I should be pleased to receive your comments on the suggestion that underdrawing would be the best way forward. I understand that during the residents’ meeting it was stated that insulation of sub-floor voids is probably not to be done; again, I would welcome your response.

    It has been suggested that incoming tenants have not been provided with Energy Performance Certificates and I should also be grateful if you would look into this and let me know whether this is the case. It has also been suggested that the tenants who have recently moved in have not been advised of the Excess Cold issue, the works which will have to be carried out and the disturbance which will be caused to them. If this is so, perhaps you would ensure that they are properly briefed in these respects.

    As a separate issue, I understand that one of the flats has recently been taken by a family with serious hearing impairment. No doubt Sanctuary will be arranging for the provision of a visual fire warning device for them.

    Private Sector Housing team
    Environmental Health Department
    Exeter City Council
    Civic Centre
    Paris Street
    Exeter EX1 1RQ

  207. rukhsana khan says:

    hello my name is rukhsana am a sanctuary tenate i have been waiting for a 3 bedroom house i the same area i need a 3 bedroom houe becuse my husband and i are adopting a nother child we have a 2 bedroom flat one bedroom is a box room it has no room for a nother bed.the council have said the kids have to share the room and get the bubbeds one son is 3 and his sister is one how can we get bubbeds for the kids at that age.

  208. Alex says:

    Please help

    Dear All

    We/I are sanctuary housing association tenants. My daughter and i are being served notice at Exeter Crown court for non payment off rent to stay warm and survive. On the 15/01/13 11:00hrs

    I live in a Class 1 Severe Cold Hazard Home. This is in breach of Housing Charter, Decent Homes Standards and the Children’s Act to name a few. It has decreed by Exeter City Council that no more properties are to be let. Sanctuary response was to MP Ben Bradshaw. By Mr Richard Keeley Regional Director that the properties meet standards.

    Sanctuary make an average £24.7mil p/a

    The properties contain little or no insulation. Sanctuary are licensed to Suply Affordable Housing/ Rent. I have been fighting for this to be rectified. I have no funds for Christmas and cannot afford to pay to take legal action against Sanctuary. Our Landlord has auctioned I to court at time of year I can’t obtain legal response due to their closure for Christmas. We have even spoken out on BBC Spotlight 18:30hrs. 3rd story on the 6th of December. We had the support of the local council and Counciler, Roger Spackman. I have been fighting this for 7 years !

    The only way I can bring action is to pray the Justice System acts and accepts our counter claim for negligence. These properties are not habitable in winter ! Sanctuary say work will be done by March 2013. We have no start date. I can’t acquire even a payday loan anymore !

    My only hope now is the Justice. I have all the legal non arguable documentation to back this statement. I have even secured data request from all parties concerned. Sanctuary’s data shows huge data sections missing. This is confirmed by the 3rd party data recovery in regard to minutes meetings, emails and phone call logs

    I pray you read and see that 3rd Largest Affordable Housing Provider is Greed !


    Alexander Edward Grey
    1 Sidwell House
    Bampfylde Street
    EX1 2AR

    TEL : 0787 512 5690 – 01392 410 519

    Sent from my iPhone

  209. Alex says:

    Draft to be published by Social Justice First

    Alexander E Grey
    1 Sidwell House
    Bampfylde Street
    EX1 2AR
    Social Justice First
    Eviction for Staying Warm
    In Class 1 Severe Cold Hazard Dwelling Under Decent Homes Standard/Housing Charter
    Exeter Crown Court 15th January 11am
    Sanctuary Housing Association

    On the 6th of December, we were interviewed by BBC Spotlight Southwest in regard to our plight of no longer being able to support family and home due to the massive heating over heads – currently running at £160 per month and the weather’s not even cold yet! 5 days after the TV interview, I received a letter from Sanctuary stating a court date for rent arrears. They had completed the possession order online. They did not, however, issue the court documents, which could have been printed and issued previously in order for me to apply for legal aid before the Christmas closure. On the Wednesday before Christmas, after discussion with my solicitor, I attended Crown Administration to obtain a copy of action filed. I had to call Sanctuary to obtain the reference for this. Also, I found out that witness statement had been filed too. This, my landlord informed me, I would receive 7 to 10 days before the court date. At my request, statements were faxed immediately by Crown Court to my legal representative. On the same Wednesday, my legal representative filled out legal aid application and draft statement and posted to me for completion. On receipt of these, on the 20th December (my birthday), I completed these and sent them back to my legal representative who received them on the Friday before Christmas (21st December). However, there was no time left for legal aid to consider the application as they were now closed for Christmas (Monday 24th December – 3rd January), so it waits their re-opening.

    There are 3 major queries on these actions:-
    1: my landlord had right of court action in November on the grounds of non-payment of rent for 8 weeks
    2: why action after TV interview and my right to legal aid hindered by seasonal closure
    3: to issue at this time severely hindered my ability to obtain my right to legal representation
    As a tenant of one of the country’s largest social welfare housing groups, I/we have struggled since day one of contract. I applied, based on income and need as many others do, because local rent is too high. I was desperate for a 2 bedroom property for my daughter and me. Sanctuary became my housing provider. Affordable Housing? Not!

    So How Has This Come Too Risk off Loosing the Roof over My Daughters Head Now That She Is to Start Her GCSE’s

    Property Facts:
    Breeze block, red fancier brick with cavity. Roof flat re-enforced flat roof
    Pre 96/97 Previously Express & Echo News Paper Offices (Mirror Group) still have interest
    98/99 Converted 1st Floor & 2nd floor to 14 Residential dwellings
    The ground floor being a supermarket

    I now have to try to lay facts without being biased if possible……….
    2004 : winter chronic finance while making CSA payments. Huddled in bed fully clothed crying how I can have my daughter to stay on excess as funds not available for heating again. I reported these issues continually to Sanctuary. Got nowhere just reminded you must keep your rent up. I started using odd weeks rent so my daughter could stay with heating. My rent deficit starts
    2004 : spring summer I start paying my rent arrears off on top of my standard rent
    2004 : autumn heating started again income after tax and CSA deductions per 2 weeks £354 average, rent £185 leaving £169 for all other bills and heating (heating £55per 2wks). How to survive on £114 with council tax, water, food and my daughter 3 days a week. Can’t so start taking loans out just to get by.
    2004/05 : winter the cycle becomes harder more rent used. I report to Landlord heating and cold.
    2005 : summer same as 2004 I repeat my complaint of the failure of the property retaining heat and cost of
    2006 is crunch I start looking at why it’s going horribly wrong. Maybe late but pride for trying to cope. Still complaining to Landlord. I must have sounded like a winging tenant by now
    2006 : summer depressed on medication. Sanctuary housing refer me to Home Maker Charity for debt management. I explain the issues with affordability, asking them to desperately pass them on as getting nowhere. And my hall way dripping with condensation and black mould encroachment.
    I now approach Mr Phil Doidge of Exeter City Council Environmental Health and Private Sector Housing to assess the property.
    2006 : late summer Mr Phil Doidge carries out survey. Inspects damp and walls for insulation & Cold Breaching. Sanctuary send Paul Edwards Surveyor to attend at ECC Mr Doidge request. Mr Doidge finds high probability of severe lack of insulation all walls and ceiling. One remark passed was that the window air vents were closed. Yet no mention of the fact all windows wide open as day time temperature was 28’c.
    2006 : autumn Mr Doidge completes report stating that there issues that need to be looked into and that there is a requirement for insulation and an extra night storage heater in the hallway to Sanctuary. Also that he suspects lack of thermal retention in the rest of the property. Due to the fact there is only one main heater for the rest of the property in the lounge on the farthest external wall.
    2006/07 : winter still no extra heating or insulation. Mr Doidge pursues Sanctuary housing. Sanctuary’s response is that there is a primary lease holder Prime Estates and it’s their duty to supply the work as upgrade. I am Sanctuaries Responsibility that is who my contract is with. Further debts incurred. Situation becoming increasingly breaking down. My daughter is suffering now as I’m becoming more unable to provide for her on excess periods. Buying food now is also a concern. So need to supplement with rent funds again.
    2007 : spring still no commencement of works by Sanctuary. I chase Sanctuary, Mr Doidge ECC contacts and continually request updates. Sanctuary are still in consult with Primary Lease holder Prime Estates. I am now being pursued for rent debts.
    2007 : August Sanctuary carry out works after 12 months of request of work start dates. They install second night store heater and insult external hall wall, tile bathroom wall and kitchen wall. I’m told
    “Don’t tell the other residents we have paid for this as Prime Estates were not paying you’re lucky” Statement by Ray Grange Housing Officer Sanctuary now retired. Who also informed me that Sanctuary was aiming at increasing the rent just under £100 per week forecasted at 10 years.
    2007/8 : winter – I’m warmer but now less in the pot for food and bills. Southwest Water are not paid for consumption used. One off many now.
    2008-11 : continued rent arrears, further calls to sanctuary about heating and being in bed freezing fully clothed. That the property is not retaining heat. I go to work warm, come home and it’s cold as a fridge !
    After returning to Home Maker for further debt management on 2 more occasions and my daughter moving in February 2010 due to her mother’s ill health. The situation is 12 months from being out of control financially. Still no further inspections made since 2006 by Sanctuary as requested by Exeter City Council and requested.
    2010 : winter I start looking further into the property construction and conversion
    2011 : January 8th I emailed Our Housing officer, Mr Neil Trick the grave concerns of the lack of affordability and thermal comfort not to mention the severe debt crisis we are in on behalf of all residents not just I.
    2011 : Summer I now start my own investigation into Assured Short Hold Tenancy & standards are building regs/Decent Homes Standards /The Housing Charter and the possible breach in the Children’s Welfare Act. I spend hours in the library going through building regs, all my work breaks are contacting and researching online Affordable Housing Compliance Agreements. Researching Sanctuary’s Annual Audits. Their published repairs and maintenance schedules. I request site of the architectural building plans passed and signed as agreed for the construction from commercial to domestic residencies. These plans showed insulation such as cavity wall, under floor and ceiling. All of which were suspect in 2006 investigation.
    2011 : august I meet by chance Mr N Trick H/O while visiting another tenant. I asked if he had forwarded on my email re 8th January. He said he had. Ii asked what action was taking place. He had no idea. But would find out. Surveyors had looked into the concerns and passed issue to Prime Estates. At the same time I had contacted again Mr Doidge ECC to carry out a more crucial survey. He was more than happy to do. On completion, it was his conclusion that there was a serious lack of insulation that required a major works project. Even decamping residents so floors could be lifted to install the missing insulation that were agreed in the plans stamped and certified for residential conversion. Upon hearing this and a further winter of debt looming Mr Bridges a fellow tenant approached WBW Solicitors of Exeter. One Mr Goddard. He considered our portfolio we had gathered regarding all the facts we had compiled. He accepted the case on minimum legal aid available. For such cases and neglect of over sight he anticipated that sanctuary would act rapidly given that 14 homes were likely to be affected. Also this would be the last winter that financially I could survive
    20011 : August – December. Mr Godard WBW contacted Mr Doidge (ECC) and Sanctuary Housing Association. Mr Doidge communicated on regular updates. Sanctuary were next to nothing.
    2012 – January – March Mr Sean Mercer WBW takes over case as Mr Godard leaves WBW. Mr Mercer continues requesting updates from Sanctuary. Basically response was non constructive at best due to lack of response. Mr Doidge is suffering the same. Still being informed Sanctuary are waiting on Prime Estates again !
    March 2012 Upon Request as now Tenants Representative I approach Mr Doidge after months of contact and request a full Energy Performance Certification and independent survey and recommendation SAP based. We also issued Sanctuary Housing Association with full formal complaint agreed and signed by residents of Sidwell House. Including compensation request as in accordance with Assured Tenancy. This was previously requested January 8th 2011. Though back in 2007 I was told that I was lucky just to get the work done.
    April SAP survey completed. Mr Doidge is still pursuing Sanctuary for works dates and targets.
    May end off SAP’s Survey is produced. My property as example base for all others bar 3 comes out as a score of ‘36’ with a G Carbon Emitions Rating. You would not be wrong if you had seen the paperwork it was whare house. And a bad one as well. Recommendations are 1) under floor insulation 2) cavity wall insulation or internal 3) ceilings insulated as none to concrete reinforced flat roof 4) removal of night storage heaters and convection and installation of an upgraded efficient heating system. That is the base brief. Under Decent Homes Standards & Housing Charter my flat is registered as a Class 1 Severe Cold Hazard Dwelling
    July : Paul Edwards Sanctuary Housing Surveyor Emails Mr Doidge and states that with hope the reworks shall be complete by end of summer. Mr Mercer though continually trying to gain a response from sanctuary to no avail. I now start requesting Tenant Landlord Meeting re severity of report to discus situation and assistance for us.
    August : A new Senior Surveyor is appointed, Mr Colin Whitehead. An excellent man, highly professional so hope is born. Mr Whitehead immediately meets with Mr Doidge and re-assures that the work should be prompt. Looking at by Christmas and decamping of residents to achieve a speedy result. To this effect organised a meeting re Tenant Landlord discussion.
    September mid : meeting held local Councillor Mr Roger Spakman in attendance. Content of the meeting re forth coming works and heating. We requested assistance with heating costs. Nothing offered. We all informed Sanctuary that this is the last winter we could survive financially. Not one of us had any savings left. We are broke or Black Listed now after years of incurred debt.
    September End Off : I incur a severe lower back injury at work. I make insurance claim against my employer. I am now on £76 per week plus family support. I apply for housing benefit. Beginning of October the heating goes on. As no funds or savings left I am now relying on my housing benefit is now subsidising bills. Housing benefit is informed. Mr Mercer informs Sanctuary Housing (charity) that as when my insurance is paid it will be issued to my rent debt and that benefits will also be repaid.
    October : Mid : new meeting held. Same questions asked. How ? When ? Heating assistance payments ? We are offered extra heaters but not the means to make use of them power consumption now at £158 pcm property does not retain heat
    November last meeting : We are no further forward. We are told Sanctuary will issue 5 day notice on Prime Estates to come up with plans and deadlines. This happens and they are still in discussion. We raise compensation again. Informed this will happen after. In Breach of Judicial Legislation. This can be taken as from day one of signing contract !

    So to briefly summarise :
    1) Breach of Building Regs from 1976
    2) Breach of Government License To Provide Social Housing to those in Need – Affordable fair rent on property
    3) Default of Housing Charter
    4) Breach of Children’s Act re welfare
    5) Failure Under Decent Homes Standards
    6) Contributing to Financial Deprivation
    7) Breach of Judicial Repair And Compensation Amendment 1986
    8) Not Replying to Tenants Legal Representation
    9) Reputing official Designation Of Class 1 Hazard dwelling
    10) Not supplying Energy Performance Certification to Tenants to ensure they can afford the dwelling
    11) Neglecting to inform New Tenants of Forth Coming Works
    The above is but a few. I am now being taken to court for rent arrears/non payment from September

    Now For Something More Interesting
    On the 13th of December I received an email from Mr Doidge to Regional Director Sanctuary Housing Association Southwest. This email requested certain assurances 1- no further class 1 hazard properties were let 2- assistance was given to residents to have extra heating 3- when and how would decamping for works take place 4- time scale and implementation to be given
    Letter from Richard Keeley – MP Ben Bradshaw 14th December
    Please Mr Bradshaw we can assure you that all the properties meet standards and we are working closely with residents/ Exeter City Council to resolve these matters.
    MP Ben Bradshaw has worked tirelessly along with his staff to help resolve this matter. Though even MP’s letters don’t receive a quick response. All is left to normally to 28 day reply if replied to at all.

    Councillor Roger Spakman has emailed phoned and as yet though some impact has received only air as a rule

    The Co Operative Supermarket below us has waste water from our flat roof entering into the store as the drainage system has never been maintained

    The only present I could give my daughter for her 16th Birthday in December combined with Christmas was my old wedding ring. As a parent and your daughters 16th how would you feel ? I work full time I don’t go out on the town my daughter has her GCSE’s start in January.
    And one off the Largest Private Social Housing Providers Evicts Those In Need T Stay Warm When They makes £24:7 Million on Average!
    Now another winter in
    Bed freezing !!
    More Debt !!!!
    For Charitable Profit !!!!!!
    Alexander E Grey 07875125690
    Acknowledgments :
    Mr Phill Doidge-Exeter-City Council-Paris Street-Exeter 01392 265760
    Councilor Roger Spackman 07809565277
    Quote “Sanctuary Have A Duty Of Care For Their Tenants”
    MP Ben Bradshaw-Labour HQ-26b Clifton Hill-Exeter-EX1 2DJ 01392 424464
    Parliamentary Office House Of Commons-Westminster-London-0207 2196597
    Ben Bradshaw MP & his office have worked tirelessly on this since 2006
    Sanctuary Housing Association-Estuary House-Peninsula House-Rydon Lane-Exeter-EX2 7XE
    Fax 01392 813468 text 07795265843 tel 03001233515 08000839283 Niel Trick H/O 07876217070 desk 01392813453 email
    Home Maker Southwest 17 Heavitree Road Exeter EX1 2LD 01392 686752
    Over the years Home Maker have kept Sanctuary updated on increasing financial burden

  210. Hello. Sorry to hear of your problems with Sanctuary Housing Association. I to have had problems with Sanctuary Housing and have also been threatened with legal action though this did not become a reality because frankly ‘turkeys do not vote for christmas’. All I can offer you by way of support concerns Richard Keeley, Regional Director, Sanctuary Shaftesbury, Exeter. In no way, shape or form should this man be trusted for reasons which remain ongoing on my website Sanctuary Housing is fully aware why Keeley cannot be trusted but is more likely to promote him than sack him given the nature of this distasteful and corrupt charity. A corrupt charity which is most welcome to take me to court if it does not fear the truth and scrutiny.

    My best wishes to you and your fight in 2013, Geoff.

  211. Cyber Campaigner for Justice and Equity says:

    Housing Associations in the main are disguised businesses, lurking beneath the masquerade of charity.

    It is charity which allows them to refuse the Right To Buy (RTB).

    They urgently need to be brought to account since they are acting above the law and engaged, clearly, in commercial activities: including land development for sale and thus profit.

    I have fought Government now for over 30 years, on the RTB issue: additionally, I have argued with most Housing Ministers.

    Last year (2012), the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published a paper recommending ALL tenants of publicly funded Housing Associations (HAs) be given the Right To Buy: this view was back in particular by Rt Hon Frank Field MP and Rt. Hon David Davis MP.

    I am regularly in touch with Frank and have presented a full dossier concerning Sanctuary’s misdeeds and commercial activities to him, David Davis and Grant Shapps the present Housing Minister. Shapps, naturally, merely passed over my letter and enclosures to a minion who sent a patronising and meaningless reply.

    What’s new: he is a devious and venal self-serving politician!

    However, one voice crying in the wilderness will never ever bring these charlatans and rogues to account.

    If anyone is interested, I will set up a forum site to try and gain significant support: in numbers is strength!

    You can let me know your interest on:

    Please note: I am unable to assist with specific tenant’s complaints and problems, this would not be the point: however, if you join the forum, then you would have the opportunity to publish your grievances online!

    • Alex says:

      I know we’re british. Let’s write a petition ! Oh how about a strong letter maybe and get it signed. That’s an idea. Do your bloody research. Talking and letters are what sanctuary do ! Ok let’s have a meeting and all agree we’ve been wronged ! If you are truly in the legal right and you must be bloody certain !!! Then get them to court to be answerable. Put your rent to one side. Don’t touch it ever. Let them take you to court. You then enter counter claim. If you have major repair issues left undone check not sanctuary s complaints procedure as civil law. But look at Repairs : landlord / tenants rights amendment 1988 I think. Your landlord must sort and timetable in 20 days and negotiate compensation. He is in breach of this legislation at 40 days. At this point you have the right to withhold in regards to works or to make good costs. This is usual omitted from Assured Short Hold Tenancy’s. but you must be total understanding of your actions. If after 8 weeks they action repossession under 8 week non rent you will have the rent to show and full works breach in Legal Requirement no different than not paying rent.


  212. Oxy says:

    Kingfisher Housing Association From Basingstoke will be even worse .They ,totaly ignoring its tenants.Failing to do maintenance jobs,and expecting tenants to do all maintenance jobs at their own expenses.If you reporting them to Housing authorities,they sending evictions warnings within the week .
    Anybody had similar expierence?
    They are given to court,by several people,and not letting people mutualy exchange its properties with another tenants.
    What is your expierence about this Housing association. ?

    • Anon says:

      Hey guys please read what I have Also been experiencing
      Re Property based in attic, flat f 33 Denbigh place sw1 V2HA has been over -crowded since may 2012. Occupiers are causing unbelievable stress to me and creaking noise of laminating flooring and thumping is making my life a hell. could it be the case of sub-letting ? washing machine is over used too . between 4 and 6 people circulating the propery. The noise is unbearable, illegally installed laminated flooring penetrated by hectic and erratic jumping is causing cracks to property’s below .ceilings and walls are cracked. see enclosed photos.

      The noise goes on 24/7 washing machine/ tumble dyer is on all weekend regardless of time or rules. Tumble dryer cause cracks in kitchen area ceilings, the painting is coming off from strong vibrations. People at flat f denbigh place s w 1 v 2 ha , by Nyomi Alexander housing officer account , did put carpet but I am not sure if Nyomi Alexander actually went to property F.i was bedridden and not once at that time of her claim she visited flat f .

      This abnormal situation, as i stated in my previous email , caused decline of my health , stopped me inviting my old parents for Christmas or my nieces , stopped my work, praying , meditating , reading or recovering my health in my new flat or spend ing quality time with my lover let alone entertaining. This absurd situation made me contact my lawyer and London- based news papers . I did supply you with noise from flat F, I have two reliable witnesses to state and describe the hell I went through and I packed my bags. I won’t stay in this propery I am staying with friend and I will seek compensation from you unless you remove laminated flooring from flat F and carpet that flat .

      Never mind Pimlico improvement work in Denbigh triangle (extreme noise and life -threating dust),
      The harrasment i went through from flat F and heavy smoke from flat B that affected my asthma and makes my flat and the whole communal area stink of smoke and drugs cannot compare.
      Housing officer inability to solve these problems made me even stronger in my attempt as an journalist and writer to get fully involved with councillor and MP , press even resident association and try to solve this problem before I leave.its disgrace you put problems under the carpet a la Westminster council style.

      I never experienced peace and quiet in my flat for one second, I was never without earplugs in my flat , my ears are sore and bleeding from constant use of them . my stomach is perforated by acidity, I take anti depressants, sleeping tablets and i have heavy panic attacks.not once i had breakfast in peace , bath in peace or relaxing time with friend or lover. Not once i phone friend or mum from my flat not once read one book or seen one movie. My laptop is still unopen i am dictating this email to friend.

      My faith in santuary housing is none- existant . what a santuary! what a inner sanctum ! Life on street would be more quiet. nyomi alexander may be little soft or even favourable when dealing with guys from flat f , african people but as she agrees this is a very acoustic building occupied by some very nice and maybe vulnerable people and life with guys from flat F and flat B who are breaking all santuary rules on a daily base, became impossible . Mad style bed and breakfast at flat f and smokers den at flat b ! what a shame! What a beautiful area ! Building wise did a great job but failed to deal with the most important thing – people! It was annus horibilis. Experience i will never forgot. It suppose to be the best of times it turned to be the worst of times.

      Yours heart broken


    • Anon says:

      Dear nyomi alexander

      re civic watch initiative , why not raise issues of loud tv , shouting , swearing , cigarette and skunk smell in communal area and vandalism (writing on freshly painted facade next to entry phone ) , not to mention non stop weekend parties by 33 b denbigh place tenant who is making our life hell. ? merry christmas and happy new year !
      denbigh triangle looks fantastic !
      Thank you !

  213. Alex says:

    Dear All

    The possession order today was not even suspended. The case due to its very in depth situation has been postponed till May. At present listed for a half day 2nd week in May.

    Sanctuary has refused to accept the Environmental Health & Private Sector Planning independent survey report. Stating under the Decent Homes Standard that the property is a Class 1 Severe Cold Hazard Dwelling.

    Re rent I have conceded to pay £86 a week. Now that case has been adjourned pending full inquiry, case construction and Legal Aid Certificate.

    I find it amazing that they do not accept the independent survey ! Why not dispute this in May 2012 when issued ? By May this year the work should be done.

    Sanctuary are in complete denial of responsibility !

    Alex Grey

    Sent from my iPhone

  214. Alex says:

    Dear All

    Ok here’s your chance !!! I’ve been in touch with BBC here in exeter. Also our MP and others country wide.

    So here you go I’m rolling the ball !! Contact Zoe Clough bellow Now please !!! I’ve worked hard !!

    Hello Alex,

    I hope Jenny’s Walrand mentioned that I’m interested in making a film about your and the other tenants’ situation for Inside Out. It will have to be made fairly quickly, within the next week or two.
    When would be a good time to talk – or come and see you?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Zoe Clough
    Inside Out SW

    Tel: 01752 234553

    This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
    If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
    Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
    Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
    Further communication will signify your consent to this.


    • Alex says:

      Good day All.

      Please can I ask that anything you have please email I now.

      Dear Zoe at the BBC now has enough to feature. So please don’t contact her now. But please send I !

      Much thanks cthus is the start 🙂

      Alex Grey

  215. Alex says:

    All please I have case with sanctuary going ahead. I need hard facts from you ASAP !! BBC Are researching now !

    Contact me on 07875125690 and email

    Also MP’s are now questioning them again but I need you to step forward now !! I will put all major facts to MP and Zoe Cough BBC.



  216. jumbojimbo says:

    Monday Email in from Sanctuary

    Dear Mr XXXX

    Thank you for your e-mail dated 14 January 2013 regarding the Pumping Station. I can confirm that details regarding the background information to this matter have been passed to me. The Planned Maintenance and Compliance Team, referred to in your e-mail, are the same department. You make reference to the Head of Housing Operations, this is Emma Keegan.

    Having recently been advised of this matter I can confirm that I have recently discussed the background details with members of Sanctuary Group staff, regarding the pumping station and can confirm the Pumping Station is not owned by Sanctuary Group and is not on land owned by us either. It is under the ownership of Vicarage Farm (Dovercourt) Pump Management Company.

    I would like to visit you on Thursday 24th January at 11.00 a.m. to meet and discuss this matter and see how we can help in trying to get this issue resolved. However, please be aware that as the Pumping Station is not in our ownership, we are not responsible for undertaking any maintenance to it.

    It is my intention to involve the Environmental Health Department of the Local Authority and will make contact with them once we have had our meeting.

    I have also received your e-mail dated 04.01.13, addressed to Mr Derek Black. As previously mentioned the maintenance of the Pumping Station is not the responsibility of Sanctuary Group, therefore we are unable to provide records of any maintenance that has taken place. We are also unable to provide you with details of the contractor who has undertaken any work, again as they have not been appointed by us, but by the owners Vicarage Farm (Dovercourt) Pump Management Company.

    Please can you confirm that you will be available for me to visit you on Thursday 24th January at 11.00 a.m.

    Should you have any further points you wish to discuss, prior to our meeting, please contact me using the e-mail address shown on this message.

    Yours sincerely

    Vaughan Williams
    Planned Maintenance Co-ordinator


    I immediately reply as follows:

    I understand that Sanctuary have been invited by my Primary Care Trusts Safeguards Officer to a meeting this week. Can I suggest that you liase with this arrangement and come back to me to confirm that you’ll come to this structured meeting already arranged.

    Just for the record, Sanctuary know perfectly well who the contractor is, you have an element of control by shared ownership in the pumping station, you make no reference to the threats toward me by your pumping station contractor and pumping station issues were included in pre-action protocol and you had instructed Wragge & Co to represent you. Further. Derek Black undertook to Complaints Panel to provide pumping station repair logs, the Walsh expert report and others and Sanctuary haven’t responded in any way to these issues for over a year and I take exception to your opening by your simply referring to an email dated 14th January 2013. Sanctuary also fed the press a load of phooey about the most recent failure last November.

    You also provide no contact details for yourself. I suggest that Mr Walsh returns as soon as possible. I suggest that Sanctuary need to immediately address the threats toward me by your contractor. And I’m sorry, but the it’s nothing to do with us explanation is not acceptable.

    I also think you ought to define why I am getting this email from you and not Wragge & Co.

    With regards

    xxxxx xxxxxxx

    I then call the call centre and leave message from Mr Williams to call me to confirm that he agrees that the meeting scheduled for Friday makes more sense. Later on in the day, I also send him the land registry map showing they do own the land.

    He does not return the call and does not acknowledge either email.

    On Tuesday, I telephone the call centre and ask to speak to Mr Williams. They refused this because I was unable to provide a password (I never knew I had a password and certainly hadn’t needed one before) and told me that I had to visit my local Area Office 40 miles away to obtain a copy of the password before they would try to connect me with Mr Williams). After significant to and fro I was telephoned by a Housing Officer Pat Coleman who said she was unable to put me through to Mr Williams but would forward a message to him.

    3.57pm Wednesday (today). Another message left for Mr Williams and I asked why had he not returned my call or responded to my email? I then received this email within 10 minutes from Mr Williams.

    Dear Mr. xxxxxxx

    I am sorry that the appointment for Thursday at 11.00 a.m. is not convenient for you.

    I can offer you Tuesday 29th at 11.00 a.m. allowing you time to arrange for your primary trust Safeguard Officer to also attend, if you consider this necessary. Please confirm that this is convenient for both of you.

    Vaughan Williams
    Planned Maintenance Co-ordinator
    Sanctuary Maintenance Contractors Limited
    Part of Sanctuary Group

    I telephoned to speak to Mr Williams immediately on receipt of this email as it not only didn’t address any of the issues he invited discussion about it also invited mis-interpretation that I had declined his offer of a meeting which as you can see from the above I certainly DID NOT. THIS IS A STANDARD SANCTUARY TACTIC. The call centre refused to connect me with Mr Williams as he did not wish to speak with me although they were on the phone to Mr Williams whilst talking to me and relayed that he did not wish to discuss any of the issues set out. I then gave the phone to my PA to try to get them to explain why this man was on the phone to them but wouldn’t speak with us having invited discussion ahead of a meeting. my carer got nowhere and returned the phone to me.

    At this point, the tone of the call centre was so unpleasant I told them that I was going to terminate the call because the situation was causing too much stress for me and I ended the call.


  217. Tim says:

    It certainly has. A standard Sanctuary tactic indeed. The BBC now have everything I can give them on Sanctuary. Over the phone, their nationwide interest sounds serious at this stage. Fingers crossed.

  218. Alex says:

    Thank you all 🙂

    Without your input we couldn’t have started. So let’s see what the storm brings and that which follows.

    Sometimes it’s the little man un-noticed in the background like the loan bomber who passes through unseen. Until its to late.

  219. Tim says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank YOU, Alex! 🙂

  220. mark says:

    Having had 14 years of strife and stress from Sanctuary i’d be more than happy to see them called to account for their bullying ways. Only doubt is that once all the tv crews have finally gone and the dust is settled, Sanctuary will want to get even with all who have exposed them. That leaves many people who are vulnerable exposed, identified, and without any real support. it’s all well and good chasing justice, but Sanctuary are a huge (dis)organization with untold millions to spend on legal and ilegal methods to do pretty much whatever they like. Not too many people have had too much help up to now, will the help be there just because the BBC have showed a programme? I’m not so sure which is why I reluctantly had to decline the offer to make my experiences known on film where i could easily be identified and then further harrassed and victimised. Hats off to those of you who are going down that route, I wish you well but advise caution, don’t forget who you’re dealing with…………….

    • Alex says:

      They’ve already trying with I Mark. But when you have no where to run. I’ll fight ! Legally ! There are ways and means of doing it. The advantage some have is that they haras and that’s their mistake. The more the better. I’ve had 11 1/2 years and prior to that I had a 7 year axcess battle. So my hide is thick. If you come forward your name does not have to be known. But I will advise you go to your MP and request he contacts Ben Bradshaw MP with your crisis. Not to to do so is not helping your self or others. As for risk they’ve lied and tried to take the roof from over my daughters head at GCSE time.

      So Mark go see your MP with your file. This is bigger than you think.


      • mark says:

        I’ve done all that mate……………had both our local Worthing MP’s involved since 2001, also had CAB, media, Doctors, Council, mediators, you name it, they’ve been involved. None of it’s made any difference. My wife was left for 3 years with no heating whatsoever, Sanctuary made an out of court settlement after we were able to get funding to get a solicitor, since then i’ve been accused of various different things by Sanctuary, ranging from alleged abuse to alleged violence and all with no evidence other than the words of Sanctuary staff. Once they’ve got an axe to grind thyey never leave you alone. I’m too ill to be bothered jumping through endlessd hoops only to find myself right back where i started years before, only greyer and more burned out. The problem is all the so called official bodies are hand in hand with each other, they just lead you on a merry goose chase till your exhausted.

        Anyways, good luck

      • Alex says:

        I can believe that mate ! I used to hunt Geese am again now. I won’t stop I won’t give up !

    • Hello Mark. Sorry to hear you too have had problems with Sanctuary. I regret I do not hear much in the way of how you think Sanctuary should be dealt with ? When the cameras have gone and Sanctuary has put it’s spin on the issues the fight will continue with renewed vigour. If it were not for the contributers who have got us this far Sanctuary would not be facing public scrutiny on a scale not seen before. Some, like myself, are quite happy to go to court and expose Sanctuary Housing for what it is : an uncaring, bullying, greedy profit obsessed bulldozer of a Charity. A Charity with a CEO and Group Board who concern themselves only with profit, more profit and even greater profits on the alter of tenant misery. Whichever Organisation awarded Sanctuary Housing the “People before Profits” award should be closed down for being grossly dishonest in the public interest. Geoff McLaughlin.

      • Alex says:

        Well said Goeff. And please Mark just see your MP to pass on your situ to Ben Bradshaw.

        Do email if you have any quiryies I may be able to help with.

        All the best.

      • mark says:

        Geoff, the way I deal with Sanctuary now is I just completely ignore them. Apart from major repairs we pay for small repairs ourselves. We don’t allow them access to our home without impartial witnesses being present and only allow them in at all if it’s convenient to us. The estate caretaker’s office is attached to our building, i see him frequently but say nothing and keep my head down. I lived in private sector for 20 years with no problems but the last 14 years with Sanctuary have been a living hell. The staff are liars, they gang up and contaminate your profile to other agencies and bodies and then eventually spit you out a few years and reems of paperwork later. So I treat them with the same contempt they treat us, as far as i’m concerned they don’t exist. If they ever try it on with us again I have access to a war chest my aged parents have set aside for just that scenario. Also I have kept most of the insulting lies they have put in writing and We have impartial witnesses and statements should the need be. As i said before, I wish you guys luck, I just don’t have the stamina or motivation anymore, Sanctuary are simply not worth the effort.

        Kind regards


  221. Alex says:

    Is your property cold ! Is it black with mould and condensation ! Your kitchen units collapsed ? Bathroom disaster ! Heating systems more than 10 years old ??

    Sanctuary not doing anything after years of trying ?

    If yes then look up your area rent & property tribunal service and have sanctuary’s rent reassessed ! They can’t stop that :-))

    • Robert Roebuck says:

      The only time Sanctuary back down is when they come up against people that know the law
      and how to represent residents. This idea of the BBc doing a program can only be good for tenants.

      Lets hope after mp,s across the country call a select committee enquiry into this company and how they treat and bully tenants and staff and declare them not fit for purpose.

      Having been an RRF chairman in the Midlands i know sanctuary,s tactics all to well.

      One more point we have freedom of speech in this country if one is telling the truth there are no worries and it is

      against the law to harass and victimize tenants for saying what,s true

      Robert Roebuck

      • Alex says:

        Dear Robert

        Dam right ! The law is the law ! Sanctuary can only do so much. But they may not break the law ! There are ways to have it upheld. But you must think of it as business. Don’t take it personal. I know all to well how hard that is, yet when you get the right mind set to make it business like it far easier and less stress ! They want you stressed. So change the way you approach it

        How I survived !


  222. Today’s ‘Sanctuary Housing Idiot Trophy’ Winner, S.H.I.T. for short, is Richard Keeley, Regional Director, Sanctuary Housing. #SimonClark.

  223. Tim says:

    I read recently that Tim Susans is now the head of Sanctuary Carr-Gomm Supported Housing. Mr. Susans proved himself totally unfit for such a position of responsibility in his letter of 15th May 2008 to us.

    A further example of standard Sanctuary tactics…. (I don’t think I’ve shared these details before here, apologies if I have – they are still worth repeating I think.)

    He wrote:- “From the correspondence and, it seems, by your own admission, you were not positive about our offer of mediation”. In fact we had written to him:- “As regards Mediation Services, we were initially told that the tenant did not wish to engage with this, so Lin also declined, seeing it as somewhat pointless… However, Lin has since fully co-operated with West Sussex Mediation services and after a discussion with them over the phone two weeks ago, we have heard no more.” In fact, Sanctuary went on to continue to block the mediation process for many weeks by not returning the mediation people’s repeated phone calls.

    In his letter, Mr. Susans then dealt with the subject of sound-proofing their flat in the same way. He wrote:- “You seem to have dismissed the idea as you clearly have stated that you ‘have doubts if it will solve all the problems’ Please let me know if you wish to reconsider this option.”

    What we had actually written to him was:- “This sounds like a very good idea. But will you go ahead with it? We have had so many promises from yourselves… and they have all been broken. Is this just talk to get the police off your back? I certainly hope not. If you are serious about the sound-proofing this is very good news, but I have doubts if it will solve all the problems.” Those problems being screaming and swearing in the street, abuse and threats from a friend and relative of the tenant – Mr. Susans had of course already been made aware of such well-documented problems. “Dismissed the idea”? I think not.


    Of course the letter from Tim Susans finished with the a mention of the “Persistent Cereal and Herbaceous Complaints Policy and Procedure” (or whatever it is – anyone would think I didn’t take their pathetic threats seriously!). Chief Executive David Bennett and other senior Sanctuary staff were informed of the above dishonesty in a letter of 6th October 2008.

    Tim Susans, a Sanctuary senior manager still working with vulnerable people now. This man is a dishonest and amoral scoundrel, to put it very politely.

    • Anon says:

      Please read all!!!!


      The household is not overcrowded, nor is there laminated flooring in fact I have no concerns with the man above and he is happy to have mediation and has not denied me access to his home. I believe that she is sensitive to noise and considering our blocks it will not get any better.

      I have asked her for her permission to pass her details onto crime concern to get involved to witness the noise, consider mediation and arrange a home visit with her but she has not got back to me.

      I feel that this will be an identical Mr Bell case and hope that we can nip it in the bud.

      She mentions a drugs den, this not what I know of the block and to be honest we have active residents within this block who would not tolerate it. As he is underneath her it is possible that the smell is coming up through gaps etc…I have not managed to get into his property yet. Si do you have anything on this man? This has not come up at CW neither although I am happy to raise it but to be honest we need to witness it to take any action.

      In order to manage her case I believe she should engage with us by way of mediation,E/H, allow home visit with myself and Simon and piers to get involved to witness.

      Hope this helps

      • Anon says:

        Nyomi Alexander would like to recall the message, “33 Denbigh place SW1 status quo”.

      • Anon says:

        Thank you for bringing your situation to my attention again. I have asked for a full review of all the action we are taking to address any issues arising in relation to your areas of concern. Once I have this information I will be able to review if there is any more that we can do to assist you. I anticipate that I will be able to provide you with more information by Monday 11th February.

        Best wishes

        Kate Still
        Director of Housing Operations
        London & South East
        Sanctuary Housing Services Ltd.

      • Anon says:

        dear director Ms Kate Still

        as you can see my situation is still status quo , my asthma attacks increased due to smoke coming from flat b denbigh place. Its drug den completely ignored by rest of tennants including black guy who works for police , in words of nyomi alexander, housing officer. Reason i prefer to stay anonymous is simple -someone left very unpleasant thing on my doorstep.

        Yours faithfully ,


      • Anon says:

        Neighbour at 33B Denbigh place SW1 2hA Pimlico came up banging my door shouting swearing drunk

        22.53 9th of February

  224. anon2 says:

    keep a diary sheet and try cctv, works for me. bypass the housing officer and send evidence to director and police

  225. Anon says:

    I was once a tenant in one of sanctuary’s supported living schemes. Whilst nobody is any under obligation to respond to my post i realise, i would really appreciate it if other people gave their views on my experience and tell me if they think i’m being unreasonable.
    I moved into one of their shared housing schemes early last year and whilst i wasn’t truly enamoured with the place i thought it was fine enough as a temporary base until i got my life back on track after suffering from anxiety and depression. (Which i still have but is slightly more manageable now). I also have asperger’s syndrome.
    At first the place was ok and the staff helped and talked to me. Increasingly however they became more elusive in which the staff would often close the office door and have little interest in any real communication between any of the residents. When they did talk it was as if they had better things to do (Not ALL of the time to be fair but a LOT of the time). The atmosphere of the place became increasingly counter-productive and would be awful for people without mental health issues, let alone people like me with depression and anxiety.
    At one point somebody was sent to hospital after an apparent attempted suicide and one member of staff had even gone out shopping at this time.
    I was also left without a support session for the best part of 2 months whilst my key worker was away and no other support for me was provided (little anyway). This made me feel increasingly paranoid, depressed and anxious and others had experienced these feelings also. As i said the atmosphere became increasingly terrible and no one seemed to notice or care (Or at least they had a funny way of showing it). In the end 60 percent of the residents put in complaints about the service and the company then have the audacity to attempt to bill me a month extra then the end of my tenacy agreement. (I of course left because i sure as hell wasn’t staying there).
    I’ve now resumed study and a bit more settled but i still get angry about the place.

    • Its very sad that the vunerable and the mentally ill are being treated and manipulated and deliberately having their needs ignored,whilst reports for this care,are frequently in many areas,mental health teams ,social services etc,incorrect,and written in ways to create a bias,would be good,if Care quality commission was a little less toothless,and had more ability to spot check etc,indeed I think we need another organisation to investigate complaints more fully,as CQC say they cannot investigate individual complaints,so that leaves who? to do this,who are policing this very rich organisation,or do they all scratch each other backs,substandard care is substandard care,to many lies these days

  226. Alex says:

    Dear all

    BBC 1 tonight southwest region Devon/Cornwall Sanctuary highlighted with I. If you can’t get try iplayer tomorrow “Inside Out”

  227. jumbojimbo says:

    I thought inside out facile and unchallenging, the big issue with Sanctuary is not that the houses were wringing with water and their vulnerable tenants in penury, but the behaviour of the institution toward those residents. Only a very few complain says Simon Clark on television tonight…we aim to sort matters at first point of contact he says on television and challenge came there none…. this wasn’t jounalism, it was meaningless magazine journalism and I don’t think it served the cause to require decent homes and decent behaviour from Sanctuary.

    • Alex says:

      Would you prefer nothing said ???

    • Alex says:

      You stand up then !

      • jumbojimbo says:

        Alex, you miss my point, you’re housed in hell and they’ve used every trick in the book to get you, but the coverage deprived the audience any explanation from Sanctuary except to say you are in the minority and Sanctuary sort issues at point of contact. I rather think that’s what happened behind the iron curtain before the wall came down.

      • Alex says:

        Mate. It brought attention that was the part. The other was the court issue ! Good journalism should be non bias. This was. If you er on the tenant then you see that way. Visa versa. You need to listen. Certain statements you’ve missed by sanctuary. On a legal stance I’m happy.

        ? How much risk have you taken ????

      • jumbojimbo says:

        If you think that piece did you justice all well and good. I hope you nail them in Court. Be careful, they lie and perjure at will, and will have cooked up their account of events to your total disadvantage on every level their millionaire law firms can cook up.

        In terms of your postings this evening generally, the aggressive response does your cause and this blog generally no good at all and for the record I have to suggest that the best journalism over the last 100 years has without exception been entirely partisan. How many awards did Farenheit 911 get? Neutrality is no natural absolute.

        Manners maketh man Alex.

      • Alex says:

        I do hope to see your situ raised for all. And please encourage others to stand !

  228. Alex says:

    Sanctuary 2nd story from last night. Good reporting. I know many wanted Sanctuary condemend but that would be bad journalism.
    Point is letting others know and make their own decision. Yet Sanctuary still show themselves for who they are !

  229. Tim says:

    A non-mobile link for iplayer…

    All things considered, about as good as it could be in my opinion. Great stuff. Simon Clark talks down the interviewer at one point – Sanctuary can’t but help give themselves away for who and what they really are. The BBC mention nationwide problems, the Audit Commission in 2010, Sanctuary’s charity status and the millions they make, Ben Bradshaw is yet another MP now clearly aware of Sanctuary’s bad practices. Of course it won’t make a serious dent on Sanctuary overnight, but basically all good, both for now and for the future.

    Great that all your sustained hard work has paid off, Alex.

  230. anonanonanon says:

    if you got so much evidence why dont you go to court?

  231. CRAIG says:

    I think you are mistaken there Alex, as you can get legal aid for issue of disrepair. Anyone who is unemployed or in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance Ect. should be eligible for full legal aid, people working part time would lose some of the damages, if awarded to pay for the legal aid. The same applies to full time workers, rule of thumb is to seek advice FIRST.
    To quote a paragraph from the Communities and local Government booklet-REPAIRS, a guide for tenants and landlords. Getting repairs done.
    The tenancy agreement will normally set out the rights and liabilities of the parties and may cover the procedure for getting repairs done.
    If the landlord fails to get repairs done after being told about them:
    1.the tenant can sue the landlord in court. The court can award damages, and order repair to be done.[Anyone thinking of taking this route please take legal advice first.]

    2.Where the landlord has been told about the need for repairs, and failed to do them, a tenant can contact their local council who have new powers, under part 1 of the housing act 2004, to carry out an assessment of the property using the new Housing, Health and Safety Rating System [HHSRS].

    For people who have been left for months and in some cases years to get essential repairs carried out, this option is a very good way of forcing Sanctuary to act.

    • Alex says:

      Craig. You have to be dam lucky. So far we’ve been refused 3 times. One resident who’s HIV+ has also been refused. If you’re luckier excellent.

      • Alex says:

        Also our council has issue as there are 2 parties for posable Enforcement. It’s right hornets nest. If it were just sanctuary easy. Afraid not tho here.

      • CRAIG says:

        Yes, in your case you may have been turned down, however your comment was slightly misleading to people reading this blog mate. As I stated, seek advice first. A good solicitor will advise of the best way forward.

      • Alex says:

        Apologies to all. Craig you are right. I think I’m getting bit stressed now.

      • CRAIG says:

        And as SANCTUARY tenants, i’m sure we all know how your feeling mate, don’t let um grind ya down. take care.

      • Alex says:

        Many thanks 🙂

  232. anon says:

    the number of comment at the top gives a disproportionate impression, many are replies or people just repaeting themselves.reading through the comments, it’s apparent that many people who have commented are not even tenants of sanctuary. also, those who are the most voiciferous have blogs tat suggest they are quite disatisfed with many many issues and not just their landlords.

  233. Tim says:

    Yes, fair enough observations there “anon”, although I don’t see any of them as a problem myself. I’m not quite sure what your main point is?

    Of course there are a lot of replies, it’s a discussion, amongst other things! Replies from many of the same people are often necessary due to the complexity of the issues which Sanctuary willfully ignore or get wrong. Sanctuary’s dishonesty, incompetence and threats when unable to cope with complicated matters that can be causing significant personal distress or complete devastation to people (“vulnerable” or not – we are all vulnerable!) is a VERY imporant part of what is wrong with Sanctuary.

    People repeating themselves here? Fine – sometimes that’s the only way anyone will listen! Sanctuary are a registered “charity” making over £20 million pounds a year. Even if it was just the people complaining here (I know this is not the case due to many off-blog communications over the last few years), their conduct is still too often disgraceful and plain WRONG for a registered “charity”!!! What a racket!!!

    People other than tenants of Sanctuary posting here? No problem. My then partner and myself weren’t tenants ourselves when Sanctuary destroyed our lives for over a year with their spectacularly incompetent arrogance and lies. Fortunately we could defend ourselves – it would have been beyond many people in society. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, people with legitimate problems from other housing associations are welcome here. I originally called the blog “Are housing associations above the law”, and if this blog exposes the bad practices of housing associations in general, particularly the bigger and greedier ones, that’s more than fine by me.

    Blogs from people disatisfied with many issues and not just their landlords? Again, fine by me.. I expect you might have noticed “anon”, that we are now living in an amoral society where corporate greed and arrogance has gone completely out of control, lowering the quality of life in many ways for an increasing number of people in society, particularly in UK and USA. The greedy people at the top continue to get away with far too much that is plain wrong. I personally have restricted myself to this blog on Sanctuary as they have directly affected me the most and I consider them particularly obscene. However, if I had the time and energy I could happily be writing on the subject of corporate greed/incompetence/amorality/hypocrisy (banks, pharmaceutical companies, supermarkets, energy companies, food manufacturers, Atos, corrupt politics in general etc.) 24 hours a day. Perhaps these issues might also trouble you now and again, “anon”? Perhaps not.

    • well written Tim.It has helped me using this blog to get a perspective on my housing assocciation(sp) and the courage of my convictions to approach them on the standard of sevice that they deliver.i will be away for awile and not sure if i will have access to emails .all the best moyra

  234. Alex says:

    Dear All

    Due to severe heating costs and drop in income I have now turned the heating of in favour of food !

    Alex Grey

  235. Mark says:

    What happened about the Sanctuary tv interview, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere on the net?

  236. Greck.M Mr says:

    Hiya folks…when I moved into sheltered housing, with no furniture etc…I slowly managed to sort things out…then someone with a pass-key [not allowed to mention warden, as I did not see the theif in person…butno one else has the pass-key] entered my flat a stole a great many items, plus when the area manager came to see me…he produced a lot of docments apparently filled in by myself…but every signature was an obvious forgery….plus a lo of other statements made by her proved I am not in cloud cuckoo land…I askedfor the documents to take to the police…but was assured it will be sorted out in house…hence the reason why thin carpets are getting thicker, with all those genuine complaints brushed under them…now I have to sign a contract in which I am expected to pay the warden every monday…what the benefits dept are already paying…failure to sign it will result in my tenancy being terminated

    • Bryan says:

      Have you contacted a MP or gone to local citizens advice what you are stating is fraud and also remember no matter what the provocation Sanctuary does not have the right to enter your home without your permission unless they have a court order. I would try to get legal help from Age Uk contact them on 0800 169 6565. Some sort of criminal action has been commited and you are right even if its not the warden Sanctuary are responsible dont let them get away with their lies confront them via a lawyer or advocate from age uk

  237. Tim says:

    Any problems finding the above page, google “sanctuary housing architect immoral zero fees” or similar.

    Sanctuary seem to have upset a few architects. “Immoral” – Sanctuary? Surely not! You don’t say!

  238. Tim says:

    “We have been neglected for 16 years.” Dozens of Sanctuary residents have recently complained to several MPs about repairs.

    • Bobby says:

      I work for sanctuary and although I cannot comment on most of the above, I feel eligible to comment on the group ethics, first of all the title “non for profit” is adopted by organisations that recycle the money generated and distribute within the group. The thread fails to mention the amazing work sanctuary does changing the lives of hundreds of individuals unable to secure housing through normal channels. The only criticism apparent is the lack of appreciation given to some of the frontline staff, forced to endure countless instances of anti social behaviour, due to the location of the housing projects.

      • Anon says:

        That sort of reply more or less just confirms a lot of the issues people are complaining about! The fact you can’t see that just shows what an ass you are

  239. CRAIG says:

    Yes Bobby, undoubtedly Sanctuary do some good for people and community’s, we aren’t that naïve to think otherwise. However, my point has always been made very clear whenever I have spoken to Sanctuary. And it is that they do not, and will not listen to what people are telling them.
    If people report repairs why isn’t anything done? why do the tenants continually have to chase the matters up with them? Why are tenants constantly being fobbed off by call centre staff, by the local housing officials and by your officers that deal with the official complaint processes? People are being left years before urgent repairs are being carried out. People are being left to live in appalling, damp, cold conditions. I bet you don’t have BLACK MOULD in your home. We do! I bet you aren’t living in fuel poverty because of a lack of insulation an the poor conditions of doors and windows. We are! And if you do have issues with you home, you have the choice to remedy the problems. We don’t!
    Sanctuary housing may well be doing good for hundreds and Simon Clark in his arrogance, may well think that its a miniscule amount of people who are having problems. But the fact of the matter is your organisation is failing thousand right a cross the nation as I am sure the dozens of politicians who have had dealing with Sanctuary would verify.
    Sooner or later Sanctuary will have to clean up there act and staff will have to do what they are being overpaid for instead of bleating excuses all the time.


  240. Anonymous says:

    I live in a sanctuary building in east London and the complaints procedure in my eyes is a joke. I have had an on-going issue since I’ve moved in with my neighbour and they just keep brushing it under the carpet.
    They lie all the time to cover themselves and speak to you like you should be grateful to be housed by them. Everytime the newsletter comes thru my door I get annoyed because according to sanctuary there tenents are mostly happy with the service. LIES I know other people that live in there property’s in east London and they too have problems with them. There Moto should be ” Commited to lying”

  241. Samantha Wakefield says:

    Sanctuary Group, Housing, Care claim to be an exempt charity, however their charity has been removed from the Charity commission site, and no financial data available at Companies house……………I have contacted the Fraud investigation unit for a report on their financial status. It is this ” charity” that have taken an iliterate, hard of hearing pensioner, with no legal representation to court on 3 occasions with the ” best Barristers” preventing him from seeing his wife of 55 years. They need investigating, please I urge everyone to do as much research into this ” company” as possible the world needs to know what they are about………….

  242. Thomas warner says:

    Last year I was very I’ll with kidney stones I had to stay with friends I have mental health problems and was not given support from sanctuary housing someone who had access to my flat this could only have been the manager of the building sent a local council letter letter back to them saying I did not live there anymore when he knew that I was staying with friends until i was better. My housing benefit was stopped I became very depressed and have not been able to return and I now have a huge debt and possible eviction my friends have tried to help but all sanctuary are interested in is geting their rent back they have apologised for not giving me the support I needed but is that good enough I now have a debt I can’t repay.

    • You should probably visit a Citizens advice bureau,CAB Thomas

    • Bryan says:

      Thomas you are entitled to free legal advice from community legal advice and or a nearby law centre.You should also check if there is a disabled rights group that can help you in the area. I would try contacting Mind or Sane for help as well
      Mind is on 0300 123 3393
      If you go to court with support you can offer to pay back the arrears if you have to at 50p a week and there is nothing Sanctuary can do to make you pay more.

  243. Tim says:

    I’ve updated and added a few things in the main blog.

    Are all the MPs going to do anything? If not, how can we get them to act?

    • Bryan says:

      It is disgusting that MPs are not doing more to help we need to see how many of them are on Sanctuary’s payroll. You can complain about a MP to the parliamentary ombudsman and/or their party and perhaps an online campaign to boycott the party of the MP concerned might yield results. I have told mine I am asking all my friends and relatives not to give me present for birthdays or christmas but to promise not to vote for the party of my MP for ten years and to get 10 of their friends to do so.. That got a rapid reaction from her and a promise to do something. However I think that our best bet is a investigative research into the organisation conducted by several national papers. I can honestly say I dont think any of Sanctuary’s polices are even fit to be used for toilet paper as they are so full of lies and faked statistics.

      • Derek A. Condon says:

        Hi Bryan,

        This is a terrific suggestion and I will be adopting your policy immediately. Sanctuary could not have been allowed to get away with so much without political “assistance” and I for one would dearly love to see them forced to rectify their crimes, at their own cost, as soon as possible. Some of them should be in jail for what they have done not to mention the hardship, grief and fear they continue to cause. This is the most despicable company I have ever encountered and I used to be an expeditor in the oil industry so I’ve dealt with thousands of companies and never seen anything even close to this level of deliberate and sociopathic behaviour from any business ever before. They must be held to account by our elected officials NOW.
        Your input has been inspirational.

  244. Bryan says:

    i suggested sometime ago setting up a epetition on the govt site as if we get enough signatures we can force a debate in the house of commons on it.It would be enlightening to see which MPs oppose anything being done on Sanctuary.
    Here is the link for the site

  245. craig says:

    Here is a report from my local paper The Scarborough News published today April 4th 2013:

    Scarborough’s MP has asked questions of a social housing company after The Scarborough News highlighted the state of one of its properties.
    Robert Goodwill MP has said that he receives more complaints about Sanctuary Housing than its main rival Yorkshire Coast Homes – despite the latter possessing “considerably” more properties in the borough.
    He made the comments after viewing pictures of the kitchen of the Burns family home, who live at a Sanctuary property in Colescliffe Road, Barrowcliff.
    Mr Goodwill said; “I get a lot of complaints from tenants, often about private landlords, but considering Yorkshire Coast Homes are around four times the size of Sanctuary (Yorkshire Coast Homes have around 4,350 properties while Sanctuary have around 730 in the Borough) I receive a lot more complaints about Sanctuary.
    “Last year I had a meeting with Sanctuary, and coincidentally, there was a story in The Scarborough News about Sanctuary. I raised it and I have to say they were apologetic, and they gave me every indication that they were going to improve.
    “A lot of these complaints seem to stem from people concerned about a lack of basic maintenance, and those carrying out the work.”
    The family highlighted a long list of faults at the four bedroom property to The Scarborough News.
    Wires are dangerously strewn all over the kitchen floor due to a lack of visible kitchen sockets, and several doors are hanging on by just one latch.
    The family have been desperately trying to get the work carried out following an incident involving their young son Zain in which he knocked over a kettle after catching a wire.
    A spokesperson for Sanctuary said; “We agreed with the family that the kitchen would be replaced and we are working with them to arrange a date for when the refurbishment can be carried out.
    Our aim is to have the new kitchen completed by the end of this month. The windows of the property are due to be replaced as well.”
    Mr Goodwill also urged any of his constituents who were having issues with Sanctuary to contact him directly.

    How strange that the tenant was visited this morning by Sanctuary representatives holding floor covering samples and offering their apologies.

    Does this company never learn?
    And well done and thank you Robert Goodwill

    • jim says:

      No, I don’t think they’ll ever learn because to learn any lesson you have to be prepared to own what went wrong, acknowledge it and make matters right. They revile their tenants, especially those who are brave enough to complain and will stop at nothing to conceal, deflect, disguise and deceive the wider world. Every trick in the book and use their multi-million pound lawyers Wragge & Co. to make sure they keep getting away with it and they rely on the fact the regulators are toothless, spineless and prepared to swallow any old tosh they’re spoonfed by Sanctuary.

      • craig says:

        I totally agree with your comment Jim, and regardless of multi million pound lawyers, the truth is the truth. And I urge anyone with problems to keep an exact record of all times, dates, the names of the people that you have spoken to, and what they have told you, and don’t forget to take plenty of photographs of the dire conditions they are making you live in. Same thing applies for people with other issues, keep a clear record. As it is quite surprising how much notice they actually take when they know you are serious. And anyone who is suffering at the hand of this shambolic national dictatorship stand your ground and speak to your MP, your local press and radio and TV. you are assured tenants and by that, it means it make’s it very difficult for them to force you from your home…FACT. and. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM!.. Apply these basic rule’s and you can’t and will not lose. DONT FORGET TAKE PLENTY OF PHOTO’S the camera never lies……I really hope you’re reading Mr Bennett, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  246. Geoff says:

    Latest email to Sanctuary Housing.

  247. ann gregory says:

    Hello,last year sanctuary destroyed my garden fence,then laughed when i said to their man in charge (Paul Edwards)i would take them to court,it rumbled on for six month when finaly two days before the hearing they decided to settle out of court,they realy are stupid people as a fence that should have cost them £400,rose to £3600 all because of their arrogant attitude to people,,the moral is if you are in the RIGHT sue them,,,the more people who do will take money off them that would go to the directors,hit them where it hurts,,,,pockets,,,,

  248. Brian Miller says:

    I live in a beautiful sheltered housing site (leasehold) run by Sanctuary Housing and find the staff helpful, kind and sympathetic. On the other hand, writing to Head Office does seem to be a futile experience leading, as it always does, to evasive replies. I am forced to the conclusion that Sanctuary Housing is the original ‘curate’s egg!

  249. ex mto of sanctuary says:


    I worked for Sanctuary for 20 months as a maintenance operative and I could tell you some stories of Sanctuary bad management, staff bullying etc etc. Head of maintenance at Sanctuary was a man called Dennis Evans [director of Sanctuary maintenance contractors ltd]. A man who looked after number one and drive a top of the range BMW has a company car. Lower level staff were treated like ”sh1t”. I have many stories and names I could tell. Lucky I now work for a small local HA who care more about their tenants, properties and staff.

  250. anonymous says:

    I’m not sure about other services that sanctuary provide. I can only go off my experience of sanctuary supported living. All I am going to say to anybody who is thinking of becoming a tenant there is DON’T. FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST! That is unless of course you want to be treated like a piece of dirt! Complete contradiction of what it’s meant to provide for people.
    Also, everybody is banging on about how the low level staff are treated like crap. Whilst I detest ALL of the staff, I can’t honestly say I feel sorry for the low level staff being bullied either! Perhaps they could try this GET A NEW JOB (I find it unlikely that you will be particularly missed. Unless the replacement is even worse than you are).

  251. Alex says:

    Exeter Housing Officer Neil Trick

    Dear Mr Trick. You can put enforcement notices out, lie in court. But you can’t organise a domestic refuse collection ! Would you like the number ?? It’s been 2 weeks now !

  252. Colin Bell says:

    Hi Tim,

    I am wishing to take Sanctuary Housing to court and, as with yourself, I cannot believe the level of dishonesty I have experienced and the higher one goes in the organisation the worse they are.
    What a buch of crooks !
    Can I please ask you, do you have any advice (are you aware of any lawyers who are good for this sort of stuff ?)
    I can share some details about my case if you wish.

    Enjoyed reading your blog

    Best wishes

  253. Colin Bell says:

    Having read through (most of) the comments above I am somewhat surprised that no-one seems to have actually taken Sanctuary to court over any of these things ?

    I realise that Alex talks about court on a number of occasions but it sounds to me as if he has been taken to court by them rather than the other way around.

    I definitely intend to take them to court and I have much of my stuff ready but I have been side-tracked by another quite separate issue which has delayed my doing so.
    I also realise that a legal action must be specific and ‘tight’, however I believe that Sanctuary Housing should potentially be as open to court action as any other company in the UK ?(obviously one needs good evidence) and a clear action (i.e. a very ‘legally specific’ charge)

    I suspect that this clear lack of any court action explains at least some of their arrogance.

  254. Tim says:

    Hi Colin, thanks for posting, glad you’ve enjoyed the blog – rather a lot to read lol! Have had quite a bit of “off-blog” communication from people here, and although I obviously don’t know all the details in every case, I do know that at least a small number of people on this blog have taken them to court with mixed results. One success was for unfair dismissal. I can think of two instances of settlements out of court, one of them a recent post on May 7th.

    Yes, I suspect you are right as regards relatively little court action against them explaining some of Sanctuary’s arrogance. In my own case, we were pushed by several people who believed we had a clear case to go ahead, but we had both come close to a nervous breakdown by then, we wanted to put the whole mess behind us as quickly as possible. I’m sure this is another reason for people not taking court action – by the time it’s got to that stage, they’ve had enough of anything to do with Sanctuary.

    Very best of luck Colin, sorry I can’t help more with any advice (can anyone out there help with lawyers?), feel free to share more of your experience if appropriate. Cheers.

  255. Pingback: MPs – please stop Sanctuary Housing | The Tim Burness Blog

  256. Tim says:

    Originally posted elsewhere on this blog:-

    mrs cathleen mccarthy-taylor says:

    i moved into a sanctuary owned property 4 years ago having been referred to them by watford borough council
    at the time of moving in the house was dirty and the garden growing wild
    my husband has a weak heart and emphysemia i suffer from fibromyalgia and right sided hemiparesis and use a wheelchair both of our children have mental health problems
    despite this we only got a builders clean (rubbish picked up from inside floors not swept walls not cleaned down etc and only the barest of cutdowns in the garden)
    very shortly after we received notification we were in breach of the tenancy as the garden was not well maintained
    our garden has communal areas on 3 sides 2 of which are supposed to be maintained by sanctuary’s gardeners as there are bushes etc but are mainly overgrown on 1 side with bind weed which has spread into our garden
    there are 11 houses in the street, all bar 1 leaving their bins in the microscopic frontage to the houses…i;m the only 1 who has received a complaint from sanctuary
    it took a year for them to agree to the installaltion of a wet room and a stair lift
    last year we received notification that new windows and doors were being installed
    i looked at the installation at my friends house and immediately realised i wud not b able to use them
    i notified sanctuary but was told they wud b installed and sorted after
    the new doors/windows have been in for a year next month
    i cannot open the windows or lock the doors from inside or out nor can i open the front door from the outside on a good day with a key adaptor i can unlock the back door
    i have been a virtual prisoner in the house only being able to leave if someone else is staying home
    i am sure that by posting on here i cud be endangering my tenancy but quite frankly my life has been in danger since july last year as i wudnt b able to open any of the windows in the event of a fire
    we are still getting threats about the state of the garden and have more than triple the number of inspections in four years than other tenants who have lived there over 15 years since the houses were built
    i have consulted with a solicitor who thinks i have a solid case but has warned me there is a likelihood that if the court order work to be done there is a good chance sanctuary will just move us into a “more suitable property”

  257. Tim says:

    I have written a second blog on Sanctuary… “MPs – please stop Sanctuary Housing”. If anyone has any good or bad experiences as regards their MP or anything else relevant, please feel free to comment. Thanks.

  258. Geoff says:

    Minute Blogs. Sanctuary Housing Grounds Maintenance Specification. Hedgerows.

  259. craig says:

    Well done on the second blog Tim. Here are the name’s of a few more MP’s who have had direct dealings with this awful company that is SANCTUARY HOUSING ASSOCIATION.

    ANN BENNETT ——- Audit Commission Housing Inspector

    I would like to ask any one who reads this blog and who has had reason to write or speak to their own MP’s with regards to Sanctuary Housing Association to add their MP’s name on here, I think It would help highlight the extent of the misery being inflicted by this cowboy company.

  260. Geoff says:

    Weekly email to Simon Clark, Managing Director, Sanctuary Housing Services Limited. “The Bastards of Worcester”.

  261. Geoff says:

    Today I have been given a “Notice Of Seeking Possession” by Sanctuary Housing for Arrears of £728.05. The amount, as Sanctuary Housing knows, is in a bank account and awaiting compliance by Sanctuary Housing to resolve a number of issues before I will release the money to Sanctuary Housing. Sanctuary Housing’s timing is what one would expect from ‘The Bastards of Worcester’ in that my wife who I was caring for in my flat last week has terminal Cancer and has only hours left to live in Treliske Hospital, Cornwall. If Sanctuary Housing monitors this site my message to you is go **** yourselves.

    • neeneenoodle says:

      I’m thinking of withholding rent payments and ‘service charges’ myself, I wrote back on here two years ago now about outstanding repairs and they still haven’t been rectified. They haven’t even changed my surname ffs from when I notified them last year about it. I’ve chased them up over and over, as has my local mp and my local council heahealth and safety folks. They have done nothing, they have a list of the repairs, ive had my housing officer out, the repairs officer out, and they say they will get someone out asap but nothing ever gets done. Repairmen come out (when they actually do turn up) and they say “oh I can’t do this” or “this will take a whole day, ive only been given an hour for your property ill tell them to re book”. However the repairs people end up sitting outside in their van reading the paper for hours.
      Theres black mould covering my flat, the roof is leaking onto my fuse box, the the walls and wooden windows are crumbling on the inside of my property from the damp and mould, etc
      I have a baby and they just leave me and him living in this dump and then have the audacity to send me out letters about how my rent is going up as well as the “service charges” (still addressed to me with my old surname).
      Sanctuary are scum. I’d love to know why myself and everyone in my cul de sac are paying £11 a week on top of rent for this ‘service charge’.

    • Stevie says:

      Hi Geoff

      I had problems with Sanctuary (Cumbernauld) with regards to money which I did not owe them but at the end off the day I paid them there blood money (£84 pounds) at the same time I was looking after my mother with Terminal cancer then 2 weeks after my mother died my son got cancer at 15 years old (rabdolsorcoma) and they were told about this and asked to back off so I could deal with the lost of my mother and look after my son. but they were not intrested and hunted me for there money which I paid. just to get rid of them now I hate the staff at Cumbernauld for what they did they think they are above the law but all they are is scum something u wipe off you shoe

  262. Tim says:

    Any luck with your MP neeneenoodle? I absolutely urge everyone to go to their MP with all serious Sanctuary issues. Any MPs who do not stand up to Sanctuary on behalf of their constituents can be named and shamed at

    • neeneenoodle says:

      Unfortunately not, he has contacted them a few times on my behalf and they send him back the response that they will do something and then as usual they dont. I’m not sure what to do anymore.

  263. Tim says:

    Who is he? Keep pushing! This is the only way to go!! He is paid to represent you!!! 🙂

  264. Geoff says:

    Thanks for your comments all, much appreciated. As you would expect I do not really have the time at the moment to respond fully to those comments. Responding to Sanctuary Housing’s “Notice of Seeking Poccession” served on the day of my wife’s death will take some time to address and organise.
    To neeneenoodle I would say, as I would to anybody else with the same or similar problem, keep a photographic record of damp, mould, leaks, defects etc, and copies of complaints. If you think something could be a danger or a hazard inform the Council if Sanctuary is not responding to your timelimit. Involve your local MP who is obliged to help whatever his/her politics.
    To Stevie, thanks for your comments and sorry to hear of your Cancer related difficulties. Just because Sanctuary bullies and oppresses tenants with it’s uncaring and greed ridden lust for properties and profits does not mean it will continue to get away with it. If everybody who has contributed to this site with a grievance against Sanctuary would only contact their local MP more MPs would be aware and a momentum would grow throughout the country. We have to become a collective force or movement rather than just a bunch of moaning individuals.

  265. Tim says:

    Spot on Geoff. Very sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. Hang on in there.

  266. Paul warner says:

    Could anyone please give me the email address of Stewart kitchenside sanctuary housing area manger
    Brighton it would be much appreciated thankyou.

  267. Ins staff says:

    All sanctuary staff members e mails are the same
    Example name Dennis Evans is
    Hope that helps

    • Paul warner says:

      Thankyou for help with email address. Its good tl be able to come to this site if you need help with something, thanks again much appreciated.

  268. Mark L says:

    speaking to your mp is a waste of time, they are not going to debate issues in parliament or seek to revoke Sanctuary’s operating licence. the publicity in the media earlier this year has obviously made little, if any difference other than to alert Sanctuary to who exactly said what in public. the only real course of action is to see a solicitor. if you can’t afford one how can you afford a computer and internet to read this? sacrifices have to be made if you really do want to get satisfaction, or just continue to moan and grown online and get nowhere other than letting those you have issues with know exactly what you’re doing and are planning. of course there are those who will continue to bemoan and will not pursue legal routes, if they did that they might not have anything left to moan about an no more audience to perform to!

    Crying on here will solve nothing!

  269. Tim says:

    With respect Mark, I have to disagree with much of your post. Speaking to your MP is not necessarily a waste of time – many people, including myself, have been substantially helped with Sanctuary issues by MPs – and of course many others have not. As regards parliament, the subject of the scandal of dodgy large housing associations such as Sanctuary has already been discussed (see Andy Slaughter quote at top of blog) and there is no reason why at some point it won’t be discussed again – if it is felt to be a serious enough issue. No-one is under any illusions that Sanctuary are going to be stopped overnight by a few blog posts or a bit of bad press or local telly. The process of real change usually takes sustained effort over time.. a year, five years, ten years, whatever it takes.

    As far as I’m concerned, this blog has already done far more than I could have hoped for when I started it (after threats from Sanctuary, ordering me to take it down) in 2009. However it happens, even if Sanctuary grows to five times the size they are now, when enough people complain or take action in enough different ways, change for the better will eventually happen. It may even happen quietly long after this blog is forgotten or taken down. This corrupt scumbag rip-off “charity” causes great suffering to large numbers of people. In my opinion, anything that helps raise collective awareness and helps expose the truth in the long-term is constructive.

    As regards solicitors, while in some cases seeing a solicitor may be the appropriate course of action (and there are several people on this blog who have gone down that road, not all have chosen to share all the details here), there are usually alternatives as I originally found out myself when I took on Sanctuary and eventually won.

    There are many people up and down the country who continue to contact their local MPs, local press and national media and put pressure on Sanctuary. Understandably, some of them have had no interest in “crying on here” and have not posted, although I know from occasional messages and phone calls that they’ve found it supportive reading (which was a big part of why I started the blog). As regards another point you made Mark, sometimes “letting those you have issues with know exactly what you’re doing and are planning” does no harm at all. As you might expect, people are generally very careful about what they put up here.

    • moyra bevilacqua says:

      well said Tim.I have been encouraged by your blog and drawn up ways to challenge my housing association to success.have not found mp or councillor much use but because of that i had to work harder and thank goodness for blogs and the internet

  270. Tim says:

    “The couple, who live in a Sanctuary Housing property in Parade Lane, Ely, claim they have been complaining about the rats for about five months. However, the housing association told the News it had only recently been made aware of the issue and it is trying to resolve it… (The usual Sanctuary politics of denial there, Tim) Natalie has now written to South-east Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice for help.”

  271. Geoff says:

    Latest Weekly Email To Sanctuary Housing, 29/07/2013. Rent owed now in excess of £1,000.00.

  272. craig says:

    Anyone who has reported certain information or who believes information is being held about them can get clarity by making a SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST to what ever body hold information about you, it will cost £10. If they fail to provide or provide incorrect information contact the INFORMATION COMMISONER’S OFFICE, see ICO.ORG.
    Might be one way of getting to the truth.

  273. craig says:

    Mark L has stated, its a waste of time speaking to your M P.
    Perhaps it is in some cases, however, here are the contact details of the Work & Pension Select Committee, a committee who take a keen interest in problematic R S L’s……So im lead to believe by the TAX PAYERS ALLIANCE.
    write to the Committee with your issues and problems regarding Sanctuary housing.


    Address all correspondence to
    the clerk of the Committee Mrs Carol Oxborough

    Committee contact 02072195831
    General Enquires 02072195832




    MARK, I think everyone knows fine well Sanctuary monitors this blog , if they are aware of who I am and what I’ve said SO WHAT, if the info I’m putting up on here helps just 1 person I’ll be pleased.
    People don’t need to be dragged down with NEGATIVITY , I think the people that are as you say” BEMOANING” have enough NEGATIVITY in their lives by being SANCTUARY HOUSING TENANTS.
    Mark I will personally keep performing to the so called audience with any information I think might help.

    • thanks for the info.i follow this blog not because i am a sanctuary tenant but another social housing tenant who are trying to improve things.but its good to get tips then one can keep them on their toes

  274. Tim says:

    Excellent info Craig, looks like somewhere where a carefully-worded collective complaint might actually be taken seriously?


    “Council chiefs have refused to renew operating licences for a massive accommodation campus occupied by Glasgow University students. Problems included scorched kitchen units next to cookers… electrics in laundry rooms showing signs of scorching… fire doors needing attention and wedged open. Murano Street Village, which is the university’s largest halls of residence, has a total of 1163 bedrooms and has been registered as a house in multiple occupation since October 1992 and is managed in partnership with Sanctuary Housing Association.”

  275. margaret young says:

    we and our adult down syndrome children are the first pensioner family we are told who are living in sanctuary housing . If we had read this blog before signing the tenency we would not have signed it. I did not know untill we signed the tenency that it had a support contract attached to it –ie if you do not accept the support package contract you do not get the tenency, by the time we signed it it was to late to say no. we thought that we would get good support for all of us , but what a shock we got my disabled children get no help and they have complex needs one mental one physical. in our other houses we have maintained the security for our son but now have none , we moved into the x wardens flat but it is not fit for purpose especially for a disabled family. the water is to hot to allow the children a shower and there is something wrong with the taps where it can go cold then it goes very hot . the sub contractor wrote a bad report about it and the security still we wait while the children bath in the swimming pool in public showers.there is a fire risk we were told, there was a fire 4months ago and the fire marshall from sanctury never turned up the fire department was not pleased the fire doors need changing the residents are not happy about a lot of things. I have just found out that they keep files on residents and the residents association is run by them. the wder the freedom of information act /data protection actrden tried to get us to put our sister down as next of kin . In our opinion the human rights act , sactury housing equality act
    have been breached , in our opinion there is a conflict of interest by them taking part in the residence association meetings. we have been told that the rent keeps going up, but the services goes down , the residents are on different support tarriffs yet they pay the same support charge even those who are not on a tarriff— why??? the care in the coummunity do not want to know–the council. i asked marie from that unit who was going to pay when the benefits change next year when the part time warden goes out into the coumunity, we do not get anything now what will we get then. if I was the council i would not let them tender for it .please help or give advice thank you. margaret x

  276. Geoff says:

    The Sanctuary Housing Escow Account, 26/08/2013.

  277. Geoff says:

    The Sanctuary Housing Service Charge Scam for 2013 – 2014.

    If Sanctuary Housing tenants think they are not getting what they are paying for they should request Sanctuary’s ‘Ground Maintenance Specification’ or similar covering your specific community. If Sanctuary Housing tenants are not bothered because their Council pays for the Services they receive, that is precisely why Sanctuary gets away with profiteering from Services. Now that most claimants have to contribute a proportion towards Council Tax, how much you pay is dependant on Caps and how much your Council is having to spend.

    I urge Sanctuary Housing tenants to send a copy of the Blog to their local MP and let me know when it has been done in order for me to add his/her name to the List of Recipiants at the bottom of the Blog. Please ask your MP to look into whether or not you are receiving all what you or your local authority is paying for. This is your opportunity to stop Sanctuary stealing money it is not entitled to and getting even greedier because nobody can be bothered to stop it. The more MPs on the list and the more MPs who find a problem means the more Sanctuary will come under scrutiny and pressure nationally. Thanks, Geoff

    • Sue Reynolds says:

      To say the weekly “cleaning” service is basic is an understatement From time to time I wash down the communal front door step and main door. I also pay my window cleaner to clean the communal landing window on my floor. Lights are not replaced for months at a time -There is,in fact, a landing light that has been broken for 18 months! The same dirty bucket of water is used by the “cleaner” for the landings and stairs in our 5 floored block. When we had extensive exterior building work over 14 months the steps/landings were filthy -and dirt and rubble was often just swept into corners.when the cleaner was challenged about the cleaning of windows i was told they couldn’t because of health and safety and they certainly weren’t allowed to use any harsh cleaning fluids like bleach!

      What happened to good old fashion common sense and elbow grease?

    • People are lethargic but if they follow what you have advised it should get more results.I am getting results and now other tenents are involved with our housing assocciation.but do not rest on your laurels because when the cats away the mice will play

  278. Pingback: Sanctuary Housing repairs | The Tim Burness Blog

    • craig says:

      They will never learn or get any better Jane.
      We are in the middle of a complaint about exactly the same issues, Sanctuary employ these company’s, so Sanctuary are ultimately responsible. We are sick to death of the constant excuses from Sanctuary. If you go for the cheapest tenders all the time service’s will suffer, its exactly the same with most of their contractors, poor service but cheap Sanctuary haven’t got any sort of system in place or quality control to check these company’s performance they only go by the number of complaints received. So at the end of the day it is us the tenants who brunt the burden of Sanctuary’s incompetence.

  279. Elizabeth. says:

    Hi craig There is a new update on the mumsnet thread. Ive sat in and waited all afternoon Had to move husbands disbility aids and im sick of moving stuff back and forth. I WILL be putting in a claim for compo for them not turning up. Sorry that i put Jane My name is actually Elizabeth. Ive posted on here before. Is your problem Liberty Gas too?

    • craig says:

      Hi Elizabeth, yes the problems are with Liberty Gas. Many people where we live have also had problems with them, from a falsified Gas Safety Certificate to a tenant receiving a threatening letter from Sanctuary stating she was in breach of her tenancy agreement because she had missed two appointments for a gas safety inspection. This lady contacted Sanctuary to protest and said someone had been home at all times, Sanctuary insisted the appointments had been missed until the tenant asked why liberty hadn’t left calling cards. The only thing that is consistent with Sanctuary is the failures and subsequent cover ups. And it will only get worse.

  280. Elizabeth. says:

    Thats what i thought Im sorry you are going through the same thing Carillion used to do ours and they turned up when they were suppossed to The receptionist at Liberty didnt like being questioned on this and hung up on me. Is it ok for me to copy and paste yr posts over to the MN thread ive linked with your name omitted from them I promise i WONT do it without your permission. Its just to warn others because Liberty are breaking the law . What you have just written in that post is appalling.

  281. craig says:

    Elizabeth, could you inform people on mumsnet it is unacceptable conduct on Sanctuary’s behalf. Appointments must be made, and appointments must be kept and if they can’t keep them they should give the tenant reasonable notice. If contractors turn up unexpected turn them away, I do as its inconvenient, and Sanctuary know this too. If they do fail, you are entitled to some compensation but you will have to make a formal complaint. Good luck and don’t give up.

  282. craig says:

    At the end of the day Elizabeth it is Sanctuary who is ultimately responsible, as liberty are under contract to Sanctuary. If you have been subjected to that sort of behaviour by Liberty staff make a formal complaint to Sanctuary. Make sure you keep a record of times, dates and the names of people you have spoken to and copy’s of all letters you have sent… Hope this helps.

  283. Elizabeth. says:

    Thankyou craig and thankyou also for the permission to cross post. Good luck to you too.

  284. Elizabeth. says:

    Thankyou craig I must admit i felt foreboding over this when i couldnt find Twitter or Facebook pages for Liberty Most companies have them these days for promotion if nothing else. Thanks again for your support.

  285. js says:

    I am a sanctuary employee at the bottom of the food chain. I love my job working with tenants. I just want to say many of us do our best and do a great job. We too get blocked by middle management and our concerns fall on deaf ears. Constant restructuring has left vulnerable people falling through the cracks and experienced staff that care about their tasks running for the hills

    • Tim says:

      Thanks js, I have no doubt that what you say is true, I worked in supported housing myself for a while. Like almost everywhere else in society the main problem is corporate corruption and greed. In my latest letter about to be sent out, I have included the bad treatment of Sanctuary’s own staff as part of this scandal that needs to be exposed.

    • I agree but the way forward is for tenants to be pro-active and question when things go wrong.there are good managers and i agree they take the brunt for most ills

  286. Elizabeth. says:

    Waiting in for Liberty Gas again 3.45 pm and they are still not here.

  287. Elizabeth. says:

    Liberty Gas did NOT turn up AGAIN today. Im fucking sick of this. What this has cost us in phone calls i would love to know.

    • Geoff says:

      Hello Elizabeth, sorry to hear about your ongoing problems. Although I am a Sanctuary tenant I long gave up any form of window with anyone unless it suited me. I normally phone or email whoever is going to call on the day and request a shorter window of opportunity. These people have mobiles and there is a main contact number. If I cannot get them to give me a window within 2 to 4 hours I am no longer available and they will have to rearrange another visit another day. They will accommodate your wishes if it is their time being wasted. You ought to be considering compensation next and not by phone. Use emails and keep a record. If they want to visit again demand a definate time with only half an hour extra, or demand to be booked in as an emergency visit to avoid further dissapointment. It is your home they want to visit and your time they want to waste so take control. Regards, Geoff

      • jumbojimbo says:

        Can I support Geofs good advice to try and keep it off the phone (which costs you money they’ll never give you back) but keep it to email or letter. One of the contractors top tricks is to say they called but the tenant wasn’t in (standard practice) but knowing how important Gas Checks are not only obviously for safety but it gives Sanctuary an open door to use it as basis for eviction or presenting you as a difficult or troublesome resident. My own experience was slightly different in so much as Carrillion turned up twice in a week, passed the boiler as all fine except that when I got British Gas in a fortnight later it was producing 4,500 times the legal limit of CO2 and they covered it in Unsafe Do Not use, immediate risk to health stickers. Suffice to say that neither nor Carrillion have ever bothered to apologise or explain. And…. three months later they sent the same contractor to do a Safety Check on the new boiler who, when asked to explain what went wrong called me ‘a f*cking lunatic’ and was so, so aggressive I filed complaint which obviously got totally ignored by both Carillion and Sanctuary. Keep it on paper or email… at least then they can’t ignore it for nine months and then pretend you said nothing at all. I think there is a Sanctuary Policy that compensates £10 if a contractor doesn’t attend. Perhaps try asking them in writing if this is so and ask for a copy of the policy document? Best regards. J xx

      • I think all housing groups are tarred with a similar brush they dont respect their tenants .

      • jumbojimbo says:

        I think it’s more than disrespect, it’s revulsion and contempt and now there is no meaningful regulatory system (they only really have the gutless, toothless ombudsman to blag) and with almost no legal aid their plausibility of big salaries, big cars, big offices, huge organisations such as Sanctuary use the taxpayers/tenants money to pay million pound law firms like Wragge & Co with total impunity id the going gets heavy. They’ll use any/every trick in the book (and in my own instances aren’t too fussed if they’re within legal limits) to protect their own monumental salaries and by heaven are they jolly good at it, especially deployed against the vulnerable, disdvantaged who may not have the expertise to even understand how their clever, often deceitful, (certainly untruthful in my own issues) letters trash any hope of material recourse. Strategic warfare… tenants the targets, their targets being expansion, profit and eventual explusion of anyone they don’t like or complains too effectively. It is well accepted that if you complain, Sanctuary will over a period of time find some device to threaten, intimidate or evict.

      • I agree i have a list on most ceo salaries disgusting or maybe they are paid for the lies they tell.i am with another housing group but no better
        even there “Lower Staff” are vunerable

      • jumbojimbo says:

        Such news is not a surprise, Sanctuary have a vindictive bunker mentality, as the largest if they get away with it why on earth should others be different. Just try not to let whoever you are with get you before the scandal that has to come at some point gets them!

  288. Tim says:

    I’m just about to send out a very carefully-worded physical letter to 34 contacts (put together with the help of Craig from this blog – Inside Housing, Private Eye, The Guardian, Homes and Communities Agency, 38 Degrees, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Taxpayers Alliance, Shelter, Committee of Public Accounts, two Commons Select Committees, Housing Minister Mark Prisk and 11 other MPs etc. etc.), my biggest shot at exposing Sanctuary so far. I’ve focused on the following:-

    1. Illegal and morally questionable practices.
    2. Repairs being done very badly, or not at all.
    3. Many properties in very bad condition, sometimes unfit for human habitation.
    4. Complaints going missing and being ignored.
    5. Blatant lying and dishonest manipulation of language in order to deflect complaints.
    6. Bullying, harassment and bad treatment of tenants, including the elderly and disabled.
    7. Inadequate soundproofing.
    8. Bad communication and a lack of consultation with communities.
    9. The lowering of service standards as a result of Sanctuary takeovers.
    10. Bullying and mismanagement of Sanctuary’s own staff.

    Under each category I’ve selected a few quotes from this blog, I’ve tried to include (nearly) everyone who has contributed. This particular blog has had over 30,000 views now by the way, thanks for that! I for one have not finished with Sanctuary. £72 MILLION PROFIT? I am truly lost for words. Let’s see if there’s any response to my whistleblowing…

    • Js says:

      Good luck, particular thanks for no 10

    • craig says:

      And not to forget the breaching of court orders, and I hasten to add all allegations can and will be backed up with solid proof and evidence.
      Unlike the recent personal attack on myself which has been reported to the police and Sanctuary’s legal department……Thanks Tim and thank you Moyra.

    • Good luck.I will borrow your wording while dealing with mine as many issues are so similar.I have joined cIF in the hope of getting an ear and to train to tackle the social problem

    • Really Tim All the best I know it takes time and effort I am trying to work with mine but as so many services are not delieved like they say they are one tends not to trust or believe the staff any more even though some of them are put in very difficult positions.And what about egalite! andequality and diversity to coined frases that are branded about but dont mean much.In South African we VASBYT

  289. Elizabeth. says:

    Wow thanks for all the supportive replies. Phoned Liberty about 6.40pm and they said that no one would be able to come but then an engineer came at 8pm. Not the engineers fault I think the problem is higher up. Glad its done but it shouldnt have been this much of a palaver. Im dreading the next one in 9 months time I dont want to be put through all the hassle that goes with it again. Engineer was a pleasant bloke though

  290. Tim says:

    An interesting take on the failed Cosmopolitan Housing Group and Sanctuary’s recent takeover:-

    “Lack of regulation contributed to the financial burden which resulted in harassment and abuse of tenants to cover up denial of repairs and gas servicing over an extended period that caused health and safety risks. Sanctuary has given no indication that it will address those issues and its officials have ignored correspondence which brought alleged criminal activity to their attention.

    Like all foxes, some Trust officials, councillors and regulators have gone to ground at the first sound of barking. The culprits have hidden or sequestered themselves from public view especially when news media have them under investigation. Sanctuary has continued the aura of secrecy supported by propaganda.”

    Lots more comment at

  291. craig says:


  292. Janet Kerrk says:

    Phew…that was close. I have just printed off 3 copies of a letter which gives vent to six years of accumulated frustration and anger with Sanctuary housing, and was about to post them out to the top brass of Sanctuary in an effort to get them to repair my roof before the snow (and rats) come back….thanks to this blog, I’ve decided I’m better off moving out and saving myself the stress. Besides, if they make up things about me, no other housing association will want me as a tenant. Sincere thanks and admiration goes to all those fighting on. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

    • craig says:

      Janet, please before making that decision consider this, if you have consistently had problems with repairs not getting carried out after you have reported them to Sanctuary seek legal advice.
      The Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to point you in the right direction of a good solicitor who will specialise in housing issues and of disrepair.
      I am no housing expert, but, I do know from what I have read previously if you have had problems with RATS through disrepair in the eyes of a county court judge your property will be deemed to have little rentable value and Sanctuary are fully aware of this.

      If you believe Sanctuary have said anything detrimental about you make a subject access request for all information that they hold on you, they have to by law provide you will all information, see http://www.ICO.ORG.

      And above all else, if you have done no wrong don’t be afraid of them.

      With our own dealings with Sanctuary we have found that most of the people we have come into contact with are utterly vile individuals who will stop at nothing in trying to discredit us with blatant lies, bullying and intimidation.
      Unfortunately for Sanctuary we are made of strong stuff and everything we have said (THE TRUTH) can and will be backed up with solid evidence.
      I can’t say too much as yet, however, lets just say our whole file is going to be presented to the HCA who are currently aware of the serious detriment my family and I have and still are having to endure and suffer at the hands of Sanctuary Housing Association. Needless to say that we can not wait for the day we can go public with our story on this blog and the press in general……… Watch this space.

  293. Elizabeth. says:

    Im really worried Sanctuary have erected scaffolding all around my flat (so the painters can finish what was started back in August) Some of the heavy metal pipes are right up against windows. This scaffolding has been erected in late October a week before the biggest storm since 1987!

  294. craig says:

    This little snippet of comedy gold was taken from Sanctuary Maintenance website which is promoting Sanctuary Maintenance at the Home Expo at the London Excel on the 20-21 of this month

    “Providing a world class service to all customers is a fundamental aim for Sanctuary Maintenance, every service is geared around the customer, with core activity supported by the state of the art customer service centre”.

    How much more delusional can these people really get?

    World Class Service? We don’t even get a 3rd rate service.

    Nothing has ever been geared around us!, countless missed appointment and service personnel just turning up when they feel like it, more like , and not to forget the surly I’M RIGHT YOU’RE WRONG attitude of the staff.

    And State of the art service Centre? The advice we have had from the service centre has been wrong or misleading on many many occasions, and when we have called we have had to wait to speak some body for an average of 12minutes often up to 20minutes.

    If it wasn’t such a pathetic situation to have to live with it would be laughable, these people
    are blowing smoke up each others chuffs all day long.

    It is time they stepped into the real world and actually put into practice what they are saying instead of lying about the service they provide us.

    • Geoff says:

      Hello Craig, couldn’t agree with you more. The Maintenance arm of Sanctuary has recently begun tweeting on Twitter under “Sanctuary Group”. Sanctuary Housing has also recently begun tweeting on Twitter under “Sanctuary Housing”. Usual polished doggy doo. Interestingly both of them have blocked me from following, which TPAS began some time ago. It guess it must have been something I said, lol.

  295. scott pascall says:

    We too are having problems with sanctuary. We moved to this property September 2012 and found it to have some severe damp in the front room so we refused to sign the tenancy until they told us what they would do about it.
    We moved in on Saturday on the sunday my wife was feeling pretty bad on the Monday she had a doctors appointment and had a chest infection and that night we called the paremedics who wanted her in hospital.
    It turned out that the subfloor void was wet,we had rising damp, penetrating damp,a leaking roof and a loose chimney and that was only the beginning. One year later and they have still not fixed the house. They had ignored the damp under the house until recently when the environmental health was sent in by our OT.
    We have been telling sanctuary that it is wet in the sub-floor void within a week of two of moving in and that it is making my wife ill.
    My wife now crawls up and down the stairs each day,she uses a whole inhaler every couple of days and when she has chest infections she cannot manage the stairs and so becomes trapped upstairs.She has been physically and emotionally ruined in this house we even asked to be rehoused anywhere in the Torbay area.
    This association has ruined my wifes health and her mental state and are still failing so obviously have no concerns about their tenants.
    They should be shut down we are trying to claim compensation from their insurance and if that fails we will be seeking to sue them for neglecting my wife.

    • craig says:

      Scott, speak to citizens advice and a Solicitor who specialises in housing issues straight away. Sanctuary Housing have a legal obligation to carry out repairs within a reasonable time after being informed of the problem, as do any other landlord.
      You should also make an official complaint to Sanctuary Housing.
      But please write to the homes and Communities Agency and detail the problems which you have had with the property. Also provide them with an in depth report into the serious detriment Sanctuary’s failure to act has caused to your wife’s health and mental wellbeing, it might be worth while in contacting the Equality and Human Rights Commission as well. Good luck.

      • scott pascall says:

        I went to the cab,the council and our mp and until now every single person said sanctuary need to make the repairs.Sanctuary have made repairs to the house and lots of them.This is where I get so annoyed,they have repaired damage caused by the damp and have worked on the house for month after month making us pack rooms away empty one room into another over and over again.No matter how many times we told them wrote to them or emailed them they didn’t do anything to stop the damp which is what the problem is.
        They have surveyors we have had atleast 4 in a year and all have failed to seal the outside with new render and paint or fit a dpm These are supposed to be professionals trained in a role and my wife who was a carer before she became too ill to work and me a cnc setter are telling them how to do their jobs.I will email the bodies you have suggested thanks I have not heard of these

  296. craig says:

    Scott, I’m so sorry you and your wife are having such a bad time with this truly dreadful company, unfortunately this is par for the course of being a Sanctuary tenant, we’ve had eight years of similar crap ourselves.
    As Sanctuary tenants we are constantly having to put up with unqualified people carrying out work to our properties, and this is where some of the problems with Sanctuary start.
    How much money could this company actually save in maintenance costs if they employed the right people, with the right qualifications in the first place?
    Its not rocket science is it?
    If you were to ask these surveyors for proof that they are qualified you wouldn’t get it, and the reason for this? because they aren’t qualified, its simple as that, and this has been MY argument for long enough.
    Recently I have seen a webpage where Sanctuary state they provide a WORLD CLASS SERVICE, 3rd World Service more like.

    The 96% customer satisfaction levels they profess to have are manufactured as it is Sanctuary themselves who under take the survey, what would those figures be if they were to be taken independently ? Less than half for sure.
    I think the Crack pots who continually come up with these unbelievable statements are Smoking far too many drugs or possibly they need some sort of medication as they clearly live in cloud cuckoo land.

    Don’t give up Scott, this is what they want, and this is what they have done for years, they try to grind people down so they don’t take matters further.

    Perhaps you could also contact Mind or Advocacy Alliance with regards to your wife’s wellbeing as well, I believe they can help with housing issues too
    . Also the Independent Housing Ombudsman might be of use, however, you will need to exhaust Sanctuary’s complaints procedure before the ombudsman will intervene which is quite a lengthy process.

    • willow01 says:

      When we had workers in for a couple of months repairing damage caused but not repairing the cause so we now have damage to the repairs.We spoke to the worker who was not sanctuary bu a sub-contractor,he was saying his company charge sanctuary £25 p/h per person.
      On some days we had upto six people in our house.Thats £150 p/h but usually it was 4 people for 7 weeks.Average £100 an hour 8 hours per day 5 days a week comes to £28000 thats excluding so weekends,some days with extra people and excluding materials.Add this to all the other work they have done and still doing even today and more to come next year.And i reckon they could build us a house cheaper

  297. David Bennett says:

    I have lived in a Sanctuary flat for 2 years and for the last 18 months have been trying to find out how much money is raised by the hiring of our residents lounge to outside groups. With no success !! It was also confirmed by the local Housing Officer, at a residents Meeting 18 months ago that it is Sanctuary policy that residents decide who hires our lounge and how much WE charge for the use of it. Needless to say we are NEVER consulted before it is let out AND we never know how much is charged OR where that money is going. Perhaps the Audit Commission would like to look into this for us

  298. I’ve been offered a job interview with Sanctuary and I had never heard of them before… then I read this blog???? Can I get further info ont eh company?

  299. willow01 says:

    I wonder if its worth everybody checking with their housing benefits how many bedrooms sanctuary are claiming for as they were claiming for a bedroom that didnt exist in our house

    • Capt Sensible says:

      Sanctuary dont claim anything from housing benefit it is paid to tenants who make a claim – although in some instances it is paid direct to the landlord it is not the landlord who makes the claim but the tenant – you cant blame them for everything what ever some of you may think

      • Derek Condon says:

        What, other than the excessive rent for appallingly poor service and their “up yours” attitude. Why do you think the rents are so high? Do you really think the Government have any interest whatsoever in fair rents? So, Mr. “sensible” more than you may think Sanctuary are at fault probably more than you seem to think. The Government would have us all believe that the tenants get the housing benefit directly (and are changing things so that this will be than actual case soon) but the Housing associations are the cause of the ludicrous rental costs in the first place. The public are seen as cash cows by all of these creatures, are you perhaps one of them? So, please try not to be so “sensible” especially if you are not.
        By the way, at least have the guts to put your real name to your comments on this blog, or do YOU perhaps have something to hide?

      • scott pascall says:

        I know what i am talking about because i have letters and emails from both sanctury and the council.I try to be crefull that i can prove what i say and would not tell somebody they are wrong without first being sure because that could misinform somebody and i would not want to be responsable for that mr .

        Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 18:13:37 +0000 To:

      • Geoff says:

        You are wrong. According to Sanctuary the Service Charge is part of the rent. The Service Charge is probably Sanctuary’s biggest con of all and one which Sanctuary knowingly encourages throughout the UK. We pay Sanctuary over £50.00 an hour for grounds maintenance and Sanctuary’s ‘Grounds Maintenance Specification’ requires the gardner to do 5 tasks every week. This cannot be achieved in the 2 hours the gardener visits so most tasks are ignored which Sanctuary is well aware of. Sanctuary is also well aware that the gardner will not visit every week as he should which means Sanctuary profiteers from the weekly Service Charge for providing no grounds maintenance that week. Only Sanctuary can steal from tenants and Council’s by witholding services and profiteering from the payments at the same time. Most tenants do not complain because they are on benefits and do not give a shit who pays as long as it is not them. Tenants who do pay their own way tend not to want to challenge their landlord for fear of intimidation or losing their home. Councils have no idea Sanctuary is ripping them off because no tenants ever complain.

      • Capt Sensible says:

        Wow – Derek didnt realise people were so sensitive – I worked in LA housing benefit not for a housing association – am in the ranks of the great unemployed now!

        Yes many tenants have their rent paid direct to the landlord both private and housing association but it is still a tenants responsibility to claim

        In terms of rents all governments have been happy to see them rise – I am old enough to remember the days of the fair rent set by a rent officer- any intervention in housing has unforeseen implications – perhaps we should remove all financial help for tenants and owners and let the market dictate what happens

  300. Geoff says:

    Minute Blogs. An actual conversation between a Sanctuary Housing Manager and her Director. via @wordpressdotcom

  301. craig says:

    Recently I was saddened to see a video on Sanctuary Maintenance Contractors Limited website.
    In this video is the Head of Housing of the Church of England Pension Board, Loraine Miller.
    Ms Miller can be seen openly promoting and supporting the partnership the Church has with SMCL and heaping praise on the service that they provide and second to none customer satisfaction.(snigger)

    I sent a informative Email to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu and outlined some of the many issues that my family and myself have had to endure over the last few years. I also had a conversation with Dr Sentamu’s Chief of staff Reverend Malcolm Macnaughton to voice my concerns.
    Given the Church’s stance on issues like SOCIAL DEPRIVATION, CORPORATE GREED, FUEL POVERTY etc and not to forget the recent embarrassment caused because of their connections to Wonga,com I thought it was the least I could do.

    Perhaps people who comment on this blog would like do the same and air their views and give an account of their personal experiences to the offices of Justin Welby and or Dr Sentamu?

    Here are the details. OR

    • Thanks for that craig,people in housing have forgotten their moral and ethical obligation esp to the more vunerable.I dont think the church ministers realize the real hardship of the population

      • craig says:

        No problem Moyra, you are absolutely right and in this case, I don’t think the Church of England quite realise what kind of company they are working in partnership with.

        I thought the video of Loraine Miller heaping praise on a morally bankrupt company that is leaving its tenants to live in squalid damp cold conditions, amongst other things was utterly appalling, Especially as Ms Miller had previously been made aware of Sanctuary’s many shortcomings months ago.

        Now Sanctuary Maintenance contractors limited are using the relationship with the Church as a major PR tool and with clear backing of the Church of England.

        To me it just reeks of HYPOCROCY and sooner or later a journalist is going to pick up on this.
        Trust me….

      • great craig.I am passionate about social housing and stick my neck out.I must say my h/a are trying to work with me .It is slow but we are taking small steps together and expanding the net work.Some senior staff are really engaging with tennents

    • scott pascall says:

      I wonder if there should be one of those dispatch programs on this.Why they are able to sort out the church of England houses to a standard they are happy with.They must be happy or they would go to somebody else,But they fail there tenants.
      Are they concentrating on the private contract and neglecting us?There must be a standard they are failing to meet.

  302. Tim says:

    “A GREAT-grandmother has been living without heating in a property with asbestos for three months.

    But after the Oxford Mail contacted Sanctuary Housing about Maureen Cox’s bungalow in Charlbury Road, Kidlington, the boiler was fixed and the asbestos was cleared.

    The 76-year-old moved into the property on August 11 and discovered warning signs about asbestos in the attic.

    She informed the housing association but says nothing was done.”

    And Sanctuary’s millions continue to roll in.

  303. m daniels says:

    Does anyone find that the properties owned by sanctuary housing, have issues concerning no soundproofing in properties and you can hear absolutely everything your neighbour does and vice versa, a living night mare!
    Got mine fixed via MP but not done properly, still the same, with added new problems. Don’t really say anything much now because I am paying off my arrears, so just put up with it now, but a living nightmare!
    Any comments


    • Brad the Inhaler says:

      Dear M Daniels,
      I am intrigued that you say you had a soundproofing problem fixed via your MP but that it wasn’t done properly ?
      Really ?

      Did you know that organisations like Sanctuary Housing are ‘obliged by law’ to carry out any building works they undertake to the (current) British Standard ?

      They do not have a choice on this
      to do otherwise would mean that they are breaking the law

      In other words, any soundproofing work (or electrical work, or plumbing work, or roofing work etc.,) they undertake MUST pass the current British Standard.

      There may be examples where they are not obliged to carry out such work however, if they actually agree to do it, it MUST be done properly

      If what you are saying is so I would advise that you go back to your MP or seek legal advice

      • craig says:

        With respect Brad, Sanctuary Housing Association consistently break the Law and breach court orders, they twist every rule in the book to cover up their many many failures, its the only thing they are any good at.

        Most of their SURVEYORS aren’t even qualified to do the job, which is much the same as the majority of their tradesmen-Multi skilled my arxx.

        I feel for the Guys that do want to make a difference and are being dragged down by the clowns that cant be bothered to do the job right, but this seems to be how Sanctuary runs their empire and most certainly with out any regards to the lives of tenants that they are blighting with the substandard and shoddy service that they provide.

        I hope to have my day in court this year for what these Bastards have put my family and myself through and then I will be presenting the mountain of evidence that I hold and have recorded and handing the lot to the HCA and Independent Housing Ombudsman, also, the office David Cameron and Ed Milliband among others.

        Are you reading Sanctuary?

      • Brad the Inhaler says:

        Hello Craig,
        I do agree that there are large numbers of people who work for Sanctuary Housing who really are trying their best (bless them !) and lots of them definitely do a good job (and I bet the job is not always an easy one ?) but the problem is that the leadership is rotten to the core (they are crooks in my view) and the leadership set the tone for how the organisation works.

        Again, I am not surprised that you say that most of their surveyors are not even qualified – I certainly believe that.
        In my experience if one attempts to have a serious discussion about work they are overseeing (typically) they simply make things up.
        They don’t for one minute seem to realise just how insulting and disrespectful that is because they are treating you as if you are stupid.

        What I also find so annoying is that they never seem to check that work is done to the correct standard (something that is normal procedure when it comes to building work !!)

        I don’t want to put a downer on things (good luck with your action by the way) but I have little faith in the Independent Housing Ombudsman (IHO), they seem just as bad to me

        all too often they seem like ‘partners in crime’ to me
        plus the staff in the IHO are typically people who started life in Housing Associations or Public Sector Housing (plus there seems to be a strong ‘Tel Aviv’ connection among the senior staff in both, if you get my meaning ?)

        The system is a bit screwed up Craig (I think it is far too easy for them to fiddle the records) but we must not lose faith

        Have you noticed that with things like ASB problems they routinely set a time, say 3 weeks or so, and if nothing new happens concerning a particular case within that 3 week period they close the case
        the case is then officially marked as having been ‘resolved’ or ‘concluded’ when in reality the particular situation may form part of an ongoing problem that may have gone on for years and years and remains ongoing

        since I am sure that things like Government grants depend on a certain level of success with things like this
        this is nothing short of fraud

        I am looking at ways to spark some sort of government investigation into this

        I always worry when the Government looks at ‘social housing’ because I worry that they will make the wrong decisions and make life difficult for the tenants
        but I do think they need to look at how organisations like Sanctuary Housing are run
        that is the key

        I have never come across an organisation with more ‘Directors’ have you ?
        Having the word ‘Director’ in one’s job title surely means a good salary ?

        I do not understand what you mean by ‘are you reading Sanctuary’ ?

        Good luck

      • craig says:

        Hi Brad, the whole problem in my opinion is this, everything has been manipulated to make it as difficult as possible for any tenant to seek any sort of resolution to any problem from any organisation connected to social housing, simple as that and that includes the charity Shelter.
        They are all one and the same.

        They Know all to well that the vast majority of Social tenants will not take legal action through the county courts to have serious issues resolved themselves now, because we have the unjust changes to Legal Aid, changes that HA’s had lobbied for in parliament incidentally and also because it is a very daunting task to a lot of ordinary people not to mention the expense, a £100 is a lot of money to some one who doesn’t have it….

        The whole complaints process for any HA is very long winded and drawn out, sometimes taking up to 8 months to proceed through the system, Who really wants to go through that?
        It has now been two years since my family and myself were hospitalised by the sheer incompetence of SANCTUARY and the legal action is still on going, we have persecuted(I don’t use this word lightly) by this company because in our belief of the legal action. For obvious reasons I cant go into detail about this now.

        70+ MP’s have had direct dealing with this company, yet non have bothered to raise the matter in the house, why?
        Even my own MP whom I thought might make a stand has sided with Sanctuary, he was more interested in the lack of meat in his Cornish pasty than the issues I raised with him, this, despite saying he has received a mountain of complaints about sanctuary.
        If this is the case as with the countless other MP’s why hasn’t anything been done about them?

        The establishment is whole heartedly behind this corrupt company and they will continue to treat the very people they are supposed to be helping with utter contempt and this is another reason why we no longer wish to be Sanctuary tenants any longer.
        We are actively seeking to rent privately because we need to protect our children and ourselves from the serious detriment that this company has caused and continues to cause to our lives.
        Sanctuary monitor this blog on a regular basis!

  304. m daniels says:

    My name m daniels is printed on by comment, don’t care as its the truth and can be proven, so if you see this sha, its not a lie!

  305. Dee Hall says:

    I am (?) an employee of sanctuary who has been constantly demeaned & bullied for the last 12 months. I finally lost the will to live, literally, & have been on the sick since September. In that time I’ve had to agree to my GP supplying a medical report but apart from that, nothing! No wage slips, no ‘how are you’ nothing. Now, they’ve simply stopped paying me SSP without any notification or explanation. The staff turnover is horrendous among care staff &, although some were only ‘acting’ we have had 5 managers in 12 months. Each coming in expecting things to be done their way. Anyone wanting a job, if you value your sanity, steer clear, hey don’t give a damn about their staff

  306. craig says:

    Here are some reviews of Sanctuary Group by former and current employee’s which are featured on Employer review site.

    Worked for 3 years.
    Support (former employee) Bucks-December 10 2013.
    Pros. Good Training.

    Cons. Long hours, unfriendly management.

    Comments. Management poor unhelpful.
    Head Office good, but be warned do not have an opinions or try and better yourself.

    Carer (current employee) Plymouth November 17 2013.

    Cons Expect to work above and beyond duty.

    Comments. Ok if you don’t have an opinion.
    Management very poor and don’t listen.
    Very unapproachable company.
    Head office don’t seem to look at local issues as long as boxes are ticked.
    Staff treatment appalling.

    No two days are the same.
    Multi-Skilled operative(former employee) Hull-July 9 2013.

    Cons. Not getting paid for worked overtime.

    Comments. Before working for Sanctuary Maintenance Contractors Ltd, Please, consider the following.
    Do not have an opinion.
    Do not air your views, even when asked to do so.
    Do not expect any training.
    Do not think for yourself.
    Keep records of everything, materials, times and addresses.
    Be aware of Managers and Supervisors honesty and integrity.
    Join a Union.

    Team Secretary (former employee) Worcester May 18 2012.

    Quite stressful, not the friendliest place to work.
    Too corporate a mentality.
    Very isolated.

    Dee, you’re clearly are not alone and if I may, I would suggest that you contact ACAS and citizens advice as bullying is harassment and there are laws to protect employee’s from this.

    • Brad the Inhaler says:

      Hi Craig,
      It is noticeable how many of the people you have quoted above mention the fact that ‘it is unwise to express an opinion’ when working for Sanctuary Housing

      I believe what they are referring to is ‘Political Correctness’ or ‘Identity Politics’ ?

      In other words, there is only one opinion in any situation and it is the politically correct one
      If anyone doesn’t immediately parrot that opinion
      best to keep your mouth shut

      Fascism by any other name

      Sanctuary Housing is a bastion of Political Correctness (PC) and PC has unfortunately turned out to be the complete opposite to what was originally intended by the people who originally pushed it forward

      It was originally intended to ensure that people would be treated fairly no matter which group they belong to, people shouldn’t fear ‘speaking up’ about injustice or whatever, and the group you belong to should be irrelevant

      As more and more such legislation has been enacted over the years it has become the diametric opposite of what was originally intended

      Nowadays all too often everything hinges on which group one belongs to, and people walk in fear of expressing an opinion (in case it might be the ‘wrong’ one)

      I think it is downright dangerous because it encourages the ‘mob mentality’ in that it seriously inhibits people from ‘thinking things through for themselves’ i.e. making sense of the world for themselves rather than being told what to think

      ‘Don’t think’, just do as you are told (or else) is the message it conveys

      This ‘dogmatic’ approach to things is so often divorced from reality because decisions are not made by a mixture of common sense and applied intelligent thought, they are simply plucked from the pre-conceived ‘dogma’

      and the consequences are rigidly and ruthlessly enforced by the (usually not very talented) ‘yes men’ and ‘yes women’ who thrive under such a rigid system
      the type of people who have always found intelligence frightening

      That is why the ‘quality’ of the output from a company like Sanctuary Housing is so poor
      because the most important clause in the Sanctuary canon is ‘what is politically correct’ rather than ‘what is the most practical (intelligent and fair) solution’ in any given situation

      a democratic, healthy, confident society keeps the window of debate and expression as wide open as possible

      that is how the world progresses

      rigid dogma is the stuff of totalitarian regimes (and Sanctuary Housing)

      (I must re-read George Orwell’s 1984)

  307. Tim says:

    Completely spot on with the last two posts chaps, it was all there when I was on the receiving end of their utter cr*p 5 years ago. Since confirmed by a friend who worked briefly as a Sanctuary project manager.

  308. Dan says:

    Hi Tim

    I worked for sanctuary up until recently and have something you may be very interested to hear, in fact I have lots of things that relate my experience to this blog 🙂 give me an email

    • Smcl staff says:

      Dan why not send a copy to CEO also to cllr billy chat in Scarb what ever his faults he hates sanctuary maybe people should ask also about the fact they have ran out of funds till April and will put work off till then
      Craig Smcl director is under pressure help push the bugger out

  309. #SanctuaryHousing Email from Simon Clark regarding TPAS Mediation SCAM and meeting with Sanctuary CEO David Bennett. Twitter.

    • craig says:

      Yet more oppressive behaviour from Sanctuary Housing Association in trying to discourage free speech by intimidation with threats of legal action for alleged libellous comments.

      A clear indication that the TRUTH DOES HURT.

      Keep it up sanctuarytenant.

      By the way as Sanctuary are a Charity who receive vast sums of public money, would any potential legal action against an individual and funded by Sanctuary be deemed misuse of the public purse? or misuse of charitable funds?

  310. craig says:

    The following was quoted from a legal professional 10 minutes ago.

    The undefeatable defence to libel is to publish the truth – provided that you can prove that is the truth…

    In law, written communication to a single third party constitutes ‘publication’, the onus is not on the plaintiff to prove that the statement was libellous – it is on the defendant to prove that it was true.

    In the present political and legal climate it would be ill-advised for any publically owned/funded body to divert the public purse for the purpose of suing a member of the public in defence of the reputation of a member of staff or elected governor.

    Sanctuary Housing Association regardless of having multi-million pound legal representation can not defeat truth.

    For anyone who has had or is having problems with Sanctuary don’t give up.