Housing association complaints – no regulation of service quality!

This updated blog post on housing association complaints is for anyone who has had serious problems with housing association complaints, Sanctuary Housing and Sanctuary Group in particular. For more on serious complaints see also 2016 post A nationwide scandal – Sanctuary Housing and the original 2009 post Are Sanctuary Housing Above The Law? 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.

The information below is also relevant for complaints about other sometimes shockingly bad, usually very large, housing associations. Hyde Housing, Affinity Sutton, Metropolitan and Orbit are some that I have heard mentioned.

SanctuaryHousingIf you are reading this, you may already be familiar with the official procedure for housing association complaints, including Sanctuary’s. This consists of firstly trying to sort things out at a local level, then going through the housing association three-stage complaints procedure, then contacting a designated person (MP or local councillor). If all else fails, contact the housing ombudsman. In reality, for a large number of reasons, this process is not working for a very large number of people. The endless bureaucracy can be a complete nightmare and housing associations will often use every trick in the book to avoid taking responsibility for their poor services and sometimes diabolical treatment of vulnerable people.

An attempt to expose Sanctuary Group’s bad practices

poundsignukTowards the end of 2013 (prompted by the news that registered charity Sanctuary had made a “surplus” of £72 million – this was apparently later revised down to £54.5 million, once the acquisition of Cosmopolitan had been taken out of the equation) – I sent out a very carefully-worded physical letter to 34 contacts: Inside Housing, Private Eye, The Guardian, Homes and Communities Agency, 38 Degrees, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Taxpayers Alliance, Shelter, the Public Accounts Committee, two Commons Select Committees, the then Housing Minister Mark Prisk and 11 other MPs. I focused on the following:-

poundsigns1. 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 selected a few quotes from the 500+ comments on the blog Are Sanctuary Housing above the law?. I tried to include (nearly) everyone who had contributed up to that point. Although yet again there was no media interest, I had two lengthy replies, one from the Homes and Communities Agency and one from Margaret Hodge of the government’s influential Public Accounts Committee.

Replies from the Homes And Communities Agency (the social housing regulator, mainly concerned with financial regulation) 

Email: mail@homesandcommunities.co.uk  Website: http://homesandcommunities.co.uk

Postal address: Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team, Homes and Communities Agency, 1st Floor, Lateral, 8 City Walk, Leeds LS11 9AT

HACagencyInitially, the following reply gave me some hope:- “Thank you for your letter, sent to the Homes And Communities Agency and other organisations, containing a number of allegations about Sanctuary Housing Association… (We have) now considered the information you have provided and would like to invite you or others who have experienced difficulties to provide us with further information.” Carole Harrison, Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team, Homes and Communities Agency, 28.10.13

Several Sanctuary tenants sent extensive details of very serious complaints soon after – they were completely dismissed. On behalf of many tenants and others who have been badly treated by Sanctuary, I decided to have another go myself. In early 2015 I sent a carefully presented 80+ page document with extensive evidence (text, photos and newspaper articles which taken together represented 150+ Sanctuary tenants around the country) of illegal and immoral practices to a number of “authorities” and media. This included quotes from tenant-run Sanctuary facebook groups and detailed evidence of a fraud against the Scottish Housing Regulator by Sanctuary in Scotland.

The second reply from the Homes and Communities Agency was arrogant and completely dismissive. Why did they bother asking for further information if they obviously had no interest whatsoever?

Reply from Margaret Hodge MP and the Public Accounts Committee

Email: pubaccom@parliament.uk  Website: http://www.parliament.uk/pac

Postal address: Committee of Public Accounts, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA

Margaret Hodge

Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the P.A.C. in 2013

“My committee retains a strong interest in how the system of social housing provision as a whole is operating and I am grateful for the information you have provided… thank you for drawing these matters to my attention.” Margaret Hodge then went on to say that “the Homes and Communities Agency does not actively monitor social housing provider performance against, or compliance with, the consumer standards, responsibility for which rests with the Boards of social housing providers” Margaret Hodge, Public Accounts Committee, 6.12.13

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but this is confirmation by the government that following on from the abolition of housing inspectors at the Audit Commission…

THERE IS NOW NO GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF SOCIAL HOUSING FOR THE QUALITY OF SERVICES PROVIDED TO TENANTS.

A selection of June 2016 tenant posts from the 700-strong Sanctuary Housing Independent Complaints Group on facebook

Truth“They are useless! Our house flooded today and none of them wanted to come help!”, “We get a newsletter and it seems to be filled with happy, content tenants. Not sure where they get these people from but it’s certainly not in any Sanctuary house I’ve ever known”, “I am appalled with sanctuary housing! If anyone is offered a house through them avoid at all costs!!…this is beyond a joke and i will make sure everyone is aware of how sanctuary actually treat their tenants!”, “So, adaptations were requested in February for my disabled three year old. They were signed off by sanctuary on March 28th but…. nothing. I’ve been calling for 10 weeks and each time I’m told they will send an urgent email to the housing officer but still nothing. My little girl can’t walk, they knew she was having surgery in March and would be in a wheelchair”, “I feel like I’ve been backed up against a brick wall, the bullying tactics sanctuary use”, “Today I heard that Sanctuary have taken over Housing 21. Why are they still taking more on when they can’t get the stock they have in decent shape?”

The relentless Sanctuary corporate PR machine paints a different picture

OhReallyFrom a June 2016 press release:- “Over 85,000 residents across England and Scotland have benefited from community investment and support from Sanctuary Group during the last financial year. The leading housing and care provider invested £1.55 million in community initiatives during 2015/ 16 to make a difference in communities nationwide. Under five strategic themes – employment, education, skills and training; health and well-being; community safety and infrastructure; environment and financial inclusion – Sanctuary’s investment has helped support more than 600 community initiatives with over 300 community groups…. Another key commitment for the Group is helping to reduce social isolation, particularly amongst vulnerable residents. 830 people have benefited through Sanctuary’s funding in the last year to help address loneliness and create more opportunities for people to feel more connected to their community.”

Why I am still writing blogs about Sanctuary Housing

SanctuaryHousingEven though I wasn’t a Sanctuary tenant myself, I had my life temporarily destroyed by Sanctuary’s useless, uncaring, arrogant and disgusting mismanagement back in 2007 and 2008. Intitially, it was all about an anti-social neighbour and non-existent soundproofing but the main problem soon became the utterly diabolical management of Sanctuary Housing. A total of eight employees (including Chief Executive David Bennett) and other contractors showed themselves up with various SanctuaaryGroupcombinations of incompetence, arrogance, blatant lying, blatant bullying and plain negligence. They lied and lied to our MP and the police, both of whom quickly saw through them. In the meantime, I lost my relationship, my home and almost my sanity. Months later, after threats from Sanctuary managers, I started a blog called Are Sanctuary Housing above the law?  As can be seen there, this company does an awful lot of harm to an awful lot of people. I have worked in supported housing, care homes and homeless hostels myself, so I have a pretty good idea of the difficulties that Sanctuary often have to deal with. They do SOME great work with people and communities, SOME of their properties are as good as the glossy Sanctuary PR pics. But they are also failing large numbers of people in countless ways and regularly trying to cover it up. In my opinion they have simply got too big TimBurnessand too greedy to function properly. Eight years on and with the help of the government and support from the Church of England, they are still expanding their property empire of 95,000 homes whilst badly letting many, many tenants and others down. No-one is stopping Sanctuary, a rogue housing association if ever there was one, or organizations like them.

(Sanctuary’s Chief Executive David Bennett was made a CBE for services to social housing in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list – an absolute disgrace.)

125 Responses to Housing association complaints – no regulation of service quality!

  1. craig says:

    Excellent work Mr Burness..

    • Gary says:

      Great work Mr Burness…. keep your eye open for the name Martin Daymond and Craig Garnett…. both thick as thieves…. or just thick maybe !

      • madmazatim says:

        Hi, forgive me if I’ve blogged on the wrong part im here on my first occasion.

        me and my wife have lived in this house for 18 months, and have very problematic neighbours, they are 3 convicted drug dealers, and drug users, first off it was the noise and the cannabis smoke coming in to the house during the early hours, after lame attempts at fixing these leaking house problems nothing has happened ive an email trail as long as my street (no exaggeration) practically begging for help, lack of sleep, and smoke inhalation have done me and my wife in over the 2 years we have lived here. we are quiet and keep ourselves to ourselves. we are desperately trying to move ot even though we cant afford it. sanctuary would rather let complete scum bags carry on selling drugs in the neighbourhood than just deal with it, they would rather us leave. I feel sick, this has effected our work, our health, sleep, sanity, and unfortunately our marriage. so we are of ASAP before it destroys us. ps these are some articles on my neighbour’s, serious stuff. a young man died 2 years ago through ketamine overdose supplied by one of my neighbour’s, but he now lives next door where all the scum visit.

        Anthony Toth (his girlfriend Alex Rigg)
        an article of Simon who died tragically through Anthony and his twin brother drug missus.

        http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/10392486.Former_soldier_from_Bentham_died_from_accidental_overdose/

        (copy n paste link)

        ROWAN SHEPHERD (best buddy of the twins john and Anthony,)
        deals from Bradford to Lancaster to North Yorkshire and is still at it, convicted for heroine possession and selling, is practically living next door. scroll down to see his part (again copy paste link.)

        http://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/before-the-bench-11-07-13-1-5851199

        Dale Rowlands

        http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/8483143.kirkby_lonsdale_man_jailed_for_drugs_offences/

        (copy and past links)

        ex of Alex rig, but now living back next door, convicted of possession with intent to sell £2500 worth or there about of cocaine, he did 2.5 years, all these people now live next door, (rowan visits every night till 3am) and are wreaking havoc. and sanctuary let this happen.

        before we leave I have a massive file with reg plates pictures etc, info ive accumulated over 2 years all will be going to WEST, NORTH , and LANCASHIRE constabulary along with email trails and an ~ASB report sanctuary gave me. and to the local MP and to the newspapers of the area Lancaster Guardian.

        ARE THESE PEOPLE FOR REAL MAN!??????

    • Zona says:

      Has anyone taken sanctuary to court and won?

      • Tim says:

        Hi Zona. Yes, Sanctuary will of course use every devious and dishonest trick in the book to stop this happening but I’ve come across several cases where tenants have eventually been successful. There is a case going to court this month which should be a further embarrassment for them.

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks Craig. And thank you again for your huge support. Let’s hope that Sanctuary tenants and others act on the above – surely it is only a matter of time before they are exposed? (I don’t fancy writing and monitoring Sanctuary blogs for another 5 years!)

    • craig says:

      I will never stop trying to expose this shower, until, what You and I and all the others who have commented on this blog about Sanctuary’s shocking services and practices and appalling treatment of their tenants have been vindicated. Much more is to come out, that for sure! Thank you Tim.

    • anon@anon.co.uk says:

      I thought I was the only one having problems with Sanctuary. They really are incompetent. We have had an ongoing fly tipping issue over the past year and have been saying the same thing about quotes for gates and cameras from the council. They have said this from last year. They take weeks to remove things and as we are meant to be a private road the council says the responsibility is on the housing to arrange for things to be removed. The flats have become the neighbourhood bin and they are not doing anything about it. In addition to this a fence which leads to the main road got destroyed last year in November it took them till July of this year to fix it. During this period people have been using it as a through road and anti social behaviour has increased.

      They are awful.

      • Rose Bowie says:

        Today at 4:26 PM

        Tim,

        I do not live in a Sanctuary property ant more, but I Chair a community organisation in their jurisdiction. Despite asking Sanctuary Cumbernauld (takeover of Cumbernauld Housing Partnership for free) to endorse our community project they refuse to do so.

        To this day I cannot understand how they got the reins to run this housing association without having to buy into it, not a penny.

        Where have you witnessed a business worth 23 million being handed over for free?

        Before I left their property they sent a ahemmm!!! surveyor to oversee the property. He stood with a threatening stance and despite all the improvements we had carried out on the house at our own expense, he said we would be sent a bill to put things back to their 1964 standing.

        Improvements being:-

        Repair a large concrete floor in kitchen and installing good quality ceramic tiles to cover.

        Installing a wet room in the downstairs toilet.

        Tanking 3 feet of entrance hallway because of rising damp. Re-concreting the entrance hall floor and covering with ceramic tiles.

        Levelling very muddy garden and covering it with York stone slabs.

        Adding matching cabinets and worktop to the large kitchen.

        These but a few of improvements we carried out in our 26+ years tenancy in the property.

        Sanctuary Cumbernauld were a petty, vindictive and harassing landlord.

        Rose Bowie

  3. Pingback: Are Sanctuary Housing above the law? | The Tim Burness Blog

  4. Alan M Dransfield says:

    This is typical arrogant Public servants kicking the can down the road and cheating the taxpayers.Why?
    Because PA’s are on a kickback to turn a blind eye.

    • craig says:

      Alan, thank you for taking an interest and thanks for addressing my Email to Mr Trummel last year , this corrupt corporate, Westminster backed monster needs exposing. Cheers.

  5. Paul Trummel says:

    David Bennet, Chief Executive, Sanctuary Housing Association uses Anita Mobberley, Solicitor (SRA ID: 555956) as an illegal gatekeeper who uses hacking to prevent tenants filing complaints with the Housing Ombudsman. An octogenarian, I have been without heat and hot water for almost three years, including three of the coldest winters on record, in a flat riddled with carbon monoxide and other noxious emissions. The following is my latest attempt to get service:

    James Smallhouse, SMCL Gas Team, Sanctuary Housing Association

    I acknowledge receipt of your letter (24 Jun 14).

    The gas at 37 Alderney House, Willow Crescent, Chester CH2 3LX was permanently and unlawfully capped (10 Nov 11).

    Please read the articles accessed by the URLs in the appended letter to David Bennett, Sanctuary Group Chief Executive. PDFs can be downloaded from those pages.

    >The annual check and service is critical for your safety. It is a legal requirement placed upon the Association. It is also a condition of your tenancy agreement, and it is vitally important that the appointment is arranged and kept. Failure to do so will result in legal action to gain access to your home.

    The flat effectively classifies as a crime scene awaiting investigation by the Housing Ombudsman. Any attempt to enter the premises will result in adding a complaint against you as an accessory after the fact to the ongoing criminal activity by Sanctuary Housing Association comprising Chester & District Housing Trust. CDHT has filed false and misleading gas certificates for the past three years which form part of the evidence in the Ombudsman complaint.

    In any event, your engineers could not do a check in accordance with current Health & Safety Executive regulations because an update to the structure of the premises to meet those regulations has not been effected.

    Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:00:55 +0100
    To: David Bennett
    Subject: Final Notice: Deadlock Letter – 880-37-17

    Final Notice

    David Bennett FCA, CCMI, Group Chief Executive.

    Anita Mobberley, Solicitor (SRA ID: 555956) has consistently neglected to respond to correspondence; consequently, she is named in an impending complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

    A PDF copy of the Position Paper can be downloaded from this web page:

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-17.html

    Any or all individuals copied with this Final Notice can be held jointly and severally liable with Sanctuary Housing Trust comprising Chester & Disgrict Housing Trust Ltd.

    Paul Trummel, Professor Emeritus.

    Relevant Reference URLs

    PDFs can be downloaded from the links on these pages.

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-10.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-11.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-12.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-13.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-14.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-15.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-16.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-18.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-34.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-35.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-36.html

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-37.html

    List of Contents

    http://contracabal.com

    Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2014 09:46:37 +0100
    To: Anita Mobberley
    Subject: Second Request: Deadlock Letter – 880-37-17

    Anita Mobberley.

    I need your immediate response to my request for a deadlock letter so that I can file a complaint with the Housing Ombudsman.

    I have completed all the complaint stages as published by Sanctuary Housing Association comprising Chester & District Housing Trust Ltd.

    Please acknowledge receipt of this message and provide a date when you will provide the deadlock letter.

    None of the people copied with my letters have responded.

    • The greatest reason I was ever given not to use the Housing Ombudsman was because Sanctuary Housing itself recommended I should. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

      • Tim says:

        Say no more, Squire.

      • Kerry prime says:

        I have been told that my flat is a health risk to there contractors-part of my kitchen has been condemned by environmental health-who told Sanctuary to sort it out immediately that was four weeks ago-and sanctuary come to me mob handed I struggle to walk round my flat and Sanctuary want to do me for harassment I have kept every appointment with them-and been carm a polite every time-I also struggle to talk at times so ask the email instead of them ring me-they refuse I had to block there number from my mobile as it was unusable during the day because of there calls-guys this monster Sanctuary housing must be shut down-all I did was made a silly comment to support worker on the phone which was ‘please kill landlord’ project officer told support worker he had no permission to speak to him and threw my phone same project officer is ringing other support worker moaning about me

  6. Tim says:

    Thank you for posting Paul. For what it’s worth, you have my full support. I’m familiar with your troubles and have previously posted a link to your pages. This is the way forward everyone…. DON’T JUST MOAN ABOUT SANCTUARY – TAKE ACTION.

  7. craig says:

    Thank You so much for taking a look at Sanctuary Housing Association Mr Trummel, I would just like to say John Denny is a saint compared to some of the people who run this company. It is beyond doubt the board are fully aware of what is going on!
    MY ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HACKED MANY TIMES.

    • craig says:

      Also, I have in my possession a falsified gas safety certificate and the subsequent Sanctuary complaint responses.

  8. Kerry prime says:

    I will not stop fighting sanctuary -I’m serious unwell because of them keep up the good work Tim and Craig-I am exposing them what lieing cheating bullys they are as my place is illegal to rent out and they blame me

    • Tim says:

      We will certainly keep doing our best Kerry, thanks – and of course we ALL have an important part to play if we are going to expose the truth about Sanctuary to a wider audience.

      You have a Standard Sanctuary Tactic there. It often (but not always of course) seems to go something like this with Sanctuary:-

      1. Sanctuary break tenancy agreement and/or the law.
      2. Tenant (or other) complains.
      3. Sanctuary either ignore or only partially deal with serious complaint.
      4. Tenant (or other) gets understandably angry – unreasonably so as interpreted by Sanctuary, who will interpret almost any behaviour as unreasonable if it suits them.
      5. Sanctuary accuses the tenant (or other) of harassment (or similar) and refuses to communicate further thus giving Sanctuary an “excuse” to avoid looking at what they are doing wrong and fixing it.
      6. Sanctuary carry on breaking tenancy agreement and/or the law.

      Keep up the good work and do look after yourself 🙂

      • Kerry prime says:

        Every agency who can be involved is -and a project manger didn’t recognize her own voice On my Voicemail and the police need to go through my phone at some point but they can’t take statement because I’m really unwell-Dr is getting impossible tesit results of me-and Sanctuary have a local office to me they tell me the nearest is one and half hour drive project manger did the journey in 40 mins-it takes 10 mins to get out my easate at school run time and I have three major round a bouts and loads of schools near me

  9. Paul Trummel says:

    I have added a nota bene to the Contra Cabal web site at:

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-17.html

    with a link to this blog entitled [Burness]

    Paul Trummel, Professor Emeritus.

  10. Tim says:

    Many thanks Paul, if I was wearing a hat I would take it off to you! Seriously, many thanks.

  11. Paul Trummel says:

    The only way that Sanctuary can get rid of me and my lifetime lease is with an ASBO (at 81 that must be a record) or kill me off which they have tried to do by harassment and a stitch-up to evade health and safety regulations that address carbon monoxide emissions in hundreds of Sanctuary flats.

    During a background check to ascertain the authority for Sarah Banwell’s surprise visit to my flat (10 Nov 11) when she had my gas capped so that I would have no hot water or heat, I discovered that the title of Housing Officer covered up her real function as a copper’s nark.

    The Chief Superintendent, Cheshire Constabulary “very proudly announced that Sarah Banwell of the Tenancy Action Team was awarded his commendation for her contribution in obtaining the successful possession order and five year anti-social behaviour orders against a family in Blacon”. In another article, he singled out Banwell for the “very professional and thorough manner” in which she presented the case in court.

    A reasonable person must ask whether covert surveillance and espionage in order to frivolously evict tenants who demand their legal rights forms part of the official duties for all Sanctuary housing officers and social workers.

    Read Full Text at:

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-35.html

    • Kerry prime says:

      I was threatened with a Gas cap-and liberty gas turned up with out appointment -at 8.30 am -I was in my pj report went in that I was naked and couple of days later project manger barged his way in demanding access-I reminded him he has to give me 24 hours notice-he did it any way and my gas check was two weeks late

  12. Audra Garrett says:

    Thanks for your recent email. I too are not happy with Sanctuary. We waited eight months to get bathroom fan fixed and now we have black mould every where. But they still put my rent up £28. We have many other complaints. Sanctuary are feeding on those who don’t have a choice on where they live.

    • elliott says:

      i have the same mould problem and many more issues it has been going on for 7 years they say it is down to the way we live wot a cover up plus 3 housing officers latter still no joy

  13. Paul Trummel says:

    Breaking News – Update – Final Notice

    To:
    Christa Ripley
    Head of Housing Operations North West
    Regional Manager, Sanctuary Housing Association

    You are evidently using several job titles, locations and corporate addresses: a practice that has no place in legal process. The content of your letter contains disinformation and will be added with suitable refutation to the Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS) complaint filed 20 June 2014. This message gives you a chance to mitigate the ongoing damage.

    I received another threatening letter from James Smallhouse, Gas Team, Sanctuary Group yesterday. That letter, like his previous letter, contained multiple disinformation which will form part of the HOS complaint. As Smallhouse and Ripley, (Sanctuary Housing Association comprising Chester & District Housing Trust Ltd.) are the only individuals that have responded to the issues, albeit disingenuously, they will now be named as responsible parties, jointly and severally.

    Moreover, any further harassment or contact with me by Sanctuary employees will be referred to Chester Constabulary with claims of harassment. I have already experienced multiple harassment by Sanctuary which consists of a range of serious offenses under Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and Malicious Communications Act 1988.

    nota bene (16 Jul 14) and links to recent correspondence and laws at:

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-17.html

    • craig says:

      Hi Paul, would it be possible if you could contact PC Julie Johnson, beat manager of Scarborough Police and explain to her some of your harassment issues and the Malicious communication problems?

      PC Julie Johnson is currently investigating harassment and intimidation that was levied against my family by Sanctuary staff and also a personal attack on myself that was carried out on his blog by someone who I believe is connected to Sanctuary housing association.

      It would appear that if you dare to speak out about this company you will be subjected to this sort behaviour, a picture has already been painted. Company policy perhaps?

  14. Paul Trummel says:

    I hold international press credentials that carry both privileges and responsibilities. Much as I would like to help you, I cannot do so because of conflict of interest; especially, as you have asked me to contact a police officer in your behalf.

    If the officer wants source information relative to information published on any of the four Contra Cabal web sites, then she can wriite to the editor using the pro forma at this URL:

    http://016b51c.netsolhost.com/letter_11.html

    I’m sorry that I am precluded from helping you.

    • craig says:

      Thanks Paul, I totally understand your position and I will ask the officer to have a look at the published information.

      It is clear that harassment, intimidation and malicious communication are used against anyone who poses the slightest threat to them, what kind of people are they?

      • Andy Shaw says:

        sanctuary switched my energy suppliers to British gas without telling me which delayed me moving in i did,nt no who my gas supplier was i asked for a couple weeks free rent but was told no chance? i also had to pay for a new gate and fence on the property so i could keep my dogs secure in the garden, sanctuary now told me they will inspect the fence and gate and if its not up 2 their standard they will get it redone and i will be sent the bill, everyone where i have moved to has no good words for sanctuary?

      • Kerry prime says:

        Hi Andy I can tell you now sanctuary will find a fault with the fence and you will be blasted with letters and phone calls there maintenance is well below standard just igore it and collect them( if you have a the the ability to put call recorder on your phone it’s free in app store for mobile) record there calls

      • Andy Shaw says:

        thanks for the information i now regret moving by to Chester sanctuary took over Chester and District housing trust, i have had to supply list of all my pets, i have been £38 in arrears and they are constantly hounding me, i am trying to get the postal address of the CEO of sanctuary everytime they hound me for the arrears i ask to be given the name and address of their CEO they refuse and forget about the £38 and just hang up

      • David Bennett, Sanctuary Housing Association, Sanctuary House, Chamber Court, Castle Street, Worcester, Worcestershire. WR1 3ZQ. Mark it “Private & Confidential”. Good Luck.

  15. Tim says:

    From the Sanctuary facebook page a couple of days ago:-

    Elesha Wood
    July 22 at 7:15am
    After the post below Sanctuary contacted my solicitor who said it best if I delete it as I have to deal with these people in future and it is causing them problems. Sanctuary are clearly more interested in their reputation than dealing with the actual issue of their bad service. I felt bullied into deleting it but on reflection I feel that people need to know how Sanctuary operate!!!
    21UnlikeUnlike ·

    Sanctuary Housing Hi Elesha, We are sorry you feel disappointed with the service you have received from Sanctuary, we are not aware of any outstanding enquiries which your Solicitor is waiting on us for. You have contacted us but the queries you have raised are not for Sanctuary to respond to.

    We contacted your Solicitor to clarify this with them and they confirmed this was the case. They offered to contact you direct to reassure you that everything is proceeding satisfactorily.
    Like · Reply · July 22 at 9:28am

    Elesha Wood Absolute lies…the NHBC document needed to be signed by Sanctuary and they were sent on 27th June but I had to phone this week to chase up as no one had done anything about it! if you look further down the page you have done exactly the same thing to another person and their buyer pulled out due to your delays and incompetence. I see there’s no response about you contacting my solicitor to ask me to remove my comments…disgusting behaviour. If you don’t want the truth to be on here for people to read then you should improve your customer service or not have the page…not tell me to delete the truth because it’s causing you issues! People have a right to be informed on how you operate and that is why I am commenting on here…don’t bother responding with more lies.
    Unlike · 2 · July 22 at 6:31pm

    Write a comment…

    • Kerry prime says:

      Hi Tim-have you noticed Sanctuary just ignore me on there face book page and ignore every agency I have set on them -occurring to project officers it will take upto 6 hours to lay two tiny rooms flooring and they come mob handed to me-if your wondering why I’m comenting a lot -I’m quite ill at home most of the time-project officers thay refuse to answer any enquiry passing you On to another deptment our project officer is on the block at least once a week and he doesn’t know the repairs issues or nothing about the block get my mobile as it got everything on it he runs

  16. Tim says:

    Hi Kerry. Yes I have noticed they ignore you and their facebook page is classic Sanctuary lies. Keep going with your MP – who is he or she, does he/she seem supportive?

    • Kerry prime says:

      I think my mp is on a summer break as he normally replies in 24 hours and I have sent him about 3 updates this week-if more than one person comes round from sanctuary police are being called straight away -and police have been imformed if their hassessment towards me -all I did was throw a magizine and swore about five times to a project officer-yesterday was crazy -project officer rang me (tips straight to Voicemail as number is blocked) he rang two support workers who rang me-then another contractor rang me -if don’t pick up my phone it will ring not Stop because of the medical reasons I have to imform a couple of key people if I put my phone on silent for more than a hour -I have this most days from sanctuary

  17. Mr T says:

    sanctuary housing is the worst company my family have ever dealt with. we have lived in our property for 5/6 years and have had noisy neighbors for all of that time. we complained to sanctuary housing and they said they would investigate and send us diary sheets. when it came to the diary sheets sanctuary did not get in touch with us and did not even tell us what was going on with our complaint. any complaint we made was passed onto someone else who rarely bothered to discuss our complaint and sanctuary did not help us at all.

  18. Tim says:

    http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/shower/story-21665390-detail/story.html

    “GRANDMOTHER Josie Wood has been forced to shower at a friend’s house for the past six weeks after her bathroom ceiling collapsed.

    The 70-year-old moved in to her Sanctuary Housing-owned home, in Clayton, 14 months ago. But last month, the ceiling in her bathroom fell through, leaving a hole in the roof.

    Mrs Wood has been unable to use her own washing facilities, despite continuing to pay £600 a month in rent.

    The grandmother-of-two, who has two children, has made a flurry of complaints to the housing association, but work to repair the roof has still not been carried out.”

    Remember, this is a company with charity status that made a £72 million surplus (profit) last year.

  19. Tim says:

    Another recent post on the Sanctuary facebook page:-

    Chris Gallagher
    Today at 3:44am
    right you offered me a property 18 weeks ago i got told it would be ready 2 weeks ago, now the work hasn’t been completed, i could of built a house in the time its taken your in house workmen and out contractors to do a few simple jobs, i have a heart condition and in the last 18 weeks ended up in hospital twice through the stress of dealing with you, i have complained several times, you say you will contact me back and still im waiting, still waiting for you to contact me back from 4 months ago, after speaking to you yesterday 28/7/14 and 3 different people said they would get back to me before the day ends still nothing, now im waiting for another call back got told it would be 5 mins this is a joke everyday you feed me full of BS something needs to be done
    22Like · Comment · Share

    Remember, this is a company with charity status that made a £72 million surplus (profit) last year.

  20. Tim says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2644667/Grandmother-lay-dead-THREE-DAYS-noticed-sheltered-housing-meant-checked-day.html

    Grandmother lay dead for THREE DAYS before anyone noticed in sheltered housing where she was meant to be checked on every day.

  21. A little insight into the type of underhanded and perverse methods used by Sanctuary Head Office, CEO, Directors and Managers when they need to cover-up criminality. http://bit.ly/1qTOS80

  22. Tim says:

    Nice one Geoff.

    There is now more than enough evidence on these blogs to show that Sanctuary Housing and Sanctuary Group as a whole have major problems and that many people are suffering as a result.

    SANCTUARY TENANTS AND OTHERS – PLEASE, NO MORE MOANING ON HERE! 🙂 PLEASE FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF OTHERS ABOVE AND TAKE ACTION – WRITE BY POST TO THE ADDRESSES BELOW. THANK YOU.

    IN MY EXPERIENCE, CAREFULLY WRITTEN AND TO-THE-POINT PHYSICAL LETTERS (KEEP A COPY AND SEND BY REGISTERED POST) ARE INFINITELY MORE LIKELY TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY THAN EMAILS

    1. The Homes And Communities Agency (the social housing regulator, mainly financial regulation)
    Email: mail@homesandcommunities.co.uk Website: http://homesandcommunities.co.uk
    Postal address: Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team, Homes and Communities Agency, 1st Floor, Lateral, 8 City Walk, Leeds LS11 9AT

    “Thank you for your letter, sent to the Homes And Communities Agency and other organisations, containing a number of allegations about Sanctuary Housing Association… (We have) now considered the information you have provided and would like to invite you or others who have experienced difficulties to provide us with further information.” Carole Harrison, Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team, Homes and Communities Agency, 28.10.13

    2. Margaret Hodge MP and the Public Accounts Committee
    Email: pubaccom@parliament.uk Website: http://www.parliament.uk/pac
    Postal address: Committee of Public Accounts, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA

    “My committee retains a strong interest in how the system of social housing provision as a whole is operating and I am grateful for the information you have provided… thank you for drawing these matters to my attention.” Margaret Hodge, Public Accounts Committee, 6.12.13

    Please contact both of the above with a carefully written letter by post.

    These blogs are now getting 150-200 views most days, this needs to be translated into action.

    Thank you.

  23. Eddie Best says:

    this is to everyone that have complained about Sanctuary housing I am trying to get a public enquiry so that the problems get sorted out in one go I am urging all of you to rally your MP’S and councillors to ask for a public enquiry I has started to get one and if there is enough people to do this we might get some where so please please rally your MP’S and councillors remember unite we stand dived we fall and if we can force this issue then we will get it sorted

    • Andy Shaw says:

      i am having no end of trouble with sanctuary contacted my MP but he not been helpful at all, i am a fighter and i wont give in or be put off please keep in touch

      • craig says:

        Andy, regarding your fence issue and their comment of “if its not up to their standards they will bill you” Let them. But do ask what they measure their standards by and with.

        Im pretty sure they will be responsible for the boundary fence and gate. Check your tenancy agreement.
        It should state that they are responsible.
        If you find they are responsible, then send them an invoice for the materials and make your labour charge at about £50 per hour. I don’t think that is unreasonable considering they tried to charge a tenant £660 to replace six doors when she moved out. The doors only cost £10 each to the public, from the same supplier.

  24. Paul Trummel says:

    Don’t hold your breath waiting!

    Christopher S Grayling, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice since 2012, has been sabotaging my public inquiry for three years and blocked all my FOIA/EIR requests to cover up his illegal actions.

    Full Text: http://contracabal.com/880-46-02+.html

    Christopher S Graham, Information Commissioner’s Office has supported him in his illegal withholding by frustrating all my efforts to obtain documents to pursue problems with Sanctuary.

    Full Text: http://contracabal.com/880-37-58+.html

    They are both gambling on my demise (now age 81). However, many of my family members lived until 100; consequently, I intend to be a pain in their butt for another twenty years.

    What about you?

    Paul Trummel.

  25. Samantha Wakefield says:

    Hello
    I have been researching Sanctuary Group as a whole they own many organisations always involving the vulnerable. I have heard some chilling stories about them and my research continues. They are a very big ugly monster and they need to be slaughtered by the people…..Will be in touch soon and thank you Tim for taking the time to gather the information you have and to write this blog. We are setting up a Facebook page for The elderly gentleman called Mr.Coles who was banned from seeing his wife in one of Sanctuaries nursing homes.
    She has now passed away and we have been through the correct legal process to gain access to her medical notes and care plan but Sanctuary have been rude unprofessional and have failed to release the information so we are seeking people power to fight them on this one issue that is a mere drop in their ocean of lies and abuse on the vulnerable on a mass scale.

    • Kerry prime says:

      Hi I’m on a phone can’t seem to give links but it’s kerry prime profile pic is toutshell and,white cat (my page is tottaly public) and we have also got ‘sanctuary newspaper articles’ page up on Facebook

  26. Tim says:

    Sanctuary are supporting Gas Safety Week 15th-21st September 2014.
    http://www.sanctuary-housing.co.uk/gas-safety-week-2014

    “We are pledging our support for national Gas Safety Week by advising residents of the importance of being gas aware and keeping safe in their home.

    Sanctuary employs highly qualified Gas Safe registered engineers who safeguard residents by conducting annual safety checks, and our team is keen to share its advice with the wider public to reduce the number of gas-related incidents in the UK.”

    Er… doesn’t quite tie in with the following (fairly typical) post on the Sanctuary Facebook page today!

    Steve Maudsley
    Today at 12:04pm
    I AM ABSOLUTELY SICK AND TIRED OF WAITING FOR GAS CHECK PERSONS AND REPAIR PERSONS THAT DON’T TURN UP…(STARTING TO LOSE COUNT AFTER 8 TIMES) I CALL THE NUMBER GIVEN ON THE SANCTUARY HOUSING CORRESPONDENCE ( WHICH HAS THE WRONG POSTCODE ON IT ) TO BE TOLD THEY CALLED AND I WAS NOT HOME. THE SAME THING HAPPENED LAST WEEK AND AGAIN TODAY. I HAVE PUT A LARGE SIGN ON THE FRONT DOOR SAYING ” YES I AM HOME PLEASE RING BELL WITH LARGE ARROW POINTING TO BELL…I ALSO SAT ON THE STEP FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING AND WAITED BUT NOBODY TURN FOR 8 AM 12 NOON APPOINTMENT JUST CALLED OFFICE AGAIN ON MOBILE( WHICH COSTS £ 3.00 PER CALL WAITING IN LINE) I HAVE ALSO BEEN THREATENED WITH GAS CUT OFF IF NOT DONE BY THURSDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER…FARCICAL.

    • Kerry prime says:

      Hi Tim keep up the good work- is it fair to sanctuary are putting tennants life’s at risk through lack of repairs and bullying tennants to such a point they have a nervous breakdown?

  27. Paul Trummel says:

    Sanctuary – In a Trust News article (01 Mar 08) entitled “Serious about Safety” Lynne Britton, Gas Servicing Administrator, Chester & District Housing Trust claimed that in 2005/2006 sixteen people in the UK died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Without stating any cause, regulation or statistics, she then issued a series of threats to Trust tenants that she would take legal action to gain entry to their homes if they disregarded reminders about gas service. That caused an automatic default from which PH Jones and other Trust subcontractors allegedly received financial benefit. Full Text at:

    http://contracabal.com/880-37-20.html

  28. Andrea Roberts says:

    I been paying my rent for years by direct debit and clear account by end of march ‘they set it up and now iam getting letters that I have to pay one month in advance since santuray took over ‘they set it up the new rent in march so how can I be in arrears ?

    • Kerry prime says:

      Hi Andrea sanctuary will make it out to be your fault even it’s there mistake every little thing they will ague -in tenancy agreement it states. rent to be paid in advance. But almost every Tennant pays in arrears as housing benefit pays 4 weeks arrears

      just collect the letters as they can’t do anything if you are paying rent in arrears if they take you to court you can then prove that are harassing you but it will take months and court won’t expect it unless it’s £1,000’s

      • Andrea Roberts says:

        Thank you for replying ‘well they send letter for direct debit each year ‘what and when they take it out so I will fight for this and also on my tenancy what I got 14 years ago it doesn’t say in advance ‘I will check again when I get home but why set direct debit for you and write in letter no need to do anything if I agree with set up ‘so I will take it to court if I have to

      • Kerry prime says:

        Also go through yr bank statements to see what they taking out when so you have proof what you have paid when -being a sanctuary Tennant is a living hell trust me

  29. craig says:

    For many years tenants in Scarborough had had to endure rotten property conditions, terrible service standards and lack of re-investment to their homes by Sanctuary Housing Association. Sanctuary had done very little to their property stock in Scarborough since taking the properties over in a trickle transfer from Scarborough Borough Council in the early 90’s.

    In November 2011 my partner and myself were woken by a distraught neighbour, a single mother of 3 teenage boys, one of whom who was disabled. She had knocked at our door for help as she had caught a large rat in her kitchen. We went over to help and found the rat was still alive in the trap- (see the photos that are attached to a letter that was sent to our local MP further on on Tims blog). It was a horrible sight, it also managed to escape, however, other rodents had been caught before and after this incident. I told the lady to take photo’s of the disrepair and squalor that she was having to live with and to record everything that was happening to her.

    In January 2012 I was tipped off Sanctuary’s Area Manager Stuart Smith was going to be attending the local resident association meeting. We went along to put questions to him regarding the Standard of Sanctuary’s properties in our area and the treatment of their tenants. we also asked issues that were personally effecting ourselves. We were neither confrontational nor aggressive towards Mr Smith at any time. Were showed various photo’s of our neighbours squalid home including the photo’s of the rats to the gathered professionals who included council members representatives of Yorkshire Coast Homes the police and other social body’s as well as the residents, people were horrified that families were being forced to live like that. Mr Smith was speechless and appeared to be deeply embarrassed by the photo’s we presented him with and he did arrange to meet with my family and our neighbour the following day to try and resolve the issues out. As the months progressed and more problems mounted for my family we called for a called for a meeting with Sanctuary where tenants of the Barrowcliff estate Scarborough could air there grievances about the shockingly poor service from Sanctuary with officials face to face and to listen to the provisionally proposed reinvestments for the Estate and Scarborough as a whole.

    The following are an exchange of Emails from Mr John Hanson, Regional Director for the North Area and Mr Stuart Smith Area Manager, Scarborough.

    From: John Hanson
    Sent: 21 May 2012 14:22
    To: Claire Capes
    Cc: Adrian Cheetham: Carol Edwards: Stuart Smith: Wendy Banks
    Subject: Barrowcliff

    Hi Claire

    I have just had a long discussion with Mr xxxxxxx regarding his request for his complaint to be escalated to stage three- in his words he wants everyone in authority at Sanctuary aware of the poor service which we provide.

    I think you need to be very careful with the proposed meeting of Barrowcliff residents. Mr xxxxxxx will try to compare our investment with that of Yorkshire Coast Homes – It will be useful to be armed with what we have spent at Barrowcliff over the past few years.

    We also need to be wary of increasing expectations of tenants as I suspect he is mounting a campaign that if tenants make enough noise we will go and do a full refurbishment of all our stock at Barrowcliff. We also need to be conscious of who is in attendance as he has suggested to me that he has had a call from a reporter of a news paper who wants to do a feature on social deprivation.

    From his comments he has obviously been on the Tim Burness website

    Give me a call if you need to discuss.

    From: Stuart Smith
    Sent: 21 May 2012 14:50
    To: John Hanson; Wendy Banks
    Subject: FW:Barrowcliff

    Hi, Re: below-these are the reasons I don’t think the meeting is a good idea, because of personal agendas I think the meeting will actually cause more issues and will give Mr xxxxxxx a platform to express personal views to an audience.

    A better way would be for the planned team to write to residents individually perhaps offering home visits (I appreciate a lot of work – but most won’t take up the offer) the stock condition surveys could take place and at least discussions would be on a one on one basis without any negative propaganda from Mr xxxxxxx !

    The Residents Association themselves were concerned whether this was the best way to get any message across.

    Just my thoughts, having faced the brunt of Mr xxxxxxx opinions at the residents meeting in Feb !

    Stuart Smith.

    Make of this what you will, but to me, it proves the corporate stance of this company and their blatant disregard of their tenants.

    “Having faced the brunt of Mr xxxxxxx opinions at a residents meeting In Feb !” ???????

    An opinion because a family were having to live in slum conditions……
    and I, unlike yourself Mr Smith have a conscience, I only wish my opinion had been more choice now- and for the record the meeting was in January2012.

  30. Paul Trummel says:

    No gas service or repairs for 3-1/2 years; however, Sanctuary Housing comprising Chester and District Housing Trust can afford to sponsor a football club.

    http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/housing-trust-renews-sponsorship-chester-8047534

  31. Tim says:

    Facebook groups and pages for discussion, information and practical help – run by tenants and others who have suffered appalling treatment from Sanctuary – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    Sanctuary Housing complaints group countrywide https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409393152675378/

    Sanctuary Housing tenants https://www.facebook.com/groups/178188498885354/

    Sanctuary Housing/shambles https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sanctuary-housingshambles/358062671036731

    Sanctuary Housing Banbury residents group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812618788754511/

    Justice For Ernest John Coles https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Ernest-John-Coles/349249158572459

  32. Carole Blackburn says:

    Sanctuary are trying to charge me £663 for repairs to a previous property which we went to great lengths to leave empty and as we found it which was shabby at the start

    • craig says:

      Carole, request the void report of the property before you moved in and tell them you want it for when they take you to court for the £663 it will stop them in their tracks. A void report is taken when any social housing property becomes vacant and details the condition of it, any defects have to be fixed and put right before it is re-let, or at least that’s what they should be doing.

  33. Dermot M Quinn says:

    I’m a 73 year old and since last October and have had heating and hot water failure app 9 different fitters unable to repair my boiler this time it’s been off – NO hot water and NO heating turned off by fitter for 5 WEEKS DISCUSTING

    • craig says:

      Dermot, they are breaching their own policy in the way they are behaving towards you.
      I have uploaded a copy of their Repair and Maintenance policy to the Facebook group Sanctuary Complaints Group-Country Wide, please join the group and view the policy for yourself.

      Many people are being denied access to Sanctuary policies. No where on their website are Group policies available for public scrutiny Sanctuary are even telling tenants that they are not entitled to them.

      Sanctuary don’t want people to see these policies because they will prove categorically that not only are they failing their own standards, but also the standards of the regulator and the regulator needs to be made fully aware of these breaches.

  34. Alan M Dransfield says:

    Of course they are corrupt but worse , they are complicit with local authority officials who are bleeding the system.

    • craig says:

      The connection to Local Authorities is very true Alan.

    • rich says:

      What? Besides periodically appeasing your dismay, Sanctuary and the vast majority couldn’t care.
      My mother is Sanctuary resident and has been for 23 years. Each and everytime we have dealt with them they’ve been fantastic.
      I Know this cannot always be the case however, we shouldn’t use common social media platforms to publicly destroy such companies. I disagree with the majority of what has been listed and exaggerated here.

      • Tim says:

        Hi Richard.

        Assuming your post is genuine, I am very glad to hear that your mother has had a very good experience with Sanctuary for 23 years – in fact I am almost relieved when anyone has anything good to say about them! With the millions they make, one would jolly well hope that it’s not all PR hype and that they are doing some genuinely good work in helping and supporting people!

        If you have the time (I appreciate a lot of it is pretty tredious stuff) you might want to have a quick look at the many comments on all my blogs here – many people’s mothers have not been as fortunate.

        Exaggeration? It may not have been your experience but an increasingly large number of tenants (e.g. the 1000+ on facebook groups and facebook pages) have first-hand accounts and substantial evidence that Sanctuary are often guilty of the 10 points I listed above, often over periods of several years – and worse. I have recently gathered together a large amount of this evidence (partly from this blog, mostly from the facebook groups and pages, also many local newspaper articles from around the country) in an 80 page document and sent this to various government departments and mainstream media. Others around the country are also hard at work in efforts to expose them.

        In January I received the following e-mail from a recent Sanctuary employee:

        “I found your reports on sanctuary housing group very accurate and as a recent employee, cannot see that Mr Bennett, now CBE has made any changes and has continued driving his commercial monster towards more misery for its tenants.
        NOW is the time to highlight your findings in the hope that something is done to stop them. April will be the first audit of the financial statements by the firm KPMG, and their new sap system that goes live on the 26th Jan should cause plenty of aggregate material concern should the right scepticism be used.
        I have worked for other not-for-profit housing providers and in comparison sanctuary are a disgrace, and this is the reason why I would like to see them fail HCA value for money governance and change the way they treat staff and customers. This can only be done by a change of leadership.

        I hope this may give you fresh impetus to voice your findings to people of suitable authority to expose Mr Bennett for what he is and that certainly isn’t CBE services to housing.

        Good luck”

        I think that says it all really.

    • richard burton says:

      Do you have any citation. Or, is this just a general comment from an individual life left behind?

      • Paul Trummel says:

        If you need irrefutable evidence and citations that address Sanctuary dereliction, then read the fully researched and validated articles that support most of the contentions published on this blog which can be accessed from the index at

        http://contracabal.com

        before making any more arbitrary, unsubstantiated comments quoting your mother who is probably one of a minority who are easily satisfied with the service that she gets. Sanctuary services are indeed “fantastic” (remote from reality) not in the sense that you portray.

        This response is by Paul Trummel, Professor Emeritus (an octogenerian without heat or hot water for four years) living in a virtually uninhabitable Sanctuary slum riddled with carbon monoxide and other noxious gases which does not in any way comply with Health and Safety Regulations.

        Sanctuary employees filed false and misleading gas reports for four years running without making mandated inspections and Housing Ombudsman gatekeepers have stonewalled due process of law for the same period.

  35. craig says:

    We shouldn’t use social media platforms to destroy such companies?

    Rich, look on any local newspaper archive in any area where Sanctuary have housing stock and I can guarantee you will find all the negative horror stories you might need to change your ill-informed view, and all of Sanctuarys own doing!

    It has been noted a number of times that Sanctuary employees have been very critical of this blog and other sites and in some cases made scurrilous accusations against commentators.

    Rich/rob or whoever you are ,you may be interested to know the your IP address has now been recorded.

    • craig says:

      So many people cant be possibly wrong and I think your view could be construed as confirmation bias Rich. 🙂

      • Paul Trummel says:

        To clarify current Health and Safety Issues:

        Memorandum to House of Commons Select Committee: Dangerous Carbon Monoxide and other Noxious Gas Emissions in Public Housing by Paul Trummel, Professor Emeritus.

        Excerpt from Executive Summary.

        Homes and Communities (HCA) and Health & Safety Executive (HSE) neglected to adequately regulate dangerous health and safety conditions which exacerbated due to relaxation of on site inspection requirements resulting from delegation of regulatory responsibilities to landlords and subsequent laissez faire regulation by HCA and HSE.

        They used Closed Material Procedures (CMP) to sabotage investigation of public sector housing complaints and deny tenant rights under FOI/DPA/EIR. The Trust and CHG have now reverted to their provenance as separate entities funded by Sanctuary Housing Association (SHA) with headquarters in Worcester.

        The Trust admits that gas heating appliances in at least a thousand premises require replacement to conform with current regulations. That will cost an estimated £1,000,000.00 for the purchase of new appliances plus the cost of installation which takes two engineers at least a day for each flat or house depending upon the amount of carbonation present in the structure.

        Additional expenses relate to correction of structural carbonation and installation of inspection hatches to bring buildings and flues into compliance with HSE regulations which will add £-millions to the overall cost. Hence, the reason for capping gas supplies and denying inspection of premises by independent qualified structural engineers which would have revealed the magnitude of portending financial problems and had an adverse affect on refinancing negotiations.

        A survey among 4,300 private sector tenants (published 09 May 13) shows an estimated 900,000 people in England now at risk from gas safety hazards. YouGov an international, online market research agency that offers research and market intelligence reports conducted the survey for Shelter, a registered charity that campaigns to end homelessness and bad housing in England and Scotland.

        The law requires landlords in both public and private sectors to carry out a gas safety check every year to identify possible problems including faulty appliances that could lead to gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning. One in 10 private sector tenants did not have that mandatory gas safety check during 2012 according to the survey. Separate research by British Gas found 15% of private landlords unaware of their legal responsibilities.

        Access full text of the position paper submitted to Local Government Committee appointed by the House of Commons at:

        http://contracabal.com/880-37-16+.html

    • Kerry prime says:

      Rob/rich who ever why shouldn’t we use social media to distory a company that has distroyed so many tennants lifes when i started writing this blog i was a healthy 37 year old now I’m year older I’m classed now as high care needs why you might ask it’s was because the stress sanctuary put me under have you seen sanctuary newspaper articles or sanctuary complaints group country wide on.Facebook there countless tennants comments and some 200 newspaper articles in under six months to prove how corrupt sanctuary housing are

  36. Paul Trummel says:

    Sanctuary/Southern Electric (SSE)

    After four years without heat or hot water caused by malicious capping of the gas supported by repeated filing of false and misleading gas inspection certificates by Sanctuary (comprising Chester and District Housing Trust), I have now received fraudulent bills from from Southern Electric (SSE) which state that: “unless we receive full payment immediately, we will disconnect the supply of gas . . . “.

    SSE (knowing about the Sanctuary harassment) has effectively supported it. Craig Walters, Credit Management, SSE has issued a threat that : “If we have to visit you to collect the money you owe us, we’ll charge you at least £40.00 (plus VAT) for the cost of the visit. If we cut off your gas supply, you’ll have to pay the bill in full plus the collection charges which will be over £260.00 (plus VAT), before we’ll reconnect your supply”.

    So, SSE is going to cap a gas supply that Sanctuary maliciously capped four years ago, then charge for service that they could not have made for that period while the tenant (aged 81) journeys toward death from hypothermia and/or carbon monoxide poisoning and noxious gases emitted from other Sanctuary apartments.

    During the period in question, Sanctuary received for it’s slum over £20,800.00 in rent and taxes and David Bennett, Group Executive, Sanctuary received a CBE.

    http://contracabal.com

  37. Paul Trummel says:

    nota bene – on a similar topic

    Cold homes make 23% of social housing tenants ill.

    More than a fifth of social housing tenants have suffered ill health as a result of cold homes as they struggle to cope with spiraling energy bills, a survey has revealed.

    The poll of social tenants revealed the impact of energy prices, with nearly half of people with disabilities surveyed forced to cut back on food or skip meals.

    The survey, carried out by benefits charity Turn2us, showed 73 per cent of social housing tenants have experienced stress as a result of energy prices, while a ‘staggering’ 88 per cent are worried about how they will pay their bills this winter.

    http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/cold-homes-make-23-of-social-housing-tenants-ill/7001642.article

  38. Julian Balcikonis says:

    I am living in a supported housing Sanctuary property. I have been accused by the manager of drug dealing and threatened with eviction if I continue. These allegations are completely baseless. The manager will not provide me with any of the evidence that she claims that she has. Furthermore, neither will she divulge what this evidence is to the keyworker who is assigned to me. I dont know what to do. I feel so frustrated. I would appreciate any advice that anyone could give me in how to defend myself. Thank you.

  39. craig says:

    Julian, make a Subject Access Request to Sanctuary for ALL the personal Data which they hold about you. Look on the information commissioners office website for more details. ico.org.uk

    • Julian Balcikonis says:

      Ok, Craig, will do that. Thanks for your advice.

      • craig says:

        No problem Julian. There is also a closed-private facebook group which is tenant lead that could be of help and support for you, it is called Sanctuary Complaints Group-Country Wide. If you send them a request to the group I will add you to the group.

  40. John says:

    Hi everyone, can anybody tell me why my complaint to Sanctuary housing has gone to there insurers? I thought it was a 3 tier complaints process. thanks.

    • craig says:

      Hi John, it would seem you have a serious complaint against them, one that could possibly put a black mark against them with the regulator the HCA!
      SANCTUARY hand matters to their insurers to stop serious complaints being levied against them. They did the exact same thing to us when we lodged an official complaint against them after they poisoned my family.
      I spoke to Shelters media team about this issue as I’m aware of many other people that this has happened to, Shelter told me that they are seeing this happen more frequently as it is a loop[hole that Housing Associations use to stop concerns raised being lodged officially.
      Could I suggest that you raise this matter with your local MP John, because loophole or not they are denying you your legal rights of due process.

      This needs to be stopped…..

  41. Tim says:

    The following facebook group has been very active over the last 9 months or so, it now has 500 members. Plenty of support available there, endless ideas for how to TAKE ACTION. Run by tenants for tenants who have suffered at the hands of Sanctuary.

    Sanctuary Housing Complaints Group – Countrywide https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409393152675378/

  42. Tom says:

    Hi,
    My family have been in 2 properties with Sanctuary and both have had problems with damp affecting my Children’s Health and damaging our personal belonging. They constantly drag their feet and try to misplace blame even though they have sent me inspection reports that repeatedly show the problems causing these issues have been noticed but no action was taken to fix. I contacted my Local MP Rob Stoke-on-Trent and he wrote to Sanctuary who sent him a letter saying everything was fine and resolved. What a crock. I am trying to find time to arrange a meeting with him to get this raised further and have already sent a letter to number 10 asking for action.

    • Tim says:

      Nice one Tom, good luck.

      I know that David Cameron has already had complaints about Sanctuary in his Oxfordshire constituency.

      The only reason Sanctuary get away with so much bad practice is because people don’t complain – and keep complaining – loudly and clearly enough to people at the very top.

  43. chloe cadby says:

    I am so relieved to have found this post I have been a sanctuary tenant for almost two years and it has been a living hell.. My upstairs neighbours have no carpets and bang constantly I’ve complained had noise equipment fitted but nothing came back as my incompetent housing officer said ‘noise wasn’t in the hours of noise nuisance’ I’ve called police on various occasions for domestic abuse! I’ve been verbally abused by them because they are unable to communicate all whilst sanctuary do nothing! The stress has made me ill and after requesting a transfer because of this have been told I’m not priority! My son is petrified of the banging and my housing officer hasn’t got back to me in months 😝

  44. I’m so glad I found this page as I thought it was just me who found them to be lying,incompetent,uncaring and the worst landlord I’ve had in 30 years. I didn’t choose them as a landlord. I was with CDC (Cumbernauld Development Corporation) then taken over by Scottish homes,Cumbernauld Housing Partnership and now Sanctuary. I’ve never had any major reason to complain until now. I’ve felt so low about recent issues with them that I am ashamed to say I hit rock bottom on Monday and can’t believe myself just how desperate I allowed them to make me feel😔
    I had to pull myself together as I’m the mother of 3 daughters. Two of whom are grown up now but I also have a twelve year old and my beautiful 10 year old granddaughter and each of them still need me. My grown up girls too. As a divorced single mum sometimes fighting alone can be overwhelming and I just let them wear me down this week. I have had depression and anxiety but was getting better until this all started. I’m honestly not a drama queen but my mood,self esteem and belief in the basic decency of most human beings had been so low it just made me want to give up. The issues I’ve had are very long and I don’t want to bore you all but what I will say is that this is basically all down to a plumbing/flooding repair that I needed fixed back at start of the year. It didn’t just affect me but also my next door neighbour who was an 85 year old widow and one of the kindest people you could meet. She was also extremely able for a woman of her age and she still helped out at church events and even helped to care for other elderly people she considered worse off than herself. She wasnt a tenant of Sanctuary as her family had bought her house for her. She had to rely on me to contact them whenever this problem would occur again. She never stopped apologising to me when she’d have to inform me her kitchen was again flooded and could I call them out as the problem was to do with my house which is their responsibility. The issue went on for so long and we were passed from pillar to post,lied to and treated with utter contempt by their contractor on so many occasions that she was in tears at times. All I could do was reassure her I’d get it dealt with. She continuously told me that none of this was my fault and she didn’t know where she’d have been if hadn’t trying to deal with them. This was incredibly kind of her but I still felt guilty. She started to look frail and her health was being affected by the stress of it all. She did get our local councillor involved but to this day I don’t know what he actually done for her. I’m sad to say that she died in September😞 On the very night that our ongoing problem had returned after about 8 weeks of it being ok and I think we both thought it was finally fixed. I’d phoned through to her that night to apologise and tell her I’d help her clean up and that I’d phone sanctuary again the next morning. She didn’t answer her phone or return my call after I’d left a message on her machine. This was very out of character. I tried knocking her door but no answer. I thought she’d gone to stay with her sister up in north of Scotland. I found out soon after that she’d been found dead in bed by her family two days after I’d been trying to phone her. She’d died the night the flooding problem had happened again. I’m sure you can imagine what goes through my mind about this fact. I know she did have some heart problems and was 85 years old but I’m convinced the stress of dealing with this constant problem and Sanctuary doing nothing to help us and messing us about constantly contributed to her death. Thank you for allowing me to vent it’s being quite theraputic. I just want peace in my life to be honest but I won’t be treated like this by anyone. They’re now trying to charge me for the repair. It’ll be a cold day in hell first.
    Thanks for listening
    Elaine x

    • Kerry Prime says:

      Hi Elaine

      First I would like to sat my thoughts are with you at this hard time and I send a cyber hug

      Sanctuary have a way that its to blame the tenants no matter what, for a housing fault we are hearing time and time again. You are not alone in yr fight against the monster landlord s sanctuary housing. Many people who live in sanctuary properties have complex health needs and they treat people like crap at times putting people on the brink of suicide me being one

      I would like to invite you to the group on face book

      Sanctuary complaints group country wide

      Run by tenants for tenants so you can get some more support

      Kerry

      • Aww thank you for being so kind Kerry. It’s helped more than you know💕 When I found this blog
        I felt relief that at least I wasn’t alone in my experience with Sanctuary and that plenty of other people understand just how soul destroying this can all be. I couldn’t believe some of the stories on here. My own problems pale in comparison to a lot of them. It’s awful that you were driven to feel so low. I’d avoided saying that I felt almost suicidal because I thought people would see it as me being over dramatic. Now I know people on here do understand because more than likely a lot of them have felt the same. My heart goes out to you that you were also driven to feel that kind of despair but it did help me knowing that I’m not cracking up and that this really is how bad they can make you feel. I’ll definitely join the Facebook page and thanks again Kerry xxx

  45. Pingback: Sanctuary Housing Above The Law ? | L8in

  46. sara says:

    For 5 days ive had no central heating and no hot water i have 3 children in the property 1 being a 10 month old baby who is curently ill on friday 6th febuary i reported a radiator had fallen off the wall a radiator that was reported to be falling off months ago and hadnt been fixed! A man from liberty gas came and said he’d turned water off for radiators but assured me i would still have hot water and i havent i cannot bath my baby daughter the house is freezing i get a text to say a repair had been booked for today ive waited in all day and rang sanctuary to ask if the repair man was coming to be told its booked in for tomorrow in not happy at all because if the job was done oroperly in the 1st place i wouldnt be in this mess!

  47. Adele says:

    Hi there, Sanctuary has constantly harassed me since I moved in to my flat and it’s still ongoing!! Their contractors are absolute liars of the highest accord. I really can’t go into everything that these people have put me through as I could still be writing until next year. But I will be consulting with a solicitor about Sanctuary as i’ my utterly and completely fed up!!

  48. Joe Tiler says:

    :WHEN THE STONE IS FIRMLY REPLACED: Institutional mismanagement within the organisation at major London housing association rife with those high up in the chain on hefty wages, admitting verbally what they found when they lifted the stone! on complaints made ‘ frankly quiet disturbing’

    It is when you do all the correct things, go through the process of their complaints presedure of which at each stage they have lied and have not been truthful and unco-oprative in dealing and resolving my complaints putting up obstacle at every conceivable juncture….
    Lying, fraud’ Intimidation, refusal to respond to questions put without manipulation. Losing convienently my tenant files over a period of many years!
    Historical ineptitude over many years admitted too verbally by a director within corporation at a meeting held and in correspondence.

    The last straw being seemly now l have exhausted the complaints process, and here we come full circle over many months where nothing is done!
    Glaring from this last letter just recieved where they call you ‘A LIAR’
    They cannot get away with the blatant lies and incompetence of running a Housing Association which seemingly has a hidden agenda. And interestingly who looks out, and speaks for those who are frail and cannot get the support they at times may need, because something is immorally wrong when one has to go through hell to be heard.

    As they have the weight of their legal team, behind them it is difficult for the ordinary
    person this day and age to get the much legal help they need and this organisation gloats and plays on this.

    However l had if they had bothered to look at all the correspondence sent, where l have stated l have retained all my correspondence from the beginning of tenancy and also have for my own private use at this stage audio of conversations made between us. And that will back up everything written here.

    I

    1.Complaints going missing and being ignored.
    2. Blatant lying and dishonest manipulation of language in order to deflect complaints.

    • Joe Tiler says:

      Finally at this moment l want to thank TimBurness for this informative blog of which is proving enormously supportive.
      What makes me strong although at times the whole process is grinding and unbearably stressful, is that this Housing Association with evidence has been proved and shown to of lied for their incompetence time and time again….
      Enough of going down their corrupted manipulative complaints procedure, l did and at each stage they have reluctantly refused to give truthful answers ‘ hiding like scared rabbits in their shabby self-dug holes trying but failing to smother their lies, incompetence, and historical ineptitude.

      What needs to happen is for someone to read this, though alack who can you trust!? And go into these establishments with open eyes, not to be blind-sided by these unsavoury charlatans and see how as they put it they have adhered to their own in house, complaints and compensation policy. There policies are completely out-dated and convoluted that urgent action needs to be implemented and address.

      Due to this organisations lies and deceit, they have left me with no alternative other than to seek or at least try and get advice and support else where.

      I have retained all documents, and interesting due to their lies audio (for my own private use) of calls and conversations.

      • Joe Tiler says:

        The blog above is not re-Sanctuary but an equally corrupt major Housing Association

      • Tim says:

        It’s always good to hear that these blogs have helped Joe, thank you. You are quite right that someone (whoever that might be – no-one appears to be seriously interested, certainly not the government or mainstream media) needs to pick up on what’s going on and push for some major changes. In the meantime, I wish you the very best of luck, TB.

  49. Paul Trummel says:

    I have republished the comment by Joe Tiler this morning under

    Dumbbell Indemnity for Lies, Deception and Fraud

    http://contracabal.com/880-07-24.html

    which deals with associated issues experienced at Sanctuary Housing Association

    I hope some of the legal issues that I have discussed in that and associated articles will assist readers on this list. I do not give legal advice, I only make suggestions and describe my own experiences.

    I am an 83-year-old Sanctuary Housing tenant without heat or hot water for five years who will be a pain in their ass for another 20 years, hopefully.

    Paul Trummel, Professor Emeritus

  50. Joe Tiler says:

    Thankyou Paul for your response and support, l will make it my mission to hold this Housing association to account , for their admitted said ‘ Historical mismanagement, flaws, and ineptitude’ within the organisation, that stated by a Director within organisation, again claiming they were brought into ‘lift the stone’ they did what found underneath, looking into my case and a few other, what they found frankly was totally unacceptable and disturbing….How can we possibly compensate for are historical failures and to gain your confidence and trust? Unbelievably you can easily be fooled by their total lack of insincerity as the sit before you, spewing out lies desparately but failing to convince you that they will get to the bottom of major issues deeply entrenched. It is in the cold unblinkered eyes of those before you and you know nothing will be done and will be buried deep or your files over many years lost being just one of their many ploys.
    But rest assure l having retained all my evidence intend to put if and when needs be, all my evidence of disclosure in the public domain. And this Housing Association will be held to account, and lose any thread of reputation they cling onto.

    • Joe Tiler says:

      Due to my diligence, as mentioned in prior thread l have retained all my documents and recordings relating to this still on going case. This corrupted organization should be forced to sit listen to the recordings of conversations made by them and myself :

      ((made as evidence due to a history of untruths lies and manipulation consistently made by this organisation))

      of their own corrupted lies and deceit, made blatant and clear. It was obvious in a meeting held that they had mislaid files over a period of years! this they acknowledge, when at my request l suggested we listen to recent recordings of calls made between them and myself with reference to my complaint they then had the gall to play not the full conversation but between this motley crue devised a scheme to play selected section only of the recording. I saw right through their deceit and made them stop the recording and let’s listen to the whole of the conversation. The looks on those distorted shifty faces between the three witches, at that moment made them realise that they are not dealing with an incompetent.

      So now l seek independent representation, you see when you have done all the right things and been truthful you cannot give up, and not let these bullies grind you down….
      You guys on this blog give me strength, knowing l am not on my own in this battle, and a battle it is. Let me say though l am able to sleep at might due to the support and advise placed on my table for that l thank you all.

  51. Richie McCoy says:

    I live in an Orbit property and they are just as bad as Sanctuary. I am disabled myself and have anti-social behavior from neighbors to deal with along with continually missed appointments with contractors. My housing officer is useless and lies. I am a vulnerable person. I thought social housing was supposed to help the vulnerable in society. They are not fit for purpose.

  52. angry tenant says:

    Great post

  53. PATRICK DRISCOLL says:

    I have been without hot water for 6 weeks and My Housing Association ‘Family Mosaic’ have not fixed the problem. I took 5 days off work annual leave for them to come out and on 3 occasions nobody turned up. I haven’t bathed in 6 weeks and feel like a tramp in my own home. I am HIV positive and suffer from mental illness and had to take a week off work with depression due to the problem. I have to boil a kettle for everything and I’ve tried getting in touch with “Shelter’ and “Enviromental Health” but still no success. I am at my wits end and feel suicidal. The Housing Association are sarcastic and are being deliberately difficult and it feels like they are playing with my mind or discriminative against me…. Please can anyone help????

    • Kerry Prime says:

      Hi Patrick

      You are not alone with yr fight with sanctuary housing there is many people people that have problems with them

      Plz contact you mental health team they perhaps help you about how you feel or contact the samaritans on 116 123

      There is a face book group set up to help tenants like you and is called

      Sanctuary housing independent complaints group -country wide

      Plz come and jon us over there

      K

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for your comment, Patrick. I’ve taken the liberty of correcting “Family Mossic” to Family Mosaic, the housing group which you must be referring to?

      While they do some good work, many large un-monitored large housing associations are treating people very badly all over the country. As Kerry says, you are not alone – and you might find the Sanctuary facebook group helpful.

      Sanctuary Housing Independent Complaints Group- Countrywide

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409393152675378/

      Keep going and don’t let the jokers grind you down!

      • Joe Tiler says:

        What will be interesting is for all asundry to pay heed to this ‘motley organisation’ in verbal waffle, dig great holes for theire-selves’s trying to bury their shamed empty heads when listening to blatant barefaced lies of evidence retained. One bides ones time as l do now until the right opportunity presents its-shelf and indeed it will. Let’s see those from the top of these organisation who collect their vast wage for gross incompetence, a charity run organisation who chastise and trample on the week and vulnerable.
        This organisation Patrick is attached to and the many others have got to be held to account because their are many Tenants who do not have a voice or the shrength to fight constant intimadation

  54. Mr goodman says:

    Sanctuary housing are a total utter disgrace we have a roof that leaks for over 3 years so everytime it rains it comes through the electric ceiling fan as we all no electric and water dont go to together there excuse is the roofer wont go on roof when wet but it does,nt rain all the time so today a man came out and half sorted the problem out he said who ever built this house has not done so properly so what i want to no is who signed off the house when it was completed greasy palms springs to mind…. we have rotten windows to which the beading on the outside so so easy for people to break in 2016 they shouldbw upvc a front door thats is so bowed its hard to shut a hole where the gas fire was taken out 2 years ago cos it was condemed and the pipe leading to the fire the bloke just cut and burnt it half way down the wall burning the wallpaper… door handles that constantly break a heating system that is so old it now gets a pension!!!!!!!!!! a back garden that floods in the winter….. A bathroom and kitchen thats so dated its a joke i have COPD do they care nar only interested in fobbing you off and lining there pockets shame on you sanctuary housing bet one of your directors would,nt live in one of your disgraceful houses

    • craig says:

      Any sort of water ingress is deemed as an emergency and should be investigated and repaired with in 24 hours-this is printed in their own repair and maintenance policy.

      Have you lodged a formal complaint or contacted environmental health, your ward councillor or MP?

  55. Charlie says:

    Please add Futures Housing Group to your list of totally useless social housing groups who care only for a profit. With 8000 homes in our area, they are allowed to run rough shod over whole communities, devaluing properties and ruining the lives of people living in their properties and others. The wasted money on taking a vacant property ‘back to basics’ borders on criminal, and the repairs are worse than I can do myself DIY style! How they get to come under charitable status is beyond a joke and their tenancy agreements are worse than useless.

    There is no recall for these oversized corporations who are allowed a free reign under the justification laid out by successive governments about the need to build more social housing without any requirements as to the standard of these properties in relation to other properties. They purposely create wastelands in once feature communities, whereby selling a property is impossible, devaluing the housing stock purposely so the Housing association might ‘buy the property’ at a mere percentage of the value.

    Housing stock should revert to individual councils where they at least had an interest in community standards.

    • Tim says:

      Several nails on the head there, Charlie, thanks.

      I’ve just had a quick look at the Futures Housing Group website, the usual corporate hype. Those of us with first-hand experience of these groups know the often appalling rip-off reality.

      Other than everyone generally complaining more – in the right way and to people who might actually make a difference – I really am at a loss as to how to draw more attention to what really does appear to be a serious nationwide problem.

      In the meantime folks, please share your experiences and name names, every little helps

      • Charlie says:

        The situation is now so bad, and I have been made so ill that I put my house on the market and have actually booked to see my MP about the situation. I doubt that this will resolve anything as the housing association are major suppliers in the area and I am just one person but you never know.

  56. Pingback: Are Sanctuary Housing above the law? | The Tim Burness Blog

  57. Tim says:

    On the Sanctuary Housing facebook page this morning, from Declan Toman:-

    Hi,

    I see you removed my comment. As requested, I sent you my details in a private message, but am yet to hear anything back from your team. My building is still without any working locks (after over 3 months). There are two homeless men living (and urinating) at the bottom of the stairs. My bike was stolen because you’ve consistently failed to secure the bike storage. There is damp and mould in the staircases, which hasn’t been fixed in over a year.

    It’s a fine way to treat your leaseholders. My flat cost £350,000. That may be pocket money to Sanctuary, but it’s a crazy amount of money for a normal person to live in a building that Sanctuary clearly don’t give a toss about maintaining. I’m sick of the constant excuses, blaming your contractors repeatedly. If your contractors are so awful, change them. It’s not rocket science. Have an SLA, enforce it with service credits. Why are Sanctuary so incapable and disorganised? It’s as though you don’t care. You don’t care do you? You build flats and assume your residents will quietly put up with it, too poor and needy to complain or to have their voice heard. Well, you’re wrong.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Declan.

  58. Housing Associations seem to be a law unto themselves.
    Bad repairs
    No repairs
    Illegal installations
    Money wasting.
    Arrogant
    And that’s the best bits!!!!!

    • Tim says:

      Yes. One thing I find strange is that many large housing associations (the larger ones seem to be mostly the worst), have not been more exposed in the media by now? Not a sexy enough story, I guess?

      The following blog from a well established housing blogger is a bit long-winded (for the likes of me anyway!) but from everything I’ve been picking up on, seems to be very accurate.

      “The feudal housing association landlords have won the day and the naturally fit with the Tory government’s stance of eradicating the social housing model founded in the 1948 Welfare State…

      Very soon “Where will my children live?” and “Where will my grandchildren live?” and even “Where will my ailing parents now live?” will become phrases spoken by the same couldn’t care less general public with increasing frequency and exasperation and anger.

      And it will only be then that the taxpayer will really start to say why with all the ‘welfare cuts’ is this costing me more and more an why are so many more people begging on the streets and why does my local council say they can only afford to collects the bins once a month.

      The current and apparently unstoppable direction of travel of what we misname as social housing adversely affects the tenant, the private tenant, the home owner, the taxpayer, the local council and the UK government finances. It is unchecked madness in societal, political and economic terms and housing associations are a major part of this obfuscation and problem and perhaps the biggest wolves dressed in wool that they love to pull over our eyes.

      https://speye.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/housing-associations-wolves-in-sheeps-clothing/

  59. Cameron says:

    This is a copy of the letter I have sent to Sanctuary outlining the basic details of our complaint. Sanctuary left our family exposed to damaged asbestos as well as many other failings by them and we need help.

    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing with the details of a complaint regarding issues with my property at the end of 2016, and the way in which they were dealt with.

    In 2014 we had a new bathroom fitted in my property which I rent from Sanctuary social housing. This was mandatory for all tenants and completed by Sanctuary Housing’s contactors. There were a few issues and the job was rushed.

    On 30th October 2016, at around 10:30PM I became aware of somebody knocking on the door to my upstairs flat. My neighbour who lives in the flat below me informed me that there was some type of flood coming through his ceiling. I then realised that my hallway was also flooded and there was an awful smell. The entire bathroom was flooded, inches deep from the floor, the toilet was overflowing, causing sewage water and excrement and urine to rise over the rim and consequently flood my bathroom and hallway. I had my three year old daughter in bed, who was just learning to use to toilet, and would often wake in the night desperate for the toilet. So I rang the Sanctuary repairs line to report the urgent issue. The advisor on the phone asked me to enter the bathroom and try to pour a bucket of water into the cistern, to which I replied that I could not enter the bathroom due to the levels of sewage. They advised somebody would be out as an urgent repair to fix the problem. When the Sanctuary maintenance man arrived a few hours later he had not been briefed on the problem correctly as he was expecting a leaking pipe. He advised me that I would not be able to get the issue fixed until the following day due to the noisy nature of the job required. He then left to try and get us other suitable accommodation, but returned to tell us he was unable to let us into any nearby empty properties because that is not correct procedure. He advised me to ring the repairs line back again. I did so, to be told there was nothing that could be done, but workers would be out to fix the issue urgently the following morning. I then asked to speak to somebody else as I was very worried about having no access to a bathroom in my family home, especially with my daughter, who generally wakes early needing to use the toilet. I spoke to the manager on duty, who said he would expect me to have understanding for the difficulty of the situation, and he would expect me and my daughter and partner to compromise and do our business in a bucket. This was very rude, and extremely upsetting at a stressful time.

    The following morning two cleaners turned up at the request of the worker who had attended the previous night. They had also been briefed of a leaking pipe and were not expecting the bathroom and hallway to be in such a state. My partner had already started to remove the hallway carpet which had soaked up a lot of the sewage. The cleaners then helped to remove the bathroom lino which had also soaked up a large amount of sewage. The floor was then left with a layer of waste covering the tiles. The cleaners were very sympathetic and I feel they went beyond the call of duty to reassure us. The toilet was still full and not fit for use. The two ladies said there was no more they could do until the toilet was fixed.

    That afternoon the plumbers arrived, by this point we had been without any use of a bathroom or toilet for around fifteen to sixteen hours. They worked on a number of flats, and had to remove our toilet to unblock the drains. They said there was no way of telling where in the system the pipe had been blocked, it could have been from any of the flats. They also informed us that the toilet was not, and had never been, secured into place, and the flooring at the back of the toilet had softened and was crumbling away. After a few hours the work was complete and the cleaners then completed a deep clean. However the tiles were smashed around both the sink and toilet, and the cracks in the tiles had soaked through with waste. Moreover the wooden fitting that boxed in the pipes running the length of the back wall, had also soaked the waste up and was beginning to rot. I contacted Sanctuary again to be told it would be at least a week before the bathroom could be restored. I stated that the tiles were unsafe and the bathroom was not fit for use, especially for my daughter. An inspector came to assess the bathroom and agreed a full week was too long to wait for the work to begin, and that he would have somebody out within the week to complete the work. He stated that the bathroom was okay for use until then.

    The following day the 1st November, I started to notice the tiles had become brittle when drying, and were beginning to rise from the floor. I contacted Sanctuary to request a surveyor come out to take a look and give their opinion, and was refused. I was at this point awaiting a date for the work to be completed.

    The following day I received a phone call from an advisor named Simon. He asked if I was available for the contractors to come that same day and sort out the issue with the flooring. I explained that I was currently in a class and requested a call back in five minutes, as I had run out of minutes on my phone at this point, at least in part due to the amount of time I had spent on the phone to the Sanctuary call centres. I then explained the issue to my tutor in college, and left straight away to get the bus home, a ten minute journey. I did not receive a phone call back from Sanctuary.

    I called back myself the following day and was informed the work could now not be completed until the coming Friday. I asked why I had not had the phone call back the previous day, and told that they did not know, but somebody would look into it. Again I informed the advisor that the bathroom was not safe, as my daughter had scratched her toe on a broken tile that was rising from the floor. They advised I remove any broken tiles myself. My partner did this that night, and got his hands covered in the tile adhesive that was still wet from the sewage.

    The Friday arrived and when the worker arrived to carry out the work he saw the tiles and refused to enter the bathroom until a test was carried out for asbestos in the adhesive. He said there was a very low chance of risk to me, yet he refused to go in the bathroom. This caused alarm due to the fact my partner had had his hands covered in the adhesive and had found it hard to wash off.

    We got advice from a specialist who deal in asbestos who informed us it was a low risk, but it is still unlawful to leave a tenant in any risk of exposure, and can depending on circumstance, result in prosecution. Furthermore by law, where asbestos is present a landlord must be aware and have a record of this, meaning if any issues occur or work is to be done, the landlord will know the whereabouts of any asbestos, preventing risk of exposure. Sanctuary have failed to comply with this regulation, and because of this I was left with an unsafe bathroom for a further two weeks whilst the test were going ahead. I then sought advice from my union who run a campaign for asbestos awareness, who confirmed the legislation. All parties we sought advice from advised us not to stay in the property and to avoid walking on the tiles, as this will cause further disruption, and that is where the risk lies. They advised to request I be put on the asbestos exposure risk register, due to the close contact both my daughter and partner had come into. At this point I contacted Sanctuary again to make them aware of this issue, and to ask how long I would have to wait for it to be resolved , and was informed because I was only at a low risk, it was not classed as an emergency so I would still have to wait. Again I was refused a surveyor.

    I moved myself and my daughter into my mother’s house which is out of Liverpool in St Helens. After another week had gone by waiting for the results of the tests I called Sanctuary again to request something be done to solve the issue, as I would struggle with my day to day life living in St Helens, and overcrowding my mother’s home. The advisor agreed to send somebody out to fit a temporary boarding over the floorboards. I had to arrange for my mother, who cares full time for my grandmother, to look after my daughter, to travel home to meet the worker. When he arrived he had been told to attend and provide a dust sheet. He said he could not nail into the tiles as that would definitely disrupt the asbestos, he was very reluctant to even enter the bathroom. He put the dust sheet down for me, and expressed shock at the state the bathroom had been left in.

    I returned home to my mothers, and after a few days I consulted with my doctor, who agreed to listen to my daughter’s chest, but informed me that any medical ailments resulting from exposure would only show up after an amount of years. He also advised that we not stay in the property and not walk on the tiles in the bathroom. A few days later I received a phone call from Sanctuary, saying they had received the results from the asbestos test, and there was in fact asbestos in the adhesive. I was informed that the tiles could be removed within a few days, but I would then have to wait more than a week further before the work could be completed, leaving me with no floor at all in the bathroom for that time. He then offered me the alternative of waiting for all the work to be completed at the same time. I told the advisor that I had been advised by my doctor not to take my daughter to the property and he replied that he was under the impression I was staying with my mother. I informed him that this was no longer possible. He agreed that I could not wait that length of time, and that the situation should have been resolved sooner. I informed him I was struggling with no money left due to the extra money I had been forced to spend travelling and living from my mothers. He told me that somebody would ring me back the same day to try and find a resolution. He also told me that there was only a low risk, so it was not urgent. He told me that I would have to go home for somebody to assess the damage.

    Again I arranged childcare for my daughter at the last minute and headed home. Somebody called me back when I was on the bus journey towards home. They asked what I would like to happen and I reiterated that I just wanted the work completing as urgent, as soon as possible, so I could be safe in my home with my family. I was told that this was not possible, but they would look at an emergency decant. I was then asked to answer a number of questions about my household. They told me my partner couldn’t be given emergency accommodation as they had no record of him. I informed them that we had gone through the forms to add him as a named person on my tenancy agreement. They then asked me if my I was the maternal mother of my daughter, I told them yes. They then asked if I had full care of her, if she had been looked after by somebody else earlier in her life, and if we had professional help or anybody who is named as her career. I felt very upset for them to imply that my daughter had social service involvement or that I was not her maternal mother. When I questioned the relevance of some of their questions I was told there was no record of my daughter either on the system. I then felt shocked, as I was only given social housing at all, when I was pregnant, to benefit my daughter. The advisor placed me on hold whilst he consulted somebody about the next stage of the process. He must have made a mistake, as I could still hear the conversation of advisors in the call centre, as they laughed and joked about something. The phone then disconnected leaving me distressed as I was half way back to my home, with no way to make further contact with Sanctuary.

    On arriving home somebody did contact us back, unfortunately I do not remember her name, but she was very understanding of the situation. She explained that the legislation about the low risk, is dependent on circumstance. I expressed that I felt the circumstance was worse than Sanctuary were aware of, or acknowledging. She agreed that there had been a severe miss-communication resulting in a delay to the work being completed, thus leaving myself and my family in an unfortunate situation. She told me that she would start to look for alternate accommodation until the following Monday, when she was sure the work would commence. This on the condition that a surveyor come to asses the bathroom prior to decanting. She assured me the surveyor would be trained in dealing with asbestos. When the workman arrived at my property that evening he informed me he was not trained in dealing with asbestos, he had been told to come and take some photographs of the damage. He did so, and left, and then I received a phone call from somebody at Sanctuary, who agreed that the tiles were in fact damaged and cracked, and the adhesive was in fact disturbed and staining the tiles. Just as I had been saying since the 1st of November.

    My partner, earlier in the week though I cannot remember the specific timing as I felt quite unwell during these events , had made several attempts to send our own photographs of the damage to an email address provided by an advisor on the Sanctuary line. None of these were received due to your system not accepting emails with attached files.

    I then spoke to the lady I had spoken to earlier on, and she secured us a room in a nearby BnB, and we were told to await a phone call on Monday.

    On the Monday we left the BnB and waited for the phone call. We were informed we would be booked into another Hotel until the 24th November. I was also provided with a meal allowance in the hotel as there were no cooking facilities as I would have preferred. However to be able to keep on top of my college work and my partners university work we needed to have access to the internet. We still had to pay for our Wi-Fi service at home, and also had to pay daily fee’s to use the Wi-Fi in the BnB. This was essential as the events above had led to myself and my partner having to take a lot of time out from college and university to be home to see to workers, and to deal with the resulting issues. Moreover travel was made more difficult and more expensive. As a result of this my partner has suffered with stress and has had to put in lots of extra hours to keep his grades up. At the time of the above events I was undertaking two major units in my foundation studies in college. The grades for these units consequently suffered, meaning my target grade has dropped. This will impact on my offers from universities, as I am dependent on my original target grade. I will have to take another year in college before I can go to university, and I will have to fund this myself as well.

    The BnB was adequate besides this, despite a lack of vegetarian options for as all three of us are vegetarian. We were told we could eat elsewhere and receive money back, but we had no money to spend at this time. It was exceedingly uncomfortable for us to take our family meals every day in the Travel Lodge bar area with stag and hen parties and such alike going on throughout the extent of our stay. Moreover it was extremely difficult for our daughter to sleep at night, as our room consisted of one room with two beds and a separate bathroom. This would be fine if it were not for two weeks, we did not even have storage space and were living out of suitcases. This made our difficulty in keeping up with our studies worse and had a very negative effect on out daughter as she had trouble sleeping at night in such close quarters and was left shaken and missing her home. This has led to a significant insecurity about leaving her home, which is very distressing for all of our family.

    My daughter’s nursery commented on how tired she seemed and how she did not seem herself. She was gaining confidence in using the toilet and had stopped using nappies. However on the 31st of October, when she was unable to use the toilet, it really upset her. She was able to use a neighbour’s toilet, but was very upset to have to do so, and only after having an accident which made her very distressed after not having done so in weeks. I mention this episode because she started to refuse to go to bed without a nappy straight after this incident, insisting that the toilet might break again, this lasted for a few months, she has only recently came out of nappies again.

    On top of this, on the 17th of November I received a phone call from a worker asking if I was home because he had come to do work in the bathroom. I told him that I didn’t realise he was coming that day and It would take me between fifteen to twenty minutes to arrive home. He said okay and we hung up. I called him back five minutes later to confirm I was on my way to the flat, for him to tell me he had already written the job off and left.

    I called the sanctuary repairs line to ask why I hadn’t been made aware of the appointment. I was under the impression that I would receive further correspondence regarding the work, but that it would be done around the 24th, which was the date it was due to be completed. I was told I would get a call back. Simon called me back and he said “You were made aware of the appointment, because if you remember rightly I told you about it myself”. I reminded him that he made the appointment with me before I was decanted, and I was decanted because that was too long to wait. I admitted that there was some confusion on my part, but I still feel I should have had further correspondence from Sanctuary to keep me updated.

    As well as this I spoke my housing officer Aymi Bourke on the Monday I was moved into the Travel Lodge. She assured me she would keep in contact with me throughout my stay and keep ourselves both updated with the on goings. I received no more contact with her during this period.

    The work was delayed until the 25th November, and we were able to move back home on the 28th November.

    The work is now completed in relation to the toilet, asbestos and flooring, apart from the hallway carpet which I have not yet been able to replace. However I feel it important to mention, when the bathroom was originally fitted in 2014 the contactors caused a number of problems. At the time the bathroom failed safety checks, and jobs such as the tiling had to be re-done. We have since learned the toilet was never secured, and the ceiling fan is not present. The work to connect the fan is now on-going, and we were told by the current worker that whoever has fitted the bathroom has cut the wires that are supposed to connect the fan and not bothered connecting a new one. This has resulted in a build-up of condensation and damp, as we have no window.

    These are the events that are most prominent in my memory, however there was more contact with myself and Sanctuary than listed. Above highlights the issues I wish to complain about.

    The complaint I regard highest is regarding the Asbestos. The man who originally came out on the 31st October, after the toilet had been fixed, regarded the bathroom as safe to live in for no more than the remainder of the week. However I was told continuously that he had deemed it fit to live in indefinitely. Nevertheless he wrongly assured me the work would be done within the week. When the photographs of the bathroom were shown to whomever assessed them he declared we should be decanted, as the work could not be done in a reasonable time. I continuously requested a surveyor, or anybody to come and look at the bathroom and give a second opinion. This was because the problem with the tiles grew considerably worse after they had dried out, and started to rise and curl up from the floor. This exposed the floor underneath the tiles which was still thick with the waste as is could not have been cleaned by the cleaners when still covered by the tiles. I was refused a surveyor countless times, however the tiles were in the state they were in when it was declared the asbestos had been damaged, for quite some time before that day, If my request for surveyor or second opinion would have been granted when I made Sanctuary aware the issue with the tiles had worsened, then something could have been done sooner with the work.

    In the same way, if Sanctuary was aware of the asbestos, as equally required, then it would not have taken the time it did to get the results back before the work could be done. The tiles could have been removed straight away, and we wouldn’t have been told to remove the broken ones ourselves. When I have enquired about this I have been told that there is asbestos in thousands of properties, and its only when disturbed it causes any risk. However, a landlord must at least carry out risk assessments to check for the presence of asbestos before any work is done. They must use competent contractors when dealing with asbestos. Sanctuary sent cleaners, and plumbers and countless other workers, all given wrong information regarding the job. They were all in close contact with the flooring, and we have since learned that moving on the cracked tiles when the adhesive was wet could have disrupt the asbestos. I implore you to register all of us in the property on the asbestos exposure register as requested a number of times.

    The continuous way have been spoken to and treated has left me feeling very low on self-esteem. I suffer with mental health problems and have previously been happy with my social housing as it is supposed to offer a level of security. I now feel I have little or no security as I have constantly been talked down to, doubted and not believed. Furthermore I have constantly been given misleading and contradicting information. More importantly I do not feel secure in the way in which Sanctuary deal with serious issues.

    I appreciate your time in reading this complaint, and in dealing with it.

    I will await your response.

    Yours Faithfully

    • Tim says:

      Thank you for posting, Cameron. Having heard many hundreds of similar stories over the last few years, I’m afraid it is typical Sanctuary. Have highlighted a few key points, I hope you don’t mind. Good luck.

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