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Eastern

Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/38UC/HIN/2009/0001
Local Authority
Oxford City Council
Hearing Date
31/03/2009
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Excess cold, Food safety, Hot surfaces and materials
Order
Notice confirmed
Points of Interest

• The Appellant was appealing against the Improvement Notice on the grounds that it was pre-emptive as the work relating to one of the hazards was already being undertaken, the works required in the Notice were more extensive than is necessary and an extension of time is required.

• The Notice specifically states that the lathe and plaster ceiling in the ground floor flat must be removed and the ceiling is plaster boarded and skimmed with a hatch provided for roof access and to install insulation.

• The Tribunal confirmed the works requested for Food Safety and Flames, Hot Surfaces etc was justified.

• The Tribunal accepts the Appellants contention that there are alternative methods of insulating the roof space in the ground floor flat. Following inspection the Tribunal took into account the uncertain condition of the lathe and plaster ceiling above the suspended ceiling, it was confirmed that it was not unreasonable to prescribe specific method remediation that could then be varied by negotiation with the Appellant.

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/00MC/HIN/2008/0012
Local Authority
Reading Borough Council
Hearing Date
18/03/2009
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Fire
Order
Notice quashed
Points of Interest
The appeal was upheld on the basis that no notice of inspection had been given to the appellant who was the eventual recipient of the Improvement Notice and Demand for Costs and that, therefore, Notice had not been given in accordance with the requirements of section 239 of the Housing Act 2004.

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/00KF/HIN/2008/0011
Local Authority
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Hearing Date
30/01/2009
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Damp & mould growth, Excess cold, Entry by intruders, Domestic hygiene, Pests and Refuse, Electrical hazards, Fire, Structural collapse and failing elements
Order
Appeal dismissed
Points of Interest
The appeal failed as the appellant was neither the person upon whom the Notice had been served nor a leasehold or freehold owner.

See Original Decision File

Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/00ME/HIN/2008/0009
Local Authority
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Hearing Date
03/12/2008
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Order
Notice varied
Points of Interest

• Prior to the hearing, the parties had reached agreement in relation to the Improvement Notice such that the only matter for the Tribunal was that of the costs being sought by the local authority.

• The local authority was seeking costs of £331.20 for preparing and attending the hearing and claimed that the appellant had acted “frivolously..or otherwise unreasonably”. The Tribunal dismissed this claim.

• As regards £150 costs being sought for serving the Improvement Notice, the Tribunal determined that the particulars of the case were such that they were outside the remit of section 49(7) of the Housing Act 2004 and, therefore, not within their jurisdiction and simply recorded what the costs were in their decision.

(Notice varied and costs dismissed)

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/22UK/HIN/2008/0006
Local Authority
Chelmsford Borough Council
Hearing Date
11/11/2008
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Damp & mould growth, Excess cold, Domestic hygiene, Pests and Refuse, Electrical hazards, Hot surfaces and materials
Order
Notice was quashed
Points of Interest
Chelmsford Council were ordered to remove any entries from the Land Charges Register and had to repay the Applicant’s application fee of £150. The Respondent had not assessed the actual risk in the property, the mould in the property was largely due to condensation and the problem could have been solved through co-operation rather than service of an Improvement Notice.

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/00KG/HIN/2008/0005
Local Authority
Thurrock District Council
Hearing Date
04/08/2008
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Excess cold, Personal hygiene, Sanitation and Drainage , Electrical hazards, Fire, Hot surfaces and materials
Order
Points of Interest
The Council did not take reasonable steps to correctly serve the Improvement Notice, it was instead sent to the incorrect person’s address. Although the Notice was deemed invalid there is no reason the Council should not take other enforcement action as the Tribunal agreed that Category 1 hazards did exist at the property.

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/42UH/HIN/2008/0003
Local Authority
Waveney District Council
Hearing Date
31/07/2008
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Damp & mould growth, Excess cold, Falls associated with stairs and steps, Falls between levels, Electrical hazards, Fire
Order
Notice varied
Points of Interest
Three Improvement Notices were served; the Tribunal varied all after consideration.

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/38UH/HIN/2008/0009
Local Authority
Vale of White Horse District Council
Hearing Date
22/02/2008
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Damp & mould growth, Excess cold, Food safety, Falls associated with stairs and steps, Electrical hazards, Structural collapse and failing elements
Order
Notice was quashed
Points of Interest
The Council should have given 24 hours notice to inspect regardless of whether the occupants invited them or not. The Notice was found to be invalid due to the lack of notice before the inspection was carried out. If the Improvement Notice was found to be valid the Tribunal would have made some amendments to the requested works.

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/38UC/HIN/2007/0003
Local Authority
Oxford City Council
Hearing Date
14/08/2007
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Excess cold
Order
Notice varied
Points of Interest

The Notice stipulated that the windows should be ‘overhauled or replaced’ and ‘defective catches replaced’ the applicant understood this to mean all windows should be replaced with double glazed units and appealed against this as an unreasonable request. Although, the applicant did agree that the windows did need some work to improve them. The Improvement Notice was varied to extend the completion date.

(Notice varied to alter timescales for work)

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/38UC/HIN/2007/0005
Local Authority
Oxford City Council
Hearing Date
13/12/2007
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Excess cold, Electrical hazards
Order
Notice was varied
Points of Interest
The hearing was considered afresh and was only based on the suitability of action taken in this particular case. The Tribunal agreed with the timescales requested by the applicant. The issue of structural collapse must be assessed and appropriate action considered dependant on the result.

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/34UB/HIN/2007/0004
Local Authority
Corby Borough Council
Hearing Date
10/12/2007
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Damp & mould growth, Excess cold
Order
Notice was varied
Points of Interest

The Tribunal agreed that heating to reach a minimum room temperature of 19?C would be appropriate as opposed to the stated 21?C. The respondent provided a breakdown of the costs, which the tribunal deemed reasonable. The appellant, therefore, had to complete works stated in the Notice.

(The Improvement Notice was varied and the applicant was still ordered to pay the fee £120 levied.)

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Rent Assessment Panel
Eastern
Case Number
CAM/22UN/HIN/2007/0001
Local Authority
Tendering District Council
Hearing Date
08/06/2007
Notice Served
Improvement Notice
Hazards
Damp & mould growth, Excess cold, Falls associated with stairs and steps
Order
Notice was justified
Points of Interest
The Tribunal agreed with the assessment of damp and mould growth and falling on stairs. The Tribunal did not agree with the requirement to fit double-glazed windows in respect of the excess cold hazard in the property. The Tribunal ordered that replacement windows must be put in the bathroom and toilet, these could be single glazed but would be ideally double-glazed.

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