Back in November 2013 I posted the Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) letter which said pay your rent or we will get social services to take the kids – or in essence that is what it said and it was interpreted that way.
It was copied, shared, retweeted in huge numbers and rightly was met with universal condemnation and even was called demanding money with menaces by one legal commentator.
Well guess what reader – the same KHT are doing it again as a letter dated 30th September 2014 has just come into my possession and is below
This is even worse that the first letter which is here as that was sent at bailiff stage at the end of the eviction process.
Yet the letter above says social services will come and take the kids even BEFORE a Notice of Seeking Possession has been served at the start of the process.
I am not and have no need to say how outrageous this is and rather lets do something about this collectively to stop this utterly disgraceful practice right now.
The letter has Bob Taylor’s name on the bottom as Chief Executive and the buck stops with him so he deserves the outrage and anger directed at him via any form of communication you can muster.
Once was an outrageous mistake a second occasion and even before a NSP has been issued is a mistake too far.
It is scandalous and heads must roll for this.
I would also invite legal opinion here as to whether this is demanding money with menaces or any other legal issue as this disgraceful practice has to stop and stop immediately
UPDATE SATURDAY 4th OCTOBER
The last time this happened in November 2013 KHT issued a news release on its website saying, or at least trying to say that this letter was merely unfortunately worded and the Director of Assets saying it won’t happen again – the usual qualified type of apology made when extremely poor practice has been found out in other words
Ian Thomson, Director of Assets now needs to be asked, as does Chief Executive Bob Taylor how this assurance has clearly been breached and kHT is outrageously sending out such letters still. And note well here reader that this tenant has yet to be issued with a Notice of Seeking Possession (NSP) which is right at the start of any eviction process.
Also note too that KHT have a protocol with Knowsley Borough Councils Social Services Childrens Team over social services involvement.
The flowchart above which is part of this protocol shows the current position when this outrageous letter was sent and also in red when “Notification to CSC (Child Social Care?) is made. You can see clearly that KHT are fully in breach of this protocol.
This is also confirmed in the wording of what this protocol says:
Note that firstly the NSP has to be served. Then the tenant is given 4 weeks to get in touch or not. Then if still no response in a further 7 days the tenant will be notified with the social services will come and take the kids threat.
Yet KHT has issued this disgraceful letter way ahead of the moot protocol they have signed with the council and so are unambiguously in breach of it.
Or, reader, KHT is scaring the sh*t out of all tenants deliberately and knowingly demanding money with menaces as a matter of policy for ALL tenants and doing so whenever the hell they like regardless of the protocol they have entered into with the council!
When they first did this back in November 2013, it coincided with North Ayrshire Council sending a similar letter which was sent after a NSP had been served. The KHT letter 1 was sent right at the end of the eviction process just ahead of seeking a bailiffs warrant, and in part, more justifiable as it was assumed that many previous letters and communications and indeed chances had been given to the tenant beforehand.
Yet here in KHT 2 letter a NSP has not even been serves and the eviction process has not even started.
This is why the KHT2 letter is especially outrageous and especially scandalous AND sent after KHT Directors said this would not happen again AND in breach of the protocol they have with social services at the council.
Now every social landlord is going to get labelled like KHT with this one extraordinarily bad apple syndrome and this becomes a problem for EVERY social landlord. Note too the timing as in the North West where KHT operate direct payment of housing benefit to tenants not to the landlord is rolling out right now. What a truly mindblowingly stupid letter this is from KHT pissing off its tenants just as tenants take control of the payment of rent. What sheer incompetence this is! Yet the repercussions of this will NOT be limited to KHT as all social tenants will see this and wonder if their landlord is practising such vile practices and threatening their fellow tenants with taking the kids off them.
This is a matter for EVERY social landlord – and yes KHT clearly do not understand what the word ‘social’ means – right across the country. This is a matter for the entire sector and not just KHT and nearby landlords in the North West.
This, for me, has to be either a resigning or sacking matter for senior KHT staff and I mean very, very senior staff at the highest level for all the above reasons.