Addresses of long term empty residential properties that are within your district

P Kendall made this Freedom of Information request to Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

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Dear Oadby and Wigston Borough Council,

Can you please provide me with the following information under the
Freedom Of Information Act 2000:-

Addresses of long term empty residential properties that are within your district.

Yours faithfully,

P Kendall

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

2 Attachments

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Your Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.

 

Your request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”) and will be responded to within 20 working days, as defined by
the Act. This is subject to the information not being exempt or containing
a reference to a third party.

 

Responses to requests for information will be sent by email, using normal
font size, unless you have requested otherwise.  If you do have any
particular requirements for the format of our response (including for
re-useable formats), then please do let us know.

 

For more information on how the Council handles FOI’s, including where
exemptions may apply or when fees may be payable, please visit the
Council’s website by clicking on the link [1]Freedom of Information (FOI).

 

Further information is also available from the [2]Information
Commissioner's Office (ICO) by clicking on the link.

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact us on (0116) 257 2773.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Compliance | Law & Governance

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Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

d:  0116 257 2773

t:   0116 288 8961
f:   0116 288 7828
e:  [4][email address]

[5]cid:image004.jpg@01D2EB45.E4305810

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/pages/fr...
2. https://ico.org.uk/
3. http://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

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*** Please ensure that you read in full the important notes below before
reviewing this response. ***

 

I write further to your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) which we have now considered. Our
response is outlined below and/or attached.

 

Our Ref:          FOI-3373

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Important Notes: |
| |
|   |
| |
|1.      The information provided in response to requests made under the |
|Act is subject to copyright protection. |
| |
|  |
| |
|2.      Where the copyright is owned by Oadby and Wigston Borough |
|Council, re-use is permitted in accordance with the terms of the [1]Open|
|Government Licence.  However, we do ask that you attribute the |
|information to Oadby and Wigston Borough Council when re-using it. |
| |
|  |
| |
|3.      Where third party copyright is identified, you will need to |
|contact the copyright owner directly should you wish to re-use their |
|information. |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Our Response (including your original request): |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|Can you please provide me with the following information under the Freedom|
|Of Information Act 2000:- |
| |
|  |
| |
|Addresses of long term empty residential properties that are within your |
|district. |
| |
|  |
| |
|We can confirm that Oadby & Wigston Borough Council does hold the |
|information requested, however the view of the authority is that |
|disclosing the information would be likely to prejudice the Council’s |
|obligations under Data Protection and Law Enforcement. On that basis, |
|exemptions under Section 40 (3) (a) (i) and Section 31 (1) (a) are engaged|
|and we consider that the public interest in withholding the information |
|outweighs the public interest in providing the information. Your request |
|for information is therefore refused. |
| |
|  |
| |
|The Council does not disclose details of empty properties under the Act, |
|in view of the Information Tribunal decision in the case of Mr P England |
|and the London Borough of Bexley and the Information Commissioner Appeal |
|no: EA/2006/0060 & 0066. In this particular case, Mr England had requested|
|statistics of empty residential properties including the addresses of the |
|properties concerned and information as to why the property was empty, or |
|details of ownership, from the London Borough of Bexley.  Following a |
|refusal by the London Borough of Bexley the case had been placed before |
|the Information Commissioner and subsequently before the Information |
|Tribunal for determination. |
| |
|  |
| |
|The Information Tribunal found that the address of the property and the |
|address or other details of the owner, where the owner was an individual, |
|were personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998, and fell |
|within the exemption in Section 40 (3) (a) (i) (Personal Information) of |
|the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  In addition, after considering the |
|presentations by the appellants and their expert witnesses the Tribunal |
|also found that for properties owned by individuals the Section 31 (1) (a)|
|(Law Enforcement) exemption was engaged and that the public interest in |
|withholding the information outweighed the public interest in providing |
|the information. |
| |
|  |
| |
|The explanation of this decision can be found at: |
| |
|[2]http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DB...
| |
|[3] This link will take you to an external website...   |
| |
|  |
| |
|The Council is refusing this request for information based on the |
|determination reached by the Information Tribunal and extend this to |
|include properties owned by companies and not individuals due to the same |
|risks posed.  We have explained below the reasoning in this case, and the |
|reason why the authority concurs. |
| |
|  |
| |
|The Tribunal looked at the information held and what had been requested.  |
|Some empty properties were not owned by individuals. In these cases, the |
|exemption for personal data did not apply. However for properties where |
|the owner was an individual the Tribunal concluded that the information |
|about ownership, and the information about the property (the address) from|
|which ownership information might be obtained through Land Registry |
|searches were both personal data.  |
| |
|  |
| |
|Section 40 (3) (a) (i) of the Act is engaged if the processing of personal|
|data in response to a request would breach one or more of the data |
|protection principles. In this case the Tribunal considered that the |
|individuals concerned had supplied information about their empty |
|properties to the Council purely for the Council’s use, for Council Tax |
|purposes, and with no expectation that the information would be published |
|to the wider public domain. Guidance available from the Government also |
|makes it clear that where empty properties are concerned the co-operation |
|of the owners should be obtained. The Tribunal considered that to disclose|
|the information without the consent of the owners and without their |
|knowledge would not be a fair use of the data. The Tribunal also |
|considered that to obtain information for one statutory process and then |
|re-use it for another purpose without informing the owner of the data |
|would be a breach of Data Protection law. Accordingly, provision of this |
|data would be a breach of the data protection principles, and the data was|
|absolutely exempt. |
| |
|  |
| |
|In addition, the Tribunal looked at the provisions of the exemption at |
|Section 31 (1) (a). This was the exemption originally claimed by the |
|Council in its refusal notice.  The argument put forward by the Council |
|was that if a list of empty properties were made publicly available then |
|there was a higher likelihood of vandalism, squatting and criminal actions|
|in respect of these properties. The Tribunal looked in particular at the |
|impact of crime on individuals and found that for those properties owned |
|by individuals the public interest lay with withholding the information to|
|enable them to better protect and secure their properties. However, they |
|did rule that for those properties owned by organisations there was a much|
|less significant impact – since such organisations would be expected to |
|provide suitable security and oversight of properties.  The Council |
|considers that despite this having less of an impact than privately owned |
|properties, the public interest test of Section 31 is still met for |
|companies and therefore we apply this exemption to this information. |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

Should you be unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you can
ask for an internal review by emailing [4][email address].
The Compliance Officer will then arrange a review of your case.

 

If you are not happy with the outcome of any internal review, you have the
right to apply directly to the [5]Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
for a decision. Further information is available by clicking on the link.

 

If you have any queries about this email, please contact us quoting the
above reference number.

 

Compliance

Law & Governance

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Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

T: 0116 257 2773
F: 0116 288 7828
E: [7][email address]

 

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This electronic message and any files attached or transmitted with it
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named on this message only. If you are not the intended recipient you must
not disseminate, copy, distribute, disclose, use in any other way or take
any action in reliance upon the information contained therein. If you have
received this electronic message in error, please notify us by telephone
on 0116 2888961 or e-mail immediately and then delete the e-mail together
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Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those views of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council
or any of its individual departments. Neither do any of the contents in
this electronic message and its attachments amount to a contractual or
legal commitment on the part of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council.
Activity and use of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council e-mail system is
not private and may be monitored to secure its effective operation and for
other lawful business purposes. Although we take reasonable precautions to
ensure our emails and attachments are virus free, we cannot accept
responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email
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References

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2. http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DB...
3. http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DB...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. https://ico.org.uk/
7. mailto:[email address]

Dear Compliance,

I have withdrawn my request.

Yours sincerely,

P Kendall

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

3 Attachments

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We will endeavour to reply to your e-mail within 5 working days if a reply
is necessary.

 

For your future reference, the following types of requests and enquires
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+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Freedom of Information (FOI) |[1][email address] |
|requests | |
|--------------------------------+---------------------------------------|
|Environmental Information (EIR) |[2][email address] |
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|--------------------------------+---------------------------------------|
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If your enquiry is urgent or requires an immediate response, please
contact us on (0116) 257 2773.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Compliance | Law & Governance

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Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

d:  0116 257 2773

t:   0116 288 8961
f:   0116 288 7828
e:  [6][email address]

[7]cid:image003.jpg@01D2EB45.F3EB98A0

 

Please save paper - Do you really need to print this e-mail?

 

 

 

 

This electronic message and any files attached or transmitted with it
contain information which may be privileged, confidential and protected in
law. The information is intended for the use of the individual or entity
named on this message only. If you are not the intended recipient you must
not disseminate, copy, distribute, disclose, use in any other way or take
any action in reliance upon the information contained therein. If you have
received this electronic message in error, please notify us by telephone
on 0116 2888961 or e-mail immediately and then delete the e-mail together
with any attachments from your system.
Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those views of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council
or any of its individual departments. Neither do any of the contents in
this electronic message and its attachments amount to a contractual or
legal commitment on the part of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council.
Activity and use of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council e-mail system is
not private and may be monitored to secure its effective operation and for
other lawful business purposes. Although we take reasonable precautions to
ensure our emails and attachments are virus free, we cannot accept
responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email
or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/
6. mailto:[email address]