Data on home owners who are behind on their mortgage. A list of vacant properties in the area and data on out of town Landlords.

Gloria made this Freedom of Information request to Hertfordshire County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Hertfordshire County Council,

I am looking for data on homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments, who have fallen into arrears.

I am also looking for data on vacant properties in the area and out of town landlords.

They may have had a court hearing and have fallen into arrears.

We buy houses quickly so we want to offer the vendors a solution to this and offer our services.

I know the court hearings are public data and it can be requested, so could you please supply us with this data.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks

Yours faithfully,

Gloria

Information Governance, Hertfordshire County Council

Dear Gloria

 

Reference number: EIR/ENV/07/18/16000

 

Thank you for your correspondence of the 29^th July 2018 which due to
being a Sunday (non-working day) the first day that you request can be
considered as being received is from today 30^th July 2018. In your
correspondence you requested the following information:

 

 

“I am looking for data on homeowners who are behind on their mortgage
payments, who have fallen into arrears.

 

I am also looking for data on vacant properties in the area and out of
town landlords.

 

They may have had a court hearing and have fallen into arrears.

 

We buy houses quickly so we want to offer the vendors a solution to this
and offer our services.

 

I know the court hearings are public data and it can be requested, so
could you please supply us with this data.”

 

You made your request under the Freedom of Information Act, but as your
request concerns information that we feel falls within the definition of
Environmental Information and therefore it is more appropriate to respond
to it as an EIR request.  An explanation of Environmental Information
Regulations and your rights to information under it is available on the
Information Commissioner’s website at [1]https://ico.org.uk/ We will
respond to your request as quickly as possible, and by close of 24^th
August 2018 at the latest.

 

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, quoting
the reference number above.

                              

Yours sincerely,

 

Daisy Maniez, sent on behalf of:

Michael Warby

Information Access Manager

Information Access Team

Hertfordshire County Council

Postal Point CHN 320

County Hall,

Hertford, SG13 8DQ

01992 555848 (25848) 

Email: [2][Hertfordshire County Council request email]

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References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/
2. mailto:[Hertfordshire County Council request email]

Information Governance, Hertfordshire County Council

3 Attachments

Dear Gloria

 

Reference number: EIR/ENV/07/18/16000

 

On 29^th July 2018 Hertfordshire County Council received the following
request for information from you:

 

I am looking for data on homeowners who are behind on their mortgage
payments, who have fallen into arrears.

 

I am also looking for data on vacant properties in the area and out of
town landlords.

 

They may have had a court hearing and have fallen into arrears.

 

We buy houses quickly so we want to offer the vendors a solution to this
and offer our services.

 

I know the court hearings are public data and it can be requested, so
could you please supply us with this data.

 

Your request for information has been considered under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. I can confirm that Hertfordshire County Council does
not hold information concerning private individuals in relation to
mortgage payments or vacant properties within Hertfordshire as we are not
responsible for Council Tax billing. I am in a positon to inform you that
the County Council does hold a list of vacant properties that are owned by
the County Council, however we consider this information to be exempt from
release under Section 31 (1) (a): Prejudicial to law enforcement, which
states:

 

“(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under the Act
would, or world be likely to prejudice –

(a) the prevention or detection of crime.”

 

In determining whether this exemption is engaged we have taken into
account the findings of London Borough of Bexley v Colin England
(EA/2006/0060 and 0066) and the Decision Notice involving the London
Borough of Tower Hamlets (FS5025991).In particular the First Tier Tribunal
decision in London Borough of Bexley v Colin England (EA/2006/0060 and
0066) found that:

 

1.    There is evidence that empty properties are associated with criminal
activity from organised local gangs (paragraph 41 - identified occasions
of organised ‘stripping’ of empty properties).

 

2.    The disclosure of the list of properties would be of use to
squatters and would on the balance of probabilities lead to significant
harm in the form of criminal activity (paragraph 63).

 

We note that the exemption was also found to be engaged in the recent
decision of the First Tier Tribunal involving Voyias and Camden where they
found a direct link between squatting and crime (EA/2011/0007).

 

In debating if the use of this exemption is applicable we have considered
the public interest test.

 

The arguments for releasing this information are as follows:   

 

o To release the information would assist the general public interest in
openness. Important aspects of which would include the increase in
public debate concerning empty properties and how they are secured
within Hertfordshire.

 

While the arguments for not releasing this information are as follows:

 

o There is a strong public interest in avoiding the likely prejudice to
the prevention of crime. Tackling these types of crimes would involve
a significant strain on public expense and it is in the public
interest to ensure that public resources are used cost-effectively.  
o the public interest in avoiding damage to property;
o the efficient use of public and police resources;
o the potential for indirect consequences of crime, for example the
impact on neighbouring properties of crimes perpetrated on the empty
properties

 

It is felt that the public interest in preventing crime from being
committed outweighs the public interest releasing the information.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, quoting
the reference number on this correspondence. To find out more about
Freedom of Information, please visit
[1]http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/your-cou...

 

If you are unhappy with the way the County Council has handled your
request for information you may request an internal review of the request.
This will be carried out by a member of the County Council Legal Services
Team, who has had no prior involvement with the request. Requests for an
internal review should be sent to the Information Governance Unit at the
address above (within 2 months of this correspondence) and should detail
in writing your grounds of appeal.

                    

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review you are
entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to investigate your
complaint. You should write to: FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution, Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Michael Warby

Information Access Manager

Information Access Team

Hertfordshire County Council

Postal Point CHN 320

County Hall,

Hertford, SG13 8DQ

01992 555848 (25848) 

Email: [2][Hertfordshire County Council request email]

 

The Information Access Team supports Hertfordshire County Council's
Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations activity.

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****Disclaimer****

The information in this message should be regarded as confidential and is
intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have
received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified.
The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those
of Hertfordshire County Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware
that emails sent to or received from Hertfordshire County Council may be
intercepted and read by the council. Interception will only occur to
ensure compliance with council policies or procedures or regulatory
obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for the purposes of essential
maintenance or support of the email system.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/your-cou...
2. mailto:[Hertfordshire County Council request email]
3. http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/
4. http://twitter.com/hertscc
5. https://www.facebook.com/hertscountycoun...