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Dear Brent Borough Council,

In line with the precedent set by Lambeth Council, who released a list of all vacant properties within its jurisdiction in response to a FOI request; please provide a list of all vacant properties known to the Council, I am looking for derelict or abandoned property recorded under the Empty Private Sector Homes Scheme.

I am doing a course in housing and management, I have been tasked with gathering information from local boroughs on empty homes and their history behind it. I would very much like to know if I can get information on these properties and possible take pictures so that I can build a profile on them and find why properties are left empty especially in this day and age when we have a massive housing shortage in stock.
can you please help me get all the relevant information.
Yours faithfully,

Yours faithfully,

mo

Freedom of Information, Brent Borough Council

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your email of today's date.

In line with the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (2000) could you please let me have your full name. I wil then be able to process your request.

Yours sincerely

Barry Howlett
Principal FOI & Complaints Officer
Chief Executive’s Department
Brent Council

020 8937 2214

www.brent.gov.uk
@Brent_Council

show quoted sections

Dear Freedom of Information,

Hi there so my name is Mohammed Uddin and I am currently studying housing and management.

Yours sincerely,

Mohammed Uddin

Tony Jemmott,

Information request
Our reference: 10278396

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your information request. We will forward it to the
relevant department who will contact you shortly.
 
Brent Council
Brent Civic Centre
Engineers Way
Wembley HA9 0FJ
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Sharon Felix,

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 10278396

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Dear Mr Uddin
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 

I apologise for the delay in sending you this information. I write further
to your FOI request regarding the details of empty properties within the
borough. Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with property
addresses as this would breach the data protection regulations, we are
able to provide you with the first part of the postcode and the date the
property became empty. I am providing the attached list with this
information. 

 

 

 
Yours faithfully
 
 
Sharon Felix
Private Housing Services Grants Manager 
Private Housing Services 

[1][email address]

 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Sharon Felix,
Hi there and thank you for getting back to me. I would really appreciate if I can get the full postcode as that will allow me to complete all the requirements of my course based on the correct property details.

It’s a little bit hard to try and do research on a property of a postcode without knowing the correct information or take pictures.

My plans has nothing to do with anything that could come up as risk to property or other factors but only to get my research completed for the purpose of my course.

I am also open to the idea if it helps to get the information through my email.

Kind regards

Yours sincerely,

mo

Dear Sharon Felix,

have been waiting for some time to get the correct information off you but up to date it has not been provided to me. Can you please explain what is causing the delay and why my request has not been taken seriously??

Yours sincerely,

Mohammed uddin

Dear Brent Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Brent Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Empty property'.

I have not been given the information I have requested and feel as though I am totally being ignored, this whole process is causing much delay to my research and course and would appreciate if someone can take a moment and help me please.

kind regards.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

mo

Information request
Our reference: 11028828

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Dear Mr. Uddin
 
Thank you for your information request. We will forward it to the
relevant department who will contact you shortly.
 
Brent Council
Brent Civic Centre
Engineers Way
Wembley HA9 0FJ
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Richard Vallis,

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 11028828

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Dear Mr. Uddin
 
Thank you for your request for a review received on 9 October 2018. I am
sorry that you are dissatisfied with our attempts to handle your request
under the under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
I have been asked to undertake an internal review of our decision to
release only partial details of empty domestic properties within the
borough of Brent, that information being the postcode and the date it
became empty.  The Information Commissioner oversees requests for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to ensure
transparency and that organisations are not unfairly withholding
information.  Within the Act there are a number of reasons or exemptions
for withholding information and there have been a number of appeals over
the years against organisations' decisions to refuse to disclose
information.
 
One of the areas that has been subject to litigation is various council's
refusal to disclose details of empty domestic properties within their
area.  The majority of councils withhold such information under section 31
of the Freedom of Information Act which deals with the prevention and
detection of crime.  The decision by Camden council to withhold this
information  was challenged which culminated in a decision being made by
the First Tier Tribunal (which is just about as high as you can go in
challenging FOI decisions).  The decision of the tribunal was that the
council was right to withhold disclosing full details of empty domestic
properties under section 31.  In particular the release of this type of
information would increase the potential for:

* Buildings to be targeted by squatters
* Buildings to be targeted by criminals or terrorists intent on hiding
or depositing proceeds of crime of terrorist materials 
* Premises to be identified as short-term hiding places by criminals or
terrorists
* Premises to be targeted by vandals or street artists

The Tribunal concluded that an increase in squatting would also lead to
various categories of associated criminal activity. As a result the
Tribunal found that section 31(1) (a) was engaged in that it was likely
that disclosure of the disputed information would have a negative impact
on the prevention of crime.  For your information I attach a copy of the
tribunal's decision in the Camden case.  The Information Commissioner's
Office has also re-confirmed section 31 is applicable for information
about empty properties in a recent decision involving the [1]Royal Borough
of Kensington and Chelsea.

Section 31 is a qualified exemption and we are obliged to consider the
public interest test:-

Factors in favour of disclosure

 There are general arguments in favour of disclosure, in relation to
promoting transparency and accountability of public authorities, which we
have noted in relation to this information.  There are also benefits in
disclosure to the wider public, in relation to raising the profile of
unused or vacant properties in order to encourage public debate.

Factors in favour of maintaining the s31 (1) (a) exemption

It is our view that there are strong arguments that weigh in favour of
maintaining this exemption. In the Camden case, the Tribunal noted that
there is an inherent public interest in crime prevention. It was also
found that there were many costs associated with squatting, such as
repair, security and eviction costs. The negative impact of squatting was
not only directed towards the property owners affected but also the
surrounding community and public authorities involved. Ultimately, the
Tribunal found that the combined factors in favour of maintaining the
exemption contributed very considerable weight to the public interest in
withholding the information.

Taking into account the above issues, I consider there to be no
over-riding public interest in releasing this information as disclosure of
the information would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime by
enabling or encouraging the commission of offences. I acknowledge that
your reasons for requesting this information is to help you with your
studies and that you feel we are being unhelpful, nevertheless we have to
abide by the possibility of this information being made available to other
parties or misused or subject to a data breach so I regret we are unable
to assist you in this instance.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Phone: 0303 123 1113 Website: www.ico.gov.uk

  

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Richard Vallis
Revenues & IT Client Manager
Resources
0208 9371503
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

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1. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve%20t...

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