Havering Council won’t rehouse Harold Hill woman whose neighbour ‘keeps setting fire to block’

A Harold Hill woman fears for her safety after a neighbour set fire to her block three times - but Havering Council refuses to move her to a new home.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Recorder she had phoned the fire brigade three times in the two years since she moved into Arnside House, Harold Hill, each time because a neighbour had left cooking unattended that had set the building alight.

She said she had received notes through her letterbox that make her feel unsafe.

“It’s making me ill,” she said. “I don’t sleep or eat well any more because of this. My neighbour is a danger to society.

“I want the council to move me. I’m constantly on edge and no one else in the block does anything about it. We’d all go up in flames if it weren’t for me.”


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The woman also said after she first complained, Homes in Havering (HiH) – which manages Havering’s council housing – confronted her neighbour directly without her consent.

“First I rang my tenancy worker and she was completely rude to me, and then she rang my next-door neighbour,” she said.

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“All Havering Council has done is offer to put a new lock on my door. Three weeks later, there’s still no lock. It’s a joke.”

A spokesman confirmed HiH had been in touch with the neighbour, but said there was no record of a complaint about the officer’s behaviour.

She also said officers were “turned away” when they came to install a lock.

“If allegations of antisocial behaviour are made, we will always investigate unless the complainant expressly asks us not to,” she said.

“To move to another property, [the woman] must be considered at significant risk of harm, which we don’t believe she is at present.”

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