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AndyRoo

Permission to access my property?

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Hello all,

Does anyone know: can your local council grant permission for anyone to access your property? I.E., come on to your property? I appreciate that bin men and posties do as they have implied access- same with the emergency services etc., but what about anyone else?

Bristol City Council have so-called 'litter police' whom, according to them, have been granted permission to issue fines on public land - not an issue with me, fine, good - if you litter public land, I think you should be told off for it. But they (allegedly) have also been granted permission to come on to private property to check for litter and issue fines.

The reason I ask is because I just got home from college to find that some bloke from the 'litter police' was on my driveway, rooting around by the bins etc.

I asked "Umm, can I help you?" He told me who he was, and that I'd have to pay a fine because there were crisp packets blowing around on my drive. I know they weren't from us - because we don't eat them. So I asked him to prove that they were anything to do with me, which naturally he couldn't. I then asked him who had told him he could enter my property as he was trespassing (especially as my front gate was closed, so he'd physically have to have climbed over the gate or wall!). That's when he told me that they had permission to do so from the council...

I then told him to "[Bleep] off!" And that the council didn't have the right to grant such power. He then asked for my details which I refused to give him, and told him for a second time to "[Bleep] off! And that if he wanted to come back on to my property, he'd better come with someone from the council and a signed warrant notice from the police."

He eventually left after a 5 minute stand-off, but I was fuming mad.

Anyway, my question is: Does the council have such power? Surely that can't be legal? If so, does that mean these guys can just waltz on to my property whenever they like and go wherever they like, including my back garden etc.?

I'm absolutely fuming mad about it!!!

Cheers,

Andy

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Planning notices for tree maintenance, etc clearly state that permission to do the work does not mean permission to enter private property so I doubt it unless you are in a council house.  Maybe just one of those ‘idiots’ given a badge who take their job too far.  https://www.inbrief.co.uk/property-law/who-can-enter-your-house/

 

Sounds iffy that he doesn’t have your details if the council gave him permission to ‘trespass’.  

Edited by ajm200

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7 minutes ago, ajm200 said:

Planning notices for tree maintenance, etc clearly state that permission to do the work does not mean permission to enter private property so I doubt it unless you are in a council house.  Maybe just one of those ‘idiots’ given a badge who take their job too far.  https://www.inbrief.co.uk/property-law/who-can-enter-your-house/

 

Sounds iffy that he doesn’t have your details if the council gave him permission to ‘trespass’.  

Stupidly, I didn't actually think to ask for ID. But he seemed legit in his uniform and hi-vis jacket. I was absolutely shaking with rage. Mostly because I know for a fact he was trying to fine me for something I had absolutely no part in!

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If a housing officer needs to give 24 hours notice in writing it’s odd that he doesn’t.  I’d call the council and check and follow up with a very strongly worded letter.  Maybe legit but could be overstepping the boundaries of his role 

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I share your ire, Andyroo! I'd have been hopping mad too - bloomin' cheek of it! I would contact your council and ask for/demand an explaination. He should really have introduced himself and offered you his ID before he began to talk to you and I do think you should mention his lack of ID to the relevant department. 

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57 minutes ago, soapdragon said:

I share your ire, Andyroo! I'd have been hopping mad too - bloomin' cheek of it! I would contact your council and ask for/demand an explaination. He should really have introduced himself and offered you his ID before he began to talk to you and I do think you should mention his lack of ID to the relevant department. 

I'm actually less outraged by the lack of introduction of ID than I am that the council (supposedly) has the power to grant someone to come and root around on my property without my permission to freely wander round. I just can't see how it's legal - especially since even the police need a warrant to search the premises!

Maybe it was just a case of some jumped up bloke who overstepped the mark. Either way, I am absolutely fuming mad. If not for anything else other than I am fastidiously tidy and would never (intentionally) litter nor have I ever done so in my life!

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I am incensed on your behalf too!

But.. in many ways a  high vis jacket makes people invisible - if this chap climbed over a gate or wall to access your property and was found rootling round your bins it might be that his purpose was more of a criminal intent (identity theft or similar).

It might be worth calling the police non emergency number and reporting this person, it might well be that he is a jobsworth with a thuggish mentality but anyone can buy a high vis jacket and uniform  on the internet (and it is easy to forge an ID too), so it might be worth having a chat with the police.

I'm not really as paranoid as this makes me sound - really!

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That was my first thought.  British Gas recently reported that they’d had uniforms stolen.  Far too many confidence tricksters try to scam their way in these days 

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16 minutes ago, Scary Mary said:

I am incensed on your behalf too!

But.. in many ways a  high vis jacket makes people invisible - if this chap climbed over a gate or wall to access your property and was found rootling round your bins it might be that his purpose was more of a criminal intent (identity theft or similar).

It might be worth calling the police non emergency number and reporting this person, it might well be that he is a jobsworth with a thuggish mentality but anyone can buy a high vis jacket and uniform  on the internet (and it is easy to forge an ID too), so it might be worth having a chat with the police.

I'm not really as paranoid as this makes me sound - really!

He had a machine with which to issue tickets - like a traffic warden. I've seen them round town too, but only in the city centre. It's literally the principle of the thing. What if I was just minding my own business having a glass of wine in the back garden? According to him, he'd have the right to just waltz on in and start looking round? What the actual?

I'm trying to find out is the council actually has any legal right to do this, because I thought things like this needed to be authorised by a judge or something?

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I would think that the council should only be interested in your backyard if it looked like something off ‘Steptoe and Sons’ or your neighbours complain of a noise, smell or rodent problem emanating from your property 

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I have powers of entry under a warrant for my job. It doesn’t come automatically with a job though you actually have to be a warranted officer so unless this person was I’m not sure that the council could just ‘give him permission’ to be in your property. 

I’d contact the council and ask them to give you details of this persons powers of entry ie what powers he has and under what legislation.

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38 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

I have powers of entry under a warrant for my job. It doesn’t come automatically with a job though you actually have to be a warranted officer so unless this person was I’m not sure that the council could just ‘give him permission’ to be in your property. 

I’d contact the council and ask them to give you details of this persons powers of entry ie what powers he has and under what legislation.

He should have made those 'powers' crystal clear when challenged, surely?! Equally, if powers are permitted under a warrant then I would assume that the warrant has to be available and presented to the 'householder' on entry as proof?

Defo speak to the council!

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1 minute ago, soapdragon said:

He should have made those 'powers' crystal clear when challenged, surely?! Equally, if powers are permitted under a warrant then I would assume that the warrant has to be available and presented to the 'householder' on entry as proof?

Yes

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38 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

Yes

Umm, makes me wonder if he was there for nefarious purposes:ph34r:

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30 minutes ago, soapdragon said:

Umm, makes me wonder if he was there for nefarious purposes:ph34r:

I did wonder that at first, but I have seen these people in the city so I recognised the uniform. Maybe I'll speak to the council. We're getting CCTV for our front door, drive, and garden anyway - so maybe this is just an incentive.

For me it is just the whole principle of the thing. I am absolutely apoplectic that employees from a private company have supposedly been given carte blanche to just wander on to all our properties. If I had more time and money, I'd actually be tempted to challenge the company and the council through the court system. If he'd been a police officer investigating a crime, I'd have gone with it - but I flatly refuse to have someone waltz on to my property at free will to make false accusations and demand money over a crisp packet that must have blown in off the street.

I was thinking as well that, had I been an elderly person who wasn't as 'with it' (dreadful stereotype, but you know what I mean), I'd have probably been scared and would have handed over money there and then just to get rid of him!

That or maybe he really was there on false pretences, in which case I am going to ensure that the neighbours are all aware.

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We were having a glass of wine in our garden AndyRoo, when movement caught my attention. A man with a clip board was standing looking at an electricity pylon at the side of our garage. Even our dog didn't spot or hear him and there was no car nearby. Turns out he was surveying for a new network and does have the powers to just appear without notice; it's a condition of having electricity here which gives them the right to go anywhere, on foot or in service trucks.

They are coming this month onto our land to replace and remove pylons. As you can imagine after weeks of rain the ground will be pretty much wrecked and it is down to us to re-instate it; a job which could take many months. They can also cut down any trees that get in their way; fortunately there is access room around the orchard! Thought it was worth mentioning as it puts that chap just looking for litter into context. Don't get too stressed about it as it's not worth it.

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Personally, I think it's either some random nutter, or someone less innocent 'casing' the scene; report it to the police so that there's a record of it (get a URN when you call it in on 101) and then check your home security. Do you have PIR lights up around the house?

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2 hours ago, The Dogmother said:

Personally, I think it's either some random nutter, or someone less innocent 'casing' the scene; report it to the police so that there's a record of it (get a URN when you call it in on 101) and then check your home security. Do you have PIR lights up around the house?

We have one security light, but that's it.

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The Environmental Protection Act 1990, gives the authority for local councils to issue tickets for littering (under section 88)

But, it only applies to “relevant land” which is described as “open to the air... to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access to with or without payment”

Your private driveway is not a public place therefore the council has no powers there.

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45 minutes ago, Geoid said:

The Environmental Protection Act 1990, gives the authority for local councils to issue tickets for littering (under section 88)

But, it only applies to “relevant land” which is described as “open to the air... to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access to with or without payment”

Your private driveway is not a public place therefore the council has no powers there.

Fabulous! I already knew they could do whatever they wanted on publicly owned land, and rightly so. But I shall be taking a copy of this act down to the council on Monday with that sentence highlighted and making a complaint!

Thanks so much!! :)

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Wow what a cheek - he should follow the refuse trucks because light stuff always flies out of the backs - even when loading wheelie bins.  The number of times we have had rubbish floating around our front garden from our neighbours bins (cul-de-sac, so only someone close!).  My mum lives on a main road and is always getting stuff thrown over her hedge and stuck in the hedge - best one was a DVD player that smashed in her driveway!  Have to admit, initially I thought fraud and that was an excuse to be on your property. Never heard such an excuse before!   If they can reproduce bank notes that are fairly good (some are so bad they stand out a mile), it won't take much to make a copy of a legit uniform.  Even brandishing a permit or ID is easily copied.  Trust no-one and phone the authorities and the police.  Or neighbourhood watch would be interested, particularly in the case of protecting vulnerable people, like some elderly folk.

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