Residents of a sheltered housing complex in Inverallochy are concerned at the way the council is handling serious complaints of anti-social behaviour within the complex.
Speaking to the Herald, a number of tenants raised concerns over the council’s handling of drunken and often violent behaviour from other residents.
The tenants believe that the council is failing to take appropriate legal action against disruptive tenants to enable them to enjoy the safe and secure environment that sheltered housing aims to provide.
They told the herald: “There was an incident recently and the duty warden had to be called out.
“We believe that the police were informed at the time, however we understand that the warden advised the police that she had matters under control and so no formal complaint was logged with the police at that time.”
The tenants went on to describe other incidents within the complex. They claimed residents had urinated in the corridors, used foul language within the day room in front of other tenants, displayed sexual behaviour and made sexual remarks to other tenants and set off fire alarms at 4am.
The residents continued: “We believe the council wants to keep these incidents as quiet as possible and hope the tenants who cause the problems will actually leave themselves rather than the council having to take action against them.”
Sheltered housing enables older or disabled people or people with particular need to live independently. Aberdeenshire Council website states: “It is suitable for those who find it increasingly difficult to maintain an independent lifestyle in their current accommodation, perhaps through increasing ill health or unsuitable accommodation.
“Security and peace of mind are offered through an alarm and support.”
The residents added: “With incidents like these we do not feel safe within our homes. We now lock our flat doors during the day where before these would have been left unlocked.
“A number of us have even added security chains, and we have also requested that the council install peep holes on our flat doors.”
Commenting on issues raised, a spokeswoman from Aberdeenshire Council said: “The rights and responsibilities of sheltered housing tenants are outlined upon entry to a complex and we always respond quickly to reports of anti-social behaviour, providing support where necessary.
“The housing service can provide support to deal with antisocial behaviour issues through various means including contact with, or referral to, specialist support teams such as mediation services, mental health and substance misuse.
“Sheltered housing provides low-level housing support to help tenants remain independent in the community. As with all other local authority tenants, residents sign a tenancy agreement, stating their rights and responsibilities under the lease.
“Many, but not all sheltered housing tenants have complex support needs requiring significant input from several services and who need some time to settle into their new environment and to benefit from the support offered.
“Tenants who persistently breach their agreement however, are subject to a range of landlord interventions.
“As with all members of the public, sheltered housing tenants are subject to the law and will be subject to any police investigation arising as a result of any complaint, from whatever source, including neighbours.
“These complaints are matters between the complainer and the police, but may become a matter for investigation by the housing service under the tenancy agreement, depending on the circumstances.”