Blog entered 08 September 2014
CORNWALL HOMECHOICE ‘WILLFUL DECEPTION AWARD’ (10)
A weekly feature which will consider the picture Cornwall Homechoice applicants come across when trying to view the property they are considering bidding on.
Since posting the first (2) awards I have now added a 3rd award in response to a growing contempt towards bidders.
According to Cornwall Council it is the Landlord who is responsible for adding the picture to the advertisement.
Because the advertisement is on Cornwall Council’s website the ‘Willful Deception Award’ is therefore awarded to both the Council, for abdicating it’s responsibility to the public, and it’s worst 3 housing partners for that week.
In most cases the picture will be willfuly misleading because the Council/partners would have been aware of the problem previously.
Week (10) : 06/09/2014 to 10/09/2014.
1st place ‘Willful Deception Award’ goes to CORNWALL COUNCIL & DEVON & CORNWALL HOUSING (DCH), for using the “No Photo Available” image for 5 properties, and ‘Artist’s impression for 1 property. CC & DCH came 1st last week.
DCH is another one of those rich housing charities which consistently cannot be bothered.
2nd place ‘Willful Deception Award’ goes to CORNWALL COUNCIL & SANCTUARY HOUSING for using the same “Artist impression” images for different locations (see below (*). Other Landlords do it as well and they will be named.
3rd place ‘Willful Deception Award’. There is no 3rd place this week. A continuing improvement.
(*) This week’s selected picture shows a Sanctuary Housing Property advertised this week, Ref : 16219. The picture is described as an ‘Artist impression’ of a 1 Bed Flat in St. Stephens Court, Launceston, but what does the term actually mean ?
This is one of Sanctuary Housing’s Stock Photos for Launceston which means it will appear multiple time as different types of property and in completely different locations. Last month for example it was a 2 Bed Flat in Roydon Road, Launceston, etc. etc.. I confess I was disappointed because it does actually look like a really nice place to live.
Does anybody know where the actual location is ? Send me your similar image and I will up-date the information.
The serious side to this on-going problem is that when I have gathered enough evidence I will lodge a formal written complaint with Devon & Cornwall Constabulary.
But won’t D&CC just protect Cornwall Council and the Landlords I hear you say ? absolutely, but what D&CC won’t do is claim it never received it.
Update 25/07/14 : A Manager representing Cornwall Council has since confirmed in writing that Cornwall Council will not accept any responsibility for misleading or “willfuly misleading” photographs or information which appear on the Council’s website with regard to Cornwall Homechoice.
Update 31/08/14 : I have it on good authority that Cornwall Council is responsible for errors remaining on it’s website if errors are pointed out to it, and that it will ask the Landlord to supply the correct information as a matter of urgency.
If errors are repeated, such as Sanctuary Housing willfuly using the same misleading and reported picture numerous times since 2010, this is the result of something far more sinister.
Or more recently when Guinness Hermitage used an erroneous picture of a block of flats instead of the advertised 3 bedroom house, the Council was informed of the error, the advertisement ran it’s course, the 3 bedroom house then disappeared, was then re-advertised a month later with added text but again used the same erroneous picture of the block of flats.
Footnote : Although I appreciate Landlords may not want the public to know a property belonging to them is empty, and therefore do not want the property to be identified, this is the system the Council introduced and which the Landlords agreed to follow. While it remains in use the Council and the Landlords should adhere to it.
I am also aware of some properties which the Council and the Landlord did not want identified because the properties were ‘ringfenced’, and which involved the Council and the Landlord in all sorts of unlawful practises.