Dear Gordon Henderson MP
The following article was featured on Channel 4 Jon Snow claimed Dispatches could have made the programme in any local authority area in the UK and he was backed by Shelter in his assessment that private landlords are out of control. Private landlords, it was claimed, know that they won’t be prosecuted and therefore are content to be slum landlords whilst they themselves live in exclusive ‘executive’ homes.
As a local Landlord in Swale I consider this a totally unjustified statement, landlords like me provide accommodation where the local Council cannot, my accommodation are One bedroom flats and Bed sits I like most of the Landlords in the area provide good quality accommodation and abide by the letter of the Law and the government should give landlords more help with bad tenants. Over recent years I have learnt by past mistakes I now only rent to the Over 30’s who are working WHY in the past I have rented to youngsters who nearly every case have abused their Tenancy by having loud parties, have multiple occupancy, loud music and in general wreck the places plus they never paid their rent on time as most all of my tenants are on 6 months rental agreements I can get rid of them after 6 months as trying to evict through the courts is expensive, time consuming plus the courts are to lenient.
In the past I have had Tenants who have begged me to rent them a flat even though they are unemployed, I have agreed but it takes months for Housing Benefit to be processed mainly because the tenant does not give the right information and on countless occasions they spend the benefit before paying the rent This is fraud I hear you say NO? I am told if they intended paying me the rent but got tempted into a pub to spend the benefit it is not Fraud! So I have to go through the process of evicting and trying to collect back rent, this could go on for months before we go to court and they still do not pay and if you win they say they have got no money to pay the fine or rent and they are told to pay a few pounds a week. Recently I had a women in her 30’s who begged for a flat she was unemployed and not very well educated, her mother paid her deposit and for a few months she paid her rent but then it stopped she built up a debt of £1200 when asked for the rent she just replied “I have spent it tough” She was bright enough to know the system the cheapest way to get rid of her was to say if you move out by the end of the week I would for go the £1200 on the day she left she asked for her deposit back. Nearly all asked for their deposit returned no matter what condition the property is. Recently someone I shall call Ashley done a runner owing £800 and stole a mini cooker and he looked like a respectable guy but this time I have the Police and debt collectors chasing him
Gordon we landlords need you to make eviction easier, plus a better way to get back rent paid as for Housing Benefit, this should be what is says on the Tin! Housing Benefit if it is spent on anything else it should be considered fraud and the person charged with a criminal offence
The notion that landlords cut of Electricity, Gas, and Water etc and do some heavy handed eviction is nonsense, we can get heavy fines. Mind you some times you do take a chance and it pays dividends on two occasions we have taken people from the Doss House in and rented them a Bed-sit, these were just guys down on their luck and needed a step up and 10 years later they have full time jobs and renting houses.
So now there is no compromise NO DHSS in my Flats and all new tenants must have two references which are checked, also they have a credit check, they must be in full time work pay at least equivalent of One Months rent as a deposit which by law has to be protected.
TUESDAY, 5 JULY 2011
Are All Landlords Rogue Landlords?
"During the programme we have shown two very different people who are representative of private landlords . . . "
With those words Jon Snow of Channel 4’s Dispatches programme ended yet another damning indictment of the private rented sector last night. In a shocking programme landlords in Manchester and London were shown to be treating both their tenants and the law with utter contempt.
The programme showed that Meridian, a Manchester property company that claims to be a charity, was wilfully housing people in truly awful slum conditions. Landlord Mr Gill from London happily housed people in his garden shed and arranged for illegal immigrants to gain access to the UK.
Jon Snow claimed Dispatches could have made the programme in any local authority area in the UK and he was backed by Shelter in his assessment that private landlords are out of control. Private landlords, it was claimed, know that they won’t be prosecuted and therefore are content to be slum landlords whilst they themselves live in exclusive ‘executive’ homes.
Dispatches also interviewed Housing Minister Grant Shapps who promised to personally look into the allegations made in the programme. And there lies the problem.
Is the Government’s Housing Minister unaware that there are rogue landlords? Would Mr Shapps be surprised to learn that there are rogue tenants? He is the Housing Minister in a country that allows some tenants to be housed in utter squalor at the tax payers’ expense. He is the Housing Minister in a country where some people live in garden sheds. He is also the Housing Minister in a country that allows tenants to cause £13,000 worth of damage to a landlord’s property without any method of redress for the landlord (see the link to the article below).
Successive Governments have targeted the majority of good, decent landlords and utterly failed to eradicate rogue landlords. There are over one million private landlords in the UK and it is always the honest landlord who has to comply with the legislation whilst the rogue landlord does what they like.
It is this inequality in the treatment of landlords that is the real scandal. There is clearly one law for honest landlords and one law for rogue landlords, but all are tarred with the same brush. No-one wants rogue landlords, especially not decent landlords.
Jon Snow should have said that Dispatches has shown two people who are representative of rogue landlords, not the majority of private landlords. Grant Shapps should target rogue landlords and at the same time make life easier for the majority of landlords who already comply with the law.
This country needs the housing that honest landlords provide, it does not need a witch hunt.
Click here to read the article Tenant 'caused £13k worth of damage to Lincoln home'
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