New Government Policy will Breed Rogue Landlords. | Discuss

Welcome to the Property Forum where we can share our knowledge & experiences together to become better at what we do.

 Forum Terms & Conditions


Page not looking right? Please CLICK HERE to RELOAD

Enlarge/Change font size here

A A A

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —





 

— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_Related Related Topics sp_TopicIcon
New Government Policy will Breed Rogue Landlords.
17/01/2012
1:43 pm
SamiiB
Somerset
Admin
Forum Posts: 453
Member Since:
24/05/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Since the 1st of January 2012 thousands of tenants have been on the move.

The Local Housing Allowance shared room rate, which applies to most single people under 25, as of 1st January has been extended to people aged under 35. This will inevitably affect tenants who rent from, or are considering renting from, a private landlord and claim Housing Benefit.

Under the new rules, new claimants will only be entitled to the lower rate of housing benefit for a room in shared accommodation until they reach the age of 35. People currently living in these circumstances who receive more than the lower rate will have a period where their housing benefit will be protected, but when the protection runs out they will only receive the lower rate.

Meaning by extending the shared room rent to single people under 35, approximately 88,000 people will lose an average of £45 a week in housing benefit.

 

According to The Chartered Institute of Housing “within a generation there will be towns and cities all over the country where there is “no accommodation with a rent within the reach of people whose income is supported by benefits.”

The institute have also said that the chancellor’s proposals “will hit low income households hard during the recession, precisely when they are most in need of support”.

Inevitably, with so much tenant migration happening at the moment, workers are going to end up a long distance from their workplaces, a challenge for those unable to afford high travel costs. Young people will be shifted further away from their schools, in some cases just before taking key examinations. And in some cases carers will find themselves far away from sick and disabled relatives & grandparents a long way from grandchildren; for whom they helped to care for.

Landlord Referencing truly believe that this is going to create ghetto’s and make the most vulnerable tenants even more vulnerable.

Inescapably breeding more rogue landlords into our society that we at Landlord Referencing are working so hard to fight against.

Coupled with the impending Universal Credit feature of the Welfare Reform; what will the consequences be for the GOOD landlords & letting agents out there?

Today I interviewed Stacie Price; a local Property Manager & Tenant Liaison Officer from Somerset who troubleshoots claimant tenants problems daily, to get an in-depth view of how this is currently affecting them, their tenants & their company and what they predict for the future of the letting market in 2012 and beyond.

How long have you been a property manager for?

This will be my 12th year in my role as Property Manager & Tenant Liaison Officer for a well established local landlord.

How many properties & tenants do you manage?

Approximately 90 properties with 100+ tenants in residence at the moment.

How did you prepare your company for the policy changes?

First thing we did was contact the council to find out when each tenant’s under 35 rate would drop.

That way it wouldn’t be a shock to us or the tenant.

How did you prepare your tenants for the policy changes?

We are making appointments for each individual tenant to come into the office to try and discuss a way forward.

This we are still in the process of doing.

How have the changes affected your company so far?

We have had to downgrade some tenants to cheaper properties.

How have the changes affected your tenants so far?

Most of them are anxious and scared of what will happen when the changes take effect, especially those who don’t have the support of a family around them.

How do you think this is going to affect your company, long term?

It will be a lot harder for under 35’s to afford a property with us unless they go into shared accommodation (which is limited) or are part of a secure partnership.

How do you think this is going to affect your tenants, long term?

Those that we can’t rehouse would have to move and find cheaper alternative accommodation but seeing as the majority of people will be looking for this I’m sure it will be extremely hard to find.

I spoke to someone from the council yesterday who is already being inundated by people they cannot help because they don’t have a duty of care to,meaning they are considered not to have a vulnerability, so therefore do not qualify for council help.

This is going to add to the homelessness crisis which is already at high levels for the time of year.

What feedback have you had back from your affected tenants?

Those we have moved have been extremely grateful. The others we are trying to assist are naturally anxious and worried   as they know their present accommodation is not secure any more, as it will be beyond their financial limitations.

If what I heard yesterday is true then the pending Olympic games could also lead to a new homelessness crisis, as two homeless people came into my office today. They told me they were being encouraged to leave London and even given travel warrants because the government wants to give the impression that there is no homelessness issue in this country. . .

How true this is I do not know, but it does make you think.

So I have arranged an appointment with them for today, to see if I’m able to assist them in any way.

What do you think should be done?

I believe that the government are making a huge mistake, which they should stop and have a serious rethink about. Bringing this new under 35’s ruling in will just add to the homelessness problems that are already rife in this country. I think it could also create a gap in the market, which rogue landlords will be able to take advantage of, by offering below standard cheap accommodation in order to make a quick profit.

It is already hard enough for under 25’s to be able to find affordable accommodation, by increasing the age limit will make it even harder all round and leaves me wondering; how can this be the ideal solution to an already increasing problem?

Senior PR Officer at TenantReferencingUK.com & Admin at NLCEuk.co.uk .

Any queries email me at:

samii@landlordreferencing.co.uk / samii.boydprice@nlceuk.co.uk or give me a call on: 0800 9994 994 (option 6).

17/01/2012
2:25 pm
Jane Robathan for Ro
Guest
Guests

We're right behind Stacie. The new Housing Benefit threshold will have a terrible affect on a very vulnerable sector of society, young people on benefits. With unemployment at a record high, how are under 35-year-olds supposed to manage with soaring rents and less help form the state? Many will be disheartened and feel cut out of society, which is not good for the future. While we understand the government need to make cut-backs, there are far better Robin Hood taxes that could be put in place rather than cut from the poor. If people are willing and actively looking for work, are caring for a family member or on a low wage, then it's merciless to make their finances stretch further. I suggest a big re-think on the super-earners in the UK and a redistribution of wealth.

17/01/2012
2:34 pm
agencyexpress
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
25/11/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I totally agree also with both Stacie and Jane, it is must be a really frightening time for those on low income/benefit assisted rents.  It's hard to know what the solution is and even harder now to determine the reasons the government are implementing such changes.  At first I thought these changes were to encourage people into work but with unemployment figures rising and job losses daily (one just needs to look at the high street to see the consequences of recession) I now find it hard to justify their motive.  

At a time when we should all be sitting down with equal voices to find long-term solutions we find the government still announcing cutbacks despite external concerns.  It is about time companies such as Golds' and Vodafone account for their unpaid taxes and the government needs to cease brushing the issue under the carpet and ensure everyone is accountable.  There would be a darn sight more money in the pot for equal distribution and care if they did.

17/01/2012
2:37 pm
agencyexpress
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
25/11/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17/01/2012
4:03 pm
Paul Routledge
Admin
Forum Posts: 3418
Member Since:
20/05/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

agencyexpress said:

I totally agree also with both Stacie and Jane, it is must be a really frightening time for those on low income/benefit assisted rents.  It’s hard to know what the solution is and even harder now to determine the reasons the government are implementing such changes.  At first I thought these changes were to encourage people into work but with unemployment figures rising and job losses daily (one just needs to look at the high street to see the consequences of recession) I now find it hard to justify their motive.  

At a time when we should all be sitting down with equal voices to find long-term solutions we find the government still announcing cutbacks despite external concerns.  It is about time companies such as Golds’ and Vodafone account for their unpaid taxes and the government needs to cease brushing the issue under the carpet and ensure everyone is accountable.  There would be a darn sight more money in the pot for equal distribution and care if they did.

 

To right AE,

Seems like they are not really trying to treat the infection but just cutting of the limbs because its easier.

This change will effect over 80,000 people and I cant believe all 80,000 are unemployed bums that don’t want to work or that want to share a house with a bunch of **** ******* **** **** ******** ******* ***** **** **** **** ***** ******* ********* ******** *** **** ****** ********** ************ **** *********** ************* heads because they cant find work.

17/01/2012
7:14 pm
aki.ellahi@rent-me-now.co.uk
Wolverhampton
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
25/11/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Samii

 

Very well written piece, we completely agree with all content and are having a similar experience to Stacie, it's comforting to know that another large landlord with a high percentage of housing benefit tenant has been and is doing exactly the same process as we are.  We manage 300+ tenants, 95% if not greater are in receipt of LHA.  Initially in April 2011 we found the cuts made too severe and we have been campaigning locally with landlords to keep feeding the Valuation Ofiice monthly with details of all lets made in an effort to boost LHA back up to pre April 2011 levels.

 

As a result since the turn of the year we have witnessed increased demand for bedsits and shared accommodation, as the under 35 are being forced into such accommodation.  l feel this change has been extremely poorly communicated to this age group, we have many enquiries from potential tenants under 35 but older than 25m who are none the wiser.  We have been planning for the 1 bed rate age change for quite sometime and l know many landlords and agents since the announcement have only been letting to benefit recipients of the age 34+.

 

l am petrified of what the welfare reform and Universal Credit could potentially do.  We are big advocates of using local credit unions.  l know of two credit unions that are in talks with the DWP and local councils to devise a service where members can have Universal Credit paid into an account and rent is deducted immediately for payment onto Landlords, don't forget finally the councils and housing associations are going to deal with all the direct payment issues we have faced since LHA came in April 2008.

 

Only time will tell what is going to happen, l somehow doubt any welfare reform will be ready for introduction in 2013 though.

 

Aki Ellahi, Rent Me Now, Wolverhampton

18/01/2012
12:55 pm
PaulBarrett
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2894
Member Since:
12/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Surely there are not enough bedsits and rooms to cope with the soon to be expected massive demand.

Unless these claimants all find jobs to afford to stay in the accommodation they are stuffed.

I suppose as landlords are able to finance such property types for rent then supply will assist these new style claimants.

That however will take some time to occur.

So where these claimants will stay ; God only knows!?

Perhaps some cheap tents from Blacks!?

18/01/2012
1:12 pm
gpreston
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
13/12/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

or sheds?? ! (and you think I'm joking) http://www.express.co.uk/posts…..in-a-shed-

18/01/2012
2:38 pm
Paul Routledge
Admin
Forum Posts: 3418
Member Since:
20/05/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi All,

Problem is anyone who knows what problems are brought about by HMO's in shared houses know that they are a nightmare to control.

I had 38 bedsit letting units that shared facilities in 3 buildings at one stage and after getting called out every other night  to deal with drunken parties, fights, thefts from rooms and general mayhem, I can tell you one thing they aint worth it. Just trying to keep ahead of the damages and smashed fire alarms etc: is a job in itself and the cost is so great that you spend allo the rent (If you get it) on putting the buildings right.

Take it from a old hand if you want to be a good landlord and keep you property spick and span stay away from multi occupied buildings with lots of different characters in its like pooring water on a chip pan fire. Confused 

Lets face it when was the last time you heard of a building of ten,  25 to 35 year old unemployed men all sitting around sipping tea drawing straws as to who was doing the washing up and making the beds?

Booze, thieving and drunken, drug fuelled fights is what happens and that's just the blokes wait until the girls visit.Laugh

18/01/2012
4:59 pm
Stacie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 41
Member Since:
12/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I would like to thank Landlords referencing and the Landlord who contacted me, regarding the homeless people from London.  As they were spotted in weston-super-Mare early yesterday morning drinking cans of beer in the town centre.  Needless to say they failed to turn up at my office for their appointment, but if they had at least I had been given prior warning of their drinking habits; which deems them totally unacceptable for my properties as I have to consider my other tenants and the affect it would have on them.

I would also like to thank those of you who have commented on my interview, it is very reassuring to know that other Landlords feel the same and I can only hope that the more attention we bring to the under 35s policy; the better our chances are of changing it!

19/01/2012
5:09 am
PaulBarrett
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2894
Member Since:
12/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Paul Routledge said:

Hi All,

Problem is anyone who knows what problems are brought about by HMO's in shared houses know that they are a nightmare to control.

I had 38 bedsit letting units that shared facilities in 3 buildings at one stage and after getting called out every other night  to deal with drunken parties, fights, thefts from rooms and general mayhem, I can tell you one thing they aint worth it. Just trying to keep ahead of the damages and smashed fire alarms etc: is a job in itself and the cost is so great that you spend allo the rent (If you get it) on putting the buildings right.

Take it from a old hand if you want to be a good landlord and keep you property spick and span stay away from multi occupied buildings with lots of different characters in its like pooring water on a chip pan fire. Confused 

Lets face it when was the last time you heard of a building of ten,  25 to 35 year old unemployed men all sitting around sipping tea drawing straws as to who was doing the washing up and making the beds?

Booze, thieving and drunken, drug fuelled fights is what happens and that's just the blokes wait until the girls visit.Laugh

Paul based on what I think is an absolutely correct assesment of the circumstances of these type of claimants;  do you have any resolution to these problematic tenant types.

I was thinking about Army camps!!!

And I don't mean them as soldiers.

Clearly from a historical perspective you have more than just cause to describe the behaviour of these tenants; the one's in particular that like sticking knives into peoples heads!!!

I just cannot see where the accommodation stock is going to come from.

Indeed I have been hearing the stock problems from LA.

I have suggested that perhaps they could advertise to encourage existing home owners to let out their spare rooms.

However based on your correct assessment of these tenant types I can't see existing property owners wishing to share their property with these types!!!?

I believe aswell based on your correct assertions more landlords are geting out of this HMO property with all the additional costs of selective  licensing etc making it not worth a candle and to therefore diversify or even reconvert these HMO property types back to larger homes.

19/01/2012
10:57 am
Stacie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 41
Member Since:
12/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have to agree with Paul and Paul, we used to run a Hostel for the homeless as well as bedsits and to be honest it's an experience that I would never like to repeat.

I used to live in and manage the bedsits and we took in tenants that were as young as 16; I can't stress enough how much hard work it was.  Yes there were fights regularly, rooms got smashed up; I even had to stop one young lad from throwing his TV over the Bannister (we were three floors up at the time) it was awful.

I was woken up most nights if it wasn't the bedsits kicking off it was the Hostel, very rarely did I get a decent nights sleep.  Our maintenance bill was extortionate, fire extinguishers were always being tampered with along with Fire Alarm panels and break glass points; tenants didn't seem to care or understand that they were there for their safety.

Drugs were rife with the users encouraging the other tenants to join them, under age tenants always seemed to manage to obtain alcohol somehow and the drugs and drink made the tenants volatile and difficult to manage.

The shared kitchens were always being left filthy and I regularly had to take the rubbish out; as the tenants would leave it to rot.  I had constant complaints from my cleaner who found excreta smeared on toilet walls and in left in the communal showers.

In the end we pulled out of the shared accommodation, as it was far more trouble than it was worth.  I mean who in their right mind would want to have to deal with those problems on a daily basis?

   

19/01/2012
6:49 pm
Paul Routledge
Admin
Forum Posts: 3418
Member Since:
20/05/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Paul & Stacie,

Paul what to do with them is a question which needs to be answered by the politicians who created a society whereby we have got 20 years of lazy dysfunctional, illogical and uncaring humans amongst us, who have no ability to work and in most cases cant count to 10 but are still are allowed to breed like rabbits! 

Stacie your comments describe my life once and probably many others too but never again but one thing is for sure there is always a place for these people and that is in the property owned by slum landlords and they will thrive again under this new legislation.

The problem is they will be called slum landlords and that’s the problem their title will include the word landlord and therefore all the rest of us that care and do our best within legislation will be tarred with the same brush and that is one massive step back for all the good we try to do to clean up our industry.

Yell

21/01/2012
11:51 am
Mick Roberts
Guest
Guests
My standard text I have on this subject:
 

When taking someone under
35

 

This age limit used to be 25. And I had
to tell loads of 23 year old lads 'I can't give u a flat yet, because u won't
get enough rent. U will have to ask me again when u r 25. Now there are going to
be lots of 33 year old grown men having to move back in with Mum or homeless,
because the Govt won't pay for them till they are 34-I think it is actually 35.
Absolutely bonkers. Where does the Govt think they are going to
live?

21/01/2012
1:01 pm
Cedric
Golders Green
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 476
Member Since:
15/12/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The policy is crazy and at a time when we are sending even younger men to far distant wars it seems madness that we are now increasing this limit to 35.

All Landlords should write to their local MP's to express their dismay at this move and point out the implications of this policy.

Maybe Landlord Referencing could be part of this campaign ?

21/01/2012
4:02 pm
wendy
Guest
Guests

I for one don't think the age limit of 35 is so bad as it's described. All I used to see on the estates is young mums and boys, having their own flats, on benefits but hanging around with no purpose, stealing and causing trouble. perhaps this will force them back to work. Why should I support this laziness from my taxes that I pay? The thing is that I am getting paid more but I am working over 12h a day and all weekends. if someone is winging about the money and doesn't work then it upsets me. There is always some work available, I really don't believe it's so bad, it's just these people are very choosy, they would want to drive Ferraris and work 1 h a day. It doesn't work like that. Start a new business, start at the market …  The government needs to cut from every corner to make the economy healthy again – even if I don't support certain cuts, I know they are needed – one cannot stretch a pot of money. I could also complain that I pay over 50% in tax (self employed but it seems like working for the government more than me at the moment!), 28% from the sale of any property that I worked very hard on to make it happen, I pay when I buy a property too (stamp duty), then I pay a very high National Insurance even if I don't really go to my GP but use private healthcare, I have to pay a very high council tax, business rates …. the list could go on. When I add all that together I might be left with almost the same money than a person on benefit – but this is for working pretty much all the time, not even having time to eat! 

22/01/2012
7:32 am
Paul Routledge
Admin
Forum Posts: 3418
Member Since:
20/05/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Wendy,

I agree it must stop and it must stop now!,  but I wonder whether creating ghettos is a proper way forward as it may do us all more harm than good when we have to deal with the aftermath because we are all dealing with the aftermath of the last Governments bad policy decisions now.

A good friend of mine who is a pilot for virgin came around for a drink once complaining at the tax they took off him every month so we decided to open the red wine and work out how much he really paid in tax across the boards. It was amazing by the time we took his PAYE,National insurance then went onto other taxes on what he spent, Council tax ,car tax, fuel tax +vat on the fuel and the tax?Frown and then VAT on the groceries, tax  on clothes and tax on everything else @ 20%.

A long story short, we worked it out that he lost most of his income to the tax man. But what really annoyed him was after 3 days away working he used to drive home past a local pub which had a line of prams parked outside with all the mums standing on the pavement smoking and drinking flirting with lads involuntarily sponsored by him. Yell 

22/01/2012
1:21 pm
Sharon
Guest
Guests

I read all these comments with great interest and again, I am going to come at it from a different angle.

I specialise in the management of our private blocks of flats, acting as a support consultant to the Directors of our Resident Management company that owns the freehold.

I posted on the NLA discussion forum on LinkedIn recently in response to the question being asked as to whether landlords were interested in how much money they could make by housing LHA tenants, even with the cuts.

I answered that I was very interested, because there is far more to just taking LHA tenants than how much money can be made.

Now, out of 22 flats on my block 19 are sublet. They are sublet by the types of landlords that you would not want to see in the sector and which the press describes as 'rogue'.

Most, if not all of their tenants are benefit tenants, with some flats having been given up to the local authorities under private sector leasing.

Obviously not all such tenants are a problem, but when they are, they are major! We have a seriously alcoholic tenant who kept bringing people with similiar problems onto the block, all of which my partner and myself have had to remove because they were found on the stairwells and in the garden. Not a particularly pleasant task! We have been constantly threatened, and on a couple of occasions we have been physically assaulted. The landlord has been made fully aware of the situation but has done nothing to assist. The tenants situation is worsened by the fact that his landlord was fined £8,000 by our neighbouring council last year for letting the worst property they have ever seen. The flat the tenant lives in is kept to a similiar standard.

We have another benefit tenant who has launched a vendetta against our neighbours, owner-occupiers in their eighties. As a result of a malicious harrassment claim lodged against them, they have been visited by the police at their home and have subsequently been formally interviewed at the local station. The landlord again refuses to assist and the visitors to that flat are as aggressive and abusive as the tenant is. There are others in situ there who are not on the tenancy agreement (god only knows what they do all day but the noise levels are continually loud enough for me to have contacted the noise pollution team on our neighbours behalf on more than one occasion).

There are other incidents but you get my drift.

Going back to the NLA thread I was asked where I wanted such tenants to be put. Did I want them to be put into a ghetto and let chaos ensue or did I want them to be placed in civilised society where they could learn to integrate. It was also pointed out that landlords are not carers.

In answer to that I had to say yes. I don't know so much about ghetto's but I don't want them on our block! I'm not against benefit tenants perse but if landlords such as I describe are going to be enticed to take such tenants then those landlords need to be seriously scrutinised by the councils that place such tenants with them.

Both my partner and myself welcome everyone on an equal footing but we have every right to expect that the landlords will deal with any tenant issues when they impact on the safety and well-being of others.

Sometimes I feel that we are managing an HMO, the only difference being that all the flats are self contained!

As for landlords not being carers, neither are we. We have tried to help the alcoholic tenant. No joy because he doesn't want to help himself. He is however now on the councils radar because not only has his skin turned yellow, indicative of liver problems, he has invited people to his flat who have subsequently assaulted him. The landlord is aware of this but the only reason both are now under the radar is because I asked for an HHSRS assessment to be carried out on the flat, in the light of his landlord being fined. It now begs the question as to why this landlord was ever able to rent out properties in the first place (and in case you're wondering, we inherited him and his tenant when we took over the block).

As for the second situation, we had no control over that until it happened because the subletting covenants in the lease were ignored and so he, like all the others, doesn't even have permission to sublet! Despite all our attempts to get him to intervene, he has refused to do anything, saying he can't afford to lose a tenant! He even recently asked our pensioner neighbours to go and confront his tenant themselves. He is also now on the council radar because again I requested an HHSRS inspection because he rented out the flat with a faulty gas meter and refused to supply proof that it had been made gas safe. He is also on their radar under SOVA (Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults), because of the serious stress our neighbours have been placed under by his tenant and because the husband has a heart condition!

It is also my considered opinion that tenants coming to us with such serious issues can't (or won't) integrate into civilised society. I'm no professional in this area but my experience has been that while you let them do what they like, they are perfectly fine with you but the minute you say 'hold on, can you please?…..they see it as personal criticism and the proverbial hits the fan. If we can't reason with them face to face, what chance do we stand when the landlords do nothing under the terms of the tenancy agreement?

We are now having to go for forfeiture under the terms of the lease, a potentially expensive excercise but despite our best efforts we have been left with no choice!

22/01/2012
5:38 pm
PaulBarrett
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2894
Member Since:
12/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yours is a tale of woe which means good responsible landlords will desert these type of LHA claimants.

They will then perhaps get the landlords they deserve!!

22/01/2012
5:43 pm
PaulBarrett
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2894
Member Since:
12/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sharon said:

I read all these comments with great interest and again, I am going to come at it from a different angle.

I specialise in the management of our private blocks of flats, acting as a support consultant to the Directors of our Resident Management company that owns the freehold.

I posted on the NLA discussion forum on LinkedIn recently in response to the question being asked as to whether landlords were interested in how much money they could make by housing LHA tenants, even with the cuts.

I answered that I was very interested, because there is far more to just taking LHA tenants than how much money can be made.

Now, out of 22 flats on my block 19 are sublet. They are sublet by the types of landlords that you would not want to see in the sector and which the press describes as 'rogue'.

Most, if not all of their tenants are benefit tenants, with some flats having been given up to the local authorities under private sector leasing.

Obviously not all such tenants are a problem, but when they are, they are major! We have a seriously alcoholic tenant who kept bringing people with similiar problems onto the block, all of which my partner and myself have had to remove because they were found on the stairwells and in the garden. Not a particularly pleasant task! We have been constantly threatened, and on a couple of occasions we have been physically assaulted. The landlord has been made fully aware of the situation but has done nothing to assist. The tenants situation is worsened by the fact that his landlord was fined £8,000 by our neighbouring council last year for letting the worst property they have ever seen. The flat the tenant lives in is kept to a similiar standard.

We have another benefit tenant who has launched a vendetta against our neighbours, owner-occupiers in their eighties. As a result of a malicious harrassment claim lodged against them, they have been visited by the police at their home and have subsequently been formally interviewed at the local station. The landlord again refuses to assist and the visitors to that flat are as aggressive and abusive as the tenant is. There are others in situ there who are not on the tenancy agreement (god only knows what they do all day but the noise levels are continually loud enough for me to have contacted the noise pollution team on our neighbours behalf on more than one occasion).

There are other incidents but you get my drift.

Going back to the NLA thread I was asked where I wanted such tenants to be put. Did I want them to be put into a ghetto and let chaos ensue or did I want them to be placed in civilised society where they could learn to integrate. It was also pointed out that landlords are not carers.

In answer to that I had to say yes. I don't know so much about ghetto's but I don't want them on our block! I'm not against benefit tenants perse but if landlords such as I describe are going to be enticed to take such tenants then those landlords need to be seriously scrutinised by the councils that place such tenants with them.

Both my partner and myself welcome everyone on an equal footing but we have every right to expect that the landlords will deal with any tenant issues when they impact on the safety and well-being of others.

Sometimes I feel that we are managing an HMO, the only difference being that all the flats are self contained!

As for landlords not being carers, neither are we. We have tried to help the alcoholic tenant. No joy because he doesn't want to help himself. He is however now on the councils radar because not only has his skin turned yellow, indicative of liver problems, he has invited people to his flat who have subsequently assaulted him. The landlord is aware of this but the only reason both are now under the radar is because I asked for an HHSRS assessment to be carried out on the flat, in the light of his landlord being fined. It now begs the question as to why this landlord was ever able to rent out properties in the first place (and in case you're wondering, we inherited him and his tenant when we took over the block).

As for the second situation, we had no control over that until it happened because the subletting covenants in the lease were ignored and so he, like all the others, doesn't even have permission to sublet! Despite all our attempts to get him to intervene, he has refused to do anything, saying he can't afford to lose a tenant! He even recently asked our pensioner neighbours to go and confront his tenant themselves. He is also now on the council radar because again I requested an HHSRS inspection because he rented out the flat with a faulty gas meter and refused to supply proof that it had been made gas safe. He is also on their radar under SOVA (Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults), because of the serious stress our neighbours have been placed under by his tenant and because the husband has a heart condition!

It is also my considered opinion that tenants coming to us with such serious issues can't (or won't) integrate into civilised society. I'm no professional in this area but my experience has been that while you let them do what they like, they are perfectly fine with you but the minute you say 'hold on, can you please?…..they see it as personal criticism and the proverbial hits the fan. If we can't reason with them face to face, what chance do we stand when the landlords do nothing under the terms of the tenancy agreement?

We are now having to go for forfeiture under the terms of the lease, a potentially expensive excercise but despite our best efforts we have been left with no choice!

I think benefits should be paid in the form of food stamps etc and then they won't be able to spend it down the pub.

Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 755

Currently Online:
33 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

PaulBarrett: 2894

Mary Latham: 2193

LyndonBaker: 1805

David Price: 1670

Patricia A: 988

DATA CONTROL: 970

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2563

Members: 6398

Moderators: 6

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 3

Topics: 4525

Posts: 31131

Newest Members:

patw, hypehomes, ashleyshepherd, consuelatimofte, oxestates, jahproperties

Moderators: SamiiB: 453, News @ Tenant Referencing: 1597, laura: 15, Chloe: 107, lucybarr: 0, jaswhite: 20

Administrators: Paul Routledge: 3418

/* ]]> */