‘Criminal Landlords’ – A term too easily bandied about!

by Larry Sweeney

3 months ago

‘Criminal Landlords’ – A term too easily bandied about!

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‘Criminal Landlords’ – A term too easily bandied about!

Too Often now that term ‘Criminal landlord’ is bandied about by ignorant politicians and Councils for political gain . It is a vendetta directed against the PRS. It is high time that the public were appraised of the reality of the rental market, across the board.

To that end I will impart some absolutely shocking facts about Councils and so called “social housing providers”. The reader can then decide who the real criminal landlords are.

Firstly Private landlords are subjected by local councils to their licensing regime, which forces Landlords to expend huge sums to obtain a licence with criminal sanctions for the most minor breaches. Social landlords are exempt.

Now for some statistics.

Luminous homes a social landlord recently escaped prosecution for failing to obtain gas safe certs for over 1000 properties. Yes folks that was not a typo. 1000 dodgy homes rented by this social landlord to unsuspecting tenants and no prosecution. Thankfully no deaths.

Unfortunately, the residents of Grenfell (Landlord Kensington and Chelsea Council ) were not so fortunate. The really strange aspect of this is that the council failed to prosecute those who illegally rented their council flats to the unfortunate victims, who died as a result of dangerous cladding and a lack of a sprinkler system.

At this point it is fair to say that a private landlord in the above examples would have been executed by the Magistrates by now. Not so with Social landlords. The litany of failures goes on.

Bristol Housing charity “Alternative housing” were convicted 6 times over two years. They supply raw sewage to their tenants. An interesting point is that these providers are rarely taken to task by the Council zealots. Instead it is the HSE who take action ,leaving our favourite councils to prosecute landlords for really serious offences like failing to obtain a reference for a tenant. (First prize here goes to Durham council).

At the risk of boring the reader, I shall plough on such is the extent of abuse and blatant criminality by social landlords.

North Devon homes were prosecuted in 2015 for potentially exposing the public to dangerous asbestos fibres. Sewage, asbestos compliments of your cuddly social housing provider. This same provider was also fined for a carbon monoxide breach.

The HSE once again to their credit (as councils are clearly failing) successfully prosecuted Synergy/Aster over a dangerous lift where a child died.

The independent states that 75% of all social housing blocks are potentially unsafe in event of a fire according to a 2011 report. Grenfell bears this out. In fact a quarter of a million of these homes had a Cat one hazard. The most dangerous category of all.

According to the Daily Mirror 17 sept 2017. Millions of social housing tenants have been defrauded by their landlords with respect to their water bills. One Council is facing a bill of £28 million for defrauding 40000 tenants. Imagine the outcry if a private landlord defrauded a tenant by charging for a dodgy supply. No problem for the Local authority .

Finally ref the Mirror 13 Jan 2018 article by Keir Mudie. “Tory ministers in stunning u turn as they back labour bill forcing landlords to make properties safe”. The example given is of a lady in a mouldy flat. The problem with the article however is that it fails to point out that it is not a private landlord who provided this accommodation, but a social landlord, Clarion Housing. Clarion failed to comment.

So where do we go from here.

Firstly write to every MP. Stop this garbage of insulting and abusing private landlords constantly alluding to “criminal landlords”

This term must only be used in future when referring to social landlords who provide inferior dangerous and disgusting accommodation for tenants, without fear of prosecution from local authorities who refuse to enforce the law. These organisations should be subject to licensing like the private sector. The Government cannot contemplate this however as most of the accommodation in this sector would fail private sector standards.

I have however another solution. A solution that should spur Government and useless local authorities in to action.

The “ECSR” European committee of social rights Found against the Government of Ireland for providing inferior and inadequate housing for tenants.

Let us go forward and make this commonplace, where Councils and social housing providers are held to account. They are very busy harassing law abiding landlords. Time to force them to clean up their act. What about Grenfell. This would be an excellent place to initiate a complaint to the ESCR and let us hold these Social housing gangsters to account. If the PRS is to be harried for minor transgressions, let us ensure that the real criminal landlords are held to account and failure to get a gas cert for 1000 units should mean Prison for those responsible, and the winding up of such a criminal organisation.

We know Labour have no understanding of economics or the market as their rent control policies would cause massive market distortion and shortages, But at least we know where we stand. the Tories however under the guise of being the friend of private enterprise have shafted the PRS and introduced legislation worthy of Stalin.

The PRS have no friends in government, so let us hold the government and Councils to account. Time to pay up and give social housing tenants decent safe accommodation.

Comments

Neil Patterson

3 months ago

Hi Larry,

Your argument appears to be why the RLA are supporting the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill >> https://www.property118.com/rla-supporting-homes-fitness-human-habitation-liability-housing-standards-bill/

"It also ensures parity for private landlords with council and social housing with the RLA writing: It gives council tenants a route to enforcement that is currently unavailable. Councils cannot take enforcement action against themselves, and are often reluctant to act against social housing. If the Bill is passed social housing tenants will be able to access direct enforcement of housing standards. “

Richard of York

3 months ago

Interestingly, I've just emailed the link to this article to my MP https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-stunning-u-turn-landlords-11848040. I picked up the paper in a café - didn't buy it! Reading the headline my mood sank as I was sure the culprit was a private landlord, but was amazed/relieved to see it was Clarion Housing Group - a social housing provider - the Mirror did not emphasise this point for some reason, just dropped it in near the end, probably by mistake! How many people would simply see the headline and assume the 'landlord' is one of us?

Please raise these ( now several ) cases of social housing providers failing in their responsibilities with your MP most of whom at this time I am quite sure are happy to lay the blame for all the ills of the rented housing sector on the PRS alone.

As an aside, we drove down the M40 Saturday evening past Grenfell Tower for the first time - it was truly chilling.

Chris Daniel

3 months ago

Fitness for Habitation Bill MAY cover All Housing providers, but as Larry says, let’s see how many Social Landlords will be taken to task.
Good letter and I’ll be doing the same as Richard and sending to my MP.


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