The criminalisation of landlords by Durham CouncilMake Text Bigger
Every landlord should sit up and take note of the prosecution and conviction of Nichola Barker. Durham council prosecuted a law abiding citizen Mrs Barker for not having a reference for her tenant, when the tenant took up occupancy of the said premise.
Mrs Barker had indeed demanded a reference however the tenant had not supplied the reference at the time of her moving in. The reference was actually supplied later.
The housing act 2004 is crystal clear and worded in such a way as to avoid situations like this. Landlords have complied with their obligations when they DEMAND a reference. Demand being the key word. Should the tenant fail to, or not wish to supply a reference, the landlord must then make a judgement call as to whether to accept or decline the prospective tenant.
This spurred me on to reviewing Durham”s License conditions. They are absolute rubbish and fail every legal test. Every License issued is illegal.
- Firstly Landlords are not required to obtain references, they must according to the act, demand references. Upon demanding they have complied with the act.
- Secondly Durham state that a housing history of 5 years is required. Durham with this condition are forcing landlords to discriminate against vulnerable people, ex offenders, immigrants and kids leaving home.
- Thirdly Durham are in breach of the Housing act 2004 section 90 (7) by inserting clauses designed to alter the terms of a tenancy.
- Fourthly Durham are in breach of the DPA by demanding landlords supply them with Dates of Birth of tenants.
I would urge every landlord in Durham to reject their license and demand their fees be returned forthwith.
Finally in conjunction with Property 118 which highlights such illegality, I wish Mrs Barker every success in the action she must now institute.
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