Evicted brothers revenge drive by shooting of Gateshead agents

Evicted brothers revenge drive by shooting of Gateshead agents

10:16 AM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago 10

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The North East based ChronicleLive reported two brothers admitting affray and criminal damage in Newcastle Crown Court after opening fire with an air pistol shooting at the windows of a Gateshead estate agents office and one of their cars in revenge for an eviction notice being delivered only three hours earlier. The brothers did not pay the first two months rent in their new home after failing to secure benefits.

Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, said: “Fortunately there were no staff inside at the time. The witness heard a loud bang being made and saw the defendants’ car with the passenger side window open. It then sped away.”

Joshua Mass, 24, was jailed for 12 months to be released after five months on remand and Brandon Mass, 19, was sentenced to nine months suspended for 18 months with a three month electronically monitored curfew for three months between 9pm and 7am.

The judge said the sentences took into account the brothers’ troubled upbringing with Joshua suffering from ADHD. The sentences also reflected their foolish and very immature actions, including the terror that the estate agent’s staff felt in the day’s afterwards before the perpetrator’s arrest.

Police called to the scene found seven holes in the windows and the brothers then drove on and targeted a lease car bearing the company name parked two miles from the agency office.

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Mick Roberts

11:00 AM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Another reason why Landlords are telling Shelter they won't rent to HB UC.
Yes I get it, most aren't gonna' shoot the Landlord or Letting Agents windows (Mine would ha ha), yet there is still a risk there with no UC coming in to pay rent, & this is what happens when UC send people past breaking point.

If UC had something set up to talk to Landlord or Letting Agent, who knows, this could have been solved. I have that many cases, they are so easy Primary school lessons to solve, but we the Landlord CANNOT TALK EMAIL ANYONE AT UC WITH COMMON SENSE.

UC excluding the important Landlord from the Housing the tenant process is a recipe for disaster. It brings nothing but trouble not talking to the VERY important Landlord.

Ron H-W

11:37 AM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

I wonder WHEN the landlord will get the property back !!!
Those brothers hadn't yet been evicted - this was simply a notice served by (or on behalf of) the landlord.
(Still needs to go through the courts for this, AND possibly send in the court bailiffs, else deemed to be committing an offence if/when one brother returns from from jail and/or the other returns from the courtroom, to find that there is no access to "his home".)
"Just" need to add grounds 7A, 14 and possibly 17, to the existing grounds 8, 10 and 11.
Also ground 12, because I think this shooting (at a party involved in setting up the tenancy agreement) can and should be considered a breach of an "implied term" of the said agreement.
I hope I'm wrong, but if the court bailiffs daren't turn up at the property for fear of further use of the weapon (which may well not have been confiscated?), then I fear there might be no legal way for the landlord EVER to get the property back.


12:01 PM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 11/08/2020 - 11:00
The specifics of shooting are perhaps less important than the general principles:
The majority of landlords have approximately 2 properties, they are small landlords. There are a variety of antisocial behaviours that tenants manifest and the truth is that as a landlord you don't have the *powers* to deal with the antisocial behaviours and you don't have the access *rights* to their data to confirm their eligibility or otherwise for benefits.

I know that the government wanted a more 'professional' private landlord sector and have pursued a tax policy that favours incorporation (i.e. the larger landlords). A larger landlord might be able to equip themselves to deal with some of the problems associated with UC claimants but the smaller landlords won't. In most cases smaller landlords are just not going to take on UC claimants and it is unreasonable to oblige them to.

Mick Roberts

12:40 PM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 11/08/2020 - 12:01
Nottingham Licensing said We need ASB pack, I said What's one of them, I don't get that trouble, I han't got a clue how to write one, so I'm not doing it.
I think they listened on that after months of disagreement & have now gave Landlords a link for one.

It's arguably worse for the larger UC Landlord, as I just cannot ring UC up for every tenant. Nigh on impossible.

Good on everyone if they wish to no longer take UC. It needs changing.


13:03 PM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 11/08/2020 - 12:40
I think that more accurately summarises a description of the problem than a drive-by shooting.

There've been other discussions of 'benefits tenants' and what you have to do to house them on this site. And in response to those discussions occasionally landlords put up summaries of the procedures they follow to try and ensure for example that the tenants can afford the rent or are eligible for benefits. But the problem is, these procedures are time-consuming, costly and don't adequately protect the landlord from all the risks, e.g. the benefits office reclaiming their rental payments because the tenant wasn't eligible for benefits.

The problem that you have here is that the only people who could possibly know whether the tenant was eligible is HMRC/UC or Tax Credits office, according to where you are, Social Services or NHS. As a landlord you don't have the right to access or check anything unless the tenant agrees that you can and the more data you have to collect the greater the risk under the relevant Data Protection Rules.

As a landlord this makes you vulnerable. Your risks of housing UC tenants are higher, the costs are higher, the level of expertise you need is higher. That's even before an office tells you to send you their [meaningless piece of jargon with nowhere you can look it up] that relates to some part of their process that is not standardised and is any case designed to protect them and not you.

Most landlords just won't bother with this and would have to be forgiven for just not taking UC tenants.

Old Mrs Landlord

14:18 PM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Anyone who houses or has housed UC claimants will tell you it is a hiding to nothing. You will spend hours and hours of unpaid time attempting to secure a rent which is paid in arrears arrears and falls short of the market rent and may be stopped or clawed back at any time with no explanation. You will incur huge bills and waste hours of your life on phone calls which get you nowhere, spend time and money going on special courses to learn how to deal with the clueless, inefficient, box-ticking government department and end up out of pocket after months or years of stress. A private landlord is not a charity or a social housing provider and cannot be obliged to shoulder these burdens. Having said that, looking ahead in the current situation, almost any of our working tenants could lose their job and need to claim UC so we may find ourselves inadvertently having to rely on the DWP with whom we have no means of communication. At least if we have tenants who have been used to working and paying their way we have some hope they will act responsibly with regard to prioritising rent.

Michael Holmes

15:31 PM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

After years of reading and actually suffering some of the incidents that crop up on this forum and also viewing the plethora of YouTube articles on the general mess the various governments have made of the PRS. I have come to the conclusion that we have been taken over by an insidious left wing cabal that doesn’t want any solutions, only mayhem on a permanent basis, organisations such as BLM and Shelter and Common Purpose have all sprouted from the same left wing swamp. Until something drastic is done about them, Landlords are on a hiding to nothing.


16:57 PM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Holmes at 11/08/2020 - 15:31
It seems to me that the direction recent governments (from both sides of the house) have been heading in is sending landlords the message:

1. Incorporate if you can and understand that you may need to become more professional and need greater critical mass to be able to do it
2. Stop renting your properties out to UC tenants as the risks are disproportionate
3. Stop renting your property out at all if you can afford not to

As the majority of landlords have small portfolios (1-2 properties) this is likely to negatively affect the supply of both permanent and temporary accommodation. Certainly, as most left-wing organisations are populated by people who don't believe in private ownership anyway, in anybody inheriting anything, or in anybody deciding who can live where apart from their preferred model of central bureaucracy, left wing organisations have a vested interest in making chaos worse so that they can go, "....look, look, this private sector capitalist stuff just isn't working." I think they don't want any solution other than "their solution" of nobody owning anything.

It would take both a very able and a very courageous politician to see that and do something about it.


17:24 PM, 11th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Can not agree more than with the comments on this issue.
Lets start by pressure on the government to be more appreciative of the PRS (after all many of them are no doubt landlords).
Then lets GET RID OF SHELTER and who's management are just making a job for them selves by convincing the Government thay are doing a good job.

Charles Fonteijn

14:20 PM, 16th August 2020, About 3 years ago

If you need to communicate with UC please try this email for landlords only: tpp.enquiries@dwp.gov.uk

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