Ex-evicted bad’un has the gall to ask for a positive reference?

by Readers Question

20:29 PM, 29th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Ex-evicted bad’un has the gall to ask for a positive reference?

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Ex-evicted bad’un has the gall to ask for a positive reference?

I nearly died of shock today! My inbox contained a request for a tenant eventually evicted last November, which began in April 2018. Yes, it was one of those Section 21s, the so-say ‘no fault’ eviction route to ensure I got possession without contest.

‘No fault’ included rent debt of several £1000’s plus the breach of tenancy contract multiple times over: he moved a new partner and her kids in without permission which was discovered as a recent event when it came to the renewal of the gas safety certificate.

The tenant stayed beyond the court date – awaiting the last crop of cannabis cultivation in the garden workshop – before the court bailiffs took control. (The Court had denied the transfer to High Court Bailiffs – no need for that, they said, with a ‘no fault’ eviction).

Tenant took to malicious damage in revenge. What wasn’t stolen, was smashed up. American fridge/freezer & washing machine were thrown into the garden damaging the doors/architraves and uPVC of the external doors along the way. Dishwasher unmovable but taken apart!

Anyway: rent debt and court costs is £4k+ and damage of £9k to date is still being added to.

When evicted, he ‘qualified’ for emergency housing. Somehow these months later he has come to the top of the list of a housing association who have made contact for a reference from his previous landlord, all permissions given by tenant to approach me. Really??? (Yes…. he’s told them he had a violent partner and it wasn’t him, it was her who wrecked the place, he is just a poor victim, apparently).

Dilemma: to stay on the right side of the Data Protection Act, is posting off a handwritten response to the questions being asked by the housing association the safest way forward for me? I’m thinking in terms of not transmitting this information online….i.e. not storing my opinion anywhere digitally to avoid falling foul of the Act. Am I right?

The Housing Association says that without anything adverse in writing from me nothing can deter their decision to offer him a property. As the form requires full details of me and my comments – which the tenant can have access to – I’m reluctant to live in fear of stirring any further malicious damage he could choose to pursue against me.

Any advice offered will be very welcome. Thank you.

Lord



Comments

Rob Crawford

21:31 PM, 29th May 2019
About 2 months ago

I would ask the housing association for a set of questions for you to answer. Answer these with a caveat "in confidence". Answer them honestly with short straight to the point answers that relate to your experience of the tenant and nothing more.

Gromit

7:22 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Just stick to the facts, remain objective. Rent arrears = £XXXX, Property returned with £XXXX damages, tenant refused to leave after notice expired.
Re: GDPR ask the requestor for copy of permission given by the Tenant to approach former Landlords.

LordOf TheManor

7:37 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Hi Rob
Tried that.... the answer was that if there was nothing on the form, it couldn't be used in the decision-making process of the housing association to offer or deny accommodation. (I get the impression though that they don't really have a choice and have to offer).
At the end of the questionaire is the following statement:
'We do not need to see any evidence with this reference and will only contact you for copies in the unlikely event of a challenge from a customer'.
The Housing Association's Data Protection and Privacy Statement includes this notification in a separate box that reads: 'Please be aware that the information you provide will be used in our decision making process. Some or all of it may be disclosed to the applicant, under the Data Protection Act 1998.'

Looks like the bad'un is going to get everything he desires, doesn't it?

dismayed landlord

7:51 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

do you have to respond?

Mark Alexander

7:53 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Have you pursued the debt?

Mark Alexander

7:55 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Did you report the criminal damage and get a crime reference number?

If may not be too late.

LordOf TheManor

8:01 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Hi Mark
Yes, the cops attended a few hours after the bailiff left. They saw the remains of the cannabis farming and the white goods slung in the garden. Yes, I got a crime reference number.
There was absolutely nothing they could do for me. I was told it fell into the category of a 'contract dispute' and therefore not in their remit to pursue.

LordOf TheManor

8:20 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

As for the debt...
There is a CCJ against the ex-tenant for the rent arrears, however no Court action has been taken to enforce it - just yet. The bad'un wants me to do that so that he can include it in a Debt Relief Order so that it gets written off.

The house is still under repair with damage to the tune of £9k so far. If I got a CCJ on him for the damage and enforced it, it likely would go the same way as the one for the rent arrears.... so it's being held off for the present.

Mark Alexander

8:21 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 30/05/2019 - 08:01
At the very least you can refer the Housing Association to the crime reference number.

I also think the Police have let you down and you ought to write to the Police Commissioner. From what you have said there is clear evidence of several crimes having been committed, not least of which is willful criminal damage to your property.

You might also wish to consider telling the Police that if they do not take action that you will seek advice from a solicitor in regards to seeking redress via a Private Criminal Prosecution and also talking to local media about how badly let down you feel by the Police. Maybe talk to your local MP too. This is clearly well beyond a contractual dispute and the Police should know that.

LordOf TheManor

8:28 AM, 30th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 30/05/2019 - 08:21
That's what I thought too, Mark. The two coppers who attended rang their sargeant from the house.... it was definitely no dice, nothing to do with them.

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