Holding Court? Holding hands more like

by Nick Stott

11:51 AM, 22nd November 2011
About 9 years ago

Holding Court? Holding hands more like

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Holding Court? Holding hands more like

As I sit here in a Civil Court’s waiting room waiting to be called (here pursuing a tenant on behalf of a landlord), it makes me think that all this is a bit laborious and pointless.

Why is the legal system being used for run-of-the-mill cases like these? Yes, I know that it’s hugely important to those involved, but to wider society?

Especially when there is already a local government authority involved (the rent payer) – why can’t they use common sense to resolve this issue?

The offending tenant will be evicted within 28 days and then provided with further tax-payer-funded help to re-house them. The cycle will then continue, all because the local authority set too much red tape protecting the tenant and keeping the landlord at Stretch Armstrong’s arm’s length costing the tax payer twice and the landlord heavily.

It ultimately comes down to our new blame culture and the younger generation’s (I’m hoping to include me in that bracket…!) lack of consequences.

I’m not having a pop at my generation entirely though – it’s been caused by the baby boomers getting greedy and speculating on lending to people who can’t afford it – but the “I want it now and sod the consequences” attitude needs to stop because it’s wider society who pays via their taxes.

Why not have a three-strikes and out policy? This tenant knows full well that the local authority will help them (even sometimes without request) for as long as they live. They’ll be given crisis loans (that they can’t pay back), Court Orders (that they’ll never pay back), and benefits totaling more than a lot of working people’s incomes.

The problem is, I suppose, what DOES happen when they run out of chances? Basic human rights will step in and protect them from being made homeless.

So come on landlords, how can we try and prevent serial bad tenants from not only wiping out our incomes, but from costing society dearly?


Nick Stott

Nick Stott is a Landlord, Investor, Estate Agent, Letting Agent, and Property Manager from Warrington, Cheshire but working predominantly in Liverpool.
He owns and runs HOMEsure Property an independent Sales, Lettings, & Management agency, as well as purchasing, renovating, and renting property through his Property Investment Partnership (PIP) for ‘armchair’ investors. He is also an avid Rugby League fan, Social Media learner, and Productivity Obsessive.

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Comments

8:26 AM, 24th November 2011
About 9 years ago

"So come on landlords, how can we try and prevent serial bad tenants from not only wiping out our incomes, but from costing society dearly?"
I would have thought the answer to that question was pretty obvious ... don't take them on in the first place!

If the tenant is already a 'serial bad tenant' by the time they get to you, then you are your own worst enemy if you don't take the essential basic steps to protect yourself from loss of income.

LANDLORDS - please, please, please stop accepting feckless tenants and then moaning about it! We all get caught out once in a while, but you must cover the basics before accepting ANY tenant, especially those on HB.

Get a guarantor, get direct payment and get rent guarantee insurance ... simples!

Tony Atkins

10:32 AM, 24th November 2011
About 9 years ago

I'm owed £6000 by a tenant who appeared to have an income of £80,000 and checked out OK on a credit check: there were paid-off CCJs and a bankruptcy eight years before, but otherwise no complaints.

The problem was that he was self-employed and his income confirmation by his accountant only referred to the last accounts, two years previously. As soon as he moved in he kept claiming his income was too low to pay the rent, and the arrears kept climbing until I got him out after six months. If I get a CCJ against him, it's unenforceable because he's self-employed and has no apparent assets (yet still funds two children through private school from his income). If I make him bankrupt, he says I'll be doing him a favour because it will wipe out his other debts after a year. and I will get nothing.

My solutions: I should have got a guarantor. I applied for rent insurance, but was denied because one of the CCJs still had £200 on it, so I should have insisted he pay off the CCJ first. I would also give HMRC the power to add any CCJ judgement obtained by someone to the debtor's tax coding, and bill the debtor for the administration work. That way self-employed people would be obliged to pay up via their increased taxes and the CCJ system would have some teeth (at the moment it's next to useless).

11:43 AM, 24th November 2011
About 9 years ago

Tony, if you have the debtors bank account details, have you considered an application for a Third Party Debt Order ? it's very hit and miss, but if you catch the account on the right day, you may get a payment. Alternatively, grit your teeth and be determined to make life difficult for him and issue an application for him to attend Court to be examined as to his financial circumstances - very few debtors like the notion of having to attend Court. I agree that the system of enforcement is poor, but you have to use what there is.

Sam Addison

10:15 AM, 27th November 2011
About 9 years ago

Perhaps if the council were to build a huge HMO and rehouse the difficult tenants all together in that they might be able to comply with their obligations to rehouse while providing a deterrent. Peninsula house in Orford seems a good choice! (for those not in the know, Peninsula house is a tower block in warrington with a very poor reputation)

Mark Alexander

11:13 AM, 27th November 2011
About 9 years ago

Don't we already do that Sam? I think they are called prisons aren't they?


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