Illegal Eviction – A True Story

by Readers Question

9:26 AM, 24th August 2012
About 8 years ago

Illegal Eviction – A True Story

Make Text Bigger
Illegal Eviction – A True Story

As this is a true story about an illegal eviction I would like to remain anonymous please.

I witnessed it, it wasn’t my property and it was not a scene you would associate with an illegal eviction. No thugs with baseball bats, just respectable people in a respectable suburb close and the Police keeping a watchful eye on proceedings. It was well organised. I was invited to attend three days before by two separate people, the landlords arranging the illegal eviction and my tenants who lived three doors along. So what was it all about?

Background

The landlord in question had made a big mistake, a mistake he considered to be much bigger than the one he was planning. He had let his property to four single young lads. He took them on face value when he met them and felt they looked like respectable young men. He thought he had done his due diligence as he had checked they were all employed and had the ability to pay the rent. He couldn’t check their background though as they were from another country, until now they had all been living with friends.

The day they moved in they had a party, the neighbours were miffed as it went on all night but didn’t say too much about it. The same thing happened the next night and then the night after. The group of party goers was growing too and by this time the neighbours were getting very upset as they were losing sleep. The parties were as much in the street and the garden as in the house. On the 4th night there was a fight and the Police were called. This became a regular occurrence apparently. I didn’t get to hear much about this straight away but was eventually informed when my tenants told me that they were looking for another place and wanted to know how to serve notice when they found one.  I wasn’t sure what to do. However, a few days after I’d first heard about this my tenants called me back to say that the four lads were being evicted at 11am on Saturday and did I want to go along. I then had a similar call within an hour from the landlords of the other property, I’d never met them or had any dealings with them before and even at that point I had no idea that they were planning an illegal eviction.

The day of the illegal eviction

Curiosity got the better of me on the day, it was a bit like driving past a car crash – you know you shouldn’t be rubber necking but it’s hard not to isn’t it?

I parked my car about half a mile away and walked around to meet my tenants who live three doors up. I arrived about half an hour early as I wanted to hear all the gossip. My tenants 14 year old daugher answered the door and told me that everybody was meeting in the house a few doors down across the rad.  I popped over, introduced myself and was welcomed in and offered tea and biscuits. All of the residents of the close were there. It was only then I found out that the troublesome tenants had only been there six weeks. Clearly this was an illegal eviction but this was far from a lynch mod, the average age was about 65 and they all seemed nice people.

Just before 11am the police arrived, one of the wives of the residents had called them as she was getting worried about what might happen. I just kept my mouth shut.

They all stood on the garden watching as the landlords, an elderly husband and wife knocked on the tenants door. The police stood at the end of the short garden path leading to the door. Come on they said, pack your stuff, you’ve had your warning, it’s eviction day and you are out of here. The tenants saw the police, apologised profusely, packed their stuff and left. I couldn’t believe what I had seen. When it was all over and they had gone it was back for more tea and sandwiches.

I just couldn’t help talking to the other landlords at this point.

You do know that what just happened was illegal don’t you, I said. I expected to have to tell them all about landlord and tenant law but they politely nodded and said, yes we do. Are you aware of the potential consequences, I asked. Oh yes, they replied, “we’ve taken advice from a solicitor who told us that the reality is that we might be slapped with a fine of a few thousand pounds and be forced to pay damages if these tenants take matters any further. That’s well worth it to keep the peace though in our opinion and we are willing to take the risk.”

“Wouldn’t you?” they asked.

 


Share this article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Comments

16:28 PM, 12th September 2012
About 8 years ago

I have been on the receiving end of this action, in that I had a little disagreement with the land lord, the following week, I retuned from work, to find all the contents of the property outside on the drive and the locks changed. Following a call to the Police, who said they could do nothing! I found an out of hours solicitor, who quoted the relevant act's in law, back on the Police, and after several hours of this, I was back in the property.
The following month, it happened again, only this time, the contents had been taken of site, and placed in a shipping container!
After a lot of phone calls and contact with the relevant council, they took out an action on the land lord, once in Court, it came to light that this was not the first he had done, also, all of his property 'empire' was on interest only, first time buyer mortgages, all 18 of them!!! also, he had conned his own mother into signing for a further 4 property's, again on fist time buyer mortgages!
The up shot of all of this? The Court made him bankrupt, all the property was taken from him, a very large fine imposed on his mother, he received a suspended sentence, his employer was contacted, and his wages had to paid to the Court, and then he was given an allowance from this, as the Court believed that he would not pay the fine imposed, or maintain the obligation to the mortgage until such time as they were sold.
He was also barred from obtaining a mortgage for several years to come, and would be placed on the mortgage fraud list for life!
I could have taken an action for compensation, but decided not, as the Court had done such a good job of punishing him.
And all of this because we had a disagreement over a little thing!

Mark Alexander

17:30 PM, 12th September 2012
About 8 years ago

Hi AJ and thank you for sharing this story. I am very pleased to hear that you felt justice was done and that your landlord got his just deserts. Bad landlords like this tar the reputation of good ones.

Sadly we hear of very few stories of justice when it's the other way around though, e.g. tenants who fail to pay rent, trash properties and intimidate landlords and neighbours. Again the police are not interested, not even when criminal damage has been caused. They just pass off the crime as a Civil Offence and the landlord is then faced with massive costs of eviction and making good of the property, often with little if any hope of ever being able to recover his losses from the bad tenant.

4:26 AM, 7th February 2013
About 8 years ago

My only problem with this is that the property is on a mortgage to profit from the needs of others to have secure housing. I'm sure you probably had a non paying clown etc but would you consider it fair for me to throw you down a flight of stairs if you failed to pay me for some construction work. I to would struggle to pay my mortgage in such an instant.

It is a business decision to go into rental, one that offers profits and losses the same as any other.

Most landlords I have dealt with fail to keep there properties up to what I would consider a good professional standard, expecting that a lick of paint and cheap carpet makes an expectable standard for a business model.

This is gotten away with as people need housing, even ones that are poorly maintained. I'm afraid I would have to say if you can't take the financial losses you shouldn't enter in to business. However you clearly stated that this is not your business so you were just an outsider making a disgraceful threat on another human being, that is a crime is called common assault and I would have thought that the people who run this board would have had the decency to past the knowledge of this crime to the police for investigation as failing to do so makes you complicit in such crimes.

You are correct the law is an ass, an ass that made it legal to rent property you don't outright own.

5:28 AM, 7th February 2013
About 8 years ago

section 8 notice is for non payment, our country is innocent until, guilty, would you also except that if you fail to repair that you should be considered a criminal under the housing acts that governs such, unless the LL can prove this to be different, after an action that already provided you as guilty and what punishments should there be for such LL imprisonment, large fine, withholding of rents for contract breach, for every bad T there is an equally bad LL, difference is with the bad LL the tenant an very rarely just able walk away, hence the distinction in the law.

Renting is a business that can make profit or loss you should be able to cover the average bad situation and of course the real bad one could destroy your business same as every other business, yet how many boards are there for defunct window cleaners who did the work but didn't get paid.

There is a process and you need to work within it or get out of the business.

I bet very few of the landlords out there show any kind of loyalty to their decent paying tenants i.e by passing on interest rate savings and lowering if your variable goes down etc. or taking less profit to keep them from moving on, offering incentives to keep the best ones, that's a common business model for others but all LL do is take, take and take, the non payers is the element your model is causing.

If, for instance you brought a £75,000 pound property outright you could get 6% at £375 pcm if you owned it outright twice the best bank rate but most choose to BTL at £25,000 down then rent at £600pcm £300 to the bank, you then choose to pay another percentage to a letting agent leaving your self around 5% or £105pcm. So lower outlay smaller percentage and a lot more risk to you the individual in the event of non payment.

The laws were made when most rents were collect buy owners of property and BTL didn't exists, if people are taking on property's that leave them with a liability to a bank they do so with all the risk that involves.

Violence is a disgraceful response for LL over stretching in the pursuit of easy profits and is just more justification that these law are not only just but definitely needed.

6:33 AM, 7th February 2013
About 8 years ago

Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 cover common assault, which is what happens when you threaten to do violence on a given date and could have clearly used this to show illegal eviction by the way of violent harassment.

Mark Alexander

8:40 AM, 7th February 2013
About 8 years ago

Good evening Jay and welcome to Property118.

As you have probably gathered, this website was primarily built for landlords to share best practice, raise questions, learn from others and occasionally vent their frustrations. It’s good to have guests who post from a different perspective from time to time in order to challenge our perceptions, providing it is respectful of course.

Reading between the lines I’m guessing that you are self employed and have been the victim of a bad landlord, am I right?

I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on your posts this evening as I am one of the moderators.

I agree with some of your comments, especially in respect of laws but we will probably have to agree to disagree on many of the other points you have raised.

As I’m sure you are aware, rent arrears are one of the biggest risks to landlords, however, use of violence to collect rents is not excusable under any circumstances. Obviously this cuts both ways though, sadly it was reported on this website just 24 hours ago that a tenant had been found guilty of murdering his landlord over a rent arrears dispute and sentenced to life imprisonment. Very sad for his family, his other tenants described him as "the perfect landlord".

Landlords can protect against rent arrears and the costs of evicting none paying tenants by purchasing Rent Guarantee Insurance at the point of letting their property. See >>> http://www.property118.com/?p=35711 Some say they can't afford the premiums and sadly they are often the ones who end up paying the price when things go wrong.

I gather from your posts that you may have been assaulted and that prevented you from working and resulted in rent arrears? I sympathise with that, especially if you lost your home as a result and did not receive adequate compensation. The law is an ass sometimes and that’s why insurance companies do so well.

Many of my family members are self employed construction workers and could easily find themselves in financial difficulty under similar circumstances. They too buy insurance to cover this eventuality. Without it they realise they could easily lose their homes.

I probably sound like an insurance salesman at this point but I can assure you that I’m not. Perhaps I should be though? I might do well LOL

Anyhow, if my conclusions from reading between the lines are correct then I can understand the frustration showing in your posts. I have felt equally frustrated and cheated when a tenant has failed to pay rent on time or disrespected my property or the neighbours I can assure you. Best we can all do though is learn from past experiences, I hope you will agree?

17:05 PM, 7th February 2013
About 8 years ago

Jay mate I think you fundamentally misunderstand the raison d'etre of the PRS.

You must understand that it is under NO obligation to provide any tenant with affordable rental property.

From my own perspective I choose to utilise capital I have resourced and I then make as profit as I can.

That is the ONLY reason I am in the PRS.

I could just as easily choose to invest my capital into any other form of investment.

It is irrelevant what my costs of doing business are to a tenant.

A LL is only in the game to extract as much profit as possible .
Of course a LL sis obligated by law to ensure the rental property is of a decent standard and there are laws for LL that do not comply, that is as it should be.
There are many laws relating to many other businesses.
The PRS is no different.
Clearly unbridled capitalism in the PRS would be untenable for tenants and most right thinking LL have no issue with the requirements for the product being offered, namely a property, to be of fit and proper purpose.
You pay rent for a service and that service should be provided within accepted normal parameters

The fact that the investment vehicle happens to be a property that you pay for to be able to live in it is irrelevant.

Of course the price point at which I can charge a tenant will be governed ONLY by market forces.
Clearly I am not going to pitch my price point at a level at which tenants are not attracted to the property.
We as LL will use our judicious judgement to decide how we operate our business and mange things accordingly.
If such pricing cause your 'lifestyle' to suffer then tough.
Go and buy a property yourself and see how you like the inflexibility of such a situation.
You pay for the flexibility of your tenure.
If and when you vacate you do not have to concern yourself with any aspect of that property you are leaving.
The LL has to; as if he has no rent who will pay the costs he inevitably incurs through whole life ownership of the rental property.
You need to consider your rent as an holistic payment which covers a myriad of things that you as a tenant know nothing about.
A LL will therefore pitch pricing to achieve as much as he can to facilitate continuing management of the property, to ensure that it is in a decent standard to attract continual tenants.
No tenant need take a rubbish property.
No PRS LL EVER forces a prospective tenant to sign an AST; the tenant makes the decision!
It is up to the prospective tenant to decide whether the LL 's offering is at a price he is willing to pay.
Should the LL not receive many tenant applicants he will usually adjust his pricing.
That is the way the PRS works as any other business.

Mark Alexander

15:34 PM, 8th February 2013
About 8 years ago

Good evening Jay and welcome to Property118. As you have probably gathered, this website was primarily built for landlords to share best practice, raise questions, learn from others and occasionally to vent their frustrations. It’s good to have gests who post from a different perspective from time to time in order to challenge our perspectives too though, providing it is respectful of course.
Reading between the lines I’m guessing that you are self employed and have been the victim of a bad landlord, am I right?
I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on your posts this evening as I am one of the moderators. I agree with some of your comments, especially in respect of laws.
As I’m sure you are aware, rent arrears are one of the biggest risks to landlords, however, use of violence to collect rents is not excusable under any circumstances. Obviously this cuts both ways though, sadly it was reported on this website just 24 hours ago that a tenant had been found guilty of murdering his landlord over a rent arrears dispute and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Landlords can protect against rent arrears and the costs of evicting none paying tenants by purchasing Rent Guarantee Insurance at the point of letting their property. See >>> http://www.property118.com/?p=35711
I gather from your posts that you may have been assaulted and that prevented you from working and resulted in rent arrears? I sympathise with that, especially if you lost your home as a result and did not receive adequate compensation. The law is an ass sometimes and that’s why insurance companies do so well.
Many of my family members are self employed construction workers and could easily find themselves in financial difficulty in the event of an injury. They too buy insurance to cover this eventuality. Without it they too realise they could easily lose their homes.
I probably sound like an insurance salesman at this point but I can assure you that I’m not. Perhaps I should be though? I might do well LOL
Anyhow, if my conclusion from reading between the lines are correct then I can understand the frustration showing in your posts. I have felt equally frustrated and cheated when a tenant has failed to pay rent on time or disrespected my property or the neighbours I can assure you. Best we can all do though is learn from past experiences, I hope you will agree?

19:06 PM, 9th February 2013
About 8 years ago

double post lol, lets remember what lead to the housing acts and there subsequent reforms and that's slum LL, not slum tenants. My posts are written with a coherent and objective train of thought. The fact that they are not in agreement with your current board members is just that they are delusional in thinking that violence is an answer to there business problems, it's their business model that is causing them problems.

Just so you know I have never been assaulted in my life, well never successfully to date and I have built houses, brought houses and demolished them alike.

A human being murder by another is never good to hear but look at the amount of posts condoning violence by, as you state, a board of mainly LL, violence begets violence. I am obviously not trying to assume that this is why that LL was murdered.

As a moderator you made no comment to recardo in 6 months about his admittance of abusive threats that break common law but have replied to me within hours, I think that is synonymous of the boards pertinacity towards violence against tenants.

I'll happily not comment any more if my comments of non violence are that offensive.

Mark Alexander

20:09 PM, 9th February 2013
About 8 years ago

I will re read this thread fully when I'm back home. I'm out with friends this weekend and only have my iPhone. Any posts condoning violence will be moderated. If I've missed these in the past I apologise.

1 2 3 4

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

How to insure with no company let tenancy agreement?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More