Is Abu Qatada Britain’s worst buy to let tenant?

Is Abu Qatada Britain’s worst buy to let tenant?

17:16 PM, 24th February 2012, About 12 years ago 6

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If you think you are housing the tenants from hell, spare a thought for the landlord beamed in to the media spotlight when radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada was pictured standing by the front door of his buy to let.

As far as the landlord was concerned, the house was rented by a mum and her four children.

Then, the media cavalcade surrounding the controversial preacher camped outside the landlord’s property and it transpired the mother was believed to be Qatada’s wife.

The landlord has won an order from the High Court restricting what the media can say about the landlord – for instance his name, address or any details identifying his family cannot be printed.

Qatada was freed from a British jail on bail after being held for six-and-a-half years while fighting deportation against terrorism charges in Jordan.

Lawyers won an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights blocking Qatada’s deportation over concerns that evidence against him was obtained from witnesses by torture.

The landlord told the High Court: “The media kept asking me questions, I did not know that the family were related to Abu Qatada. I did not know him. I told them I do not have the name on the contract. I have the name of a mother with four children.

“I became panicked. I can’t live like this with people chasing after me and phoning and knocking at my door. I don’t want my family dragged into this.

“I can’t deal with this. This is the worst day. I don’t know if it will get worse again but this can’t go on. I can’t allow the mother and children to stay in the house if things are like this. I will have to serve notice.”

Qatada sought asylum after arriving in Britain in 1993, but was convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement in two terrorist conspiracies in 1999.

He was detained in 2002, when an immigration court described him as a “truly dangerous individual”, after he proclaimed fatwas – or religious rulings – supporting the killing of non-Muslims.

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18:13 PM, 24th February 2012, About 12 years ago

Surely if he is living there and is not on the tenancy agreement, the mother has breached the terms of the tenancy agreement.
I would instruct her that he will have to leave or I would evict her and the children.
Job done.
Section 21 her.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

19:15 PM, 24th February 2012, About 12 years ago

It may not be that simple Paul. What if he's just signed her up on a 12 month AST? I've just read this article for the first time myself and I have every sympathy with this poor landlord. I can't begin to imagine the hassle he's getting and I can't see how he could have seen this one coming.

20:07 PM, 24th February 2012, About 12 years ago

I agree absolutely; if he has signed a 12 month AST it would be very awkward to achieve a Section 8.
I don't envy him at all.

Mary Latham

20:57 PM, 24th February 2012, About 12 years ago

The important message here is that it could have been YOU! Landlords are very vulnerable and with the best will in the world this landlord could not have prevented this - poor man I cannot begin to imagine the stress that he and his family are under for doing NOTHING WRONG!

11:50 AM, 25th February 2012, About 12 years ago

I know most tenants complain that they have no security of tenure and they could be asked to leave after 6 months.
This albeit, an extreme example is why LL don't like normally issuing AST's  of longer than 6 months.
Of course if the County Court system worked and we could get rid of very quickly tenants who did not conform to their AST conditions then I believe the vast majority of LL would be more than happy  to provide longer terms.
This will NEVER happen; also the lenders don't like long AST's and of course there are the issues relating to premium tenancies etc. that you have highlighted previously.

10:47 AM, 28th February 2012, About 12 years ago

Funny I was wondering when I saw him leaving a house on he TV if it was a private landlord, and wondering what they would think. As a private LL you don't have access to information such as this and he was simply doing what Landlord's do- RENT PROPERTY! It seems to me the wife may be in breach of benefit regulations if she has not declared she s living with a partner. But we need to be careful about hounding them out of that property, because of the Housing Act and the Childrens  Act the children must be housed and we could end up with these people being housed in a nice big council house when really he should just be kicked out EU or no EU and we pay the fine for breaching the regulations,
Job Done! 

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