Judge To Look Into Why Tenants Are Not Prosecuted For Criminal Damage & Theft

Judge To Look Into Why Tenants Are Not Prosecuted For Criminal Damage & Theft

10:46 AM, 12th October 2016, About 5 years ago 164

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On my flight from Malta to Heathrow last week I had the pleasure of sitting next to a gentleman who was a Judge and also worked for the Ministry of Justice to review the Court system.

We got talking about criminal damage so I asked him how many tenants he had fined or imprisoned for criminal damage to a landlords property during his career as a Judge.

He went quiet for a while, clearly deep in thought, but then had to admit that such a case had never been brought before him. Being naturally inquisitive I asked him why he thought that might be.

He had no answer.

The point I made was that if I were to smash his doors, windows, garage door etc. I would expect to be prosecuted. He agreed.

He also agreed that criminal damage is criminal damage regardless of whether the person committing the crime is a tenant of a landlord or not. We then went on to discuss theft of property from a landlords property by a tenant.

When I explained to him that Police and CPS regularly brush off theft from a landlord or criminal damage caused by a tenant as a “civil matter” he was clearly concerned and accepted that when tenants do commit such crimes they should be prosecuted. I’m not convinced he appreciates the scale of the problem though so I am asking you to provide some examples in the comments section below. I have the Judge’s contact details and he will be signed up to receive notification emails linking to your comments.

If he is true to his word (I have no reason to doubt that he won’t be) then our chance meeting could well prove to be a very useful one in terms of my quest for justice for landlords.



Comments

by Jonathan Clarke

11:37 AM, 23rd October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Old Mrs Landlord" at "23/10/2016 - 09:44":

I had one tenant steal a washing machine. Trouble is for they moved from a property i manage in to one of my own properties which didn't have one. It wasn't my machine it was my clients. They never thought to ask me first though. They just assumed rights of ownership . They knew exactly what they were doing but just sidelined me and didn't engage any form of moral compass before doing it. When challenged there was not a shred of guilt or remorse just a bemused look. They are no longer my tenant.

by Old Mrs Landlord

14:25 PM, 23rd October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jonathan Clarke" at "23/10/2016 - 11:37":

I'm waiting for the day when Shelter give equal publicity to research such as the Direct Line study I quoted as to the few individual rogue landlords who ignore regulations that they're always highlighting. I'm not holding my breath. Almost a third of tenants think this is acceptable behaviour (i.e. admit to it), but it's their landlords who have to bear the losses and yet are constantly vilified in the press and popular culture. .

by MoodyMolls

14:59 PM, 23rd October 2016, About 5 years ago

My tenants quite often taken the silver curtain poles , some leave the brackets

by Neil Robb

16:22 PM, 23rd October 2016, About 5 years ago

Interesting I have a tenant who has just started work but may be entitled to housing benefit but has been avoiding me and mucking me about. I arrange to inspect property on Tuesday after weeks of trying turned up tenant home refused to answer door.
I received message can we do it on Saturday even though the tenant knows I try to keep my weekend free. So I agreed call on Friday to find out time received text at 06.48 asking for 4 pm in stead of 12 pm. Later asked to change until Monday at 2 pm.
I made arrangements already to meet two others at 4 PM so said I would call as arranged.
I knew I would not get an answer so typed up a letter explaining this was unacceptable behaviour and we needed to sort out rent and inspect property if not resolved I would serve notice to quit.

At 0606 am I started receiving texts from the tenants family about how unfair I am being and it is inappropriate for me to put tenant under this pressure when they have so much going on.

To quote text if I was to change locks I would not get outstanding rent and money owed and there was nothing I can do about it. This is the attitude of tenants.

It is poor me and to hell with you. Needless to say I am more inclined now to serve notice and evict so here is a person planning on not paying rent and trying to fiddle housing benefits.
We will see where it goes

by MoodyMolls

17:18 PM, 23rd October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Robb" at "23/10/2016 - 16:22":

Yes its like when you ask for the rent as they dont pay it, they say you are harassing them for keep asking as they dont pay

by Robert Mellors

19:42 PM, 23rd October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Robb" at "23/10/2016 - 16:22":

Hi Neil

They may be planning on not paying you, but apparently that is NOT fiddling the Housing Benefit because it is their claim so the government say they are free to spend the money on drugs, prostitutes, booze, 84" flat screen TV, six staffies (or any other pets), new clothes/shoes, or anything else they like, and they do not have to use the Housing Benefit money to pay the rent if they don't wish to do so.

I guess landlords are just expected to be grateful for having someone in the house so they don't have to pay twice as much Council Tax (as some Councils charge double for empty properties that are not using any of the Council services). - I wonder if the Council has to pay Council Tax on their empty properties??? (just a thought).

by Joel Davis

19:36 PM, 24th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Double Council tax for empty properties should never be allowed. It gives the Council a financial incentive to adopt polices that result in more empty homes and run down areas. In town planning terminology this is known as 'decanting'. Then the Council can compulsory purchase whole streets at a knock down prices and sell the land to a developer at a profit - this is termed 'regeneration'.

These types of underhand behaviour are not considered criminal or 'theft' either!

1 Councils should not profit more from empty properties than occupied ones.
2 Councils should be forced to pay owners the greater of either the current market value or the original purchase price if they want to make a CPO.

by MoodyMolls

20:30 PM, 24th October 2016, About 5 years ago

I though council tax was for services if the property is empty then what services are you getting.?

by Robert Mellors

20:56 PM, 24th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "KATHY MILLER" at "24/10/2016 - 20:30":

Street lights perhaps! Other than that, very little, but the Government has enabled Local Authorities to set their own Council Tax policies, so they can do whatever they please, and that includes charging landlords twice as much as anyone else!

by Whiteskifreak Surrey

8:37 AM, 25th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Received this morning via NLA update - another kick for LLS?
https://nlauk.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/homelessness-reduction-bill-changed-and-its-bad-news-for-landlords/

They actually mention the possible damage to the property as an additional cost for LLs - that is why I am publishing it here.

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