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.


by Patricia Malicka

18:34 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

We gave notice to all tenants from one of our HMOs for anti social drinking and causing nuisance. They left by the end of notice period but were not very happy that they had to leave so they caused damages to one of the rooms (fire door including frame had to be replaced with wall replastered and painted) and kitchen (washing machine door pulled out and microwave smashed against the wall). Deposits didn't cover damages. We reported it to the police, provided IDs details, workplace addresses, contact details and new landlord contact details as we knew where they moved. We were told "someone would contact us within 5 days". We then had a follow-up call when the police asked some additional questions. No one came to look at damages or asked for any evidence. All happened about 3 months ago. Haven't heard from anyone since 🙁

by Ian Ringrose

18:37 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Patricia Malicka" at "17/10/2016 - 18:34":

Patricia, there is nothing the police can do unless they can PROVE 100% who did it out of the tenants.

by Patricia Malicka

18:55 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "17/10/2016 - 18:37":

Tenants admitted they have done it. Appearently they had a party on the last night they stayed at the property. We found damages when we came to collect keys.

by Ian Ringrose

19:12 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

TenantS is not good enough, it must be ONE person that admits they PERSONALLY did damage to a police officer.

by Patricia Malicka

19:46 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "17/10/2016 - 19:12":

So when two people start throwing stones at a car and cause damage they can also not be prosecuted until I prove which of them caused which dent?

by Michael Fickling

20:22 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "17/10/2016 - 19:12":

Fact... the police can arrest and interview on suspicion a crime has been committed ( for an arrestable offence ) and suspicion someone has commited it. FULL STOP. No one has to admit anything...for that to occur and for that arrest to be completely lawful and proper procedure. Anybody who tells you otherwise does not know the law.Furthermore...people do get arrested and subsequently convicted every day across this country and go "no reply" the entire way through...arrest... interview and court...no answers.. If a rented house is badly smashed up and its obviously malicous we have a crime.Criminal damage.Beyond doubt. If the tenant was living there at the time they can normally be reasonably suspected of doing it and can be arrested by the police and interviewed. Doesnt require anything else whatsoever. Certainly does not require any admissions. Especially in circs where they were due to leave/quit a day or so later or we have some other obvious angst/ anger applying.. Whether an individual police officer has the gumption or drive to do so is another matter but i can assure all readers /users of this site that this is the law. People can and do get convicted of all sorts of crimes and never admit anything.... including murder. The law around arresting and detaining or interviewing is the same... for arrestable offences generally..and criminal damage is just one of those..its merely a suspicion based...power...or one might say reasonable possibility/probability.. .A very, very different test to the one applied actually at a trial. Try not to confuse the two. In any event they can and should be either arrested or invited to a police station and interviewed under caution and on tape.The law supports that and that is the proper and normal investigative route when a crime is reported and investigated by the police.If any of this is not happening its because of an officers laziness, ignorance ..misunderstanding or that of his /her superiors In either event they are plain wrong if they try and pretend or believe they cant arrest and investigate. Reading landlords stories it appears that the main disconnect is the police..not cps or judges....it requires the police to act diligently........... A. to record a crime..and i have previously posted on why thats crucial in plice practice....and... B to start and pursue a proper investigation including an interview under caution of the suspect.
If no crime is ever recorded then its very likely no action will be properly taken.Thats what a landlord should push for and insist upon .It is in short the precursor to what should follow.

by Neil Robb

20:58 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

I have on many occasions brought up various crimes the police will try and say is a civil matter.
Theft is theft no matter who you are.
Vandalism is criminal damage.
Benefit fraud is benefit fraud.
To obtain services by deception is fraud you cant stay in a hotel then not pay or take twelve months to evict at huge costs.
Then the tenant says my light switch did not work my property has faults they lie to the courts and mislead. I thought this was perjury. Surely judges can see through these lies.
Yet landlords are expected to tolerate this and if they do anything wrong they can be arrested on criminal charges. Amazing how the police do not consider this a civil matter.The law really does need to be addressed.
It would appear that all departments Police and DWP wont prosecute tenants no matter what they do.
For a tenant to claim housing benefit they need a property and a tenancy agreement stating they have to pay the landlord rent without this they don't get any housing benefits.
So when at tenant receives this money and keeps it and does not pay the landlord why is this not fraud. The DWP will say it is the tenants money to do with what they want .
Yet if the same person claims not to work and receives money when they do it is fraud.
If they claim to be single when they have a partner and claim benefits it is fraud.
So why do the not consider claiming rent money and not using it for the reason they received it to be fraud.
By not paying rent it makes them homeless eventually it is time to make people accountable for their actions.

by Neil Robb

21:07 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Patricia Malicka" at "17/10/2016 - 18:34":

Put in a formal complaint against the police and be prepared to push it through.
It will surprise how soon they want to act then.

by Alan Carey

21:32 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Really, can you give more detail on how we go about that, if enough of us do it, they might change their attitude and we might get the protection and service that as law abiding, tax paying, UK citizens, we deserve and should get.

by Alan Carey

21:36 PM, 17th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Robb" at "17/10/2016 - 20:58":

This is very good information, it seems that a lot of people who post on this site including me, are not aware of what we can make the police do, please can we have more information, so that we can get the police to do their job that we pay for.

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