Landlord intimidation – now is the time for action

Landlord intimidation – now is the time for action

by Readers Question

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14:55 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago 64

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I am aware that a lot of landlords on this site have faced some of the same problems with councils that I have had to endure over the last several months. Such as giving tenants legal advice (they are not allowed to do this) and lots of other problems that they try to intimidate me with making up the rules as they go along.

I Googled “how to take the councils to court” the results where shocking not just for landlords, but for tenants too. I have therefore decided that enough is enough, I emailed my MP yet again to no avail, he said he would take it to government ombudsman. I laugh because he made this suggestion to me a few months back and the reply I got was a nameless guy on the end of the phone laughing and saying” MPs are bl##dy idiots they make the bl##dy laws” quote un quote.

So I am now in the middle of yet another dispute with another council and have come to the conclusion that the only way forward is to allow them to take me to court!!!

This is the only way that I can think of to get it into public arena and whilst I could do without the grief they will I suspect be really upsetting some poor judge for waste of court time and money.

I am now asking for as many of you as possible to back me on this. Just send me your stories etc, I have already emailed my MP and one of the chief executives telling them that this is my plan and it is now up to my MP to finally pick a side and move forward, so please ANY help or stories please comment below. I am a GOOD landlord which many many tenants will attest to. My tenants live in much nicer houses than I do simply because I realise that it is them that is keeping the roof over my head, but the good are being targeted and the bad just let go.


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Neil Patterson

15:03 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Sharon,

I know lots of readers have had similar experiences. Are you able to share a few more details of your situation without naming the people involved?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

15:15 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Sharon

So what's the case that you intend to let the Council take you to Court over?

I think if you were to share these details then other landlords would be far more likely to share similar experiences.

Mark Smith Head of Chambers Cotswold Barristers

15:55 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Please feel free to contact me for an initial assessment of the situation. As we have seen in other cases, there is strength in numbers, so I echo Neil and Mark A's appeal for others to come forward.

Jamie M

16:19 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

I have just had another case and the worst yet £7400 rent unpaid by the time i got him through the courts and he still refused to leave as the council (Richmond Upon Thames) were coaching him, they describe this as informing him of his rights (to my money) and as they have just inspected £13,500 worth of damage to my flat. Over £20,000 of my money because these thieving pricks know their rights and the socialist pricks working in most councils use us as free accommodation for several months. I am so angry at all of this. We are waiting to see Vince Cable, but he is as toothless and useless as them all. They talk a game but nothing will happen. I need to hear from someone what can be done? Jamie

sharon underwood

16:27 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "07/07/2014 - 15:15":

Hi Mark this is an amazing house but sometime ago I had a leak for which we had to take a small part of the ceiling out, it is a Victorian house so very high ceilings & we kept it like that as it kept re occurring & needed to make sure the leak had completely stopped, they are saying this is a health & safety matter which it quite obviously is NOT! I have had 2 health & safety engineers look at it & both said council was mad but as they are insisting I repair it I thought .I would just tell them to prosecute me...This will i am sure upset the courts & the tax payer immensely but they don't have anything else to pester me with so I am letting them put their own nail in their own coffin if it wasn't so flaming annoying it would be laughable, but hey ho I have set the ball in motion now so cant go back. Would just like others to stand behind me & let me relay their own experiences. I did say to my MP & chief executives that this needs legislation not a toothless tiger such as the Government ombudsman these councils need reining in & the most they could do to me is MAYBE a small fine but I suspect it will not happen. I would not mind BUT there is a dreadful landlord in this particular area & they wont go near him, I have been with my tenants today at the house, have explained it to them & one of them has parents that are lawyers & grandfather who is a judge (I had no idea until today) they are furious with the council & like me just want to be left alone, they love the house their friends etc cant believe how they have gotten so lucky to live where they do & they have all said they will be contacting the council themselves, all that said I still think they have got to be taken through the courts or they will hound us to death forever.

sharon underwood

17:15 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jamie Moodie" at "07/07/2014 - 16:19":

OMG! Seriously I can not believe this!!! I dont know how my going to court will help others or if indeed it does although I pray to god it does help others!! Have you done the formal complaint & emails to all your local councilors??? I agree vince cable is a useless T**** If you have done all of this to no avail try & it is only a try to go straight to the chief executive of the council CC him on to you email to your MP, but If I was you I would try something similar to what I plan to do & it is as I understand it UNLAWFUL for them to give tenants legal advice (not illegal) have you had a particular person doing all the bullying etc??? If so I dont know but maybe there is a way to sue her PERSONALLY if not I would definitely take this thru (I was going to say small claims court) but its much higher than that. There are many lawyers etc on here surely WE must have some rights??? maybe you could take them thru the small claims & your wife/partner can take them thru as can prove they are responsible for this, tape every conversation video any meetings keep any correspondence, I just dont understand why we are being put thru this & all seem unable to do anything, but you know & I suspect a judge would know that they was not informing him of his rights they was giving him LEGAL advice without question, they have the CAB, SHELTER, etc for their rights please keep me updated, I have had this crap with hounslow council, Oh & by the way who is paying his council tax & bills etc???? because of course if the power company are aware they are going to get shafted they have their own bailiffs etc & council tax you can go to court & get heard there about the abuse from council hence why bill is not paid, got to be worth a shot.
I am disputing that bill & go to court this month going to find out if I can put in a counter claim or just explain to the judge how the council gave me bad info & the tenant legal advice! There has to be ways round all of this so lets get going & start banging some heads together!!! Stay strong Jamie I really cant imagine how bad this is for you, I would not have that kind of money to lose in the first place so I would have been bankrupt....Oh just had another thought IF you did not pay the mortgage but put the money aside would it not then be down to the mortgage company to gain possession & then Oops you find your money for mortgage?? Just throwing some ideas out there people dont suppose mortgage companies will take crap like this???

sharon underwood

17:32 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "07/07/2014 - 17:15":

forget last bit wouldn't work xx

sharon underwood

17:59 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "07/07/2014 - 15:03":

Hi Neil, I remember some time ago seeing a petition on here re bullying councils do you remember it??? I think I told you at the time how I was being bullied, intimidated, & harassed by 2 councils at that time, I really want to lay all of this to bed but seeing some of comments on here & various other sites I just dont think I can walk away from it now, It would cost me next to nothing to get ceiling & few other odds & sods done but im a red head & always up for a fight hehe.
There was also some other legal cases going thru at that time with many many landlords but sadly if I remember rightly they lost, If you remember any of the big cases could you point me in the right direction as to where they are on this site. My concern is that yes I dont think much could or would happen to me by doing this but do you think any ruling would A) make the council put in MORE legislation or B) help any other landlords?? are judges really that naive?? I thought most judges would be landlords so would understand our position & certainly most MPs are landlords so why are they not getting the crap we get???

Richard Adams

18:48 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "07/07/2014 - 17:59":

Not much I can say bar good on you Sharon, good luck and I'm with you all the way but other than telling you my story not much I can do to actually help.

I served requisite notice to end SHT on my thoroughly good tenant. Needed to sell the house to repay a debt sadly so i was on the rack. Tenant approached local council - Stratford on Avon not a lefty one - re getting on the housing list. Tenant told me that the Council "suggested" she refused to leave the property and make me get her out via the courts. She refused to accept this advice thank heavens.

I contacted the Council in a rage to be told it was their "duty" to advise the tenant as they did. Just how much it was making her aware of her rights rather than encouraging her to do what they advised remains open to conjecture. It was hinted to the tenant that her application to be housed would be better received if she did as they suggested.

I could not believe that this can happen being naive but tenant stuck by me and quit. I had a lucky escape.

sharon underwood

19:55 PM, 7th July 2014, About 10 years ago

HI Richard and yes you did get very lucky, Its as then all tenants get a bad name as well as landlords, I have many friends that rent & would kill for them to live in my property, that said I have been relatively lucky judging by some of the sites & comments I have visited.
In my situation there was absolutly NO doubt that the woman from the council was a power hungry b****! I very naivly let a woman with 3 small children move into my beautiful house without deposit etc because the council refused to house them saying that she had not lived in the area long enough. To cut a long story as short as I can it was no time at all before I regretted my decision.
The house is large & I knew council would not pay all her rent but I had a student in 1 of the rooms so I told council just in case it would affect her benefit or me in any way, mths later I was INVITED to MY house by the council, I called them & said I would try to be there but could not promise, I turned up on the day knocked on door & tenant tried to block my way so I pushed him out of the way & went into the house at which point the guy (who wasnt on tenancy) said thats fine the council told us to call the police & that the police had been put on "NOTICE" I had NEVER EVER been near or by the house but "apparently" I sent them abusive txts, so from the very start they had criminalized ME!! The police came I just told em to go play with the traffic & stayed put until the council turned up!!
I went outside at that point & there was approx 7 members from the council every department you could find most where ok but the bitch was out for blood, when I said come on lets go inside she responded saying"he doesnt want you in the house" I pointed out that I didgive a monkies what he wanted & she said "no you have to give them 24hrs notice" (she hadnt spoken to them at this point) I told her that SHE had given them 24hrs notice for both of us but she said that because i wasnt sure that it didnt count duuh! So I said ok lets go give them 24hrs notice & turned towards the house & she shouted NO they still dont have to let you in" now the bitch IS GIVING UNLAWFUL LEGAL advice doesnt matter what way you slice it she was bang out of order!!! so now I have 7 council officials & a pair of scumbags in MY house talking about ME!!! & they then informed me that the house was now HMO so I said even better hmo landlords dont have to give notice to enter the communal areas of a house but she still persisted in her en devour to keep me out of house, I had plenty of witnesses even the previous tenant was there saying that I had been her landlord for 6yr without a single incident
Fortunately I had printed off a tenancy agreement from a law company (up until this point I didnt bother with tenancy agreements) NOTE: this is NOT what a landlord should do..When i printed off the tenancy i honestly didnt even look at it but took it round made a couple of adjustments & she signed it all.
This tenancy turned out to be my saving grace because when I read it there was a clause in it saying that if the tenant left the premises for 4 or more days I had to be given the contact details of another responsible adult or I could gain entrance without fear of prosecution. As it was all going on at Xmas & I knew they was away I gained access they had torn the place apart left all the heating on etc because now here in lies the real problem, as the house was classified as HMO I then become responsible for council tax bills etc which as I mentioned before I am going to court this month to dispute & hopefully I will win that...So as you can see there was a lot of legal advice given to tenants & as I have sat here writing this I am remembering more & more so would like a bit of advice from one of you lovely solicitors out there.
When I go to court I think they assume that it will NOT be disputed & just noticed the crafty so & so has put my husbands name on it & he had absolutely nothing to do with any of it so can not relay any of the conversations etc, plus I will be disputing it for the reasons above including the fact I asked if it would affect me at all & was told twice that no it would not affect me, so IF I was to win would I have a better chance of getting some money out of the council for all the damage that was done to the house because they saw it BEFORE it got trashed & AFTER it got trashed & that was due to them refusing me access despite the invitation???? Answers on a postcard plz

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