Landlord intimidation – now is the time for action

by Readers Question

14:55 PM, 7th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Landlord intimidation – now is the time for action

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Landlord intimidation – now is the time for action

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.



sharon underwood

12:15 PM, 11th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Gracey" at "11/07/2014 - 09:17":

Hi Steve that would be great, look forward to hearing from you....

sharon underwood

12:29 PM, 11th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "All BankersAreBarstewards Smith" at "10/07/2014 - 20:35":

Hi yes I apologize should accept comments good & bad, I really have no need for expert advice at this point but will contact Paul when I really need it, I have had all gas & electric certificates re done & have come back perfect leaving the council with nothing to moan about.
All I want to do is get them off my back & not expect to be able to walk in any time they see fit, it is MY house & quite frankly none of their business UNLESS they have a formal complaint, I am sick to death of interference from them & so are my tenants, I had to evict 5 great tenants for no reason whatsoever & do not want to have to do the same thing here especially since the rest of the area are renting out property not fit for pigs to live in much less paying tenants its outrageous which is why I wanted to fight this, its comments on here that show me that this is now common practice within the councils all over the country.
I am now playing it by ear, have them coming to the house on Monday so waiting for the result of that before deciding where I go from here

sharon underwood

12:38 PM, 11th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Iain Lettice" at "10/07/2014 - 22:26":

Hi Ian me again, there is a lady on here Mandy Thomson i believe re Croydon yet another area to introduce selective licensing.....May get some useful tips from her thread....

Ann Diamond

16:53 PM, 14th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Hi Sharon,
Here, as requested, my story.
I have been a landlord for 25 years with excellent tenants until now.
As I am getting on a bit my son said he would find a new tenant for my cottage. He found a very deserving couple who had returned from living in Spain due to the elderly husband's ill health.
The much younger wife was working and for 10 months the rent came in albeit with me having to remind them every now and then.
Then the wife gave up her job supposedly to look after her husband. They paid no rent for the next 2 months and did not even pass on the housing benefit they were receiving.
The council were very helpful and made the payments direct to myself but this only accounted for about half the rent and the tenants refused to pay any more. This made the tenant very angry, he claimed that he had had the 2 months rent put by in his safe but he had been burgled. When I asked about insurance I was not surprised to hear that he had just that month forgotten to pay it !
As I am sure I will never get a penny from them I decided to go for an Accelerated Possession order and do a moneyclaim online for some of the amount owing - although as the process drags on and on there will be even more rent outstanding and of course he is now 'trashing' the house.
They should have left on 6th June but the tenant claims that the council have advised him to sit tight until he is evicted. I have tried to contact the council about this and have visited the council offices, 'phoned and emailed and written letters to no avail. I have been told that the person I have been told to speak to is not the correct one and then transferred to a number where I leave a message and get no reply. It seems most of the council workers in the housing department here only work two and a half days a week and most of the time cannot answer the 'phone,even to their colleagues.
I have written to my MP and had a patronising reply.
Today I hear that the tenant has not put up a defence and that the paperwork is with the judge. If my paperwork is up to scratch he may give me a warrant but this could give the tenant another 14, 28 or42 days to stay in my house.
I have a proper shorthold tenancy agreement but find it is not worth the paper it is written on . The tenant will not allow me into the property but I must pay for things like the gas check.
I am very lucky as I am getting half the rent and do not have a mortgage. How some other people manage I just don't know !

sharon underwood

10:52 AM, 15th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ann Diamond" at "14/07/2014 - 16:53":

Hi Ann I just dont know what to say its a disgrace on every level, I had a meeting with the manager from the housing department yesterday & he turned up with the woman I have told them a number of times I do NOT want near my house or any correspondence with at all.
I told him she was welcome into my house so he asked her to wait in the car, lovely in the sweltering heat & pointed out to the other guy that now she can see what it feels like being left out whilst we where talking about her as she done to me.
He then went around the house making things up as he went along, I therefore told him to take me to court as I can show how the bullying etc has become common practice.
He then informed me that he also ran a LL forum & was aware of the bullying intimidation etc, he also told me various things "of the record" which as it turned out I have got on tape since my daughter had pressed the record button on my phone by accident.
I am also going to look up his forum & see exactly what he is aware of, when I pointed out to him that the council witch had notified the police with NO foundation whatsoever he said " no she did not the police called her & asked if they wanted a police presence pmsl...It would be soooo funny if it was not such a serious matter.
He also spoke to my 15 yr old daughter in a very condescending manner at which point I told him if he spoke to her like that again there would be serious consequences.
I am now contacting the national association for LLs who are in fact looking for someone to use for a test case for this particular subject which I am more than happy to do.
Please have witnesses to every & any contact with the council, so put your phone on speaker whilst talking to them so everyone in the room can hear both side of the conversation.
In your situation I fear you are in for a long rocky road, I have an eviction going thru at the moment NOT being contested I paid a company to do this, it has taken about 4mth before it went before the judge BUT they have a major backlog of orders being typed up, I have had NO contact & the company I am using are not doing a thing because it takes hours to get thru the courts & even when I do get it I have to a bailiff order meaning that it will go back thru the courts again so how long that will take is going to take god only knows & I had a tenant waiting to move in & now another that I will lose if this doesn't happen VERY soon.
I would however put in a formal complaint to council & email your MP pointing out that he is being paid by YOU & other tax payers & you want him to do a letter to the council etc, don't be scared of him this is his bloody job!!!!
I will keep you updated re NAL & when I receive correspondence from council BUT PLZ PLZ have witnesses to all & every conversations you may have with them.
You can email me direct if you wish my email address is above in a thread from Steve...I wish I could give you some positive feedback but sadly as you can see its happening everywhere...GOOD LUCK

John Daley

14:40 PM, 15th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Can someone please explain what law the Council Officer has broken ? In the original post you claim Councils are not allowed to do this. Where is that written down ?

I don't think it's an offence to give advice on the law, posters on this site do this every day.

I realise that I may, in the end, regret asking this question !

Jamie M

15:01 PM, 15th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Whatever, its immoral and a nasty spiteful tactic. My latest tenant coached by Richmond council left FINALLY with £7072.26 rent unpaid (rent 1250 pcm) and vandalised my flat to the tune of £13,000.
Its not coming out of anyones bank but mine.

This has to stop as it totally punishing! £20,000 How long does it take to save that much?

When I was in front of the head of housing accusing them of these tactics and demanding he put this scumbag into emergency accommodation (which they did a week later), he told me not to worry as I hadn't lost the money as I never had it. WHAT?? I could have hit him. What sort of ######### inhabit councils and govt departments, with no idea at all about financial imperative. I could scream. I told him it didn't matter to him as he went home at 4pm each day and it wasn't money from his bank.

Stuff legality and picking the hairs off an ants arse as you have nothing to contribute thats useful - ITS WRONG! ITS PUNISHING! THERE IS NO HELP! NO ONE IS BOTHERED! LANDLORDS ARE HELPLESS AND ARE SHAFTED DAILY BY ALL - BRITAIN IS BU######!

Richard Adams

15:10 PM, 15th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Daley" at "15/07/2014 - 14:40":

Yes I think you might regret it!

Councils are duty if not legally bound to give advice to tenants but there is a world of difference between statutory advice and actively egging them on to abuse the system to the detriment of decent landlords. Throw in threats that their chances of getting social housing in future will lessen if they don't run their landlords ragged and there is clearly an agenda being followed that absolutely stinks.

Steve Gracey

15:35 PM, 15th July 2014
About 5 years ago

Here is the statutory guide that all Councils must follow but they all seem to ignore it. Here is the link ....

points 8.3, 8.14, 8.3, 8.31 and most importantly 8.32 deal with this. I like 8.32.c (see below) because it says to me if there's no defence to an s21 it is unreasonable to remain in the property beyond the s21 date. The only defence would be fraud or obvious form filling errors with the dates, notice period etc. Common sense really - anything else is just vexatious .

8.32. Each case must be decided on its facts, so housing authorities should not adopt a
general policy of accepting – or refusing to accept – applicants as homeless or
threatened with homelessness when they are threatened with eviction but a court
has not yet made an order for possession or issued a warrant of execution. In any
case where a housing authority decides that it would be reasonable for an applicant to
continue to occupy their accommodation after a valid notice has expired – and
therefore decides that he or she is not yet homeless or threatened with homelessness –
that decision will need to be based on sound reasons which should be made clear to
the applicant in writing (see Chapter 6 for guidance on housing authorities’ duties to
inform applicants of their decisions). The Secretary of State considers that where a
person applies for accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation,
(a) the person is an assured shorthold tenant who has received proper notice in
accordance with s.21 of the Housing Act 1988;
(b) the housing authority is satisfied that the landlord intends to seek possession;
(c) there would be no defence to an application for a possession order;
then it is unlikely to be reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the
accommodation beyond the date given in the s.21 notice, unless the housing
authority is taking steps to persuade the landlord to withdraw the notice or allow
the tenant to continue to occupy the accommodation for a reasonable period to
provide an opportunity for alternative accommodation to be found.
73 Homelessness

Steve Gracey

15:55 PM, 15th July 2014
About 5 years ago

I'm happy for councils to give out legal advice. BUT as a public funded body they have a duty to remain impartial and to give the correct advice. They also need to be held accountable for shafting vulnerable tenants at a very difficult time for them.

Advising tenants to take an unwinnable case to court when they know it will result in that tenant losing AND getting a CCJ and never using the Private Rental Sector again just shafts this person and their family for the rest of the lives. It just delays the inevitable - they're still accepted as homeless. It's known as gatekeeping and I think even Shelter are on our side here - where lazy council staff just brush you off so they don't have to do any work.

Proper advice is .... you are legally required to leave on the s21 date and you are legally classed as homeless once the S21 has been served and Landlord has confirmed intent. If you stay beyond this the Landlord cant evict you without Bailiffs BUT you will definitely lose in court, get a fine / costs / CCJ and you'll probably never use the Private sector ever again. so you'll be stuck in council crappy sub standard housing or hostels or B&bs for ever. As a responsible council we have to strongly advise you to stick to your contractual legal obligations, and to not stay beyond s21 date when your legal occupation of the property expires.

Mark - perhaps this could be a real opportunity for Landlords and Shelter to work together for everyone (but especially the tenants) mutual benefit. They know that tenants getting CCJs isn't going to help their future housing needs.

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