Landlords as Victims, never considered?

by Readers Question

8:27 AM, 17th April 2020
About 8 months ago

Landlords as Victims, never considered?

Make Text Bigger
Landlords as Victims, never considered?

Below is a letter I have sent to the  Victims Commissioner

Dear  Dame Vera Baird,

All the landlords who seek services such as mine are victims of Tenants who abuse Civil contracts, many on a habitual basis, as Career bad tenants.

The Police service have largely withdrawn over the years from many areas such as Road Traffic offences,  Fraud and anything that can be remotely ‘cuffed off’ into the Civil action arena. Even where clear criminal offences are disclosed, Police presumably for lack of resources and priorities, wrongly ‘lump’ such matters into a Civil Landlord and tenant dispute. I have dealt with clients complaints against Police for such matters.

I read in the Guardian yesterday that you rightly expressed concern over the increase in Domestic Violence deaths during the Coronavirus  period.  The fact is that even during the exceptional virus period we’re experiencing, there are still a very necessary number of evictions that absolutely must  take place from a justice perspective.  Not only Domestic violence, but Anti-Social behaviour that blights so many neighbours lives.

I would hope you can appreciate this and wonder what representations you’ve made to government on behalf of victims from the Total suspension of Civil justice. ?

The Civil court system is a  very under-funded ( with Govt stated aim of  it becoming self-funding, which will mean even more so than now,  only available to those who can afford justice ) and inefficient.

We are still talking ‘Justice’ albeit the matter falls within the Civil Justice remit.

Civil justice [sic] is only effective if the respondent has means which can be accessed or seized.

There is an ever-increasing number of groups that claim to support tenants,  of course only needing to support the small percentage who have breached their contract, promise and integrity.

All landlords hear from Government is the need to ‘re-balance the power between landlords and tenants.’   I can tell you from my  own experience as a Landlord and as a landlord legal service, that Landlords are very much the ‘poorer relation’ in disputes that are costly and time-consuming and where the Landlord is ALWAYS at a financial loss.

Hoping that you are the Commissioner for  ‘Justice’ and not partially Criminal justice, I would like the opportunity to discuss the matter in more detail by telephone at a time convenient to yourself.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Possession Friend


Share this article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Comments

Mick Roberts

9:44 AM, 17th April 2020
About 8 months ago

Great,

Let's see if she replies. Their policies of helping bad tenant more & more only gets them a temporary stay of execution. Making the tenant next time much harder to get a house.

John Bullock

11:15 AM, 17th April 2020
About 8 months ago

Great piece enjoyed reading it though I think it will not penetrate the anti landlord sentiment

Ian Narbeth

11:28 AM, 17th April 2020
About 8 months ago

You are absolutely right that in any residential landlord and tenant dispute, the landlord is always out of pocket. The reason of course is that landlords are involuntary creditors. If a customer stops paying for a service or the supply of goods, the supplier can stop supplying. Landlords can't and as tenants stay on in occupation, their debt increases every day. The landlord is obliged to take legal action because he cannot simply stop the service. In court landlords never recover anything like full costs of bringing the claim.

David

11:30 AM, 17th April 2020
About 8 months ago

Thank you Possession Friend. All efforts by members on this site to raise awareness with those in power is appreciated. I do have my doubts though that responses from my MP are genuine and that she has any intention of raising my complaints about the increasing pro tenant stance of this government. Will for example the £4 billion spent to root out rogue landlords be matched with £4 billion to root out rogue tenants. Well of course not so Johnson's manifesto pledge to make the rental market a fairer place falls at the first hurdle. No reply yet as to when they intend to introduce housing courts either. In the meantime landlords obligations have not changed and they are expected to risk their lives inspecting properties while they lodge rogue tenants for free or at reduced rents indefinitely.

Coastal

12:11 PM, 17th April 2020
About 8 months ago

Some time ago I approached our local MP relating to many of the issues we are facing as landlords, adding a warning that in time desperately needed rental housing will severely diminish should the government continue with their unbalanced pro tenant, anti landlord policies. This was quickly batted to the House of Commons resulting in a number of letter exchanges directly on the matter. The eventual outcome was of a dismissive stance, seeming to only wish to highlight the level of new housing the Conservatives have created since being in power. I think the point that Ian makes in being unable to stop supplying is very relevant and is a result of the government no longer recognizing being a landlord is an actual business, borne out by the S24 tax changes! This is despite many of us (myself included) being full time landlords supplying much needed homes to local families. Good luck Possession Friend but only when many landlords have exited the business and housing gets to critical mass will the government see and understand the consequences of their anti landlord polices.

Dennis Leverett

12:25 PM, 17th April 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Coastal at 17/04/2020 - 12:11
Problem is though they will never see it and place the blame elsewhere, probably blaming Landlords for cashing in on their investments to have a jolly life somewhere, I don't think.

Ingrid Bacsa

0:49 AM, 18th April 2020
About 7 months ago

We victim landlords need to unite and rebel in some way like students or workers unions do. Governments simply will not help our status because
1. We are a minority group - all parties get more votes from pleasing tenants
2. They can easily take our money in fines and licences and planning inspections and annual HMO inspections - milliins - all to subsidize Councils, like taking candy from a baby
3. They want control without accountability . They sold Council Housing because they didnt want the maintenance expense and responsibility. Instead they pushed all responsibility onto us landlords - we must be "social' landlords whether we intended to be or not. But the governments/councils still maintain all control, scoring points with tenants, and generating business for gas inspectiors, EPC surveyors, electricians, fire safety inspectors and builders.
Enough is enough. If we organise a mass peaceful rebellion - by all withholding annual tax payments or some other action - they couldnt jail us all and might start to listen.

Currently all we can do is grovel in trying to change the balance. Polite discussion with NLA etc has achieved nothing. We need to find a weapon by uniting, that will force the government to incentivise landlords.
If we dont it will just get worse until only millionaire landlords (mostly from House of Lords) will exist. I guarantee the balance would change in their favour then. Come on guys, united action is what we need. Who can forge a plan?

Fiona

17:48 PM, 18th April 2020
About 7 months ago

Wellsaid ian. And thank you thank you thank you for your offer for free help last week on the phone. You helped me calm down, and not feel so alone, and gave me great professional advice too.

My two pennies worth here. I had a tenant once ask me to guarantee them a car loan ? ? ? Bonkers.
However, I came to see it this way. Basically, whenever I give a tenancy, this is essentially what I'm doing. I am signing a contract, that guarantees, that for the next god knows how long, I am guaranteeing them their living costs.
Rudimentary I know. But it worked for me psychologically, to be better at referencing, and listening to my gut.
Another incident. 3 years ago. Tenant in shared house. Worst one ever. Monster. Long story short, I had to do an escorted by police lock break on the front door. Police inspected the house. There were clearly weapons in the house, crowbars, a bat etc, that hadn't been there previously.
Meant for me, and my partner. It was clear as day what the intention was. To me, and the police. i will never forget the police man looking at me really sadly, and saying " I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do "
I've made it my mission in the last 3 years to downsize. I'm at 4 houses now, 25 rooms. Can't wait for the day I have NO tenants EVER again my life.
Never known such an inequitable relaitionship in all my life. No one in my life has that much power over me. Not even my own lovely lovely daughter.
If anyone in my life treated me the way tenants are allowed to treat us, I'd ghost them. The LL / tenant relationship does not afford us this. I'm out.

I'm a GREAT landlady. Love property. Great relaitionships with the majority of my tenants over the years. It's a privilege to take care of people, and give them good homes. But the few spoil it for the many. Not helped by legislation, and odds stacked against us.

Sigh. rant over. I am out. I've spent 2 years working out my next strategy. I do love property. But no more tenants for me.

Ingrid Bacsa

23:35 PM, 18th April 2020
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Fiona at 18/04/2020 - 17:48Dear Fiona I know well what youve been thru and why you are jacking in. I have decided instead to run my 3 houses with a live in landlord in each of them. Tenants will be renting a room in shared houses but they will be under licence. These are not shorthold tenancies and tenants do not have the protection that kills us. Simply, if they come across as abusive or they default, they go - quickly. And we change the locks. I will not cower to the government's oppression of landlords. And THIS is I believe, a way around it as soon as lockdown is over.

Jonathan Clarke

2:04 AM, 19th April 2020
About 7 months ago

The landlord is yes at a major disadvantage when things go wonky . I kinda knew that though when I became one and that feeling has never changed in 20 years . So I work with the system I am given . There is no strong union to fight my corner.
The newly formed NRLA should be our voice but it is not a powerful enough voice so I have to rely on my own endeavours.

So I factor that potential financial loss into my plans and think how can i avoid my personal pain
Its down to me . How do I get the advantage . Its all about tenant selection for me . Get that right at the outset and the tensions are not there down the line. That requires time and interview skills . Its never going to be foolproof but the tenant selection processes used by many agencies who pump that job out to these third party firms are next to useless . I wouldn`t rely on them one bit . They ask maybe 3 questions by e mail. No due diligence. Its a disgrace .
I do my own interviewing and set the tone right at the outset.
Dig dig dig into their lives and you will tease out the strengths and the weaknesses in their application. After all I`m giving them keys to my 200K asset and asking them to pay me 10K every year for say 5 years . Its a big ask and a big risk
Look for good values instilled in them by their parents and their schooling . That tends to stick with them through life . Good tenant selection though at the outset tips the scales in your favour.
Good Luck

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Property Investors Awards - Winners Announcement 2020

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More