Police blamed for allowing Anarchy to rule in the PRS

by Mark Alexander

9:41 AM, 24th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Police blamed for allowing Anarchy to rule in the PRS

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Police blamed for allowing Anarchy to rule in the PRS

On another Property118 forum thread I stated …

“We are all agreed that if somebody hasn’t got money they will not suddenly find some if you successfully sue them.

What’s even worse though is feeling there is no justice.

If Anarchy ruled in the UK most people would leave.

It is a perception of safety and justice that makes the UK such a desirable for place for people from other Countries to want to live.

However, anarchy does appear to rule in the PRS. If rogue tenants decide to destroy a landlords property they can do so with a feeling of impunity. Worse still, they may even be rewarded with alternative social housing.

Is it any wonder that “NO DSS” became such a popular phrase given this situation? Why would anybody in their right mind take the risk of housing somebody with no money AND knowing that justice is extremely unlikely to be  served if that tenant causes criminal damage to their property?

Likewise, regardless of funds raised through Selective Licencing and law upon law being created to regulate landlords, enforcement is appalling. This plays into the hands of the criminals who operate below the radar, mainly housing the most vulnerable people in squalid conditions, i.e. in properties which are badly damaged, filthy and dangerous – even before a new tenants goes in. They get away with it because they are not registered anywhere. There tenants do not dare to complain, because these criminals wont just kick them out, they might even cause physical harm to anybody (and those close to them) who might dare to “grass them up”.

If you look at actual prosecutions you will see they are against soft targets, not real criminals. I suspect there are more fines for not having a licence in most Selective Licensing areas than anything else. Next on the list of prosecutions are likely to be other minor offences, such as no gas safety certificate or EPC, and we see fines of £30,000 being imposed for such offences whilst the true criminals carry on as before.”

Giles Peaker of Anthony Gold Solicitors and founder of the Nearly Legal website also posted on the same thread to say …

“I’d completely agree that the police are hopeless in most tenancy related offences (criminal damage, illegal eviction and so on). “

he went on to say …

“But that is about the police, rather than the law – the law is there. I certainly sympathise with those frustrated with how it is approached (or rather not approached) by the police.”

These comments were in response to another person commenting on the same thread. However, in direct response to my questions to him, Giles responded …

“The law is already there. I’ve spent some considerable time in the past (unpaid!) trying to get police educated and trained on tenancy matters, with limited effect. I think the cuts in police numbers have just made things worse, as they try not to get involved in what they see as minor matters.

I have also raised it directly and indirectly with MPs. Some at least are aware, but again, it is not a legislative issue, it is about police operational priorities, training and resources.

Perhaps it is something people could lobby their local Police and Crime Commissioner about?”

MY CONCLUSION

The Police and the CPS all too regularly choose to turn a blind eye (or at least a deaf ear) to reports from private landlords of criminal damage to property caused by tenants. It also seems to me that the authorities use what little funding they have to tackle anything but the worst criminals, whether they are landlords or tenants.

Therefore, the Police and the CPS are at least partially responsible (and to a great extent in my opinion) for GOOD landlords and Agents feeling they have no choice other than to state “No DSS”.  This is not born out of discrimination, as Shelter would like people to believe. It is about the Authorities using their resources for pretty much anything other than prosecuting violent and/or destructive criminals, and thus leaving the PRS in a state of Anarchy. For example, it is been alleged that Nottingham Council recently used funds from Landlord Licensing to sponsor a local Carnival. Are there no criminals providing unsafe housing to illegal immigrants and other vulnerable groups in Nottingham?

Anyhow, these are my views. What are yours?



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:01 AM, 24th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

PS - Gangsters don't just exist in the movies, they actually operate in real life in the UK under the guises of both landlords and tenants!

Those masquerading as tenants will quite happily turn a landlords property into a Cannabis factory, a brothel or a drug den. There are plenty of stories on Property118 of how the Police have turned a blind eye to this.

Likewise, there are people masquerading as landlords, and in many cases they don't even own property. They rent from other people and then overcrowd the property with illegal immigrants or undesirables. If those living in the properties, perhaps sex-workers or drug addicts complain, smashed fingers, kneecaps and elbows are the consequence.

If the authorities turn a blind eye, despite reports from landlords, what then?

Monty Bodkin

10:15 AM, 24th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

My view is that when drafting laws, due regard should be made to whether it is enforceable or not and what are the likely consequences.

However well intentioned, the recent raft of landlord legislation is mostly ignored by criminal landlords and only abided by good landlords. Driving up rents and creating a larger sub-class of tenants exploited by criminals.

Mark Alexander

20:19 PM, 24th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 24/08/2019 - 10:15
Indeed Monty, and some of the crimes which are reported but not investigated are far beyond what Giles describes at “minor offences.

For example, cannabis growing, criminal damage, anti-social behavior etc.

What really irks me is that a blind eye is turned to this but individual landlords are being threatened by Councils with fines of up to £30,000 per offence where the offence is no more than a missing piece of paperwork!

MoodyMolls

8:53 AM, 25th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

We are easy pickings, looks like council have done something if they then say they have prosecuted a landlord.
Regarding DSS
I maintain that all tenants should have deductions until debt paid at a reasonable amount. Hit them in the pocket.

It's the same story with travellers they don't have to get planning permission for what they build. The council staff police don't want the repricussions.
My builder bought a van online and had a few probs, took it to a garage and turns out it was a death trap with a dodgy 1year Mot. I spoke with the company along with the garage to try and get the money back. We then found out what we are dealing with.
So they would not give money back wanted a van swap which we definitely did not want. So no money we told them it was going to the Mot inspectors they threatened to break my legs.
We took it and it obviously failed. So we went to council because it turns out that they have been selling death traps to 100s of people and still are.
Trade under about 10 different names and call themselves different names.
One of the guys in charge lives in a man or house as 2 acres of land at rear full of vehicles.
The council done nothing, in the past 2 got sent down for 2years one guy got 20000 fine. But they never stopped trading just different name and they are still doing it now.

Monty Bodkin

9:34 AM, 25th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 24/08/2019 - 20:19
What really irks me is that a blind eye is turned to this but individual landlords are being threatened by Councils

You've nailed it there Mark.

The Lefties love to blame the police but it is local authorities who are really to blame.

I know a few rogue landlords, one of them quite well. He believes he is providing an altruistic service by housing foreign tenants in squalor. And to some extent he is right. Where else are they going to go?

And the council are fully aware of it but they know they'll have a big problem if they close him down.

The police are frequently called round to mop up the mess.

Chris Baker

14:23 PM, 26th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Hi Mark,

The Police had no care what so ever for my loss or costs I suffered as a victim from the action of criminals or as a direct result of the Police’s absolute positive action to save them from acting on one of the very few laws that was set-up to protect landlords.

Landlords are not just Soft Targets we are virtually Non-Beings.

We all know the squatting in residential properties is illegal – Right?

Not according to Norfolk Police who after strong criticism from myself used two of their solicitors to utilise the poor wording of guidance by the CPS to work around, and save them from acting upon this law. (The squatter claimed an unknown person gave them a tenancy)

When I evicted squatter the council treated me like the devil incarnate and re-housed them.

The support from Property 118 members who offered their help, did a lot to help me cope.

I now thank them.

I am not one for giving up, but the crap that PRS Landlords are getting from every which way is very telling. There are other ways to invest.

To all landlords who think they are beyond suffering allegations of being a ‘bad landlord’ don’t be too quick to judge others. I could rent your place and turn it into a mould invested hell hole in just a few weeks, I could create boiler, shower and electrical faults left right and centre, even when you’ve spend thousands putting right problems caused by me (but you had no way of proving it) I could still create issues and report you to the council for neglect, not only will the council have you dancing a pretty dance with their favoured 30k fines, I will pay the rent, but you’ll be lucky to ever make a profit from me and you will be stuck with me, best you never speak to me as I will use and twist anything you say to call it harassment. Oh yes; as the tenant I will be the poor victim during all this you Bastard Landlord.

I purposely became a landlord nearly 30 years ago to secure the means for a pension for myself. The recent hit after hit upon landlords is making me look for other avenues than residential letting.

My advice to any new or wantabe landlords is beware, unless there are signs that private residential Landlords will be protected and encouraged, look at commercial or holiday lets or look outside of England.

Perhaps Mark you are the man, or Property 118 could find a viable way for PSR landlords to form a National UK Housing Association? I know little about HA’s, I am of the mind that PSR rules don’t apply, HA’s do seem to lend to my wish to invest in property together with my known good tenants, such a venture has the growth investment potential without the maintenance or agents or PSR tenant issues. One association with many members could cover hundreds of thousands of properties put me down for a 1% formation dividend.
Kris

bob the builder

15:08 PM, 26th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

We are fast approaching the point where the ONLY way to survive in the PRS will be to be a hardened criminal - all the honest ppl will leave and renting will enter a new era of a dark underworld with a tiny 1% Corporate's operating way outside the budget of 99% of the renting population. I for one have had enough as I do not wish to 'convert' to a criminal status...

angela

10:12 AM, 27th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Goodness gracious so negative, I have three properties with lovely tenants, I bought properties I would live in and therefore can get the best type of tenant. The police are NOT to blame for your woes, the government is. The police are too busy running around after missing/suicidal people for one thing. I am aware of a property going to auction which was bought in 2008 for 80K. It is not the nicest of areas, but was a good house, the guide price is 33K, due to it being destroyed by druggies, prob on benefits. I have some sympathy with the owner but also know that the type of person he would get in would have some social issues, it is not rocket science. I read these comments and think am I doing the right thing staying in BTL but I could not think of evicting any of my tenants so am stuck with it at the moment, I think my negativity towards it comes from reading and seeing other peoples horror stories, surely these are not the norm?

Mark Alexander

10:55 AM, 27th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by angela at 27/08/2019 - 10:12
Hi Angela

Thankfully , in 30 years I have only come across one criminal tenant. To put this into context, in that same period, my home was also burgled.

The Police invested the burglary but ignored the criminal tenant issue, which caused me far more stress and damage than the burglary did.

Yes, this is a negative article, but it is also factual. It's not every day that your home get broken into, or that you car gets stolen, or that you get assaulted. However, if it does happen to you, you would like to think the Police would investigate it.

Likewise, landlords would like to think the Police investigate criminal damage caused by tenants and also criminals purporting to be landlords, but in the main, they don't!

MoodyMolls

12:28 PM, 27th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Hi Angela
You can also get rogue tenants in good areas. Like you all my houses are in areas I would live.
I use to work with Housing needs not anymore. Unfortunately in my personal experience the poorer the tenant the more issues you get. The main one being that they have no money so they know they will never have to pay for the damage they cause.
This needs to change.

Many also know the systems and can play them and unfortunately the likes of Shelter to.
I think when the only people coming to you report probs u start to bel that the whole sector is bad.
I think the problem is society as a whole no pride, no respect, want things on a plate etc.

I would not want to be a policeman, when I was young we were scared of them a little. Now the kids don't care because the police don't have many powers resources and are tied up like all of us in red tape.
How disappointing it must be to get someone into court for the judge to let them off with a slap on the wrist

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