Landlords warned not to discriminate against benefits tenants8:58 AM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago 37
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?”
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?
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