Private Landlords Will Need To Be Much More Vigilant if Proposals Go Ahead

by Mary Latham

16:53 PM, 11th November 2011
About 8 years ago

Private Landlords Will Need To Be Much More Vigilant if Proposals Go Ahead

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Private Landlords Will Need To Be Much More Vigilant if Proposals Go Ahead

Tenants with anti social behaviour orders will be forced into the private rented sector if proposals to give housing associations and councils a discretionary power to evict tenants who commit crime – even when they have acted long distances away from where they live – go ahead. “Social landlords have claimed their tenants are being stigmatised by the Government’s plans to evict tenants who commit anti-social behavior miles from their homes.”

My concern is where will these people go to live? The answer seems fairly obvious, they will go to private landlords who have no way of knowing that they have been evicted from the social sector and this will exacerbate the already increasing problems that landlords face when dealing with this type of tenant. If local authorities, with their trained and skilled Anti Social Behavior staff, cannot modify the behavior of these tenants how on earth can private landlords, who have no skills or training, be expected to deal with them?

Moving people out of the social sector will not solve the problem, it will worsen it. Landlords will be forced to go through the lengthy eviction process to remove them from our properties and in the mean time other tenants and neighbours will put us under pressure and are very likely to find support from Police and local authorities. This is a ridiculous situation.

According to this article, “The National Housing Federation suggested that the new clauses appeared ‘to be at odds with the minister’s introduction of the original proposals, which focused on the need to stop anti-social tenants making the lives of their neighbours a misery’.”

The issue of anti social behaviour was highlighted by the summer riots but it is not exclusive to people who cause problems on this scale. One person can have a devastating effect on the lives of those around them and moving that person from one area and/or tenure to another is not going solve this growing problem.

Government need to address the illness not the symptoms and give people a clear message that their behaviour will not be tolerated. I haven’t got the answer, although I have got my opinions, but the issue needs to be discussed at the highest level with all those who deal with the people who cause the problems and solutions must be found to stop ASB once and for all. If it is thought necessary to remove people from where they live because the impact of their behaviour is so great, then perhaps they should be placed somewhere that they will be supervised and retrained to become useful members of society.

One thing is certain and that is private landlords like me should not be expected to deal with these people where trained professional have failed.



Comments

HMOLandlady

13:07 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

This is such a huge and emotive subject and one I've been trying to solve since I first became a landlord! Sadly, it's a Government problem and we are just little pieces in this game.

I've just come off the phone to a crying tenant (a normally confident man) after he's spent all morning in the housing benefit office trying to find out why they paid £49 instead of the usual £89. He now has £20 to last him till the end of the month and can't pay his rent until he gets paid from his part time job in December.

These are the vulnerable and at the mercy of the Government and council's decisions whilst the landlords bear the risk and emotion - perhaps it's just part of the job?

Mary Latham

13:12 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

Mark I dont think that this is a whole new subject. It is time that priority was given to those in need based on the level of their need. In a world where homes were plentyful and local authorities still had decent levels of stock we would not need to be so picky but this is not the case and SOCIAL housing is meant to be for those in most need. I do not envy a person who would have to make the judgement but the judgement does need to be made. Local authotities who make the judgement based on whether a person is working or not are just taking the easy way out and, in my opinion, they are positioning themselves to ensure that they do not have rent arrears when universal credit begins. This is socially unacceptable, the PRS has been dealing with rent arrears for years, worsened by the loss of direct payments in 2007, we have to deal with it and so must LA's. I believe that when LA's and RSL's are suffering loss of income the system of payment will change and we will find the rent being ring fenced, as it should be, and paid to keep a roof over the heads of claimants. I am looking forward to universal credit for this very reason but if LA's are allowed to "work the system" and take only "safe" payers we will be back at square one.

Mary Latham

13:23 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

hmolandlady you are obviously a decent and caring landlord and one who makes me proud of the business that I am in but the fact is that you are a landlord not a social worker and you should not be dealing with these issues. So no it is not part of our job it is part of the jobs of those who our tax pounds pay to deal with these problems and to administer the system in a way that makes peoples lives better not worse.

HMOLandlady

13:41 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

I agree, I just wish the powers-that-be who are in receipt of our tax pounds would do their job properly. I have no problem with the cavalry on the ground but know they are operating under increasing pressure. It's hard to be hard hearted when confronted by a sobbing, desperate adult exasperated with the system.

Mary Latham

13:58 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

Yes it is hard to be hard hearted and that is why landlords like us suffer. If we just did our jobs and did not get involved life would be much easier but, for those of us who care about people, that is not going to happen. I actually don't mind so long as I can help my tenants but there are times when you hit a brick wall with some authorities who seem to be both anti landlord and anti tenant. Thats why I think Ben RL should be head of housing in England he is that rare person who sees all points of view, understands the law and the system and can tell the wood from the trees. Perhaps we could clone him?

Ben Reeve-Lewis

14:00 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

The recession has certainly seen a sea change in national thinking.

The welfare state grew out of not only WW2 but the depression that immediately preceded it and people have pretty much held the view of it all as a safety net for ordinary people ever since, until this past year or so. Now there is a backlash against people getting something for nothing.

10 years ago at dinner parties with friends the discussion would turn to fairness and sympathy for those less fortunate, including defaulting tenants and the jobless. Now at those same dinner parties the same people I know are complaining about how hard they work with no support while people who do nothing get everything. Even my Buddhist friends talk about it in terms of people taking self responsibility.

This kind of thinking informs council decisions too. 10 years ago if a council proposed what Wandsworth and several other councils are proposing the staff would have gone out on strike in support of the public. Now we just say “Its about time”.

Now this mindset, coupled with the lifting of restrictions on councils is going to overnight pull the rug out from under people who for the last 60 years have been held upright with nothing in it’s place to take over. When Localism comes in it will in effect be like when you start a new game of ‘Pick up sticks’ and throw everything up in the air to see where it will land.

As before it will be the people on the bottom of the heap who suffer. By bottom of the heap I mean the huge army of citizens who aren’t academically bright, aren’t articulate, may lack a decent level of social skills or self awareness, have drink or drug problems and in many cases borderline mental health issues.

All these people the council’s have supported since 1948. I appreciate that PRS landlords may well be seen by councils like Wandsworth as dumping grounds and the annoyance this causes but the effects of these decisions are going to go way beyond housing in how they affect our society in the coming years

Mary Latham

14:01 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

There seems to be a troll on this thread I wish that this person would comment and give us the opportunity to have a reasoned debate rather than ticking thumbs down, which in my opinion, adds nothing to an important discussion

Mark Alexander

14:05 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

Hi Mary

There is nothing we can do about people clicking the thumbs up or down and we can't track them. It is impossible to click the thumbs up or down more than once per thread though so this is obviously an organised attack. If it continues we will simply disable the thumbs up/down facilities.

Regards

Mark

Mark Reynolds

14:13 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

Good stuff Mark! I was drafting a reply but decided not to after Mary's and my comment above was disabled - although now I see it has been reactivated?

Thought Halloween was over a few weeks ago lol 🙂

Mary Latham

14:14 PM, 14th November 2011
About 8 years ago

Thank you Mark I am assuming that the thumbs down were because there was mention of a business site on the post. For the record I have met Paul Routledge just once at the Landlords Show last month and I have not commercial interest in his business or any other. My comments were made because LR is an excellent solution to a HUGE problem and my internet history will show that I

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