Shelter back alleged ‘fraudster’ squatter with legal representation

by Property 118

9:54 AM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

Shelter back alleged ‘fraudster’ squatter with legal representation

Make Text Bigger
Shelter back alleged ‘fraudster’ squatter with legal representation

A Daily Mail reader wrote in requesting help from the Financial Mail on Sunday’s investigator, Tony Hetherington, who fights for the individual rights of readers that have been taken advantage of and left out of pocket.

The call for help said: “My father bought a house in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in 1971. Several years ago, a tenant tried to seize ownership by claiming squatter’s rights. He persuaded Shelter to back him and provide legal representation. He produced fake energy bills and a fake story to support his case.

“The case failed when it was found that he earned above the limit for the legal aid he was claiming. Shelter helps poor people who are homeless, but it represented someone we believe to be a fraudster and is now demanding £24,000 in legal costs from my father.”

Tony made contact with Shelter to discuss their position on this matter and was initially threatened with action against publishing the story, because the allegations are untrue and defamatory. This position was backtracked by Shelter stating merely that the tenant could not be described as a fraudster. This was despite the fact the tenant used fake gas and electricity bills to show he was paying utilities at the property.

To claim squatters rights the tenant tried to prove he had uncontested occupation of the property for over 12 years. However, Tony investigated this further finding documented evidence that the tenant had other main residence addresses during this time and this was confirmed by two tenants living at the property.

Shelter refused to confirm its policy on giving legal support to seize property and how many such cases it had financed. However, Shelter’s head of legal services said: “Providing legal help to squatters is squarely within our charitable objectives.

“We are not an accommodation provider, nor are we a soup kitchen or provider of immediate food and clothing. Shelter advises, supports and represents the homeless and badly housed, and campaigns to change Government policy.”

The case is on going for the reader’s father who has made offers towards costs that have been turned down and it is believe Shelter has reduced its demand to £16,000. click here to read the full article.

This article was referred to Property118 by members and readers with comments such as:

“SHELTER SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN!

“I read this article on thisismoney.co.uk and was astonished by it!

“Seems like this needs more publicity to get it as much In the public eye as possible. The best way to stop this kind or disgusting behaviour from a charity is to hurt them financially as I think many people will either cancel any donations they make or think twice about giving to them in the first place.

Best way to stop the rot at Shelter is to let them hang themselves with this kind of negative publicity!”

Paul

“I thought regular contributors would be interested to see how Shelter continue to prove how disgusting an organisation they are.”

Anthony

“Interestingly after receiving 3 negative comments the DM seems to be banning any further comment. I have tried 3 times to comment with no result and there have been no new comments from anyone over the last 24 hours despite the article still being live.”

Bill

 


Share this article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Comments

Mark Alexander

11:03 AM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

I think the following statement from Shelter should be far better publicised, because I very much doubt they would receive over £60 million in donation a year if the truth was better known...

QUOTE FROM SHELTER "We are not an accommodation provider, nor are we a soup kitchen or provider of immediate food and clothing. Shelter advises, supports and represents the homeless and badly housed, and campaigns to change Government policy.”

In my opinion, if they knew the real truth, most reasonable people would consider that several of the people supported by Shelter do NOT deserve support, i.e. those who commit anti-social behavior which ruins otherwise decent areas, those who spend housing benefits on drugs and alcohol, those who cause criminal damage to private properties etc.

If you donate to Shelter, please understand that YOUR money might well be spent on keeping such people in a home that others are far more deserving of. Also bear in mind that less private individuals will invest into housing if their worst tenants are supported by Shelter.

If you donate to Shelter you may actually be contributing to the shrinkage of investment into additional housing.

Increasing housing supply is the only way to reduce demand, the knock on effect of which will be lower prices and improved standards when supply of rented housing outstrips demand.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COPY MY TEXT ABOVE AND SHARE IT ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS WHERE SHELTER ARE SEEKING DONATIONS

Beaver

11:19 AM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

The quote that strikes me most is:

Shelter’s head of legal services said: “Providing legal help to squatters is squarely within our charitable objectives."

So if that quote is correct and you consider that any property you own might ever be at risk of being taken over by squatters, Shelter is a threat to you.

Kate Mellor

11:40 AM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

How can the property owner be in any way liable to pay Shelter’s costs unless a judgement for costs was awarded in court, or Shelter was providing the property owner with representation? Shelter have clearly acted in bad faith. They’ve decided to drop the case because there wasn’t one which they could win and they used a fake barter with the defendant to get their costs covered. If they had any chance of winning and offered this barter it would have been against their own clients best interests & therefore against their professional obligations. They’ve used underhanded and unscrupulous tactics to con a naive man. Absolutely DISGUSTING!

John Fowles

14:49 PM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

Watching a celebrity 'Chase' the other day I noticed that Dave Gorman, who strikes me as a switched on guy, won a very large cash prize. His chosen charity was shelter !

Gromit

14:53 PM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John Fowles at 13/01/2020 - 14:49
Just one of many people duped by Shelter's deliberately misleading portrayal of being a homeless charity that does more than just give "advice".

Old Mrs Landlord

15:30 PM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by JJ at 13/01/2020 - 11:19That to me was also the most striking quote from Shelter, bearing in mind that squatting in residential premises is now illegal. However, if the person Shelter represented is or was a tenant, by definition he is not a squatter in law because he originally entered the premises with the owner's consent (www.gov/uk/squatting-law). Obviously, that does not entitle him to claim ownership of the property but it also gives rise to the question if he is not legally a squatter, how can he possibly claim squatter's rights? Perhaps Ian Narbeth would like to comment because this is a puzzling case and I suspect there is more to it than we have been told in this thread.

The Forever Tenant

16:31 PM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

I'm all for the disadvantaged having access to legal advice and representation, but this strikes me as ridiculous.

Surely there should have been at least some due diligence performed on the squatter/tenant/Alleged Fraudster before taking the case. I would have hoped that there would have been some research before deciding that it was a lost cause.

Dennis Leverett

16:42 PM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

Tread carefully, doesn't add up.

Chris @ Possession Friend

20:58 PM, 13th January 2020
About 9 months ago

the part of Shelter's 'purpose' ( sic ) that I found most perverse is their aim of campaigning against Government … - who fund Half their £ 60 Million annual income ! Helloooo MHCLG ? anyone at home ?

William Williams

19:56 PM, 17th January 2020
About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 13/01/2020 - 11:40
According to the article they tricked the landlord into signing a document which had a clause in the small print agreeing he would pay their legal costs. I believe he did not use a solicitor to defend himself?

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

Beyond Section 21 Report - The unintended consequences if government doesn't listen

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