9:54 AM, 13th January 2020, About 2 years ago 13
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!”
“I thought regular contributors would be interested to see how Shelter continue to prove how disgusting an organisation they are.”
“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.”
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