11:13 AM, 22nd May 2014, About 9 years ago 7
Last autumn I put up my property to rent and used my local authorities approved rental list to advertise the house for the first time. I was contacted that day by social services who had a large family for the property.
I met them a few days later and was told the father was taking on the responsibility for bringing up 6 children as the mother had gotten into problems with drugs and alcohol. The guy seemed a nice bloke and I only had reservations about housing 6 children in a 3 bed semi. They said they used bunk beds and had lived in a much smaller house so I thought all was OK.
They moved in and everything was normal until this March when I received complaints from the neighbours about the family. I also started to have to visit the house more to make small repairs (broken quarter window in door, bath light blown out, radiator leaking).
At the same time the family was benefit capped as they were now receiving over £500 per week and so the rent was cut in half. They secured the discretionary rent top up and all was to be OK until July. So I decided to issue a section 21, because the tenant and social services said he could not afford to pay the £78 a week rent top up out of his £432 free cash flow (benefit money).
The council were working with the family in order to find them new more affordable accommodation (council the only option as PRS too expensive now benefit capped).
Two weeks ago the family moved out claiming they were being targeted by gypsies. It turns out this was a false story as they just wanted to get out of the area as they had upset so many local people. They have now been rehoused some where in the locality again.
I am happy they have gone. I am not owed any rent and have been told the damages will be repaid under the council scheme – new carpets in lounge and full repaint of the house internally, plus other bits and bobs. However, the tenancy has been very stressful and I feel social services misled me. I have found eviction documents in the house which I think relate to their previous property which is 3 miles away. I intend to go there and ask if this family used to live in the property.
If social services had told me they had been evicted for antisocial behavior I would never have rented to them.
1) Does anyone know who I could write to at social services detailing this story (with a little more depth obviously). Do they have an ombudsman type body overseeing their work ?
2) This family is a problem and they have not been helped by social services at all. They have been pushed out of 2 properties now and will probably be forced out of their next one. Why don’t social services invest more time to help educate this family to behave within societies norms? Just passing them around and keeping them off the books is not really tacking the long term problems which are being stored up in all of the individuals involved – low self esteem, poor attainment at school, slipping into criminality etc.
3) I am also going to write a full account and send it off to Ian Duncan Smith. The father has never worked, he has no control over money management and I think his family is a generational one which lives off benefits. Why our society lets individuals live as they want to without any form of punishment and provide them with a free income is madness.
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