When is a spade ever going to be called a spade? Misappropriate of public funds.

by Readers Question

13:15 PM, 3rd March 2015
About 6 years ago

When is a spade ever going to be called a spade? Misappropriate of public funds.

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When is a spade ever going to be called a spade? Misappropriate of public funds.

When a tenant is either partially or fully supported by LHA and they choose to spend those funds on other things (sometimes as ridiculous as holidays or car insurance or even going to the casino); that in my book should be clearly categorised as misappropriation of Public Funds. (and yes, we have experienced all of those things and more!)

These people are effectively at best performing unauthorised borrowing and at worst stealing what isn’t theirs to keep.

They are not only affecting LLs and their finances but also the workload on Housing Departments as evictions escalate, the increasing number of private LLs unwilling to accept LHA tenants, pressurising the Court system etc. Ultimately this culminates in a lengthier eviction and larger debts being borne by LLs.

This ultimately is a form of theft whether it be classed as theft from the public purse or theft from the private LL. We need to stop being so soft when people take deliberate actions to secure money that isn’t theirs and make it a criminally prosecutable offense.

Regards

Andre spade


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Comments

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:07 AM, 8th March 2015
About 6 years ago

I think Andre has started a very important debate here. I'd like to see it build into a campaign. It would be great if landlords could be proactive in this way, rather than us always being reactive in response to the frequent attacks on our business by government and other agencies.
However, I would like to see the issue criminalised in general (no idea how this would be done, but you have to start with what you want to achieve and then work out how to implement it). In my experience, it is not only tenants claiming LHA who don't pay the rent. Some of our worst cases have been with people who have a good income and choose not to pay the rent. Whilst we often finally get the money off them, through the long-drawn out attachment of earnings process (which also needs improving), I think it might act as a greater incentive to pay if the person got a criminal record from this. I'm aware this sounds Dickensian, but perhaps someone can point out to me the logic of the division between the civil and criminal justice laws in this context?
The example I always use is of the awful woman who owes me £2,500, which I believe I will never get. She was working while she was a tenant and afterwards, but for dodgy employers and she were obviously fiddling and paying no tax. If she had paid me the money but then stolen it back from me out of my handbag, she would have been committing a criminal offence, but if she just never paid it in the first place, no criminal offence had taken place. Call me dense, but I don't see the logic which makes one criminal and one civil - it's the same result for me.
NB. I believe non-payment of council tax is a criminal offence, and again, why should that be a special case?

Kulasmiley

23:33 PM, 8th March 2015
About 6 years ago

Let's start a campaign then, Now! Get an mp on side and we can make a change!!

brian clement

0:49 AM, 11th March 2015
About 6 years ago

Hello Ros / AA. Trouble is Landlords don't have a union or any powerful group to represent them. The AST and HB law was worded to transfer responsibility from the state to private landlords, without the government having any consequence's of bad tenants. This was done on purpose. If its not a crime and no one has done anything wrong, then the government is happy. Low crime figures. Getting MPs on your side will make no difference as they will be forced to " toe the line" and be quiet. I wish you well. Please prove me wrong. But when I tried, it was like hitting my head against a brick wall. Brian.

Kulasmiley

8:53 AM, 11th March 2015
About 6 years ago

Well I think bringing in our brilliant Bill Irvine to help advise. Bill, are you out there? Come on property 118 let's band together petition wise!!

Robert Mellors

14:04 PM, 15th September 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "brian clement" at "11/03/2015 - 00:49":

This has been referenced in another thread, hence why I'm reading it now.

The landlord's union that Brian said we don't have, is no longer the case, the recently formed Property 118 Action Group is set up like a landlords union and is specifically for bringing legal cases. Perhaps they would take this on?

15:59 PM, 16th September 2016
About 4 years ago

I can see why the local authority try to stay out of under current legislation and the lack of overall definitives in who to pay but that, of course, doesn't mean the legislation is right.

When I worked for a local authority we used to have joint meetings with HB processing staff and this sort of situation often popped up as a point - they were pretty much as annoyed as the landlords over the way monies were being spent.

In my mind common sense (with regards to law, I know....) would say that paying someone direct is the easiest and cheapest option so it should be the default (with payment to tenants only as the fall back). It would immediately save huge amounts of time and money for all concerned.

Craig

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