8:49 AM, 18th August 2011, About 10 years ago
The plight of a landlord who had a buy to let home trashed by tenants who faced eviction for failing to pay the rent has highlighted the unfairness of proposed new laws.
Housing minister Grant Shapps is readying new powers for social housing groups to fast track evictions – but these will not include private property investors.
Meanwhile, the loophole has cost landlord Glenn Schofield thousands of pounds as tenants vandalised his rental property while he was observing the legal process to gain an eviction order.
His Darlington four-bed house had carpets ripped up, windows broken, the kitchen destroyed, paint daubed on the walls and drains deliberately blocked.
The tenants also removed lead flashing from the roof, exposing the inside of the house to the elements, bringing down bedroom ceilings.
The bill for repairing the damage runs in to thousands of pounds, but pending completion of the work, Mr Schofield is left unable to collect any rent with day-to-day bills that need paying.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has already delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street asking for the government to make eviction procedures quicker to safeguard private landlords. The RLA pointed out that eviction takes at least six months and is concerned a programme of closing county courts may inject more delay.
Mr Schofield told The Northern Echo: “It’s almost indescribable. I’ve done everything by the book but I don’t understand why it has taken so long.”
Police are investigating the incident as a complaint of criminal damage.
A recent look at landlord/tenant relationships by the National Landlords Association (NLA) disclosed that only 1% of buy to let landlords would describe their dealings with tenants as ‘poor’.
Most landlords who had direct dealings with their tenants rather than through a letting agent told the NLA they ‘got on very well’ (60%) or had ‘good’ relationships (24%).
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