Test case for landlords under EU Human rights act possible?

by Readers Question

9:58 AM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Test case for landlords under EU Human rights act possible?

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Test case for landlords under EU Human rights act possible?

It seems to be more prevalent that local councils are advising non-paying tenants to be as difficult as possible to landlords. These problem tenants are being advised by councils to turn up at their court hearings at the last minute to force cases to be adjourned, then hold on until bailiffs arrive.EU

This hasn’t happened to me .. yet, but it has just happened to my nephew who is a landlord in London. In his case, his solicitor confirmed that the tenant had acted on advice of the local council.

If these cases are ever proved (undercover journalists?) surely a landlord would be able to take civil proceedings against the council involved and seek compensation for loss of income and time / expense.

I am also wondering if it is feasible for someone to force a test case under EU Human Rights regarding the Right to Work Act (I think it is Article 8). Surely landords have a right to work?
And what these unscrupulous local councils are doing is tantamount to inciting theft.

Sharon



Comments

Neil Patterson

0:00 AM, 30th November -0001
About 2042 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "07/07/2015 - 08:43":

Hi Robert,

Thank you for sharing your wider perspective.

Your contributions are greatly appreciated 🙂

Neil Patterson

10:55 AM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

I Found these

The right to work is the concept that people have a human right to work, or engage in productive employment, and may not be prevented from doing so. The right to work is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law through its inclusion in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, where the right to work emphasizes economic, social and cultural development.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to respect for one's "private and family life, his home and his correspondence", subject to certain restrictions that are "in accordance with law" and "necessary in a democratic society". The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 8 is considered to be one of the Convention's most open-ended provisions.[

12:31 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi - As a lawyer and landlord I have seen this many times. The tenant(s) falls on hard times and goes to the council for advice or another place which I will not name. As stated it seems councils give advice and some of which is 'legal advice' which they are not allowed to do and or authorised to do - have no legal qualifications - yet get away with it. The times I have heard – ‘the council said to stay', but getting the unequivocal evidence, without being told it was entrapment, is very difficult. It is about time someone took them to task and put a stop to it. Each person is accountable for their individual actions !!!!!!

Andrew Holmes

13:04 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter Fisher - Boddington Law - (Fixed Fee Law)" at "06/07/2015 - 12:31":

Hello Peter,

I have fallen foul of tenants that have gone to the local housing authority and citizens advice, there i said it ! and have been advised to wait to the last minute of the bailiffs turning up, paying rent so they are only 7 weeks behind and not the full eight weeks and other delay tactics.

The local housing authorities have no housing stock so the longer they delay a private tenant being evicted that is a problem they have avoided.

Not once have i had someone from housing association phone me and try to sort the problem out, even when the tenant is DSS and they are several months behind with the rent and they are claiming money for rent and not using it for rent. To me this is fraud and the housing association should start proceedings to re claim the funds, that would send a message out to everyone.

The local councils cause a rift between private landlords and themselves, a test case for wrongly advising tenants would open the flood gates and stop this practice from happening, but i suppose its like you say, the hard part is proving it and knowing which legal angle to come at them from.

13:28 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Andrew - I don't bother waiting for two months once the rent gets £750.00 in arears I serve a Stat Demand - though saying that the law is about to change where the min is to be £5,000.00 – pain.
I agree there needs to be a test case and the councils hit hard to make them stop these tactics. I had one tenant who said they were going to the council to say that I would not re-decorate or re-new the bathroom etc. – not legally bound to do so. Then I got this ‘person’ from the council come on to me – they did not realise I was a lawyer as I don’t always show my hand. Was told they were going to visit the property to do an inspection and so on. I made it VERY clear that any implied right of access was withdrawn, even though there was none in the first instance (some think as they work for these government departments /councils etc. they can do as they please), and if they did go, even with the tenants agreement, they as I am the owner / landlord would be trespassing and I would enforce – they soon backed down.

Tony White

13:32 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

This has been the practice in our part of Cornwall for years. Over ten years ago we had tenants who were over eight months in arrears, had made no attempt to clear them, despite our best efforts to help, and who we were eventually forced to evict. The Council advised them to stop paying what little they had and sit tight until the notice to quit was served. And as this came to court in the summer sessions they were effectively given another four months rent free because of court holidays. In the end it cost us over a years rent, and half as much again to have the house cleaned, fumigated and reinstated, plus the legal cost of eviction

Until then we'd made a point of providing accommodation to tenants receiving benefits. Afterwards we refused to consider them

. If there is an increasing housing shortage problem for people on benefits the Councils that follow these policies are a significant causal factor. And it's a policy that cynically suits their budgetary constrictions. A tenant that can get months of effectively free accommodation at the Landlords expense won't be as demanding on the benefits budget. It was not a problem when rents were paid directly to the Landlord. It became one after the Council opted to make the payment via the tenant, and many other landlords were similarly effected.

Andrew Holmes

14:29 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter Fisher - Boddington Law - (Fixed Fee Law)" at "06/07/2015 - 13:28":

Hi Peter,

I had not heard of the "stat demand" before, i have just looked at it on line, can an individual serve this to a debtor, ie, me as a private landlord or does it have to go via a recognized legal third party representative, also can it be aimed at a court of your choice, the on line GOV form states either high court or central London county court.

Sorry to pick your brains but i do like anything that allows a landlord to make troublesome tenants lives that bit more difficult.

Andrew

14:59 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Andrew - A Stat Demand is used under the Insolvency Act - there are several versions depending on the type of claim and have to be drawn up correctly - though not that difficult. They HAVE to be served by a third party (process server). I’ve always chosen the court the matter goes in case of an application for a set-side is made but the debtor has to pay a fee to the court for this.
The downside is the debtor can apply to set aside the Stat Demand if there is a possible defence. The upside is they are quick to do and serve and gives the debtor 21 days to pay or possibly be made bankrupt – that becomes the costly part if you go down that route. There is no need to go to court to get them issued unlike a County Court Claim etc. They do tend to get the debtors attention.

Andrew Holmes

15:08 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter Fisher - Boddington Law - (Fixed Fee Law)" at "06/07/2015 - 14:59":

Hi Peter,

That is very interesting and informative, at present all is good with current tenants but you never know what is around the corner. If anything comes up that involves me having to get the tenants attention in a short time scale i will certainly be looking at this route, might even see if my legal cover on the houses insurances will look at serving one, not sure if that is possible but certainly worth investigating.

Thank you for the heads up.

Andrew

15:16 PM, 6th July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Andrew Holmes" at "06/07/2015 - 15:08":

Hi Andrew - your welcome.As a lawyer, plus also a landlord and in business for over 30 years, I know what most businesses go through hence the 'fixed fee' and a bit of advice now and then

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