The cost of bad eviction advice by councils

The cost of bad eviction advice by councils

15:13 PM, 14th September 2016, About 5 years ago 29

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The average cost to a landlord of their tenant being advised to ignore an eviction notice stands at nearly £7,000, according to a recent survey of landlords.  bad advice

Private tenants are often advised by local councils and agencies to ignore eviction notices served by their landlords – and to wait until evicted by bailiffs – in order to qualify as homeless and thus eligible for rehousing.

The latest findings from the National Landlords Association (NLA) reveal that the mean total cost of a tenant being advised to remain in a property is £6763.

In addition, 47% of tenants who have been served a section 21 eviction notice by their landlord say they have been told to ignore it by their local council or an advice agency such as Shelter or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB).

The news comes as the National Landlords Association (NLA) is due to give evidence to the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee today (Wednesday 14 September) on the Homelessness Reduction Bill.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill, as introduced by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, amends the Housing Act 1996 to expand councils’ duties to prevent homelessness by:

  • Providing that Section 21 Eviction Notices are proof an applicant is threatened with homelessness
  • Doubling the definition of threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days

The NLA has long campaigned against councils advising tenants to ignore eviction notices and in March, 2016, the then Housing Minister Brandon Lewis wrote to all local councils in England to clarify homelessness guidance.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the NLA, said: “We have consistently campaigned on this issue, but despite many warnings to councils and agencies, this damaging advice is still being given out to tenants.

“Possession cases can take a very long time to resolve, and aside from putting an unnecessary strain on everyone involved, not to mention the Courts, these findings demonstrate just how costly the advice can be.

“Bad, or incorrect, advice hinders rather than helps landlords and tenants who are often already in a desperate situation. It will inevitably damage landlords’ confidence in the local authority and tenants may be put at much greater risk of having nowhere to live.

“We hope that this Bill will achieve its aims of reducing homelessness by giving tenants the support they need while incentivising the good work that landlords already do in communities across the country.”


by Mandy Thomson

17:38 PM, 16th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Andre Gysler" at "16/09/2016 - 15:13":

When I worked for a time at a job centre, I often saw claimants coming in wanting hardship payments because their jobseeker's allowance (JSA) had been stopped which meant housing benefit or LHA was also stopped. Often, the JSA had been stopped because the claimant had failed to attend an appointment because they hadn't been informed, or the appointment letter had gone astray, but mostly it was stopped because they just couldn't be bothered to attend to sign on, so you're right, even LHA paid to the landlord is far from secure!

by Monty Bodkin

18:09 PM, 16th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "16/09/2016 - 15:41":

in many cases councils are taking this position because they simply have nowhere to put these people.

For which they should shoulder a large part of the blame.

Landlord licensing, scrapping council tax exemption, HMO licensing, power crazy EHO's, bizarre HHSRS assessments, anti landlord advice to tenants, anti landlord publicity campaigns, incompetent or just plain obstructive claims handling, turning a blind eye to the disgraceful grotty B&B "hotels" (too much hassle), and on and on and on.

All this pushes up rents and alienates landlords from benefit tenants.

After 20 years of it, I'm out of the the benefits market for good. It will get a lot worse before it gets any better.

by Mandy Thomson

18:31 PM, 16th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Monty Bodkin" at "16/09/2016 - 18:09":

I agree entirely. There would certainly be more available housing if many councils didn't kill their golden goose in alienating small private landlords. They often expect private landlords to meet standards they don't meet with their own housing stocks, and are surprised that ordinary individuals of modest means can't act as housing charities and social services. Even when they do take on LHA tenants, they are accused of "lining their pockets with taxpayers' money".

Sorry, but I have never, nor will I ever, take any tenant who cannot more than afford my rents by their own means and isn't happy with the property. I don't wish to "exploit" anyone and I want the security of knowing my rent will be paid by a good tenant. I am fortunate to rent in a market which attracts the kind of tenant I want, but I know others aren't so lucky.

by Chris Mayger

16:12 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

One thing all the above replies omit to mention, is the massive increase in homelessness rumbling down the tracks towards landlord's and local councils, thanks to Osbourne's Tenant Tax!
Does anyone know who the NLA representatives who attended the Homelessness Reduction Bill, meeting on 14th September are? I hope they brought this matter up, because if the local councils don't report this impact back to the new Housing minister and the new Chancellor, they are going to face an absolute nightmare of a housing crisis. Remember, landlords have already started selling up and an article in a prominent property tax magazine, has advised a reader to sell up her buy to let portfolio because of the impacts of the Tenant Tax. Many more are going to follow that sort of advice.

by Gary Nock

17:05 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Well combine this with the LAs telling tenants to stay put, nett population increases of 330,000 a year, low housebuilding levels and you can see what will happen to rents. In fact it already is. I have seen one bed flats in Halesowen West Midlands go from £375 to £405 in 6 months - and theres no need to advertise as I have a waiting list of people who want one. This just isn't healthy.

by Gromit

14:36 PM, 22nd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Mayger" at "17/09/2016 - 16:12":

I've been badgering my local Councillor to find what plans and funding is being put in place to cope with the impending explosion in homeless people.

Answer - nothing - they'll wait for it to happen/ that is beyond their current time horizon.

by David Price

15:49 PM, 22nd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Barry Fitzpatrick" at "22/09/2016 - 14:36":

". . . . time horizon." Are you Hawking in disguise?

I know what you mean . . . Oh dear, its my tea break and I don't have time to post a proper reply.

by Gromit

15:59 PM, 22nd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Price" at "22/09/2016 - 15:49":

found me out 🙂

by Gary Nock

16:45 PM, 22nd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Should be event horizon....relates to Black Holes..which is where local authorities get rid of all their "too difficult to deal with stuff" tenants...

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