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This article appeared in The Times: 09 November 2018 by Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson.
‘Connect House is a run-down converted office block in the middle of an industrial estate….. Windows are broken, damp is seeping through the walls, and there is nowhere for children to play. 86 families live there’.
Got the picture? Good!
It continues: ‘Luke, 16, who is preparing for his GCSEs, has to go to the library every night, because there is no wireless connection. He and his mother lived in a three-bedroom home for 12 years until the landlord decided to sell it and threw them out’.
Oh, I see…… so that’s how it happened? It was all the landlord’s fault? Really? Let’s re-examine the facts proffered by the two political journalists. Here we go:
1. Luke is now 16, so that made him a 4 year old boy when he and his mother moved into a 3 BEDROOM home. They lived in it for 12 years.
Isn’t that the problem???
Why would a single mother of one need a 3 bedroom home? Are we honestly expected to believe that in all the time she lived there, she never once considered moving somewhere smaller and cheaper?
Living there for that long, did that give the tenant a false sense of entitlement? It looks like it! We’d all like to live in swanky mansions, but the reality for a lot of us is that we can’t afford to. So we don’t.
As the tenant and her son got 12 years in the property, isn’t it the case that they should be GRATEFUL they had that long – rather than bemoaning being ‘thrown out’? I’m only surprised that the bedroom tax introduced in April 2013 didn’t have them out sooner.
If they just sat tight and did nothing, I have to say it – I’m fresh out of sympathy! Like everything about the situation, these GCSEs didn’t just appear on the horizon without warning. They were always coming. Why the shock/horror that Luke is in the library every night?
2. The landlord sold the house. Yes, that’s true.
It’s also true that it’s his house and he can sell it if that’s what he wants to do. Not his fault that the people occupying it have a completely false sense of entitlement and think it’s theirs forever. Landlords’ situations change too – they have a place in life’s cycle like everyone else on the planet.
3. Does anyone know why the landlord wanted to sell? Have these political journalists told us? That would be a no. Here are a few clues for the clueless:
Has it been considered that the tenant was in debt??? Why not?
Was the tenant asked what attempts she made to move to smaller and cheaper accommodation? If not, why not?
Extra clues for journalists who are called political columnists.
Might this tenant’s circumstance be directly connected to the bedroom tax of 2013?
Might this tenant’s circumstance be a direct result of the Section 24 of the Finance Act forcing the landlord to quit before he goes broke? He might already be broke – but who asked about his fate?
Might this tenant’s circumstance be a combination of both the above?
Since when was a landlord not entitled to sell his property asset? He might be unwell or might want to retire or might just have been driven to his wits’ end. Who knows, either of these political journalists? I doubt it.
Should someone tell the journalists there is something called CHOICE?
To be clear, the definition is as follows:
Choice involves decision making. It can include the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them.
All agree with that? Great!
The simple summary is: the landlord weighed up the merits of keeping the house and the maintenance costs. He then weighed up the risk factors to him associated with all the legislation that has been brought in since his property was first occupied. He weighed up the merits of keeping the house and paying more tax in future. He then looked at the merits of continuing to house the people under-occupying his property and came to the conclusion that the tenancy was unsustainable. The solution was to sell the house.
So, he sold the property and just to be perfectly clear….. he did not THROW the tenants out. They simply had to MOVE OUT, because the sale went through.
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