McDonnell’s distorted and dangerous version of Right to Buy9:01 AM, 5th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
Yesterday morning I attended a successful High Court eviction in North London, which will appear on our next series of Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords. The tenants owed £16,000 in rent. After much procrastination and protest, they finally left the property.
The tenants had failed to pay rent for eight months. They had delivered excuse after excuse as to why they aren’t able to make the payments. Yet they had a house filled with all the latest technology, gadgets and gizmos. They also had a brand new car. They really appeared to be living the high life.
Even after all these years, this case made me angry. Just because they didn’t own that home, it did not mean they had a right to expect someone else to fund their lifestyle and enable them to treat themselves with whatever they want. Rent, like a mortgage, should be the single most important payment that a person/couple makes each month.
The couple who rented this particular property were both school teachers, they had children of their own and were renting a well maintained family home. They had passed their reference checks and on paper, appeared to be ideal candidates to rent the property, at £2000 a month. Sadly, that was not the case.
Forcing someone to leave a property is never a nice situation, and particularly at this time of year. But how can two fully grown adults with responsible jobs not understand that the situation they find themselves in is not the fault of the landlords, but a consequence of their own actions? It was as if they genuinely didn’t think they would have to leave the property. They simply didn’t think this day would come.
We see all types of circumstances in the field of eviction, and it can often be difficult not to feel some kind of emotion, especially when there are children involved. This is especially true when people have hit hard times and there are genuine reasons as to why they have fallen behind with rent payments.
These tenants were nothing like that. They were manipulative and irresponsible. The couple used excuses to tug on the heartstrings of this particular landlord and he gave them extra time over and over again. Finally, as a result of the financial strain the landlord has been put under from not receiving rent, he is being forced to sell the property.
Rent is a responsibility, and more people should treat it as such, rather than a choice. Yes, lots of people want a nice home filled with lovely things. But you can’t just have whatever you want in life without paying for it. Renting a property is no different.
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