Clampdown call over rogue landlords

Banbury Cake: The majority of landlords are reputable, but there is a 'growing minority of criminal operators' The majority of landlords are reputable, but there is a 'growing minority of criminal operators'

Town hall chiefs have urged magistrates to use new powers to impose much bigger fines on rogue landlords - warning the present "paltry" punishments are a drop in the ocean compared to the income they get from exploiting tenants.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said its efforts to bring to book individuals who housed people in "hell hole conditions" were being frustrated by an overly-complicated legal process that often left local taxpayers out of pocket.

It has compiled a catalogue of cases where the owners of "filthy and dangerous" properties had got away with no more than a "slap on the wrist" that would not act as a future deterrent to protect tenants from their abuses.

The Government announced this week that it was legislating for a fourfold increase in the maximum fines available to magistrates - and to allow them in future to impose unlimited fines in cases, such as many landlord offences, where the previous maximum was £5,000.

According to the LGA, o ne landlord received a fine of £100 in a case where six tenants were left living in a "hovel" for a year with no fire alarms and proper escape routes and it said the punishments being issued were "inconsistent".

Mike Jones, who chairs its environment and housing board, said: "The current system for prosecuting rogue landlords is not fit for the 21st century.

"Criminal landlords are exploiting this and endangering tenants' lives. They are treating the paltry fines as 'operating costs', which they are offsetting against the vast profits they are raking in.

"We need a system which protects the good landlords, whose reputation is being dragged down by the bad ones.

"We are talking about properties with fire escape doors opening out onto three storey drops and without proper front doors so tenants have discovered strangers dossing down on their sofas.

"Rogue landlords are calculating they can keep these going while the cash tumbles in and walk away after a year with a slap on the wrist.

"Councils are doing everything they can to tackle the rising levels of rogue landlords caused by the housing crisis. However, they are being hamstrung by a system racked by delays, bureaucracy and feeble fines.

"We need a new streamlined system which is much fairer, faster, more efficient and treats the criminal abuse of tenants seriously. Prosecution in its current state simply is not seen as an effective deterrent by rogue operators."

He said the majority of landlords were reputable, but there was a " growing minority of criminal operators".

"In many cases, councils are actually being left out of pocket because they are not even recovering the costs of bringing the prosecutions.

"It is imperative this changes because, at a time of unprecedented austerity, ultimately the taxpayer foots the bill. Meanwhile, some of the rogue operators who face feeble fines are getting away virtually scot-free. This is utterly unacceptable."

In Wolverhampton, the c ity council evacuated tenants from one house which had no electricity, gas, water or fire alarm, a missing fire escape which meant doors opened straight onto an outside drop of three stories and no locks on the doors, resulting in tenants finding a stranger asleep on their sofa.

The landlord was fined just £2,600 and the council was left out of pocket by almost £5,500, the LGA said.

Another, in Redbridge, who failed to deal with a mouse and cockroach infestation in a house where 10 people - including two children, shared a damp and mouldy kitchen, was fined £3,000, it added.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "We are determined to tackle the minority of landlords who offer tenants a poor service.

"That's why we have given £6.7 million to councils to use their range of powers to confront rogue behaviour, and why we're changing the law to increase fines.

"Our new How to Rent Guide makes tenants aware of their rental rights and puts pressure on those who are not playing by the rules."

Comments (4)

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11:11am Sat 14 Jun 14

LUSTARD says...

check multiple occupation properties out first before the claimant moves in and just say no to the crap holes simple save a fortune without going to court.
check multiple occupation properties out first before the claimant moves in and just say no to the crap holes simple save a fortune without going to court. LUSTARD
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Sat 14 Jun 14

varteg1 says...

Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices, using extra money from banks and mortgage lenders, with buy to rent arrangements, I was often disgusted with the attitude to perfectly reasonable and decent tenants and the way these rogues treated them.

This again is mainly due to the Thatcher policies that effectively overturned the rent act set up by a previous Tory administration after the debacle of the 1950 which saw long term tenants thrown out whilst at work or at the post office collecting their pension and such,
This was later followed by the activities in Westminster that slanted tenancies towards 'preferred' tenants, and for which the daughter of Tesco's Jack Cohen was penalised for gerrymandering.


From a newspaper report....Dame Shirley was the driving force behind a policy in which council homes were sold only in selected marginal wards in the hope of attracting Tory voters.

The stink reeks every time the Tories get in power, after all it is mainly their support that finds it a dutiful requirement to OWN property, and they find no shame in getting a grab on any bit, no matter who owns it
Buying at auction to rent out, a house recently vacated by someone who could no longer pay his mortgage, or who got into serious negative equity, never impacts on certain;people,and the TV channels that broadcast such transactions, often by claiming the property was bought for a few thousand and will sell to make a profit of forty or more thousand, or will fetch 400 to a 1000 a month in rent is simply stoking up the avarice of those who think it ok to become a 'landlord'
There is little if any control, all such has been, to all intents and purposes, removed from the equation, no wonder we have these seemingly insurmountable problems in housing..
Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices, using extra money from banks and mortgage lenders, with buy to rent arrangements, I was often disgusted with the attitude to perfectly reasonable and decent tenants and the way these rogues treated them. This again is mainly due to the Thatcher policies that effectively overturned the rent act set up by a previous Tory administration after the debacle of the 1950 which saw long term tenants thrown out whilst at work or at the post office collecting their pension and such, This was later followed by the activities in Westminster that slanted tenancies towards 'preferred' tenants, and for which the daughter of Tesco's Jack Cohen was penalised for gerrymandering. From a newspaper report....Dame Shirley was the driving force behind a policy in which council homes were sold only in selected marginal wards in the hope of attracting Tory voters. The stink reeks every time the Tories get in power, after all it is mainly their support that finds it a dutiful requirement to OWN property, and they find no shame in getting a grab on any bit, no matter who owns it Buying at auction to rent out, a house recently vacated by someone who could no longer pay his mortgage, or who got into serious negative equity, never impacts on certain;people,and the TV channels that broadcast such transactions, often by claiming the property was bought for a few thousand and will sell to make a profit of forty or more thousand, or will fetch 400 to a 1000 a month in rent is simply stoking up the avarice of those who think it ok to become a 'landlord' There is little if any control, all such has been, to all intents and purposes, removed from the equation, no wonder we have these seemingly insurmountable problems in housing.. varteg1
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Sat 14 Jun 14

welshmen says...

varteg1 wrote:
Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices, using extra money from banks and mortgage lenders, with buy to rent arrangements, I was often disgusted with the attitude to perfectly reasonable and decent tenants and the way these rogues treated them.

This again is mainly due to the Thatcher policies that effectively overturned the rent act set up by a previous Tory administration after the debacle of the 1950 which saw long term tenants thrown out whilst at work or at the post office collecting their pension and such,
This was later followed by the activities in Westminster that slanted tenancies towards 'preferred' tenants, and for which the daughter of Tesco's Jack Cohen was penalised for gerrymandering.


From a newspaper report....Dame Shirley was the driving force behind a policy in which council homes were sold only in selected marginal wards in the hope of attracting Tory voters.

The stink reeks every time the Tories get in power, after all it is mainly their support that finds it a dutiful requirement to OWN property, and they find no shame in getting a grab on any bit, no matter who owns it
Buying at auction to rent out, a house recently vacated by someone who could no longer pay his mortgage, or who got into serious negative equity, never impacts on certain;people,and the TV channels that broadcast such transactions, often by claiming the property was bought for a few thousand and will sell to make a profit of forty or more thousand, or will fetch 400 to a 1000 a month in rent is simply stoking up the avarice of those who think it ok to become a 'landlord'
There is little if any control, all such has been, to all intents and purposes, removed from the equation, no wonder we have these seemingly insurmountable problems in housing..
Here you go again condemning all Landlords with your witch hunt for Mrs Margaret Thatcher, have you bought any land and built house's on? have you bought any houses at auction repaired and rented out or sold? or bought through an estate agent and rented it out? what is your "Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices", you been watching to many Homes Under The Hammer program's, all what I have asked you to answer is what I have actually done except at auction.

I try and rent to anyone I think will look after my property and pay their rent on time, I have had both types of tenants, working and housing benefit tenants, to date I have had several Benefit tenants that have cost me a lot of money in repairs and redecorating, and one occasion a Legal Eviction, this DHSS funded tenant damaged my property causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, CCJ's I have had on these people mean nothing to them, all it does is hurt their credit rating, at the moment I have tenants that are first class and they like where they live and look after the house's, before you make damming accusations about Landlords walk in their shoes for a year or two and see how you comment then, we are not all the same....
[quote][p][bold]varteg1[/bold] wrote: Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices, using extra money from banks and mortgage lenders, with buy to rent arrangements, I was often disgusted with the attitude to perfectly reasonable and decent tenants and the way these rogues treated them. This again is mainly due to the Thatcher policies that effectively overturned the rent act set up by a previous Tory administration after the debacle of the 1950 which saw long term tenants thrown out whilst at work or at the post office collecting their pension and such, This was later followed by the activities in Westminster that slanted tenancies towards 'preferred' tenants, and for which the daughter of Tesco's Jack Cohen was penalised for gerrymandering. From a newspaper report....Dame Shirley was the driving force behind a policy in which council homes were sold only in selected marginal wards in the hope of attracting Tory voters. The stink reeks every time the Tories get in power, after all it is mainly their support that finds it a dutiful requirement to OWN property, and they find no shame in getting a grab on any bit, no matter who owns it Buying at auction to rent out, a house recently vacated by someone who could no longer pay his mortgage, or who got into serious negative equity, never impacts on certain;people,and the TV channels that broadcast such transactions, often by claiming the property was bought for a few thousand and will sell to make a profit of forty or more thousand, or will fetch 400 to a 1000 a month in rent is simply stoking up the avarice of those who think it ok to become a 'landlord' There is little if any control, all such has been, to all intents and purposes, removed from the equation, no wonder we have these seemingly insurmountable problems in housing..[/p][/quote]Here you go again condemning all Landlords with your witch hunt for Mrs Margaret Thatcher, have you bought any land and built house's on? have you bought any houses at auction repaired and rented out or sold? or bought through an estate agent and rented it out? what is your "Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices", you been watching to many Homes Under The Hammer program's, all what I have asked you to answer is what I have actually done except at auction. I try and rent to anyone I think will look after my property and pay their rent on time, I have had both types of tenants, working and housing benefit tenants, to date I have had several Benefit tenants that have cost me a lot of money in repairs and redecorating, and one occasion a Legal Eviction, this DHSS funded tenant damaged my property causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, CCJ's I have had on these people mean nothing to them, all it does is hurt their credit rating, at the moment I have tenants that are first class and they like where they live and look after the house's, before you make damming accusations about Landlords walk in their shoes for a year or two and see how you comment then, we are not all the same.... welshmen
  • Score: 2

5:26pm Wed 18 Jun 14

poortaxpayer says...

varteg1 wrote:
Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices, using extra money from banks and mortgage lenders, with buy to rent arrangements, I was often disgusted with the attitude to perfectly reasonable and decent tenants and the way these rogues treated them.

This again is mainly due to the Thatcher policies that effectively overturned the rent act set up by a previous Tory administration after the debacle of the 1950 which saw long term tenants thrown out whilst at work or at the post office collecting their pension and such,
This was later followed by the activities in Westminster that slanted tenancies towards 'preferred' tenants, and for which the daughter of Tesco's Jack Cohen was penalised for gerrymandering.


From a newspaper report....Dame Shirley was the driving force behind a policy in which council homes were sold only in selected marginal wards in the hope of attracting Tory voters.

The stink reeks every time the Tories get in power, after all it is mainly their support that finds it a dutiful requirement to OWN property, and they find no shame in getting a grab on any bit, no matter who owns it
Buying at auction to rent out, a house recently vacated by someone who could no longer pay his mortgage, or who got into serious negative equity, never impacts on certain;people,and the TV channels that broadcast such transactions, often by claiming the property was bought for a few thousand and will sell to make a profit of forty or more thousand, or will fetch 400 to a 1000 a month in rent is simply stoking up the avarice of those who think it ok to become a 'landlord'
There is little if any control, all such has been, to all intents and purposes, removed from the equation, no wonder we have these seemingly insurmountable problems in housing..
...and did 13 years of Labour under Blair and Brown do anything to reduce rents or build more social housing?
[quote][p][bold]varteg1[/bold] wrote: Having had to deal with some so called 'landlords' who were just people who made some money selling on and making enough to go to auctions and snap up a property or more at bargain basement prices, using extra money from banks and mortgage lenders, with buy to rent arrangements, I was often disgusted with the attitude to perfectly reasonable and decent tenants and the way these rogues treated them. This again is mainly due to the Thatcher policies that effectively overturned the rent act set up by a previous Tory administration after the debacle of the 1950 which saw long term tenants thrown out whilst at work or at the post office collecting their pension and such, This was later followed by the activities in Westminster that slanted tenancies towards 'preferred' tenants, and for which the daughter of Tesco's Jack Cohen was penalised for gerrymandering. From a newspaper report....Dame Shirley was the driving force behind a policy in which council homes were sold only in selected marginal wards in the hope of attracting Tory voters. The stink reeks every time the Tories get in power, after all it is mainly their support that finds it a dutiful requirement to OWN property, and they find no shame in getting a grab on any bit, no matter who owns it Buying at auction to rent out, a house recently vacated by someone who could no longer pay his mortgage, or who got into serious negative equity, never impacts on certain;people,and the TV channels that broadcast such transactions, often by claiming the property was bought for a few thousand and will sell to make a profit of forty or more thousand, or will fetch 400 to a 1000 a month in rent is simply stoking up the avarice of those who think it ok to become a 'landlord' There is little if any control, all such has been, to all intents and purposes, removed from the equation, no wonder we have these seemingly insurmountable problems in housing..[/p][/quote]...and did 13 years of Labour under Blair and Brown do anything to reduce rents or build more social housing? poortaxpayer
  • Score: 0
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