Lack of success of 'Bad Tenants' list

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    Lack of success of 'Bad Tenants' list

    Hi,

    I'm one of a small group of landlords who run the website LetMatch. A few months ago (after quite a lot of careful preparation to make sure we didn't infringe the data protection act) we launched a 'bad tenants' list, called the LetMatch Information Exchange. Based on our own experiences as landlords and the sort of topics that are often discussed on forums like this, we expected it to be a rip roaring success, even more so because it's free to use. However this has not been the case, with no more than a few dozen bad tenants added. Now I know there are way more than a dozen landlords who have had problem tenants, and who must be burning to get revenge on them and stop them from shafting anyone else, so the flat response has been mystifying. That's why I'm turning to you. I'm hoping that a few of you might take a look at it and give me your thoughts and feedback, so we can make it work better for all of us? All criticism and comments gratefully received!

    Cheers,

    Mark.

    #2
    I tried an LZ search against "LetMatch". It turned up references on five existing threads, here: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...archid=1013815.

    Have a read, since they outline some of the drawbacks!
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Mark,
      A good idea, and its something ive thought of myself..
      Ive rented my flat out to 2 Ts, both were a complete nightmare, and yet both bizarrely passed the credit checks... It makes you wonder exactly what the credit agencies are checking??? Presumably, the T is only flagged if someone bothered to take them to court and they consequently have CCJs against their name.. in most cases, nothing happens, and landlords just cut their losses, so the T gets away scot free to start a new cycle of debt elsewhere...
      The irony is that the govt is introducing new ligislation to clamp down on rogue landlords (quite rightly), but wheres the legislation to clamp down on rogue Ts??
      Id like to see estate agents keep a central database of 'troublesome' tennants, but it simply isnt in their interest to do so - why would they care once theyve got their introduction fee, its conveniently no longer their problem.
      As much as i like your idea, the law no doubt will again lie in the Ts favour and claim this is deformation of the Ts character or something else spurious like that...
      Maybe the way forward is not to write a potentially libelous opinion about the tennant, but instead just to put a schedule of their rental arrears in the public domain?
      That alone will allow other Landlords to read between the lines as to whether the tennant should be avoided like the plague or not...
      Good luck with your mission, i aswell as others im sure, would like to know if you have any more success.
      Thanks!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        I tried an LZ search against "LetMatch". It turned up references on five existing threads, here: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...archid=1013815.

        Have a read, since they outline some of the drawbacks!
        Hi Jeffrey. Thanks for that. Although the threads start off well enough (with criticism etc.) they soon descend into a general slagging off of bad tenants!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by electroniclogin View Post
          Mark,
          A good idea, and its something ive thought of myself..
          Ive rented my flat out to 2 Ts, both were a complete nightmare, and yet both bizarrely passed the credit checks... It makes you wonder exactly what the credit agencies are checking??? Presumably, the T is only flagged if someone bothered to take them to court and they consequently have CCJs against their name.. in most cases, nothing happens, and landlords just cut their losses, so the T gets away scot free to start a new cycle of debt elsewhere...
          The irony is that the govt is introducing new ligislation to clamp down on rogue landlords (quite rightly), but wheres the legislation to clamp down on rogue Ts??
          Id like to see estate agents keep a central database of 'troublesome' tennants, but it simply isnt in their interest to do so - why would they care once theyve got their introduction fee, its conveniently no longer their problem.
          As much as i like your idea, the law no doubt will again lie in the Ts favour and claim this is deformation of the Ts character or something else spurious like that...
          Maybe the way forward is not to write a potentially libelous opinion about the tennant, but instead just to put a schedule of their rental arrears in the public domain?
          That alone will allow other Landlords to read between the lines as to whether the tennant should be avoided like the plague or not...
          Good luck with your mission, i aswell as others im sure, would like to know if you have any more success.
          Thanks!
          The point of the system is that it simply puts a landlord in contact with a previous landlord (or agent) of their prospective tenant. What these people discuss after they've made contact is entirely up to them! ;-)

          What I'm after from anyone is the 'this is rubbish because...' or 'this could be better if you did...' kind of comments. We're doing this service for free because we've had our own fingers badly burned by awful tenants, and I really believe this concept could bloom into something much better for landlords than the normal credit checks/referencing.

          2 (or 2000) heads are better than 1, so any and all comments that could help make this thing work better for all of us would be extremely appreciated!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by m&m View Post
            Based on our own experiences as landlords and the sort of topics that are often discussed on forums like this, we expected it to be a rip roaring success, even more so because it's free to use. However this has not been the case, with no more than a few dozen bad tenants added. Now I know there are way more than a dozen landlords who have had problem tenants, and who must be burning to get revenge on them and stop them from shafting anyone else, so the flat response has been mystifying.
            Well...

            Firstly, whatever reassurances you give I'd still be apprehensive about adding a name to your blacklist for legal reasons. That's my main reason. My thought process runs something like 'if this was totally kosher someone else (like landlordzone.com, or the RLA, of which I'm a paid-for subscriber) would have done it before' - that may be an incredibly frustrating answer for you to hear, but nevertheless, that's the opinion of this landlord (who has certainly has two names I'd be happy to add otherwise!)

            Secondly - closely allied to the previous answer - is that at the end of the day, it won't actually benefit me one iota if I add my names, other than possibly some satisfaction of gaining 'revenge', so I have to weigh that against the likelihood of any flak which comes come my way as a result. The system really relies on the altruism of LLs.

            Thirdly, it's not possible to search the database yet - there's (still) a notice there which states
            The search facility will be ready soon. Our technical team are working on making it user friendly, reliable, scalable and robust enough to be able to cope with the massive future user group we're expecting for the LetMatch Information Exchange. Don't let this stop you from adding your tenants NOW. We're all in this to help each other, to recognise good tenants and to exclude bad ones. The more information in the search facility when it goes live the more help it will be to more people.
            Not being able to search the database now (even when there are minimal entries present) makes people wary of adding anything to it, I'd suggest - 'why is my data being collected?' 'where is it going?' etc etc

            Finally - and this isn't something worrying me personally, but I can see how it could apply to many of the 'tenant-from-hell' cases we read about here: presumably if the existence of this blacklist becomes well known, as I imagine you hope it will, then tenants are going to sign up masquerading as landlords so they can check themselves on the database. Not too hard to imagine that leading to a few windows being bricked, or worse. The fact that you can't presently check the database, and therefore see for yourself what info is publically available, makes this potential issue more real, I suggest.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks Eric. Your critique shows up that we're not making ourselves clear! No information about any tenant will EVER be posted on the database, it's purely for putting landlords in touch with the previous landlords of prospective tenants.

              We looked long and hard and sought legal advice to make sure we're not infringing the data protection act, and we're not! I guess we just had a good idea before anyone else did :-) Although, it's obviously not that good, or more people would be using it :-)

              To be completely frank, the reason we don't allow searching the database is because there are so few tenants on there. We don't want to embarrass ourselves! However we're going to have to make admissions like this if we want to move forward! Any other thoughts anyone???

              Comment


                #8
                Bump. Has no one anything to offer on this? For me as a landlord this kind of thing is a burning issue.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi m&m, i read your post about the black list but couldnt find your website on google, then i realised your post is quite old, i hope you are still doing the website because im surching for a list of Tenant Black listing websites. I think even if you dont have many landlords using it, it should not matter. heres why...

                  My plan is to have an extra letter i will get tenants to sign prior to moving in. it will say somthing like "by signing this letter you confirm that I can leagally add your name to the list of the tenant blacklist sites below"

                  I have over 100 tenants and a few have ripped me off, one big one is a guy who rented my house £1 mill worth, at £3k per month owes me 8 months rent and it was fully furnished and he trashed it, costing £200,000 worth of damage because he pulled the swimming pool lino up and made all the water go under the foundations and put fish in the air con units, stupid stuff like that. so i think thats the worst what can happen.

                  Anyway back to my point, just the simple fact of making a tenant sign a form saying you will blacklist them on the websites "listed" in the letter will make them think twice, so make them sing this "Before" they move in. It makes a point that you are serious and dont mess about. they are more likely to behave, but of couce this only works if you have all their correct info from the start. Good luck

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by UKlandlord View Post
                    Hi m&m, i read your post about the black list but couldnt find your website on google, then i realised your post is quite old, i hope you are still doing the website because im surching for a list of Tenant Black listing websites.
                    FYI it's here, but still doesn't appear to have gone live yet (you may need to sign up to the site before you you can see the link).

                    Comment

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