Internet libel - chatroom insults lead to Court victory

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    We must be careful not to let the wake for a banned Troll disrupt this thread

    I do hope Mr Shed is keeping a full log of the posts on the House Price Crash forum that denegrate the LandlordZONE forum and some of it members. It is possible that the posts might be edited by the poster or removed by HPC moderators.

    On Mr Shed's link I was reading reasoned and fair discussions between people of very different views concerning landlord and tenant rights until.......... House Price Crash Forum - Main Forums - All about renting - Page 2 - Post 40 by PMS - HPC Newbie - Member 4499
    Last edited by Worldlife; 08-04-2006, 21:37 PM.
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


      House Price Crash

      Thank you for bringing these posts to our attention Mr Shed - most interesting.
      The thread starts off innocuously enough with an interesting debate about letting laws and the landlord / tenant legal balance! That is until our old friend PMS (ASBO) gets started and this is one bitter bitter person.
      He/she really has it in for landlords! It's a pity he/she cannot take a more balanced view and put the tenant's case in a more reasoned and democratic way, as opposed to knocking every landlord related target in sight and even stooping to inciting tenants to break the law - that's beyond the pale as far as I'm concerned and the reason why we removed these posts from LandlordZONE - presumably in his/her way, to get even!
      The president of one of the leading Europe-wide landlord associations once said, and I paraphrase as I cannot remember the exact quote, "The man without the house will ALWAYS envy the man with one" Our PMS / ASBO is one extreme example.
      It is tough for young people, or indeed anyone trying to get on the housing ladder, and meanwhile forced to rent, and none of us with a house should be so smug as to argue otherwise. On the other hand I'm sure it's no tougher today, if at all, than at any time in our history - how about pre-WW1 when 90% of our population rented?
      Also, there are some bad landlords (perhaps our friend has experienced one or more which has coloured his views so wildly) but the majority, like tenants, are decent law abiding citizens just trying to do a good job at making a living and providing a public service in the process - Adam Smith, in my view, is still right 300 years on - it's just human nature!
      History always puts things in perspective, and the interesting debate on the HPC site should be viewed in this light - see:
      The person who refers to the UK as this "God awful country" should perhaps experience living in some other countries in this world to appreciate how lucky he/she is, and those urging a return to the Rent Act and Rent Control should reflect long and hard on our recent history - to be fair to them, perhaps these posters are far to young to know!
      The rent legislation which was introduced progressively and relentlessly from 1915 onwards virtually destroyed the private rental market. Admitedly, the power of landlords, before this legislation, was out of kilter, but even with the legislation people like Rackman could operate - it did not stop them.
      By the 1970s the private rental market was virtually non-existent - who in their right mind would let property not knowing if they would ever get it back (tenancies for life and the lives of tenant's children). In addition, rent was controlled at uneconomic levels - it was in fact property confiscation. It was the crasiest socialist legislation you could imagine. I guarantee if you tried to explain it to an invader from another planet, you would be hard pressesd to convince them it was true!
      When I started letting I would advertise a property in the local paper and have at least 30 calls the first day - you could let properties many times over, and therefore you could, if you had a mind, charge high rents - the demand was extrodinary because supply had all but dried-up due to this brainless legislation -it had the exact opposite effect to what those well meaning, caring people who enacted it, had in mind!
      Abraham Lincoln once said, you cannot make the poor rich by making the rich poor (though Gordon Brown now looks likey to have good a try) - effectively confiscating assests from the propertied classes - and there are a lot more of them now - we're all middle class now - is not the answer to PMS and his buddy's prayers.
      The AST was a revelation in the property market: it's not perfect, but it brought some semblence of common sense and balance between landlord and tenant - it's broadly fair to both parties in my view. It's also opend up the property maket to the masses - where would many of us be, landlords & tenants without buy-to-let?
      If tenants behave in a fair way, the present law gives them ample protection. If they don't, then the law still protects them (too much in the view of many landlords) because the legal process is still sympathetic to tenants and grinds along extremely slowly - if anything needs reform it's the court system, in my view.
      Despite PMS (ASBO)s claims, LandlordZONE aims to help landlords, agents and tenants - those 95% plus, in my experience, of the population who respect each other, their properties and the law - the aim is to encourage professionalism, not the biggoted law-breaking attitude of our friend PMS (ASBO). Come on, see sense - I'm sure that if your bosses knew what you were up to - as an Environmetal Health Officer (as you claim to be) - they would be absolutely horrified!


        Moderation test

        It is important to keep a balance between free speech and to allow heated discussion - up to a point. It is imperative however to control trolls at an early stage before too much disruption is caused. We need to ensure the troll has prompt warnings that continued postings that require editing will result in a banning from the forum.

        I've had another look at Mr Shed's linked thread within that framework. What do others think about these suggestions for moderation if similar messages re-appeared on the LandlordZONE forums?:-

        Post 38 delete from "and" to "time"

        Warning:- message edited for offensive or insulting content

        Post 40 delete in paragraph 1 from "yourself" to "backsides" and delete in paragraph 5 from "for" to end of paragraph

        Message edited for offensive or insulting content - this member having posted messages on other threads also contravening Terms and Conditions is now banned

        Post 41 Edited by moderator to remove offensive or insulting comments from the quote and also Mr Mash's response to that quote. (first paragraph)

        I know LandlordZONE may feel that such actions could be counterproductive but I am wondering if we could have a simple policy statement response saying that Administrators or Moderators will not enter into detailed discussions concerning moderation of an individual post.

        Protest threads (before banning) concerning a particular moderation should perhaps be deleted on the grounds that they are not conducive to the general objectives of the forum and the member concerned advised accordingly. That's not intended to prevent reasoned discussion on the general policy of moderation.
        Last edited by Worldlife; 09-04-2006, 08:49 AM.
        Vic - wicked landlord
        Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
        Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


          Just checking the validity of one of my above recommendations.

          On this forum the posts of banned members are not deleted

          On some forums if a person is banned the description given of each member under his name is changed. e.g. "Senior" would be deleted by Admin or a Moderator and replaced by "Banned"

          Do we agree this should be done on LandlordZONE?
          Vic - wicked landlord
          Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
          Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


            Nomatter what we discuss here about moderation techniques or methods, we must remember that the board is the responsibility of our respected moderator and editor, Tom Entwhistle and his decision will therefore always be final.
            I have been banned from one board. This was because I posted in a very toned down form, as a result of a new query, some useful information which had been previously removed from the board in question. The information tended to question the business principles of one of the board operator's advertisers. My posting priveleges were removed together with several other board members who had also questioned the ethics of this particular advertiser. We all e-mailed each other and concluded that the loss was that of the board concerned, not us! And the board concerned is a shadow of it's former self today. Other boards I visit regularly are moderated more sensibly - but then they do not have a commercial axe to grind. If a poster oversteps the mark, then the post is edited with the moderator leaving a message as to the reason why the edit was necessary. Only if the said poster fails to note the message and continue with such posts is banning considered.
            The reason that the situation got out of hand a bit here, as I have said before is that our editor is a busy man and cannot be expected to read every post as it is made. This is why I have suggested the facility of referring any questionable post to him quickly.
            On the board mentioned above, they have now got so sensitive about their problem that no post appears until one of their moderators has read and approved it. This stifles discussion as it takes ages for anybody to get a reply to their query. I sincerely hope that such a policy is not adopted here!

            Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


              Just to emphasize, the link was not posted in order to extend unduly any discussion about said poster(although not saying it shouldnt be discussed), merely as I believe it is important to see what is still being said, which could(if he backs up what he is saying) potentially affect members of this board.
              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


                Hmmm, a thought-provoking thread here. By popping it up again, may I invite others to moderation in all things?
                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
                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).


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