Balance of power lies with Tenants

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    Balance of power lies with Tenants

    As a LL I feel T's have too much power, especially when it comes to the eviction process. Most T's are fine, and this comment of mine is not referring to them, its directed @ the small minority who for what ever reason decide to be uncooperative on any aspect of their tenancy. These bad tenants can, and do make life hell for LL's, even if we have followed protocol. IE - deposit in government scheme; 6 month AST duly signed etc). Current Law/legislation is a joke. It takes to long to evict an unruly T. They are in command of the whole situation and we LL's have to walk round them on 'egg shell's' until they or the courts decide enough's enough and leave the premise's. By that time - 3, 6 months down the line (if your lucky!), we have had to deal with the stress and financial costs. T's rarely cough up on rent arrear's, they get off 'scott free'. The balance of power is to much in favour of the T in my view. Does anyone agree? Has anyone any idea's on and if any NEW legislation will come about to remedy the present and utterly biast law on Eviction and T rights?

    #2
    Originally posted by robbo1971 View Post
    As a LL I feel T's have too much power, especially when it comes to the eviction process. Most T's are fine, and this comment of mine is not referring to them, its directed @ the small minority who for what ever reason decide to be uncooperative on any aspect of their tenancy. These bad tenants can, and do make life hell for LL's, even if we have followed protocol. IE - deposit in government scheme; 6 month AST duly signed etc). Current Law/legislation is a joke. It takes to long to evict an unruly T. They are in command of the whole situation and we LL's have to walk round them on 'egg shell's' until they or the courts decide enough's enough and leave the premise's. By that time - 3, 6 months down the line (if your lucky!), we have had to deal with the stress and financial costs. T's rarely cough up on rent arrear's, they get off 'scott free'. The balance of power is to much in favour of the T in my view. Does anyone agree? Has anyone any idea's on and if any NEW legislation will come about to remedy the present and utterly biast law on Eviction and T rights?
    If this is how you feel, why don't you join a Landlords' Association (NLA, RLA) and start lobbying through them?

    It matters very little what is said on a forum like this - we don't amount to a pressure group.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, the law is an ass and written by people who don't understand or really care about the world that they define and which they rarely have to engage with.

      However, I have found that spending (investing really) a fair amount of time in carefully and correctly assessing your potential tenant goes a long way to avoiding those tenants who are as you describe and in my experience, I believe this aspect is not focused on by the majority of landlords and letting agents to the extent that it could.

      Tenant referencing is fine, but it doesn't tell you everything.

      Among a number of things, you need to learn about human nature/human behaviour, lying clues, what certain replies from the potential tenant mean to specific questions.
      It does mean that you have to ask a list of carefully prepared questions although these do not necessarily have to be in straight Q&A/20 questions format and which could make some people nervous/on edge but who don't have anything to hide.

      Those who have ill-intent or "tenant baggage" to hide will show less than quick, straight or clear replies or they won't look you in the eye a lot.

      I realise this might seem too much for some people but it works and after I developed my process over a couple of years, it now works very well and I have zero tenant problems.

      Comment


        #4
        Yes, I totally agree with your sentiments, but surely, if you were on the opposite end, you would want checks and balances placed in place to prevent you being evicted and to give you time to resolve a fluctuation in income which resulted in arrears?
        One of the principal problems is giving tenents their Housing Benefit (now called LHA) to pass over to the landlord in rent each month. Most do, but theres a minority who will pocket the money and spend it on things other than rent - this is a problem the government should act on by making such action a criminal offence.

        Also the law should be speeded up - a landlord should be able to go from notice to eviction in 4 weeks. I propose a system whereby the landlord is automatically entitled to a possession order as soon as rent arrears exceed 2 months worth and that a notice seeking possession should be served at 6 weeks arrears* (*unpaid) and that on presenting appropriate paperwork at court (i.e. the notice seeking possession and a rent schedule showing arrears) a possession order should automaticaly result within 24 hours. The existing S21 process should be similarly shortened. The landlord should be entitled to use his own bailiffs instead of the courts. As a check, a mandatory 6 month jail sentence for deliberately falsifying either rent record of any other sworn court paperwork.

        Possession on either S8 or S21 not to be granted unless and until the deposit is protected. Landlord to be penalised 50% of unpaid rent if deposit not protected within 28 days of it being handed over by tenant but PO to be granted even if that would take unpaid rent below 2 months on S8. On S21 possession, court fee increased to £500 if deposit was not protected within 28 days as aforesaid.

        Counterclaims by tenant for 3x penalty, or for offsets in relation to repairs to be disallowed. Separate summons required to be issued by tenant against landlord to claim for either of these. The 3x penalty for late deposit protection scrapped and replaced by penalties above.

        Local Authorities to mandatorily prosecute where tenant has used HB or LHA for personal gain and not passed this onto landlord. Tenant evicted for unpaid rent where they have been given HB/LHA to pay rent to be disallowed from homelessness housing scheme. Local authorities required to supply tenant's forwarding address under S35 Data Potection Act to a landlord who can show a court order containing a money judgment.

        These are my thoughts. Any offers or responses????

        Comment


          #5
          I say this as a tenant rather than a landlord, but I would suspect that the balance of power should reside with the tenant, on the basis that its his or her home, where they can be evicted with little warning (who here would like to lose their home with two month's warning?)

          There's a long history of bad landlords who operate on the policy that it's their house, they have the mortgage on it, so they can do what they like.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mh8782 View Post
            who here would like to lose their home with two month's warning?
            But I and other landlords are not the ones creating the circumstances for tenant eviction.
            These circumstances are either self-inflicted or are casualties of the market or factors outside the control of the landlord or tenant.

            Why should the landlord suffer for things that they are not party to?

            In addition, the tenant always knows that their tenure is always temporary one and also knows of the circumstances and timing for it coming to an end.

            Some tenants seem to think that they are entitled to private housing because they are not able to own a home.

            Private landlords are not in the business of the social care of people, which has been overdone in this society for many decades, to the detriment of our society, IMO.

            Comment


              #7
              Easy answer: don't be L.
              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


                #8
                I agree.
                But that seems hard for some people to do when they have been told, by numerous negligent, unaccountable & overly optimistic/pollyana-esque people to "just rent your property out...." as an answer to wealth that may evade them otherwise.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I will.

                  And the feedback I get from this topic of mine is useful to me and other LL. It is endemic nationwide problem, so it should be raised on a forum like this.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by robbo1971 View Post
                    I will.

                    And the feedback I get from this topic of mine is useful to me and other LL. It is endemic nationwide problem, so it should be raised on a forum like this.
                    If you aren't currently doing so, you might like to consider using a good reputable agent who can carry out the assessment of the tenant for you.
                    A good agent is worth a lot and if you do find one that you strike up a rapport with, I would keep them as they can prove to be an invaluable asset and source.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      More fool them for listening to them. One rule is that before you rent a property can you afford a six month loss or void. If the answer is no, then perhaps an ISA is best for you.

                      Private rented properties have since the 1970's been used as a part of social hosuing policy and the speeding up of judgements and evictions will only create an additional burden on social housing providers ann their half asleep union ised ineffective lazy infrastructure.

                      This administration is not doing a great deal different, but are for the first time in 40 years being honest about it.

                      Sadly it is post war housing policy that has resulted in home ownership being key to the prosperity and income of us british subjects ( we are not citizens - we have a Queen), and has an unhealthily high ratio of expense to income for us to survive a rainy day.
                      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        Easy answer: don't be L.
                        Completly agree with Jeffrey...

                        Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 swung the balance of power hugely in favour of the Landlord: There have been a few tweaks since but in the view of many, myself included, the balance remains very much in favour of the Landlord. What do you think LLs did before a "no fault, no reason" S21 allowed you to ejected unwanted tenants?? It was the HA Act 1988 that kicked off the boom in PRS...

                        If you don't like the business (Landlording) you've chosen, find another business or move to another country with different rules..

                        As regards leaseholdanswers comments...
                        of us british subjects ( we are not citizens - we have a Queen),
                        the authorities appear to be quite happy with the expression "British Citizen"... see e.g.
                        http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/

                        Cheers!

                        Artful (Very definitely British Citizen notwithstanding the black Roller with no number plates that turned up at my Uncle's funeral...)
                        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post

                          If you don't like the business (Landlording) you've chosen, find another business or move to another country with different rules..
                          Ridiculous statement to make.
                          If you don't like something, you should do something to change it.
                          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                            Ridiculous statement to make.
                            If you don't like something, you should do something to change it.
                            Oops! I stand corrected, guess I must be ridiculous myself also. Heigh ho... we live & learn... In support of your suggestion I do actively support housing charities working for change & rigourously lobby the Scottish Govt over Scottish LL/T law changes - but do not expect any interesting changes in the short term, certainly not in favour of LLs (although moving the HMO license limit from 3 unrelated persons to a higher number would be very welcome in bonnie Scotland.. yes I know this is a E&W board..). But, my point remains - if you don't like the rules & regulations get real, they ain't going to change, so either accept the regime or find another game...

                            Tell you what, £10 side bet, looser pays to charity nominated by winner - I bet no significant changes will be made to LL/T law in E&W during 2011??

                            PS Any suggestions on getting the off-side rule cleared up???
                            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Whilst I agree with many of the sentiments here, a lot seems to be aimed at one section of the market. As a landlord of a few years, I have also been extremely frustrated with the system.

                              However, I'd like to put forward this true anecdote.
                              My mate and neighbour rents his flat (I am an owner occupier). He has lived there since he married, following de-mob after serving in WW2. He's never missed his rent, is a model tenant* and paid for all repairs himself. The flat is undoubtedly his home. He's widowed now and in a wheelchair.

                              If he was on a modern day AST (God forbid), he could be thrown out in 2 months.

                              I believe security of tenure should be drastically improved for some tenants.


                              *maybe not a model tenant, he smokes in the flat and sings dirty songs when I get him p***ed.

                              Comment

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