My Landlord Evicted Me Because I Asked For Repairs, Is That Legal?

For those that came here for the quick answer and/or can’t stomach enduring my meandering dribble, it’s “NO”, now get out of ‘ere. But for those that do…

I’ve been emailed the question a couple of times in the last month or so, by tenants that claim their landlords are evicting them because they complained about repairs. Bit odd, because the answer seems so obvious to me.

Coincidentally, I’ve also read a few articles on the issue recently. Apparently there’s a surge in landlords evicting tenants soon after they complain about living conditions and request for repairs. The treacherous act has been going by the name, “Revenge eviction” Cute. But I think the entire issue has been slightly distorted and misrepresented…

An article titled “‘Revenge evictions’ soaring warns charity” over at localgov.co.uk says the following:

People who complain about housing conditions are facing ‘revenge evictions’ according to new figures released by Shelter.

The charity said there has been a ‘massive’ rise in the number of tenants facing eviction after asking their landlord for housing repairs.

Meh! Misleading, in my opinion.

Revenge Eviction

Firstly, a landlord CANNOT technically (or legally) “evict” a tenant, let alone for complaining about repairs. Now there lies the problem, there doesn’t seem to be any distinction between a legal and illegal eviction, it all just seems to be bundled into one big fat eviction process. But as far as I’m concerned, if a tenant hasn’t been evicted legally, they haven’t actually been ‘evicted’ in the strict sense of the word, they’ve essentially been ‘kicked out’ like a cheap hooker that’s served her purpose.

The fact is, it’s a criminal offence for any landlord to evict a tenant without a court order. Moreover, there are no grounds for eviction based on “complaining about living conditions/repairs” or similarly, for being an uppity little shit-bag that complains about every God damn thing, consequently, that court order will never be granted. I wish there was a ground for it, but there isn’t. So if anyone claims they’re being “evicted” for complaining about repairs, they’re probably just being “kicked out” (which is illegal) and not actually evicted.

Secondly, tenants/charities are asking for new laws to be introduced to protect tenants from this massacre. But why? I don’t get it.

It’s already illegal for landlords to unlawfully ‘vacate’ tenants, which includes dragging a tenant out onto the streets by the root of their hair because they requested a leaking tap to be repaired. No ‘new’ laws need to be introduced to protect tenants from this tragically distorted situation. There’s already protection in place. Relax.

I’m not sure how everything got so royally confused, but I suspect much of it has to do with people classing the notions of being “kicked out”, “repossessed” and “evicted” as the same thing, despite there being massive and very relevant differences.

Eviction
A tenant can only be evicted if a landlord has legal grounds to do so, and that’s ultimately up to the court to decide, and that’s why I don’t class ‘kicking a tenant out’ as eviction, it’s more like gorilla warfare tactics.

Many people believe that serving an ‘Eviction notice, Section 8’ is “evicting a tenant”. It’s not. That’s only the first step, and it’s only a notice of intent. As said, only a court can legally evict a tenant, whatever happens before is just premature ejaculation before the main event.

There are several grounds for eviction, one of the most common being based on rent arrears. Here’s a list of grounds for eviction and how to evict a tenant.

Kicked out
This is what I suspect is happening in the scenarios where tenants are legitimately experiencing a so-called ‘revenge eviction’; tenants are being unlawfully vacated when they complain about repairs, which the landlord simply can’t be bothered to attend to (for whatever reason).

So when is a tenant being ‘kicked out’? When the landlord has NO grounds for eviction, but has forced/demanded their tenant to vacate without serving the proper notices and/or without a court order.

Tenants aren’t usually “physically” forced out. In reality, tenants are usually told to leave, and that’s when they’re left scared and unsure, and buckle under the pressure, causing them to slip out the door like helpless, futile lemmings. Little do they know, the law is on their side, and forbid landlords to enforce such practices.

Let me repeat, this is not an “eviction”, and definitely not legal.

Repossession
This is when a landlord wants to repossess their property by serving a Section 21 notice. This is NOT an eviction or illegal practice. This is a notice that basically says, “the tenancy can be legally terminated (e.g. the fixed dates have expired or due to expire), I don’t want you to live in my property much longer. Restore the property in the same condition I gave it to you in, and get the hell out!”

I think we can all agree, it should be the landlord’s God given right to take back his/her property when the fixed dates have expired and the appropriate notice(s) have been served. Of course, if a tenant complains about a leaking tap during the 11th month of a 1 year tenancy, and the landlord shortly after serves a Section 21 notice, then that’s also his God given right. That right shouldn’t be changed, because the reason for possession can be argued either way. It could just be coincidental, or unfortunately, it might just be because the landlord doesn’t want to throw money at repairing the problem. It’s difficult to prove what the case may be, so tampering with the system doesn’t make sense.

At the end of the day, if a landlord wants his property back when the dates expire, despite the circumstances, then the tenant should vacate. At this point, landlords don’t (and rightly shouldn’t) need a justifiable reason, because it’s their freaking property.

Again, this is not an eviction.

“Revenge Eviction”, really?

I have no doubt in my mind that some landlords do unfairly “kick out” tenants because they demand repairs, but it doesn’t make financial sense to do so in most cases. That’s why I’m not convinced the problem is as big as it’s made out to be, and why I believe the situation is largely polluted with baseless accusations. Although, I could be wrong. However…

If a landlord is prepared to ‘evict’ a tenant because they demand repairs, it’s most likely an expensive repair, because replacing tenants isn’t always cheap (e.g. cost of acquisition and the cost of vacant period), and so it would cost less to attend to the average repair job. Assuming it’s a rather costly repair, you can then assume that’s it going to be something ‘noticeable’, which the replacement tenants will also most likely complain about anyways, so ‘revenge evictions’ doesn’t stack up whichever way you look at it.

I doubt that’s an equation most landlords would neglect, so the entire claim seems artificially bloated to me.

Unlawful Eviction

Are you being unlawfully evicted?

If your landlord turns around one day and says, “get outta ma’ property by the end of the week”, then you absolutely have no legal obligation to do so, and you shouldn’t. Yes, even if you’re the most annoying tenant on the planet that complains about every little bullshit thing. Your landlord stills needs to follow the proper procedure, whether that be an eviction (assuming he has the grounds to do so) or repossession of property (assuming the tenancy end date is approaching or passed), and in both cases, you’re entitled to a mandatory notice period.

So that’s the first important fact to note, tenants have rights.

If your landlord threatens to evict you, it doesn’t mean he actually has legal grounds to do so. He can’t just do it on a whim, so seek legal advice if you’re unsure whether or not your landlord has a case. Do NOT just leave if you don’t want to. But in the event that you are being evicted, the landlord should notify you on which grounds, and also give you appropriate time to vacate.

Common sense usually prevails here. If you’ve fallen into a couple of months’ worth of arrears, then you should undeniable note that you’re a rent dodging penis, and you have breached the terms of the tenancy which enables the landlord to begin the eviction process. However, if you simply notified the landlord that the boiler needs repairing, then you should recognise you’re not breaching any conditions, and you haven’t given the landlord any reason to ‘revenge evict’ you.

But bear in mind, as already covered, the landlord can repossess his property if the tenancy is coming to an end, or if it has already rolled into a periodic tenancy. As said, timing might be coincidental, almost too coincidental, but that’s irrelevant. You will be required to vacate as long as you are given appropriate notice.

Lastly, if your landlord is forcing you to vacate without good legal standing, you should contact your tenancy relations officer at your local authority, who will then assess the situation and decide whether or not to prosecute your landlord. For any additional legal advice, as always, I recommend contacting your local Citizens Advice.

I want to end with one final point. I know moving is a pain, especially when you’re settled into a neighbourhood where your children play nice and molest the other local children. So the fight for remaining in the property may seem worth it. However, you need to also consider whether you actually want to continue working with a landlord that refuses to make repairs and provide you with suitable living conditions. I know I wouldn’t.

If you get to this bitter stage with your landlord, the relationship is doomed anyhow. So sometimes it’s actually a blessing in disguise when a landlord is willing to unlawfully evict a tenant, because it allows the opportunity for breaking a tenancy with a shitty landlord without any penalties. And trust me, you don’t want to tango with a dodgy landlord any longer than absolutely necessary.

Update (2nd October 2015) – I just wanted to quickly update this post, as there has been some relevant changes to prevent the so-called “revenge evictions” as of October 2015. A new law has come into play as part of the new Section 21 legislation, which will prevent landlords from serving repossession notices if a tenant has made a written complaint to the landlord regarding any maintenance/repair issue and the issue is not dealt with correctly. This will only apply to new tenancies in England that started on or after October 2015. You can find out more details over at the new 2015 Section 21 regulations blog post.

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54 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 4 - 54 comments (out of 54)
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Nige 24th June, 2014 @ 12:53

My professional inventory was done by a letting agent I know who became redundant..thus income reduced...then took another job just doing inventories but reduced income until something better came along.
she had no axe to grind either way and identified problems which were my responsibility and others which were tenants responsibility. We instigated repairs as fast as possible...all done within 2 weeks. Then wrote to tenants saying the report would constitute their reference together with a copy of their rental statement to show the council or another landlord. No fudging like some landlords do and give a good reference to get rid of them.That just breeds the current situation of bad tenants doing one landlord after another.
I also stated that I have to abide by certain regs and standards to satisfy both organisations I belong to and the council bonds scheme. The report was ''binding'' on landlord and tenant. So having done our bit we expected tenants to do theirs.
Good results on both sides so far. Another professional inspection will take place in 4 to 6 weeks and if gardens are not cleared of rubbish etc we will get contractors in at their expense.
We are fair. Repairs are carried out asap often within the day or as fast as contractors can do with access to parts.

What hasn't been fair is the fact that tenants lie to get a tenancy and damage over the years together with skipping with arrears. Also caused by landlords giving good references to get rid of them. Now we are instructing debt collecting companies to collect outstanding amounts. Its fair on curent tenants because ultimately they pay higher rents because of this or have to find bigger deposits.

My handbook.
15 sides of A4. Mainly built up from experience. i.e. decoration policy, pet policy, fire policy, insure your belongings, stopping mould, breaking doors due to hanging clothes on handles, sub letting ie moving new boyfriend in, DHSS payment policy and so on.

Every month we send out a newsletter detailing rental trends, council house policies, DHSS cuts, info on credit unions, free activities provided in the town, how to save on heating, where to borrow or not borrow money , council tax changes etc. (all depending on current trends) Most do not read but it goes out anyway. They have been told !! Ive just caught a tenant fiddling benefits who says that they have never heard of the ''bedroom tax'' Oh no ? Its gone out so many times.

My professional third party inspection also reinforced our position, verified that certain changes to council tax etc were not as tenants thought, told tenants that it wasn't their house to do as they liked etc.
Worth every penny and usable in court if needed. (hopefuly not) Arrears almost vanished !!!! All except the one who still thinks that they will get a council house when I evict (eventually when I want to sell)

Before I get attacked by the twats on here who have a pop at me all repairs unidentified by us or not notified by tenants were carried out at our cost. Paint was given to those who chose nightmare colours to sort out. All tenants were personally visited and the report discussed. New double glazing fitted in one property, new door on another, new window in another, bits that we had spare in stock for minor repairs were given foc.

After all its my investment and a few quid either way keeps the investment in good order and lettable without voids and the council tax you have to pay when refurbishing.

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kate 24th June, 2014 @ 13:29

Im in a dire, as im living with no gas safety certificate, no hot water, deposit not in a scheme, the windows in the front do not open, the gas boiler is by the window, there is no earth on the shower and the electric box is very old with no safety cut out. my landlord i cant understand his language is constantly standing out the front staring in and called me a white western whore and says he will make trouble for me if i complain, i have nowhere else to go and my previous landlord made off with my last deposit and i cannot afford to move.. i dont want to stay here living like this but feel i am trapped, i have to make repairs to his house like he says? i have three little ones with me all under 5 years old. if i complain he will just kick me out and he wont return my 750 deposit. oh and he wants to put my rent up by an extra 50 a month, i already pay 730

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Nige 24th June, 2014 @ 13:56

Straight to local council followed by visit to police station.

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David Palmer 25th June, 2014 @ 15:20

Your post below probably did not help!

http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/landlord-changes-locks-to-keep-scumbag-tenants-out/

It makes Landlords think they can get away with it, as both a landlord and a tenant I see both sides.

I strongly recommend any tenant being harassed, pressured or told their rent is increasing or they have to leave or any other abuse call the Shelter Helpline on 0808 800 4444 Landlords could do worse than checking the site too so they can make sure they are within the law.

To clarify,

you cannot be evicted without notice, not just the notice in your lease but the 2 additional months of a section 21 notice. If your landlord made you sign a section 21 when you move in that can be challenged and found invalid.

Even then a section 21 has rules about how it is served and the dates on it so get it verified by shelter.

If your landlord did not protect your deposit AND issue you with the prescribed information regarding that deposit in accordance with the Housing act and the localism revisions of that act then the section 21 will be invalid and S/He will have to start over once they have corrected that.

If they take you to Court you can get your costs back, I have had £2k of costs, a friend of mine got £6k because he warned the Landlord in writing he was in the wrong and in breach of the act and that he would defend the action if the Landlord went ahead.

IF YOU FIND YOURSELF EVICTED MAKE TWO CALLS, ONE TO THE POLICE AND ONE TO A LOCKSMITH, ASK THE POLICE THE WITNESS YOU TAKING BACK POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY YOU HAVE RENTED. THE COSTS OF THE LOCKSMITH CAN BE RECOUPED IN COURT FROM THE LANDLORD.

ANY FURTHER HARASSEMENT IS LEGALLY ACTIONABLE, REPORT THE EVEN TO THE LOCAL COUNCIL ONCE YOU ARE BACK IN. REMEMBER THAT EVEN BANGING ON THE DOOR IS HARASSMENT WITHOUT AN AGREED, YES AGREED APPOINTMENT. IF YOU FEEL TOO STRESSED BECAUSE OF THE WAY YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED TELL THE LANDLORD THAT YOU NOW REQUIRE AN INDEPENDANT 3RD PARTY TO ACT FOR THE LANDLORD IN ANY MATTER DUE TO THE PREVIOUS HARASSMENT.

RECORD EVERYTHING ON YOUR PHONE, COURTS ACCEPT SUCH RECORDINGS EVEN IF YOU HAVE NOT NOTIFIED THE PERSON THEY ARE BEING RECORDED.

Now for most landlords this behaviour will not be necessary but for the sort that think all tenants are scum and there to be fleeced, sorry but Karma sucks.

Oh and for the rent increase, they can't increase the rent in the middle of an agreement that does not have an explicit term to do so. Challenge ANY attempt to increase the rent, the Government is cracking down on this because increased rents means increased LHA in the long term and that means a higher social security cost all around which increases all our taxes.

You may think I am being a bit hard but I take no prisoners when it comes to abusive landlords.

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Eric Dickinson 25th June, 2014 @ 16:20

"If your landlord made you sign a section 21 when you move in that can be challenged and found invalid."

Why would a landlord make a tenant sign a s21? I've never seen a s21 form that requires the tenants signature.

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Adam Hosker 25th June, 2014 @ 16:29

@Eric - they dont. But a signature is "proof of receipt" to show a judge when tenant says "I NEVER GOT ONE!"

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Eric Dickinson 25th June, 2014 @ 17:14

@Adam
You're talking about signing for delivery to the courier i.e. recorded delivery. David was talking about signing the actual section 21. He said: "If your landlord made you sign a section 21 when you move in that can be challenged and found invalid."

That won't make it invalid because the tenant doesn't even sign the s21.

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Adam Hosker 25th June, 2014 @ 17:30

(I disagree with David; you can serve a S21 on the 2nd day of the tenancy just not right at the start as David is outlining how it can in some cases be invalid.)

What David hints at is; it is GREAT practice that when serving a section 21 you say to tenant "Please sign here to confirm you received it"..

They sign the letter (signature box or not) and if they challenge in court "I never received a s21" - you can pull it out and go "Sir; I served it by hand and Mr Tenant signed it as you can see here".

Put simply; a S21 does not require a signature. Having one shows proof of receipt - not necessary but useful.

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Eric Dickinson 25th June, 2014 @ 17:36

yeah, but "Please sign you have received it" is the purpose of "recorded delivery"

What David said is completely different, not convinved he hinted at what you said. He clearly said signing the s21. But that makes no sense because then the tenant would need to sign 2 copies and then send one back to the landlord and who is to say the tenant has signed both copies? That kind of makes the whole proof thing void. But either way a s21 does not need to be signed by the tenant and it's good practise to send the s21 recorded delivery for proof of confirmation.

From what I'm aware, a s21 can be served as long as the deposit has been secured.

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Benji 25th June, 2014 @ 17:46

@ Adam,

You can serve a section 21 on the first day of the tenancy. (there are hazards to doing so but it can be done)

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kate 25th June, 2014 @ 18:07

My Landlord gave me a rent agreement with a few hand written extras on that i have to replace anything if it stops working ie a dishwasher if it breaks down i have to replace it etc. i don't know what this 21s thing is your all discussing. please forgive me, but I am an older person and i work full time and don't get benefits etc. other than child allowance. My landlord put the contract 12 month one in his wife's name which is different from his yet i pay rent directly into his account which i always have paid and always on time. He seemed okay at first then got nasty after i asked for deposit scheme and gas safety, he asked me to deal with the gas safety., i think i just want to leave and find somewhere new with a landlord that is good. i know there are plenty out there its just finding them and housing is hard to find.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th June, 2014 @ 18:48

Hi Kate,

A s21 is just an abbreviation for a Section 21. It's a notice served by landlords to tenants when they want to repossess their property at the end of the fixed term (it's not an eviction notice).

In your case, I'm pretty amazed you agreed to replace broken items (which were supplied by the landlord)! Don't do that again :) The landlord is basically making money off you every time you do that. No reasonable landlord would enforce that clause.

If your landlord hasn't secured your deposit, you can take him to court and get 3 x deposit in compensation! Your landlord sounds like a nasty piece of work, so I would consider it.

Lastly, if your landlord hasn't got a gas safety certificate for the property, you can contact the Health and Safety Executive (http://www.hse.gov.uk/) and lodge a complaint. They will handle the matter. It's the landlord's legal obligation.

As already said, if you want free legal advice/guidance on the issues above, contact your local Citizen's Advice and/or Shelter (https://www.shelter.org.uk/) - they will help you.

If you want to vacate, which would be completely understandable, give your landlord at least one month's notice from the end date of the tenancy (I'm not sure when your tenancy ends).

Good luck!

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David 2nd July, 2014 @ 16:57

Eric Dickinson don’t be so anal, of course I meant signed for receipt.

You can go ahead and issue you S21 on day 2, any tenant with the help of Shelter will get it kicked out. Do not correct your landlord, let the idiot go ahead and go to court, then when it gets kicked out they have to start all over again which adds at least 3 months, sometimes 4.

@Kate re tenancy agreements, a landlord can't just put what he wants in an agreement, every single term has to comply with the housing act and with updates to that act, e.g. localism act. Judges will look to guidance and their bible is called OFT356 http://bit.ly/356terms it lists the proper construction of terms.

For example you can't say "if the tenant does not pay their rent within 3 days of the due date they may be immediately evicted" first ANY notice clause has to tell the tenant their rights under the Housing act. The same applies to so many clauses where there are additional rights afforded by legislation. Any tenant that has good advice can refer a judge to this and BAM the case is kicked out and costs can be awarded to the tenant.

The laws may be a pain for Landlords but what they do is encourage that landlords act in a professional manner. So when articles like this.

http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/landlord-changes-locks-to-keep-scumbag-tenants-out/

encourage Landlords to take matters into their own hands they can't complain when a tenant uses every clause of every act to their defence.

@Kate if he did not protect your deposit or even if he protected it but did not inform you, give you the appropriate prescribed paperwork, then not only is any notice null and void but he can be fined up to 3 times the deposit and you get your deposit back.

This applies to EACH tenancy, so if the first tenancy was in his name and the subsequent tenancy was in his wife's name, then that is two breaches. If the original tenancy has expired it may even apply to the newly created statutory tenancy that came into effect when the original lease expired. There is already case law that shows these are different leases even if they are substantially the same, it is referred to in localism act.

So your landlord could be paying you 6 months rent plus your costs.

Regarding Gas Safety, if there is no certificate he is breaking the law and can face a very stiff penalties, it will also be considered when you take legal action if you mention it.

Advice is here

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/common_problems/gas_safety_risks

Report him to your local Council and to HSE

https://extranet.hse.gov.uk/lfserver/external/lgsr1
BTW any retaliation is harassment, report any harassment to your local Council but also caution him that any further harassment may result in legal action on your part.

If and when he issues a S21 to give you 2 months notice as he is legally obliged to do, let it expire and let him take it to Court, then file your defence stating all the thing he has done and issuing a counter claim. His S21 will be thrown out, he will have to pay you up to 6 times the rent based on what you are saying plus your deposit back, plus your costs.

I understand that it is not nice to live in a place where the landlord is a scumbag, but one of the fundamentals of tenancy is the right to quiet enjoyment of the property. So do not let his harass you, no turning up without an AGREED appointment, no turning up late at night. No banging on doors, he is not even allowed to discuss confidential information through the door.

I do not think it is that hard to be a professional landlord which is why I have no sympathy for those that bleat about bad tenants when it is they who did not do things like safety checks or protecting the deposit.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd July, 2014 @ 17:39

@David

I don't really encourage the notion. I even state that I wouldn't change the locks. I simply say I understand those that do (in certain circumstances).

In regards to your comments to Eric. I don't think you're entirely correct. Some courts don't like it when landlords serve a Section 21 at the beginning of a tenancy, but only if the tenant is NOT made aware of the 'end of tenancy' BEFORE entering a new tenancy. If they're made aware, it's perfectly legit.

I was also confused/unsure by your tenant signing the Section 21 comment, so don't be too harsh!

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David 2nd July, 2014 @ 18:11

No offence to @Eric 3 comments seemed OTT but clear now.

You are always subject to the Judge and your behaviour, so if you did not follow procedures on anything else you are already on a slippery wicket.

In the same way if a tenant has not paid rent they are the one on a slippery wicket.

There are numerous technical issues about section 21 over and above the date of issue, not ending in fixed term etc. If you look at the housing act and ammendments you can see how it has to fit.

Also if a Landlord tells you something different, e.g. "We will rent for six months and then if there are no problems then renew annually" that is an implied contract that there will be a review at six months, the issuing of the S21 early breaches the spirit of that agreement.

You also shoot yourself in the foot if you have a good tenant because at six months they will look for alternative accomodation.

Most importantly it is best to use notice for intended purpose, i.e. to give notice of desire for possession at the end of a tenancy. Most tenanct contracts are constructed to make early S21's invalid because of the implied intent.

I would fight it myself, is expensive to go to court now and this issuing a S21 is a stunt.

You are much better to issue it towards the end of month 4 if you actually want possession back.

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susan 17th July, 2014 @ 07:31

so landlords dont evict because of repairs .well it happened to me,the sink unit was falling down the electrics are faulty the baths sinking ,i asked letting agents for age to get mended ,landlady comes around ,talks to me like muck ,gives me 8 weeks to get out ,been there 6 years ,oaid rent cleaned ,so becuse agents dare not tell her ,because she is landlady from hell ,she sacked them aswell ,.to go else where cost me nearly ,two thousand pounds i had to borrow , because estate agents milking it all ,so dont tell me there not,laws need changing ,we have no real rights ,and you can say it all day long this is 2 times this as happened ,to me ,they dont want to spend money ,at all,and to give 4 weeks is not long to move , all hassle to get another ,i am 60,its disgusting .my house is a tip ,and she ignored all requests she told estate agents i could do major work ,well she can go jump .i want to raise pettitions agaist this iinjustice >

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th July, 2014 @ 07:41

@Susan

I don't think you read the article properly, unfortunately.

1) The landlord didn't "evict" you, the landlord repossessed her property. Please recognise the difference- it's clearly highlighted in the blog post.

2) no one said landlords don't repossess tenants because of outstanding repairs. Where did you read that? I never said it.

3) It's the landlords legal right to repossess their property. If you rented out a property, wouldn't you think it's fair that you get to rent out your property to whomever you wish? Yes.

4) You had all those problems with the property, yet you never thought to lodge a single complaint or seek free legal advice on the matter? Why? You have rights, you just did NOTHING about it. Please recognise the difference between having rights and choosing not to fight for them.

5) You chose to pay the letting agent fees. Why are you surprised by them now?

Sorry, but in this case, it sounds like you allowed the landlord to get away with it. Your petition has no grounds for existing.

If it happens again, I hope you take the appropriate steps.

Anyways, hope you're in a better position now.

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David 18th July, 2014 @ 17:38

@Landlord

It is the same thing, if a landlord evicts a tenant because they ask for reasonable repairs it does not make a difference whether they use Sec22 or just tell them to Foxtrot Oxcar.

It's the landlords legal right to repossess their property and it is a tenants right to take them to the cleaners legally when they behave in this way.

The more I think about it the more I like the Labour Party idea of 3 year tenancies, will get rid of amateurs.

@Landlord sometimes when you are in a home with a stroppy Landlord you do not feel able to complain, not all tenants are butch like you!

@Landlord you do not CHOOSE to pay agent letting fees, they are the biggest scam in the industry. I know agents who get 5 or 6 people to credit check etc charging each of them 6 times the cost of doing the credit check, but they let one person into the property. They make up charges that are their job, things like checking in a tenant, that is a business cost of the landlord or agent there is no way it is a tenant fee.

@Susan in my experience shoddy landlords often fail in the detail of things like protecting your deposit, advising you within 30 days of where it is protected and giving you a simple easy to read document and all the prescribed information covered in the localism act.

For the benefit of other readers, always report a badly maintained property, a friend of mine has never had the annual gas inspection.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th July, 2014 @ 00:28

@David

No, "eviction" and "repossession" is NOT the same thing. Yes, the landlord may have repossessed the property because the tenant complained, but that is NOT an eviction (I did clarify that in my 2nd point). As said, a court order is required for an eviction. You don't seem to understand the "legal" difference between the processes.

"you do not CHOOSE to pay agent letting fees"

Yes, you do. No one is forced with a gun.

Again, you're arguing about a different issue. You're arguing that the fees are unfair. Despite that, the tenant/landlord still agreed to pay the fees.

Due diligence goes a long way when signing contracts.

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Nige 19th July, 2014 @ 10:34

I agree with landlord.
From years of experience in being a landlord I have watched regulations of various types being introduced which include a huge leap in CGT taxation.
I have also watched priorities change with people. High end mobile phone plans, must have flat screen TVs , cars on personal lease plans etc.
Who struggles with high capital costs any more. You can virtually rent life.

Landlords somehow fall into a different catagory to all other providers.
Mobile phones can be switched off, prepayment meters can be set to recover outstanding bills, cars can be lifted on to the back of low loaders.
Landlords however have to put up with cr*p and legal wranglings to get their investment back.

David cites high fees for lettings.
If tenants didn't lie and cheat to get a property and ''honour'' contracts with the handshake there would not be the need for credit checking agencies. I have carried out deals in other countries which are sealed with a handshake.

Then we have the ''care'' of a property. Checks are carried out to ensure that you don't get a rogue tenant. It doesn't matter how many checks you carry out they still slip through. Then the courts double costs to get them out together with a long winded process of form filling, court attendance,bailiff costs to get them out only to find that the property is severely damaged and there is very little hope of recouping the last years net profit because of the current culture of ''I have no money''

As David says we are a business even though the HMRC tends to treat us differently from other businesses. !0% CGT on assets in a business building. 18%-28% on a landlords property.

So currently I sit here wanting a property back. An independant inspection revealed that the tenant has broken countless parts of the tenancy agreement. I have noted the bathroom as being similar in damage to a drug fuelled party with broken toilet, basin off the wall, bath panel smashed and enough water poured onto the floor that it is bringing the ceiling down in the downstairs cloakroom. Add to this that court costs of terminating the contract will take up half the deposit and it is little wonder that credit checks are taken together with guarantors etc etc.
Now just to add insult to injury the tenant told the Environmental Health that it was my fault so Im left defending this as well.
(luckily I have enough proof that it was tenant)

As for reading small print. Oh pick me up off the floor laughing. Tenants never read it. It doesn't matter to them if they are not going to abide by it anyway. It doesn't matter to them as they know and are advised by a multitude of agencies how to sit tight.

The data protection act allows the bad tenants to hide. Where is the national register of tenants who might be a disaster ?
America has one .

Don't get me wrong. I have some very good tenants but these are technically subsidising bad tenants. Much in the same way that shops prices reflect shoplifting.

Yes I abide by the rules. I have to or court cases will not go in my favour. Unfortunately damaging a property by ''living'' in it is hard to prove as a criminal case. For example the tenant above sold the smoke alarms. (don't ask me the mentality of this). Guess who would be pulled up if they were found to be missing.

As landlord says nobody holds a gun to the head and makes tenants take a property.
And once again good tenants jump through hoops and pay higher rents

Nothing would make me happier than to do what I have just done with one tenant...hold his rent down for another year (3rd year) because he does his own repairs, decorates at his cost properly and follows all tenancy conditions.

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David 21st July, 2014 @ 11:46

@Landlord

"eviction" and "repossession" ARE fundamentally the same, one leads to the other. A Section 21 is the starting process and it leads to the tenant losing their home. The legal terminology is not important unless you screw up in performing the statutory processes.

The idea that you have a CHOICE in paying agent letting fees is a joke. 99.9% of properties are rented via agents, all of the leading property listing will not take listings from Landlords.

These fees are invested and they are a cost that should be attributed to the landlord. Some of these agent fees are being used to charge tenants concurrently for credit checks and referencing. A credit check can be performed for £25 but some charge hundreds.

You do not have a choice with the tenacy agreement either, the tenant is automatically in a subservient position by the simple nature of a landLORD. That is why there is protection in the law because some Landlords have terms that say they can give 3 or 7 days notice. A tenant might believe this because it is there in black and white on a contract they signed. The truth is they are protected (thank goodness).

@nige there are scum tenants and there are scum landlords but unfortunately many landlords treat all tenants like scum.

If you were able to defame a bad tenant and they could not get accomodation where would you have them live? The legitimate thing to do is to pursue them in the Courts and reporting theft to the Police.

I own a property that I let, I see it as a secure way of holding my money. All tenants add costs, it is a cost of doing business, if you hire a car for 2 weeks on a holiday, it is going to get messy so the car hire company valets cars between rentals. Sure they have rules about damage and fuel but they do not expect the person who hires the car to clean it.

I prepay my rent because I am often in the USA for months at a time on business, I have never asked the various Landlords for a repair. I once got a Cistern part from eBay and repaired it rather than give them the cost of a plumber. Still when they decided to get greedy it meant nothing, they wanted a higher rent, but did not ask me for it, they just issued a S21.

A friend of mine lives in a place where they have not done a Gas Safety since they moved in, the deposit has not been protected, gutters are not repairs, gates are falling off. These are property maintenance costs but they do not feel they have any obligation to repair them.

We have had many people on this site who have been abused by Scum Landlord and yes some tenants who have been Scum too, but if we treated everyone badly because one person had treated us badly the world would be a pretty bad place.

I think it is often about the way communication is done, tenants who do not communicate at all and Landlords who speak down to a tenant.

If you get communicating early, are friedly, offer to help you often get a better response.

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Nige 21st July, 2014 @ 12:13

@David,
I do not agree that if you are over friendly at the start then you get cooperation.
I taught for years and watched as friendly teachers were eaten alive. The trick was to set rules and have no nonsense at the start and relax as time went on.
You repair a property rather than call the landlord?? So do I but I own my house.
Then again in 30 years I have never had a door fall off, a kitchen sink mixer tap get dented (yes really) , a front door forced on the locks and frame smashed because they lost their key or any of my radiators get ripped from the wall because they rammed towels behind them to dry.
Yes a car rental company may valet a car. But try burning the carpets (many dont allow smoking) and would charge for dents. bumps, scratches etc. In fact recenly hiring a car involved putting a credit card deposit down, much in the same way as a hotel would. The deposit was £1000 on the hire car and of course any damage could automatically be grabbed. Unlike the poor landlord who has to jump through hoops with arbitration .
Maybe a scheme to force tenants to put huge deposits down might be in order ? (I wish)
Yes we all suffer as a result of the few who damage but the lack of a proper justice system that protects landlords hinders the god tenants.
Using the hire car as the example I do believe its virtually impossible to rent with a dirty licence. A system is in place to warn insurance companies and hire companies that this person is a high risk.
Using a hotel as an example Premier Inn has notices up stating no smoking and the penalty ..I believe £130 last time I looked. which is charged automatically.
Luckily I see a change in society coming that is tightening up on those who refuse to play by the rules (in all spheres) at the cost to the rest of us. This will benefit both tenants and landlords.

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David 24th July, 2014 @ 12:55

@nige

Well there is your problem right there, you treat your tenants like children.

Tenants are Adults and the propertly you let is their home, a place they need to feel safe. When you threaten that, anything can happen.

No point whinging about costs, it is part of doing business.

If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. There are plenty of investments that have less hassle.

Your comparisons are a bit ridiculous, smoking indoors in a public place is illegal and nobody is allowed to charge your credit card with anything without your explicit permission. Any attempt to do so can cost them their merchant status.

Premier Inn do have a £150 fine if you smoke in areas that are not designated smoking areas (only allowed for electronic cigs), however, like private parking, they have no authority to fine, so they can invoice you and you can dispute the invoice. Sounds similar to Landlord/Tenant disputes to me.

I travel all over the place and my license is tatty, never affected my ability to hire a car and totally irrelevant to this discussion.

I have seen some hire car companies behave like bad landlords, they try to charge on petrol, they fake damage reports on the car, either neglecting to highlight it when they hire or not giving you the form when you check it back. So I take my own video evidence before I get in.

The reason Landlords have to jump through hoops is because the majority of them are amateur and unprofessional, agents are not a lot better. I took on a place, the landlord had a huge inventory noting every possible mark, he casually said to me that it was the old one and there were a few things not noted. It was 9pm at night and I could not possibly go through 20 pages of snags. I signed it, next morning in the daylight I took a video of as much as I could, I noticed some hairline cracks in the tiles in the kitchen and videod them.

Sure enough when I left he tried to accuse me of them, I showed him the video which was date stamped, he refused to accept it and wanted me to pay for a new floor as he could not get those tiles.

Many Landlords think that they can just make a grab for the deposit and that is why deposit protection was brought in.

There is an automatic feeling as a tenant that you are demoted, that is why I suggest over delivering on service. So you communicate respectfully and regularly, it gives you a chance to develop a rapport and if your tenant knows you they do not want to mess you about.

Yes there are some bad tenants, but that does not mean we should all be treated like them. I have seen some right scum, but you can usually spot them or even recognise them on the phone. A clue is that they cannot string a sentence together.

Why should the legal system protect landlords, it should be there to protect both landlord and tenant, it should be fair and impartial.

Why do we have precribed information being mandatory, why does any tenancy clause that mentions a break or termination have to include the additional rights afforded by the housing act?

It is because Landlords still write tenancy agreements that say they can kick people out in 2 days and they even try to enforce that.

As I said, the tenant is always in the inferior position, the landlord has the property or many properties, they resent spending any money, even when it is their own fault. This is often because as a business they are underfinanced. They do not take out insurance, they are not responsive when there is a problem.

If you have a property that is decorated between tenancies and kept in excellent condition, the tenant wants to keep it that way. On the other hand if the place is a dump and you do not seem to care, then don't be surprised if the tenant does not either.

Yes I would rather repair something than bother the landlord, within a week of moving in the vertical thing that holds the shower head came off the wall. I took a look and there had been some botched repair (the putty was still wet and had not set). I cleaned it all out, put layers of filler over a week, letting each dry properly before adding the next. I then put decent fixings in place and it has held for 2 years.

Shower rail was badly fixed so I improved the fixing, no more problems.

I have replaced the handle on the UPVC window, refitted edge of carpet where it was coming away.

I have repaired door handles, greased hinges, changed part of cistern that developed a fault.

Before I left my previous place I filled every hole from pictures etc, even though they were selling the place and were not decorating it.

I actually take pride in my home, I like to keep it looking good.

In my last place they had a massive mould issue caused by a lack of ventilation. I dealt with it by getting it under control with thin bleach, I then painted with a mould resistant paint and painted over that with normal paint. It was an issue with the property because I had the window vents open and even in winter opened the windows every day, but one spore can breed more. What they lacked was a ventilation brick and grill as my last house had, but it was also the block construction.

The only time I ask the landlord to get involved is if it is a big job that really needs to be done by a professional contractor.

It all comes down to the attitude of the landlord, if they are anal retentive idiots that talk down to me or hassle me, then I feel I do not owe them anything. However, if they are friendly and treat me with respect I do the same, I see them as friends and I care about my friends.

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Nige 24th July, 2014 @ 15:51

So David,
You phone your tenants up and ask them to pop down the pub with you? Send them birthday cards, buy pressies for them ?
Thats friendship . There is a great difference between being friendly and treating people as friends. I consider a friend to be someone I could call out of bed in the early hours in an emergency. I DONT CHARGE friends any money for my services !! Yep if I get them something from a third party and pay then I pass the charge on.

Its interesting to note that you know all the rules regulations and garbage that landlords have to know and abide by.
If your tenants are so perfect then I hope you don't even take a deposit from them. Why would you. Real friends don't let you down.

David you are in the investment game like the rest of us looking for a return. You cannot weed out the wrong uns as you say. I have had a good tenant in a managerial position who took to drugs and destroyed himself...and the house. Ive had good tenants move their boyfriend in who then wrecks the house before legging it with his loved one. People lose their jobs and rely on benefits. Some you can help over the tough times, some you can advise, for some there is no hope.

But letting is a business not a hobby or something you do for friendship.You mention that the legal system is there to protect landlords and tenants. True in principle but in reality waiting a month or maybe 3 to get your investment back without interest (rent) being paid is no joke. And having to turn up in court personally while the tenant watches tv especially as they are ''stealing'' from you and you are trying to justify your actions before a judge.

I do not know what sorts of clients you get for your properties but there is a plethora of companies from credit check companies to eviction companies who are engaged in dealing with those in society who do not want to play by the rules.

And we all have to endure rules and inconveniences because of the few who choose to live outside them. Thats why bouncers have to stand outside normal pubs. Thats why tenants change my gas and electric meters because most can no longer get credit except from the sharks.

So as you seem to attack me as some sort of moronic idiot for every post I put and most of them are constructive and show I run my lettings business in a very professional way I will leave you to your friends..oh sorry tenants.

Don't bother replying. I'm off to enjoy the fruits of my labours in some sunny clime after selling one of my properties. Its easier than renting .

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David 25th July, 2014 @ 09:20

@Nige

I totally agree with you that it is a BUSINESS, your tenants are your customers and if you over deliver on their expectations you get good results. At the same time if you treat them with disdain as scum, then do not be surprised it they reciprocate.

Consider Ryan Air, never a pleasant experience but you get what you pay for. After being charged for nappies for my disabled son, charged for a pushchair we used as a wheelchair, told not to take hand luggage or we would lose aftershave and other stuff, charged again for checking it, oh and charged because Ryan Air luggage weight is less than half of everyone else, I was pretty miffed.

However, I put it behind me, still the boarding was late so we got some coffee, hot chocolate and food in the takeaway cafe right by the check-in. The cafe had no seats for eating it was a takeaway only service. Then they called us for boarding, we queued for 20 minutes and they Ryan Air staff told us we could not take the drinks on the flight, they attacked every customer with a bag from the Cafe. Well having paid £5 a drink I was not happy but the little hitlers told me that if I caused a fuss they would not allow me or my family to board.

Well I already decided to vote with my feet, but I also decided that I would get payback. Suffice to say I make it my mission to tell as many people as I can NEVER FLY RYAN AIR.

Behind each of those bad tenants you describe there are real lives and for them - A HOME, with all that it implies. Sure some are scum but you have a means to get them out and because you can eventually get costs, it all comes right in the end. Yes it costs more, yes it is a hassle, but it is a cost of doing business for landlords.

The only thing I am attacking is the "all tenants are scum" attitude. I think you have made numerous constructive comments and highlighted some issues, e.g. HMRC.

You only hear Landlords bitching about the bad tenants, for every one of them there are hundreds of thousands of good tenants, who always pay their rent and who make their landlords a lot of profit. I think that there are probably 100 bad landlords for every bad tenant and 1000 unprofessional amateur landlords for each bad tenant.

Don't get me wrong, there are some oiks in our society that serve no purpose and yes they have to learn the decency that their parents never taught them.

It is good that you sold up because next year there is going to be an awful lot of blood on the carpet when the effect of this autumns interest rate increase starts to bite. Anyone who is underfinanced is going to feel it.

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Nige 25th July, 2014 @ 10:41

I agree in some ways. I have always said that I have good tenants who do as you do and repair, give little hassle and pay the rent on time. Yep Ryanair..gets what you pay for but its half the price to travel to Spain without luggage than it would be to take the train 60 miles to London !!
I would disagree with your figures regarding bad landlords. Totally frustrated landlords yes.
Good profit ? edges towards the return I get from my bank as regards letting. Captital growth yes but rental side its getting marginal. As you say it is a tenants HOME but its my HOUSE. Some think that it is their house and can do what they want with it. That means paint it with gaudy colours without permission or punch holes through walls to put tv cables everywhere.
I have kept one house empty for 8 months now. I renovated it to sell and could not take the risk regarding timescale for selling of relet. I have several friends who are finding it cheaper to pay the council tax premium rather than let. The last house I did up for sale but changed direction and put it to rent for 6 months was back to pre renovation state within 6 months and thats not fair wear and tear.
Obviously you are a success in your line of work but you went through the same education system as I did and I will admit freely that I did not take full advantage of it. That caused ''suffering''(a drop to one sixth the income) as I took time off work to get professional qualifications and back on the ladder. Just what do you say to a tenant who laughs as they tell you that they wagged it from school from 14 onwards and can't get anything except basic wage. So why should I feel sorry for them.In fact I have got tenants on benefits getting more clear than I am getting plus reduced council tax. I am sure that there are many hard grafting pensioners who own their own home who are subject to full council tax and living on far less than some benefit tenants.
There is a difference between poor and scruffy. Remember when the poor scrubbed the front doorstep. Remember when people were proud to keep the front gardens on their privileged council house immaculate? Or mothers could push a pram without texting.
Yes there may be some blood on the carpet if interest rates rise but this has been coming for a long time and its not just limited to the UK. Social changes are afoot. Malingerers or those who thought the state would keep them are the ones in for a real shock. The lesson is simple. Take full advantage of the opportunities given to you when young because its damn hard if to try catchup.
Investment opportunity ? With the relaxation coming in the US with cannabis I am sure that this will be a better investment LOL.

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malik 15th August, 2014 @ 17:44

landlord

been granted possession order ,tenancy periodical,tenant receiving housing benefit payment directly to landlord,tenant varied possession order by requesting 42 days .DJ grant it.is it wise to still continue in receiving housing benefit directly, Fear of tricking agreement which can convert and trigger contract.Advise

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David 19th August, 2014 @ 13:05

You are entitled to rent for every day the tenant stays and a District Judge has ordered they can stay for 42 days.

You are not at risk, the local Council will now try to rehouse them if they have kids or are disabled.

On the day they actually leave you inform the Council, that is as much as you can do.

They may go to Court to try and have Judgement set aside, they have 14 days to do that.

They would need a point of law on which to base that on, e.g. there was case law and the Dj ignored it.

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Nige 19th August, 2014 @ 15:24

You are not at risk from the rent aspect unless they only pay part of the benefit and make the rest up themselves.As David says..inform council the day they leave.
Make sure the council are also aware of all the facts.. I dont mean a degree of revenge on your part. David would slightly be wrong in our area as new rules on eligibility would stop them getting a property if they were in arrears or deliberately made themselves homeless by damaging the property. These rules were brought in to stop people renting in the private sector and then not paying rent ie keeping benefit themselves and not passing it on or where the damage was not fair wear and tear and there were obvious breaches of the tenancy agreement. Emergency accommodation is supplied now and some of that is none to sweet. In turn those who follow the rules are helped wherever possible and more landlords will accept benefit tenants.

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kate 19th August, 2014 @ 21:11

i want to say a lot but im so frightened im to afraid in case my landlord reads this site. hes threatened me and now i have to make extra cash payments to live here.. i wish someone could contact me somehow, i cant stop shaking at the moment. today was truly horrible. i almost want to beg someone please help me!

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David 21st August, 2014 @ 13:26

Kate

I do know how you feel, a threat to your home can make you feel very vulnerable, I had a female landlord who was the most agressive person you could imagine.

In the end I reported her for harassment and would not let her access the property, I was happy for her to use agents and contractors but not her. She lost that right when she behaved in that way.

I am happy for the owner of this site to send you my email. alternatively I strongly suggest you call Shelter for advice & support and your local Council to report them for harassment.

I would also point out that this Landlord is not a party to the agreement, his wife is, as such you can tell him that you will have nothing to do with him. Call the Police and tell them if he threatens you.

Chances are they are just going to get you out now, so you have two choices, just get out and they will do the same to the next person or drag it out and make them pay if you can handle the stress.

Remember that even if you sign something it does not make it enforcable if it goes against either the law or common law such as unfair contract terms and the duty of care tort.

So you do not have to repair anything, for a start there is fair wear & tear, I had a Landlord try to charge me for a bathroom fan, it was 25 years old! Even if I had caused the damage (which I did not) the reasonable life of a fan would be 10 years.

Then you have the office of fair trading guidelines on unfair contract terms which say

3.14 We have concerns over terms that have the object or effect of protecting landlords from liability to tenants for defects in the premises let to them, for which the landlord would otherwise be liable,

WHATEVER THE FORM OF WORDS USED OR THE LEGAL MECHANISM INVOLVED.

We also regard terms that give incomplete information about the landlord's repairing responsibilities as potentially unfair, because they can be misleading.

Transfer of repairing obligations

3.15 We object to terms that require the tenant to carry out repairs that are legally the responsibility of the landlord (see paragraph 3.12). These terms are void, unenforceable and misleading. Landlords are under a covenant to undertake these repairs that is implied by statute into the tenancy agreement, and cannot exclude their liability for failure to abide by such a covenant. A term dealing with the tenant's responsibility in this area should be drafted so that it cannot be interpreted in such a way as to relieve landlords of their obligations. Even where a landlord does not have a statutory duty to repair, we object to terms that have the effect of making the tenant liable for what
would otherwise be considered fair wear and tear.

Get in front of a Judge keep records and ideally record any abuse.

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David 21st August, 2014 @ 14:46

@Nige

Sorry I did not see him actually say that the possession order was S8 for arrears and as 42 days were granted I figured probably an S21.

Some tenants ask for direct payments to Landlord because it makes them easier to budget. Landlords can request it at 6 weeks I think.

Judges do not usually respond well to arrears so usually grant 14 days on S8 but are more receptive to no fault S21 claims.

Also did not see any reference to damage.

Albeit that it is a roll of the dice which Judge you get.

As far as I can see the social housing system is broken, it only helps mothers with kids (after they have been in bedsits), disabled people and Asylum Seekers who can afford Sky TV. (Channel4 how to get a Council House)

Useful points to make though Nige.

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laura 6th November, 2014 @ 15:40

the person who wrote this article is an idiot pure and simple. I have been the victim of revenge eviction twice already and now i have recieved a possession notice today after asking the landlord to fix a leaking roof and guttering. I was given sob stories for months on end about why he couldnt do the repairs. So much so that one of my children broke their arm in the garden after falling from a 3ft terrace which was unsafe and had no fencing. The ground fell from underneath her. The gas boiler was unsafe and leaking gas after the landlord installed the boiler himself. I actually had the boiler fixed myself. So unless you have been a tenant and a victim of this kepp your stupid opinions to yourself

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Nige 6th November, 2014 @ 15:55

@Laura
So why do you stay ? Nobody forces you to live where you do. I have tenants who want to stay near their mum or 101 similar reasons.
There is no reason why they couldn't move to another area completely. I'm not saying this is what you should do but obviously you live in an area where there is a housing shortage and so you have to take what you can get.
And yes I was a tenant for the best part of 25 years.

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The Landlord 6th November, 2014 @ 15:56

@Laura

Did you even read the article? The problem is, you don't fully understand your rights as a tenant or the difference between "eviction" and "repossession" (which I have explained, but you obviously didn't pay any attention to), so you think you got evicted, when you probably didn't.

The only way a tenant can legally get evicted is through a court order. Did you get one of those?

Just because you received a notice it doesn't mean you got "evicted", and it certainly doesn't mean the landlord can even evict you.

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laura 7th November, 2014 @ 11:06

Notice seeking possession over repairs actually and yes i understand what you are saying. Its a notice asking tenant to leave because they want the house back. But once a fixed tenancy has ended and become periodic, which mine did before and has now, the landlord doesnt need a reason to evict under section 21. So if the tenant asks for repairs rather than do these they will use the section 21 to get rid. I couldnt afford court fees so last time i didnt wait for the eviction, i found somewhere else before the notice ended. But this time i have no choice but to stay in the property and wait for him to take me to court, which will result in me having to pay the landlords court costs. So yes i know the eviction process and i know what the law is. You are writing this from a landlord point of view when actually in some cases, like mine the tenant hasnt actually dont anything wrong but follow the tenancy agreement and report repairs to the landlord and pay rent when it is due. Now the landlord has refused to do repairs on both occassions so i went to the next step which was to report this to the council who came on the last house and found electrical issues and damp issues. The landlord was asked to fix this but instead was abusive to me at the meeting between landlord, tenant, agent and council inspector. A few days later i recieved a notice to quit under section 21 of the housing act. We found somewhere else like i said, but can only afford my rental budget and no more as i am on housing benefit, the allowance for my circumstances is far less than the actual rent which means the top up of more than £100 a month comes out of my benefits. Many landlords will no accept housing benefit or pets, some dont even want children in the property and require working tenants only. Which means I am limited to what i can afford. Usually this means that because the rent is cheap the landlord thinks that he doesnt have to do any repairs. But i pay the rent and no matter where that money comes from I have the right to ask for things to be fixed without fear of revenge eviction! This is the point Shelter and Tenants are trying to get across. I will be evicted from my home once the notice expires, and this will be the 2nd time this year!! So stress levels are high as you can probably imagine. I can see how decent landlords are affected by bad tenants and how the section 21 can be helpful in that situation but it should not be used to evict tenants over repairs. Thats unfair, especially if the tenant is paying on time and has reported the repairs. Why should i be expected to leave my home just because the landlord cant be bothered or has financial problems or whatever reason?? Im renting a home, im not a counselling service not are the landlords problems anything to do with me.

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laura 7th November, 2014 @ 11:28

oh and Nige

I have children who are at school in the area i live and one has special needs. It would be unfair to remove him from a school where he gets extra support with his learning, and why should i remove him from school every 6 months because the landlord doesnt want to fix things and would rather serve notice. I think you are in a dream world. The reality of private rental is "shut up or get out" in regards to repairs. Just because i'm poor doesnt been im not entitled to decent housing the same as everyone else. Rant over. I wish i did have an endless pot of money to keep moving around, but i dont. My son is 5 and it will be the 7th time we have moved since he was born. Where is the security and stability in that??? Thats ok then is it Landlords?? as long as you get your rents by any means possible it doesnt matter?? It matters to me and my kids and thousands of other tenants that are too scared to speak out about poor living conditions. Personally i think the landlord should be checked out first and any tenant should be able to get a landlord reference from previous tenants about the place they are about to rent. Especially as the previous times it has cost me more than £2000 in referencing fees, deposits and charges every time. Then the landlord will make up a pack of lies about the condition of the property in order to maximise any losses by taking the tenants deposit! I even had one landlord forge my signature on a letter to the DPS stating that i said she could keep the deposit to cover no existant rent arrears! The police were called on this occaision and eventally i got my money back. The last one charged me £300 for scuff marks on the wall. I appealed with the DPS and wont that back aswell! I sent them all my photo evidence. I made a photo diary of every single thing in the property, all the emails, letters that i had ever sent to the agent/ landlord over repairs and I won the case but it still took 3 months to get my money back. So yes i think everyone needs to hear the truth and the revenge eviction needs to stop. So do rogue landlords need to be stopped and more protection for tenants!!! RANT DEFINATELY OVER and please excuse my spelling

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Nige 7th November, 2014 @ 18:00

As someone who has mainly benefit tenants I can understand your plight. Yes I was on benefit for housing once but I fortunately got off it.
You will find however that (definitely in my case) there is a historical reason why DHSS tenants are not accepted. To date I have had 5 DHSS tenants so desperate for housing that they didn't have a deposit. I took a council bond instead. In all 5 cases the damage caused far outweighed anything I have had from a working tenant. In all 5 cases the tenant was evicted and the bond was lost but still didn't cover damage.In fact it hardly paid for the court cases that a landlord has to go through to ensure they comply with the law.
I currently have 2 bond tenancies.
The first one came about because the tenant skipped the property (whilst bonded by the council) and gave the property to his ex wife. You have no idea how much trouble that causes legally. All sorted now and she is a good tenant.
The other was placed in a property I intended to sell. It was refurbished top to bottom. A change in plan and I let it on a bond. Within 6 months they had completely wrecked the bathroom, repainted in dark blue without permission, called environmental health as the place was damp due to the smashed up bathroom. All new carpets were destroyed in 6 months.
I won with environmental health due to the fact that the property was fully inspected under the EMLAS/DASH scheme and photographed prior to let due to council regulations (council photographer)
We are about to evict another DHSS tenant in a property managed by ourselves due to him fiddling benefits and his arrears are mounting.
My experiences are that DHSS tenants (ie those who we know are on DHSS as there are some who hide it as is their right but ensure the tenancy is complied with) is one of destuction, additional cost, court cases and little hope of getting anything back.
As a result we will not consider new DHSS tenancies.
Now if there are landlords who will continue to let to DHSS do you think that they will let their best houses to them ? Nope.
So unfortunately this is why DHSS tenants get a raw deal. Not because they themselves are on benefits and are bad tenants but because historically it is not economically viable to let to them. Hence your £100 extra over benefits rates.
I personally have never revenge evicted or refused repairs but it does gall me sometimes when benefit tenants demand that I fulfill my obligations and yet continue to be in arrears. For example I has called out today because of faulty electrics. Nope she broke a light bulb and couldn't get it out of the fitting. Yep she is in arrears and nope I didn't charge her for a 10 second job but somehow it was deemed to be my responsibility !!!

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Benji 7th November, 2014 @ 21:28

@Laura,

Ignoring the coincidence that there is a vote on this issue this very month and your style of writing is strangely similar to someone trying (badly) to imitate someone on benefits would write-

You claim to have moved 6 times in 5 years and strongly imply this is due to revenge evictions, and also having to move twice in the last year.

The MP bringing this bill with Shelter, only claim 2% of tenants are victims of revenge evictions. How does that fit in with you?

http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2014/oct/27/stop-revenge-evictions-renting-landlords-sarah-teather

"Many landlords will not accept housing benefit"

How many will accept them if this comes in?

If you are genuine, be careful of what you wish for.

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Nige 8th November, 2014 @ 00:25

Its quite simple to exclude DHSS from being future tenants. You just raise the level above the allowed rate payable on benefit.
For example in our area the set rate for a 3 bed is £595. Rules state as Laura is finding out that they are not allowed to pay more than £25 per week out of their own money. I just disposed of a tiny 3 bed...Living,kitchen diner, 2 doubles and a boxroom. Rent for similar properties in area is £750. In more undesirable areas a bigger 3 bed achieves £625 thus excluding benefit tenants.
I have just been told by by one tenant that they are overcrowded. Thats 3 double bedrooms and 4 people. Under new rules ALL habitable rooms are classed as bedrooms. So thats living room and dining room plus 3 double beds. That is not classed as overcrowded as the max number (subject to ages and sex of children) of up to 10 people. (subject to HMO regs of course)

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laura 8th November, 2014 @ 20:00

look i totally understand from a landlords point of view why they do not like having dss tenants especially as most of them are on drugs and wouldnt pay the housing benefit to the landlord and cause damage etc. But i can honestly say that i have a seperate account for the rent/housing benefit to go into until rent day so that it doesnt get confused with my other money. Ive never been in rent arrears either, nor caused considerable damage to any of the last 5 or 6 properties i have lived in that were private rent. I have reported repairs and followed the rules in the tenancy agreement. I suppose i must be one of the few on benefits with kids that actually uses my money as it was intended- to live on!!

Im not going to start an arguement with you people over this and yes i am backing the 9millions renters scheme to stop revenge eviction which is clearly what has happened to me twice in a row now. I asked my landlord to fix the gutters that has come down and some holes in the roof which are causing damp. My daughter has Asthma and Allergies and my son is being investigated for Autism and ADHD. Do you think that having moved 6 times in the last 5 years is healthy for a child that has special needs??? Not all were revenge evictions. My current tenancy and the previous one were. The one before that i was in for 2 years but as soon as i asked the landlord to do the repairs on a roof that was leaking above my daughters bedroom things got nasty and i gave notice and left.

Just because i am on benefits doesnt mean i'm not entitled to a safe and secure home. But yes i suppose if i was a landlord i wouldnt accept people on housing benefit without taking a character reference first.l But i am known to be a reliable tenant at paying the rent so why not do the repairs?? I have too much to lose to not pay the rent, ive kids and we need a home to live in that is safe and warm.

Anyway, i was just sharing my experience on the thread, i dont think its fair that you should judge me.

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laura 8th November, 2014 @ 20:15

@Benji

I really dont like your attitude!! if i am genuine??! of course i am genuine, what kind of retarded comment is that?

I didnt say i had moved twice this year, was i meant was i have had 2 notices to quit this year after asking the landlord to carry out repairs that are part of their side of the tenancy agreement ie structure, roofs, gutters and damp.

I am not able to leave once this current notice expires as i have no where to go!! Ive wasted around £5000 this year alone on letting agents fees, referencing fees, pet fees (i have cats) and extortionate deposits that i dont get back!! This is not acceptable and there are many tenants at the moment in a similar situation to me and my family. A landlord will have a tenant in for the 6 month fixed period then after that ends, it goes periodic. Tenant asks for repairs, landlord responds with Notice To Quit. if thats on a revenge eviction what is it? coincidence?

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Nige 9th November, 2014 @ 02:33

@Laura
I will not apply this comment to you personally but every DHSS tenant I have ever had is as sweet as they can be to me and in my cases the council in order to fiddle a tenancy. I will not go into the tricks but they include moving in with a friend in another town for a few weeks before appearing back giving the friend as a last landlord reference.
In my town I have never heard of revenge evictions. All evictions are usually perfectly reasoned for damage, rent arrears etc.
Tenants are at liberty to challenge an eviction in court. I have never had a tenant turn up to one hearing and there is always a community lawyer willing to help tenants on site.
Given evidence of a breach of contract ie no repairs affecting health etc the judge is very likely to advise you to sue for breach of contract. No different from a landlord having to 'sue' a tenant for breach of contract by damaging a house or failing to pay rent.And having no money to sue the landlord is no excuse because many small landlords do not have the money to sue tenants.
The rules are there to protect both sides.

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Benji 9th November, 2014 @ 12:48

@Laura,

Only 9% of tenancies are ended by the landlord.
Nearly all of those are for non-payment of rent, landlord selling up, ASB, trashing the property etc.

It doesn't make financial sense for landlords to carry out revenge evictions. That is why the highest amount of revenge evictions anyone seriously claiming is less than 2% (which is still too many BTW, if true).

Although hard to follow, you claim to have had 2 or 3 revenge evictions and been asked to leave/evicted 6 times in 5 years.

Coincidence?

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Nige 9th November, 2014 @ 13:31

@Bengi
I agree. I have never evicted for revenge.
It also doesn't make sense to allow a property to fail externally as this just gets tenants leaving anyway and leaves you with a property that has to be repaired properly at often high cost before relet or sale.It also doesn't make sense to evict for no reason as this creates a void, a refresh property time and a long term tenant on slightly lower rent is as good as a series of six months lets on higher rent.
DHSS are generally in for a wake up call.
The system is changing and I have a tenant who has a son with every conceivable 'problem' although neither I, my property inspector or any workmen have seen any signs of that. She herself has been a good tenant generally but has been claiming disability and always walked with a stick. She ran up the stairs quite easily without a stick when my inspector turned up. She funnily enough stopped walking with the stick when her disability check proved she could work at something.Incidentally she was given mobility allowance when she couldn't drive. Was given a brand new Astra. She gave it to a boyfriend who didn't have a licence either and he crashed it into 3 cars in a shopping centre. Her disability didn't stop her from having her third child by the third father who of course is nowhere to be seen. As said these are not my concern except that somehow I have to support all this through my taxes and they still seem to think that the system will give them a better standard of living than I can afford.
Please can I have a social worker to sort out all my problems as Im stressed.Stressed because I HAVE to pay my mortgage or I will be out on the street with ZERO help from anyone.

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David 10th November, 2014 @ 17:42

@Laura

This is a landlord forum so you get people that think that can "Lord" it over people while they blame their tenants for their own incompetence. This starts with them underfinancing their business and so not being able to finance repairs.

They think it is enough to a mortgage and stick ass high a rent as they can get away with when the real return on investment is over the long term, but they do not want to hear that. Bleating about being hard done by and on the street without a social worker is a Joke, try having a disabled child for just a day, never mind for life with little or no respite.

For them it is always the tenants fault, every person on Benefits is as those on front pages of Daily Mail despite the fact that 70% of people on Housing Benefit are working.

The notice you have been issued can be responded to, you can issue a counter claim and even get the notice dismissed.

Start by involving your local Council with the repairs explaining that it is unsafe and has hurt your child. They will send a Housing Officer to inspect.

You can ask the Council to prevent them renting out the property to any new tenant if it is unsafe.

It is no wonder that tenants look to HIT BACK, to check the Landlord protected deposit within 30 days and issued the precribed information within 30 days but also that they issued it again when the tenancy went periodic. All of these will get a Section 21 thrown out and potential for Housing Act sanctions of 3 times the deposit plus the deposit back. In my experience Landlords that are sloppy in repairs also fail to follow their legal obligations.

the 9% Ben talks about seems rather low, I would take shelters figures that show of 9 million renters a third live in sub standard

http://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/fixing_private_renting/9_million_renters

and research carried out by British Gas & Shelter show the revenge evicitions ARE a massive issue with over 200,000 revenge evictions.

http://england.shelter.org.uk/news/march_2014/shelter_exposes_true_scale_of_revenge_evictions

This is a Link for repairs

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets/landlord_refusing_to_do_repairs

You should check with Shelter about your situation, check everything was done properly and counter sue for the repair issue. Even if an Agent took the deposit it is the Landlord's responsibility to protect it and to issue the prescribed paperwork.

The idea that Landlords only evict for non payment of rent is a JOKE, more like they reckon they can get more.

My former Landlord was such an animal, I had done my own repairs, prepaid 3 months rent at a time, but he got greedy. He was told that he could get more rent and so he issued the Section 21 along with all kinds of threats telling me I had not choice. Well his tenancy was found not to comply, he did not protect deposit, did not issue PI. I waited till the S21 expired and then rejected it.

He continued to screw up procedure no less than 5 times, he paid my costs on two occasions and finally got some big wig lawyer and tried to pass his costs on me, I took it to a higher court and he ended up paying my legal fees and £6k of his own. Lawyers will always fight your battles but you are on the clock and so they never lose.

All of that because they were greedy and wanted an extra £75 a month, yet they never asked me for an increase because they knew they were above average and I could have referred it for review.

I have some sympathy for some Landlords but others deserve all they get.

The idea that tenants have choice is a joke, between the rip off agents who charge tenants fees that Landlords could offset against tax and the Landlords that just see every tenant as scum or someone to be exploited there is little choice.

This Government has suceeded in making one group hate another so they do not see their failings, one group that are glad to believe it are Landlords. There are a few good ones and evenn a few on this site.

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Nige 10th November, 2014 @ 18:39

@David
Whilst you are semi right about the long term investment anyone who bought around 2007 and had the misfortune to have to cash in until 2013 would have had virtually zero return on their investment and for many they would have been in severe negative equity. Therefore relying on capital growth is great whilst things keep rising.
Great for the Govt who whacked CGT up to 28% thus making properties bought worth consideably less in 'cash in' terms.
An exactly why can properties not be held in limited companies and most landlords are classed as living on investments thus attracting the 28% instead of 10% CGT. Great unless your personal life went into freefall during that time and divorce etc. cashed in the chips at a much lower value.
I know a small landlord who became homeless as he lost his own house and couldn't get his tenant out.
I bumped into someone and advised them for 5 minutes outside a block of flats. A few years later they met me at a party and thanked me for my advice because they would have gone bankrupt and lost their own house had they not listened.
I agree there are a lot of tiny landlords out there. One house bands. They may have inherited a house and wanted to keep the memories alive and want to give it to their kids when they get older. That must be soul destroying to get it back in a state.
The Data Protection Act has a lot to do with problems for landlors and tenants.
For example I have had 'perfect tenant' references from landlords who want to get rid of a troublesome tenant. You can't just rely on the smiley tenants face which often hides a lot. Enquiries elsewhere are met with can't DPA.
In the USA there are lists of bad landlords and tenants that can be referred to on these lists. Wouldn't if be great if the person who wants to rent your house turned out to be someone who wrecked the last 5 houses. Or the landlord who sent in 2 Russians and an alsatian to do evictions as we are only to aware that these still exist just like high rate moneylenders and nobody dare take it further.
I have said it before..and remember I am a landlord..that nobody should be allowed to rent. They should have a stake in the property .This could be by an initial deposit or a proportion of the rent. On exit they would then receive some remuneration back according to the condition of the property. Nobody damages things where they might lose money and it encourages minor repairs to keep it good.
I have lived in schemes like this and nobody leaves litter or bin bags out. Nobody skips paying rent.
The amount you got back was not proportional to its rise in value but its rental value to the next tenant on exit
Its very akin to the way cars are 'sold' on these personal lease plans. Hand it back in good condition or pay the penalty. Or if you buy at end of lease you get it at its value subject to 'damage' (not fair wear and tear) that you have caused.
By the way I do agree with your points that if tenants are treated badly they can approach various authorities for help but it must work both ways. I was recently reported to Enviromnental Health for housing problems caused by the tenant. Who paid for several weeks of fighting that ? Yep the landlord and I won but no pay for that.

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David 10th November, 2014 @ 20:16

@Nige as always you talk a lot of sense and I am a Landlord that has been homeless. I had an ex that did a benefits grab left me with £70k of debt and I was homeless. I went to the Council and was told they had not responsibility to me, despite having paid £7k in deductions some months. I had not reserves, nothing to fall back on, when I finally got a place to live I could not afford to heat and was eating off the Tesco reduced isle at the end of the day.

I do not agree with you about bad tenant or landlord list, where would you have all the bad tenants live.

For me it is about responsibility, if you wreck a house then your income should be taken whether it is is JSA, DLA or whatever. Hell I would have them do hard labour to pay for what they did.

It is the same for the Weekend drunks that make our town centres a no go zone. I would charge them £750 if found drunk by medical or arrested for being drunk. I would have that money deducted from their income at source.

When it comes to long term investment my definition is 25 years. That said you can't complain about CGT, just look at Tony Blair, he created trusts for his kids to avoid tax. As a professional landlord you may have to form offshore companies and create offshore trusts just like the big companies do. If you think this costs too much then check it out, if you spend £10k in tax you can benefit from an offshore structure.

I used to have a problem with this but now it is what the so called Elite do so if you do not you are just accepting being screwed.

George Osborne is the beneficiary of a Trust setup by his father who ran the designer Wallpaper company Osborne and Little. That is the example from those who would regulate us.

For me it is all about society and that means a social responsibility whether you are Landlord or Tenant.

I am as disgusted by scum tenants as I am by the lack of honour shown by the Benyon Landlords:

https://www.change.org/p/new-era-should-not-become-the-end-of-an-era

In the end a Landlord loses money, a tenant loses their home and all that goes with it.

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Nige 10th November, 2014 @ 23:35

@David

Where would all the bad tenants live ? Damn we can't export them off to Australia can we ?
As for good landlords/agents there are bodies that both can belong to and tenants can see if they belong to them. As I have had proprty inspected by DASH to become a member then I could lose that accreditation.

I think there is a degree of social responsibility coming. As a teacher (long ago now) kids didn't want to learn because they saw their idols in football. Then came 'win on x factor' and we had to put up with drivel that was painfull.Like all industries only a small percentage get the big money and the rest of us have to prove ourselves to get a decent wage.
I had adults tell me they couldn't find work in the same sentence as telling me they wagged school at 13 and never passed anything. I'm not saying everyone should be academic. I remember going in to business with a friend and the standard of application letters would do shame to a 4 year old. Torn off 'ring' notepad sheets where the hairy tear was still left on. letters with just ''Please give me a job''
You can imagine what happened to those.

I couldn't agree more about the drunks being charged for drunk and disorderly. Having seen the price of drink and queues at cash machines in town at night they can clearly afford it.As someone who can hardly get to see my doctor these days the National Health just cannot afford it.
I'm also glad that benefits are being cut for more kids who are having kids and parading them round. I know my friends daughter had 3 kids by 18. Different fathers who were of course nowhere to be seen and all apparently ''loved me''.
No excuses to get pregnant these days.

Funnily enough some community service yobs were working in the park near me. The van was parked near my house. At the end of the day one was overheard. ''Do you know that was actually fun doing something like this''
Creative instead of destructive for a change. A glimmer of hope.

As you say the councils are clamping on destructive or tenants trying to get evicted so they get a council house by getting into arrears. I had one do this. Ended up in the delights of emergency accommodation with little hope of anything better. Unfortunately it will take time to filter through to their thick heads that if you play outside the rules life will not be so cosy.
At the same time it may release money to help genuine ones.

Its an interesting point that a pensioner with their own home pays full council tax (assuming a couple) . Someone on benefits getting all their rent paid by benefits only pays 15%. Something wrong here.

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Keith berry 29th March, 2017 @ 15:00

Seriously? , lol I'm a maintenance worker and I deal with nasty welfare trash that call maintenance everyday for stuff that they broke and they try to so I don't know it just fell. I got 18 year old kids that call maintenance 4 light bulbs and there's not a darn thing wrong with them perfectly capable of screwing in a lightbulb. Oh yeah they live off the state for free and think they don't have to contribute a dollar into their living situation any same people we'll sit there and smoke dope in front of me they got money to buy that though don't they?, lol pathetic. This article was just made to help welfare trash get their way. Magically every person on the property that is on Welfare throws their trash out in their yard and throws it anywhere they can some of them even just open thier door and throw it out the door into the front yard is this all just a coincidence that these same people are living off the state. Oh and I forgot about the ones that call to get brand new stuff when there's nothing wrong with the stuff that works. , maintenance workers do try to please tenant but some you can't just please if they don't like it they know where the door is hope it doesn't hit him in the rear end

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Nige 29th March, 2017 @ 18:44

@Keith

They smoke dope in front of you ? Funny how this property is not classed as a workplace . Gawd help you if you lit up a fag in your van.
And lucky you . You even get the privilage of sitting down for a whole day to sort tax forms and papers.

That programme on tv where they are handed 26,000 gets me.

They are handed 26k by a company. Now if any company handed you 26k you would suddenly be pushed into the 40% tax bracket.(if you got a normal wage) Plus NI plus pension contribution ..blah blah.

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