Are the scales of justice balanced?
I am sure that this news will not get the same exposure as a rogue landlord abusing vulnerable tenants.
However, the scales of justice are scales for a reason, there needs to be balance. You cannot have a system that only prosecutes one side.
Due to the nature of what we do here at Evict My Tenant we get to see more than our fair share of “professional rogue tenants” who have no regard for the society in which they live. Yet there are probably more professional bad tenants out there than rogue tenants, causing stress and financial misery to the majority of moral law-abiding landlords.
Clearly rogue landlords is greater news than rogue tenants, but that does not mean that the justice system has to reflect the current news trend. It is there to provide balanced justice for society as a whole.
I believe as individuals and as an industry we need to be lobbying the influential powers to raise awareness of the costs that rogue tenants cause before they are eventually evicted or they move on.
We recently came across a case where the landlord wanted the tenant removed and we advised on a section 8. Once the tenant had been evicted the landlord was faced with further financial costs as the property was left with grime and mould, along with so much rubbish it cost the landlord over £2000 to clear it all. In addition, many of the fixtures and fittings had either been removed or damaged beyond repair.
At this time, it is unsure what the final financial cost to make the buy to let habitable. Yet this incident is swept under the carpet by Political parties and tenant friendly associations. In addition to the cost of tenant eviction, cleaning and repairing the buy to let. The tenant was in significant rent arrears in excess of £30,000. The debt will be chased but the current legal system makes it very difficult to recoup the debt if the tenant chooses to refuse to pay.
This and many cases similar to this come across our desks every day. We need to fight to stop the abolishment of Section 21 with no clear alternative in place. Yes, the legal system relating to our industry is in desperate need for an update but as mentioned it needs to be balanced to protect both sides of any case.
Landlords are limited in their legal choices for evicting a tenant and removing section 21 would lead to a mass exodus of private landlords. Especially when you consider the very limited alternative such as a section 8. Although I do not condone landlords who take the law into their own hands to remove a tenant, it is clear to see why they do, especially as many have mortgages on their buy to let properties and are not the property tycoons that the media and political parties claim.
Dealing with the court system several times a day, it is clear to me that the courts cannot cope with the demand and the legislation needs updating, it has been outdated for over a decade. It already takes far too long to secure possession of a property. I have witnessed cases taking in excess of 10 months. Totally unacceptable, especially if this gives the rogue tenant time to cause significant damage and debt to the private landlord.
What do we do as a collective to ensure the rights and considerations of private landlords are heard and taken into account? Do we have a strong enough voice with the current associations such as the National Landlords Association?