Dealing with Rogue landlords

Dealing with Rogue landlords

The current legislative system which deals with rogue landlords, I believe is current inadequate and failing to deter those landlords who choose to prey on the less fortunate. One of the suggestions I have seen mentioned is a national database covering all housing-related convictions.

Not quite at the level of organized crime but there are serial criminal landlords currently operating in this country. However, some boroughs eventually catch up with them but these form of landlord then moves into other areas to continue their unscrupulous businesses, and local authorities don’t have the powers to tackle them. This is obviously giving the majority of honest private landlords a bad reputation and then have to bear the cost of additional legislation that these criminal landlords will not follow.

The legislation is actually playing into the hands of criminal landlords. The private landlord will have to pass on the additional costs via the rent thus increasing the rental charge. The criminal landlord will then have the price advantage as will not have the increased incurred costs.

Currently a database listing landlords who are subject to banning orders is in the Housing and Planning bill. However, I am sure it would benefit if this was expanded to include private landlords who have other housing-related convictions.

In addition to the legislation being inadequate the process for prosecuting criminal landlords, can take up to 16 months and can end up costing the council. Now I am not saying a council will not meet its legal obligation but in the current climate of cuts, but to undergo a process which could further impact on an already stretched budget?

Recently Wolverhampton City Council, discovered a property with 11 serious contraventions and fined the landlord £2,600. The council was, however, left out of pocket by almost £5,500 from costs.

Many within the industry are calling for:
• A much tougher “fit and proper person” test via an initial screening process which is designed to remove rogue landlords.
• Letting agents to be brought under the same legislation as estate agents so the bad operators can be disbarred.
• Stronger sentencing guidelines for magistrates and a wider range of penalties and costs passed on to the rogue landlords.

It is clear from numerous recent cases that a national information source of rogue landlords is urgently needed to allow councils to identify the serial rogue operators and target them more effectively. I think the government has paid lip service to the matter and potentially seen it as a means to generate income rather than a process to protect society.

Until the punishment outweighs the benefits these criminal landlords will continue to operate.

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  • I agree with some of the content of this post except where landlords ‘then have to bear the cost of additional legislation that these criminal landlords will not follow’.

    If they pass on such costs to their tenants how are they ‘bearing’ these costs?

    24th December 2015 at 8:37 am
  • Sounds like more big brother beaurocracy and interference through initial screening. As a good landlord I have had it up to here, with all the continuous new legislations coming mainly from the councils mainly to raise revenue for themselves, socialist councils think that landlords are swimming in money, and must be fortunate enough in having a second home to let out, so let’s get what we can get out of them attitude. I am already struggling have not even increased my rents in four years to help my tenants. When anything goes wrong, the tenant calls the landlord to solve everything like the ferry godmother, asap- 24/7. I accept that there are some bad landlords but I can assure you there are thousands of bad tenants to one bad landlord. The government has now said that the interest payments on the buy to let mortgage which is the biggest business expense for most landlords is going down from 100% to only 20% yes unbelievable an 80% sudden loss.Also an extra 3% stamp duty for landlords.
    No wonder there is a housing shortage, if you kill off the landlords and then expect people to find a home who cannot afford to buy.

    24th December 2015 at 1:08 pm
  • A Marwaha

    I am a private landlord and in the last 10 years instead of getting a rental income l have had to pay huge amounts for repairs after each tenant.

    The first tenant was an asylum seeker which was through the council. The tenant sub let my house and when her asylum did not come through upped and left leaving the front door wide open. When checking l found she had been getting an income of over 950 per month fro subletting! It cost me over£7000 to clean up and fix the damage done. The council didn’t help in any way at all. Then the second tenant refused to pay the full rent and when l asked her she made assusations of harassment and false invoice for work which was never done. It took me three years to get her out of the property by going to court which by the was at the tax payers expense as she got legal aid but cost £15000 out of my own pocket and even the court kept giving her chances to hear her side!!!!! She went as far as saying she need an interperator when quite clearly she could speak and understand English very well and the judge stopped her using the state paid for interperator. When she finally lost her case as everything she stated she could not substantiate as l had document on to prove how much the rent she be and how much she had paid and that the invoices were fictious, she damaged my mains electricty meter, the mains gas pipes and boiler and to top it off she put a hole the flat roof of the kitchen which damaged the whole kitchen and roof., costing me £18,000. Then l went through an agent to get the next tenant and it transpired the agent let the property from me and tune red it into a canabis farm and after two months of no rent l started going to the property to meet the tenant direct and that’s how found the farm and alerted the police. The agent walked away Scot free and now has brought a brand new Range Rover with a private plate, when before he was driving a clapped out car and has moved into a nice posh area! The police just said they have no one to prosecute and let the agent go!

    Now explain how the first tenant was on a rental of £1000 per month and the second on £1200 a month the third on £1500 per month and then calculate the damages l have paid for. Then tell me that private landlords need to be brought to justice when tenants abuse the system because even when they are taken to court they abscond and are not forced to pay damages or the rent arrears or court fees! Even though l can trace them through housing benefit l am told l can’t be given details to locate the tenants.

    At every stage the tenants are assisted financially and legally to bring about false accusation but me as the landlord is branded a rouge landlord ???

    22nd January 2016 at 1:20 pm

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