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to wonder how many are exploiting housing benefit like this

(86 Posts)
AgaPanthers Tue 11-Mar-14 15:32:22

This man:

has been a landlord of 30 years. He makes his money by renting out squalid, uninhabitable wrecks to men on housing benefit.

He ignored orders to fix the properties, appealed, and the sentences has been confirmed.

Some of the 'Benefits Streets' houses were owned by similar landlords who did nothing to maintain conditions fit for human habitation but still sponged off state benefits paid to their tenants. There must be hundreds of thousands of these places up and down the country left in this mess.

Landlords generally tend to be greedy and reluctant to do maintenance, but at least those renting out more expensive places have to do them up to get tenants in in the first place.

It is pure greed, tenants in these circumstances don't necessarily keep good care of properties, but that's the choice you as a landlord make when you choose to enter the business - don't like it, sell up.

Prison sentences surely the next step?

YouTheCat Tue 11-Mar-14 15:34:31

Prison is too good for them. They should have to live in squalor and pay back the HB to the government. Hit them in the pocket.

Felix90 Tue 11-Mar-14 15:39:09

It's not just landlords who rent out to HB tenants either. You should see some of the states my DP and his friends lived in whilst they were students shock He had to defer a year of his degree as he lived in an awful basement flat which was full of damp and it made him very ill. The landlords constantly get away with it too!

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Tue 11-Mar-14 15:42:35

Landlords generally tend to be greedy - bit of a sweeping statement don't you think? I'm a private LL, not greedy, just trying to get on in life!

AgaPanthers Tue 11-Mar-14 15:49:26

L/ls tend to be in it for financial gain, call that 'getting on in life' if you like.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Tue 11-Mar-14 15:50:25

Well obviously we are in it for financial gain....bit like going to work really isn't it. What an odd thing to say confused

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Tue 11-Mar-14 15:51:44

Same here betty I also rent out to HB because a lot won't.

<< gives Betty a wave >>

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Tue 11-Mar-14 15:53:01

betty ignore OP . Sound jealous smile

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Tue 11-Mar-14 15:53:02

Hey cigarettes - another greedy LL - nice to see you <<waving back>>

whois Tue 11-Mar-14 15:55:44

My landlord isn't greedy. He charges a fair market rent for the property and maintains it well.

Here's a sweeping statement for you: people who think that all landlords are inherently greedy and making an undesirable living

whois Tue 11-Mar-14 15:56:11

Out of other peoples missery are stupid people with a massive ugly chip on their shoulder.

RedFocus Tue 11-Mar-14 15:56:58

My LL was a greedy bastard who let us go through the most harsh of winters with central heating that occasionally worked. The letting agency refused consent to getting the boiler replaced because they couldn't get hold of the LL who lived it up in Australia! They sent a bloke round but he just kept saying it needed to be replaced as it's broken beyond repair. We left after 6 months as we just couldn't stand it. He even kept our deposit saying the house was wrecked when we left it blush it was in better condition than when we moved in! Even the oven was spotless which didn't even work when we moved in so for 2 months we didn't have a working cooker because once again he wouldn't get it fixed or replaced.

AgaPanthers Tue 11-Mar-14 15:57:05

Well no, it's not like going out to work in the slightest, is it?

If I work as a builder, I get paid for building/repairing houses. More houses = more money.

If I work in McDonalds, I get paid for selling burgers. If I sell lots of burgers, I get promoted = more money.

However a landlord's goal is to collect more from his tenants than he spends. If he fixes things in the house, that costs him directly out of his profits. And unlike, say Tesco, which has a public image to maintain, he really doesn't have any reason to give a shit what people think of him, because his houses will rent regardless.

The landlord and tenant's goals really aren't aligned at all. That's why we need very strong laws to protect tenants from landlords.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Tue 11-Mar-14 15:57:46

<<waves to whois >>

HobbetInTheHeadlights Tue 11-Mar-14 15:59:49

Landlords generally tend to be greedy

It's not uncommon to rent out housing for pension income or to cover nursing home costs or because can't sell house but need to move for work so have to rent as well as business income instead of salaried job . I'm not sure that is greed as such.

I've had good landlords - once who did do upkeep and sort things as soon as they could often ones with several properties in it long term, indifferent ones - and really crap ones - one of worst there was an accidental landlord covering the mortgage and very reluctant to do any kind of upkeep.

I've know at least one landlord who had hell getting a tenant out who hadn't paid rent in months it cost her a fortune, legal fees, damage and covering the mortgage while getting no rent, and unbelievable amount of stress.

Unfortunately as it is hard to get landlord to rent to people in who get HB even as a top up benefit as they work it leaves it open to for exploitation like this. Can only hope they throw book at such people to deter it.

I really wish they would do something about rental sector in this country - both for landlords and tenants, probably help housing market to cool as less pressure to buy.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Tue 11-Mar-14 16:02:14

Oh OP don't be so ridiculous, not all LL's are like that at all. I am a small LL, have one property (my pension for the future), it is refurbed to a good condition, it's a nice property, I have nice tenants, things need fixing and I fix them .

You are talking out of your anus.....maybe you have had shitty experiences with a LL but don't tar us with the same brush. Some of us are just trying to make an honest living and set ourselves up for the future.

specialsubject Tue 11-Mar-14 16:02:36

Landlords generally tend to be greedy and reluctant to do maintenance

now, if I said 'tenants tend to be lazy, dirty and druggies' would you think that an appropriate comment?

it is as valid as what you say. That is, not at all.

as for the rest of your babyish argument - I hope that you work for free. Because you are saying that making profit from work is immoral. You should also not be living in a house unless you built it yourself from materials you didn't buy, because someone made profit on that. You certainly shouldn't be paying a mortgage because someone makes profit on that.

this is a long version of what I want to say to you, which is related to sex and travel.

Flossyfloof Tue 11-Mar-14 16:03:10

This really pisses me off. The Landlord/Housing Benefit things seems to have so many holes in it that it is easy to exploit. I am a landlord and a great one. My properties have been bought with my hard-earned cash, hard-earned because until recently I worked full time and instead of going out and about and on holidays paid off my mortgages. My properties are lovely and I am concerned to make sure that my tenants are happy. Much easier for me if they stay for a few years rather than move on because nothing gets done. Of course I am in it for the money, I am not a charity.
I find it really offensive when people talk as if all landlords are the same. I am sure we could regale you with stories of poor tenants. I have been very lucky on the whole but have had two or three lots of the most obnoxious tenants. Doesn't mean all tenants are the same though, why would it?

OddFodd Tue 11-Mar-14 16:03:47

Some LLs are nice. I've lived in some flats which were really well maintained and was charged a fair rent. Many of them are utter cunts, preying on the most vulnerable in society. I lived in a house when I was a student where the gas fires all got condemned so we had no heating, there were mice and holes in the floorboard. But halfway through the first year of a degree, it's quite difficult to find another house and move all your stuff etc so I stayed until the end of the year. Where I live, many of the houses are converted into bedsits and used to house asylum seekers. To call them squalid would be understating the case.

And I do wish this pathetic cry of 'jealous' would stop on MN. It's such a playground retort.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Tue 11-Mar-14 16:04:06

Flossy - yep, I have had some real shitty tenants in my time and some lovely ones too.......swings and roundabouts hey smile

Vickiyumyum Tue 11-Mar-14 16:05:55

There are good and bad landlords. It's understandable that those who believe themselves to be good landlords want to stick up for themselves when they see threads like this, but you must see that there are landlords who are more than willing to exploit maximum rent from those with very little if any choice as to where they live.

I am a renter and have a good landlord luckily and I feel that I finally have some stability, but previously had two shocking landlords one with dangerous electrics and meter wired to next door on a key meter so conveniently i was paying two houses electric! And the second where I had no hot water upstairs. They were both through agents and neither agent would/could do anything as the landlord wouldn't give permission.

So yes i do think there needs to be tougher controls on landlords and some kind of rent control. Plus perhaps something in law that says you can't discriminate against a renter in receipt of hb so making these buy to let mortgages that stipulate no hb tenants illegal.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Tue 11-Mar-14 16:06:11

he really doesn't have any reason to give a shit what people think of him, because his houses will rent regardless

It costs to find tenants and is risky taking new ones on so it actually pays when you get a good one to keep them happy - least that's how at least one of our good landlords who had several properties told us he viewed it.

At lowest end of market - like the HB properties in this case - yes they will rent whatever cause landlords don't like HB as tenants so their choice is very limited and such landlords can exploit that with few repairs and legal protection which is enforced is going to be only protection. That or make HB claimants more desirable as tenants giving them more options who to rent from.

bellablot Tue 11-Mar-14 16:06:31

Tbf on some landlords, I wouldn't want to spend money on a property that isn't going to be maintained how it should. Some people have no respect for things. Look at all of the HB folk getting into the new build properties on newly built estates, they wreck them, it's disgusting.

So although I see your pov, I also see the other side, you should try too.

SanctiMoanyArse Tue 11-Mar-14 16:09:26

Our LandLady is lovely, we've been here a decade, and we had a house rented out for a while over a decade ago and I hope we were nice to them (they eventually bought it from us).

But we've also had a sod of a landlord who allowed us to have heating and hot water that broke down weekly because they didn't want to spend to fix the problem, and who lied to keep our deposit. We've had landlords entering our property when we were at work and just wandering about. So we've seen both sides.

It's an inevitable side effect of cutting housing benefit, that there will be a bottleneck of people needing housing so forced into worse and worse condition properties. I do believe that the receipt of HB should be dependent upon the property being maintained as liveable, and where things are really bad courts should be able to annexe rent monies to pay for essential jobs- heating, mould removal, a cooker. Basics, but ones a few slum landlords don;t seem willing to think they should provide.

MoominMammasHandbag Tue 11-Mar-14 16:10:00

I'm a landlord, I'm in it for the money. But I'm not greedy; my property is lovely and I charge a fair market rent. My tenant is a single mother working part time, on housing benefit. Hopefully she'll stay in my place for many years.

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