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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Council teaching tenants how to reclaim rent from landlords

A London council is running what it describes as “an innovative project” to help private tenants reclaim rent from landlords who fall foul of licensing rules. 

Tower Hamlets council in London claims thatover £200,000 has been reclaimed for tenants under the Rent Repayment Order project, which holds landlords to account if they fail to obtain the correct property licence before taking on tenants.

It also covers other offences like using or threatening violence to secure entry into premises; illegal eviction or harassment or failing to comply with an improvement notice or prohibition order.

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A total of £201,965 has been secured for 67 renters since the project began in April 2019.

A Rent Repayment Order requires repayment of rent paid in respect of a tenancy, by a landlord or agent who has committed an offence. It is not necessary that the landlord/agent has been convicted, but in order to grant an RRO, a tribunal must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that one of these offences has occurred.

The largest amount secured under a RRO for one individual is £9,000.

The largest amount claimed for one property was £55,000 for nine tenants who resided at the property at various times whilst the property was unlicensed. The property required a mandatory HMO licence because it was occupied by eight tenants for a certain period.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, says: ‘’As a council we want to do everything we can to make sure tenants are not exploited by unscrupulous landlords. I’m pleased we brought in this scheme and that’s its already made a real difference to residents in the private rented sector.”

 

 

And councillor Eve McQuillan, a cabinet member for planning on the council, adds: “All tenants deserve safe and secure homes. Where landlords fail in their responsibilities to tenants, we will use our powers, including RROs, to stand up for residents and make sure they are safe from exploitation and unsafe flats.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Whilst no-one condones rogue LLs this is another blatantly biased position. The Council could spend its money searching out and prosecuting rogue LLs instead of spending it on a few tenants who will presumably spend their entire rented lives looking for a reason to get a rent repayment order.

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    Maybe Council's should apply this philosophy as to how they manage the safety of residents in high rise flats. The lack of properly trained inspectors to inspect work carried out by trades persons would be a good place to start.
    Fines need to go to the Council as well as some to the tenant to pay for good regulation.
    In general i would support rogue landlords being fined, but it is all about balance.

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    I’m all for flushing out the rogue landlords, but this isn’t the right way to do it. Tenants should be encouraged to report unscrupulous landlords who should subsequently be heavily fined. The proceeds of the fine should be used by the councils to flush out yet more rogue landlords not to the tenants who came to no harm and actually chose to live there.

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    Maybe those useless lazy morons could focus on fixing pot holes, cleaning the streets and removing rubbish when it snows. Rogue landlords need to be punished but not like this.

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    councils are our masters--un agendas 21 30

     
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    • 25 February 2021 10:07 AM

    Nah! Ain't gonna happen......

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    Maybe the council should get off their fat back-sides and actually do some work instead of passing the buck to tenants to do it for them. Perhaps many of them do not know about licencing requirements.

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    • 25 February 2021 10:33 AM

    And when exactly do you think they will do that?

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    No one from these government offices talks about the tenants, who don't pay rent for months even years and run off with property needing thousands and thousands...

    This has become a joke , like a lawless country now as far as renting is concerned... law must protect both sides not just tenants...

  • James B

    And they wonder why landlords sell up and their waiting list are so high with the general anti landlord stuff going on now. Unless things change I’ll never buy another rental and will sell now on the drip as and when

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Educating tenants of their rights is no bad thing- this is a valid approach but should be alongside proactive regulatory enforcement by the Council which we know doesn't happen.
    I wonder if TH can educate me on how to get them to fix a roof leak of a Freehold property they own and manage- it took us 8 months to get the roof 'repaired' (during this time the tenants vacated as it became uninhabitable)- the damage caused was so bad half the flat has had to be gutted. We are mid-way through a fit-out repair at the property and, guess what, the roof has started leaking again! Its all very well TH enforcing regulatory standards- it would just be nice if they could also fuflfil their responsibilities as a Landlord/Freeholder in the same regard. I wonder, had they been a private Landlord, what action and fines they would be issuing by now for gross negligence!?

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    I think you'll find that the council can and will help you fix issues with the council .

     
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    they would be better spending that money on improving council housing stocks instead of having a go at private landlords!

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    Certainly much of the council housing stock here in Norwich is well below standard.

     
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    Yes, will be good to see how many councils & HAs are taken to task by informed tenants. I really hope it backfires big time on this particular council.

     
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    And this is why when they want our help when they are short of housing stock and come up with various schemes I simply don`t want to know. Councils simply can not be trusted.

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    solution--no social tenants for private landords in t h?

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    Councils are prepared to Teach Tenants a corruption racket, could they not Teach a some gangs of general Laborers how to repair pot holes in the roads instead. They don't seem to have any capable of doing it, just throw a shovel of black top at it and failed in a few days. Simply excavate / square out the pot hole prime the surfaces and edges, place compact hot rolled Asphalt of the correct type and compact, then seal the edges to prevent waster ingress. There are thousands of pothole everywhere to do but the moron of Departments would spend Billions doing the whole road instead of millions to do a bit of maintenance. This is what the Councils should be do instead of destroying Private Sector housing.

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    We could have a National Road-building School that teaches this very thing to JobSeekers claimants, with a requirement to work in this capacity whilst on state benefit for unemployment…

     
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    Well that’s nice and simple then. No landlords should co-operate with TH when they come begging for housing. And we should all publicly point out their own appalling council houses (which of course can’t fall under RROs!). This kind of nonsense is exactly why landlords distrust councils, and is a contributory fact in why those same councils then bemoan the lack of available housing. Idiots.

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    It would be a Brilliant Scheme there are millions of Pot holes all over the Country and millions of young men on benefit doing nothing, far better for their health too out in the fresh air earning their living, the Government has to spend Billion on this anyhow so the money is there, (Ministry please stop using inferior Asphalt its raveling away after 5 / 6 years, the labor costs are the same to lay quality).

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    Road surfaces / pot holes in Norfolk are dreadful quite possibly the worst in the country, no shortage of fit lazy bums sitting at home milking the benefits though.

     
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    How about spending the money teaching (potential) tenants what their responsibilities are when renting - e.g. pay the rent on time, every time; keep the property in good order; don't use anti-social behaviour; don't do anything that's not allowed in the tenancy agreement; etc...

    If they know what's expected of them and the landlord before they sign that piece of paper we might, just might, all get along better.

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    There should be a tenant licence. All checks made beforehand like a crb check credit check references. A LL would know they are getting a good tenant - rents would be lower. It’s the low quality tenants forcing rents up

     
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    The loonies end up harming those they claim they're supporting!

    Decent tenants and landlords get along just fine if left alone to get on with things,

     
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    Maybe that should be taught in schools, but then all school teachers are of the loony left brigade, so that wouldn't work.

     
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    Andrew, so Norfolk has dreadful pot hole situation also but London and the South East is in with a shout for the title. We have a useless Mayor who is not bothered about anything like that yet he is spending our money setting up an Anti-landlord internet site to demean us even further. he is not setting up any similar internet site for the Tenants / bad Tenants, its discrimination plain & simple and should not be making those decisions as he is only in office by default, Mayoral Election last March didn't take place because of virus, will now be held this May' 21 which is a chance to to get rid of him and his stupid ideas.

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    Mayors Office have a huge information campaign going at the moment about the extension of the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London to Perimeter Roads of North & South Circular Roads around London. He is making pollution much worse for many of my Tenants and the tens of thousands of people living close to those roads. Those ring Roads are already the most Congested & Polluted in London, with extending the Charges out to this area (£15. congestion & £12.50 ULEZ per day) causing a great deal more Congestion and Pollution in those areas adding enormously to the problem as Vehicles will avoid going into the charging Zones and travel around in the out skirts as much as possible, not wanting to pay £27.50 per day obviously, currently the pollution is distributed more sparsely instead of making it more concentrated in specific areas on huge numbers of Residents damaging their Health. Mr Mayor time for you to go.

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    Maybe they can teach them simple things like leave the bath clean for next person, don't pour grease down the sink, don't put wet-wipes down the toilet, clean the fluff from drier and filter before it catches fire, don't put hot pans directly on the work tops, notice if hinge screws in cupboard doors are coming loose, don't put hot electric iron on floor carpet or curling thongs, don't put domestic waste in recycling bin, put food waste in small bin which is for that purpose, don't ring the Council to tell them the LL didn't take your rubbish from back garden, don't go out all day leaving your dog to eat the furniture, don't leave your cat scratch away the sofa & every bed base, don't change the thumb screw euro locks that the LL was required to install, don't put extra beds in any room, don't sleep your friends in the living room, don't remove the notice board, don't cover Fire alarms, don't pull them from the ceiling or remove batteries, don't fill the attic with your discarded items & put your foot through the ceiling again, don't sub-let the property, don't over crowd the property, don't wedge all fire doors open, don't play loud music in the middle of the night to get LL fined, don't bypass the meters, don't grow cannabis, don't put a no 12 screw across the the fuse box to use your welder,, Tell me something I have not seen.

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    Councils are full of cushy jobs and full of clueless staff

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