A leading personal finance journalist - and a former editor of Landlord Today - has used the columns of right wing political publication The Spectator to call for a ‘name and shame’ register of so-called rogue private sector tenants.
“As is stands, a rogue tenant can move from one property to another leaving a trail of rent arrears and unpaid bills in their wake. Tenant references are fairly easy to fake while credit checks don’t show if a tenant has paid their rent on time” says journalist Emma Lunn.
Referring to the raft of measures introduced in recent years to protect tenants against unfair activities by landlords and letting agents, Lunn adds: “If the government is keen on protecting tenants from rogue landlords, why not protect landlords from bad renters too?”
She says that unlike many areas of illegal activity, such as shop-lifting, laws applying to private tenancies are skewed in one direction - favouring the tenants.
“While rogue landlords face various fines and penalties, tenants are seemingly free to fleece one landlord after another” claims Lunn.
She cites the example of a friend who let his property to a tenant who simply decided to stop paying the rent: “Unlike Tesco, [the landlord] couldn’t simply call the police, report the theft and watch [the tenant] take the consequences. Instead, he had to go through a long and expensive eviction process until she finally moved out, taking [his] sofa and other items from the flat with her.”
Lunn says that legal activity surrounding tenants who simply walk out of a property, unlike those who steal from a shop, is regarded as a civil rather than criminal matter.
“This means landlords have to take their ex-tenant to the Small Claims Court to try and get the money owed to them. Even if they succeed in getting a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against the tenant, there’s still no guarantee they’ll pay up.”
You can see the full article here.