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VeryMeanReversion

Tenants Doing A Runner

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I called the council to let them know the tenant of a probate property I am looking after has done a runner. The tenant was still claiming housing benefit and not passing it on to the landlord.

The guy at the council wasnt surprised at all, told me its happening all over the place now. Tenants lose their job, claim everything, keep the money and then do and runner when its time for their court appearance.

VMR.

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And I don`t think its limited to tenants on HB. I have been keeping a close eye on the rental market in Crawley/Horsham/Horley area as I might have to move in the next couple of months due to job reasons and have found a number of properties that were let around 6-8 months ago coming back on to the market in the last month or so. I saw one such property (a nice 3 bed detached in a desirable (!) part of creepy Crawley) this afternoon which the compulsive liar AKA EA told me had a tenant in it- when we went around it had all the tell-tale signs of a property that had been unoccupied for several months- heaps of mail littered all over the floor, empty cupboards etc

I have also noticed that the market for anything with more than 2 bedrooms is virtually dead. Unrealistic asking prices, 'reluctant landlord' syndrome leading to a glut of properties, paucity of decent tenants and the fact that there are so many scams out there, run mostly by small time Eastern European criminals who prefer to run their operations out of bigger premises (one of my 'accidental land lord' friends was a victim of one such scam recently) also dont appear to be helping matters much.

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Last year the benefits system for tenants of private landlords changed from Housing Benefit (paid to the landlord direct) to Local Housing Allowance (paid to the tenant to pass on).

Can you see the problem with this new system? Because I can.

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I can see the problem with housing benefits going to the poorest people in society (who, ironically, are often not the poorest due to cash in hand work on the side, proceeds from shoplifting for those with criminal bents etc).

Back in the early 90's I was a BTL landlord with 1 house rented out in a sleazy part of W London. I rented it to a single mum on full benefits and the money came directly to me - there was a delay in payments, but no question or threat of arrears. During her tenancy she was always in debt, since she used to spend her income support and cash in hand money (and money from her various lovers) on bingo, cigarettes and Lambrusco/beer. And about £1.50 on the sprog, if she was lucky.

On several occasions she borrowed small amounts of cash from me for bus fares, or some other cashflow emergency, and I got most of it back, eventually. However, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that, has the HB rent been paid to her, I would rarely if ever have seen a penny of it. Furthermore, after a year she begged me to obtain an eviction order against her, as she claimed that this would enable her to get a council flat - the ultimate prize. But, sadly for her, I had no grounds to evict her as for all her faults she did not trash the house. Eventually she went back to live with her mum as she could not cope with the childcare side alone at her young age.

But this is going to be a huge problem. Not only will these people not forward the rent to their landlords, but they will also have damaged credit ratings and be unable to find private housing again - but maybe this is what they crave, ie the consequent requirement for the council to house them. Does anyone know the mindset of these folks better than me and can shed some light on the chav-motivations? Or am I giving them too much credit for planning and strategic abilities they just do not possess?

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....but maybe this is what they crave, ie the consequent requirement for the council to house them. ...

You should know by now that all human beings (rich or poor) crave most that which they know they cannot have.

Since there are no council houses left people desperately want one.

I would like an interesting job that pays well ;)

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