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Housing Squalor And Exploitation Are Back. But Where Is Labour's Outrage?

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Good article this one.

Give up puzzling over why this government inflames the housing crisis. Electorally, what happens to the bottom half is not its concern, as its voters own homes already. But on this it miscalculates – as housing worries parents and grandparents too.

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"When I lived in a council flat researching a book, "

Uh-huh <_<

Fairly well known (or is your cynicism relating to something other than the basic truth of the statement?).

That aside, it's not a bad article, but the title is something of a bait-and-switch. Labour get mentioned about twice - once derogatorily, once positively. The derogatory bit refers to the past and their role in creating the problem, the positive to the future and all the wonderful things they're going to do to fix it, so no surprises there.

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This bit "This government inherited an acute housing shortage: Labour and Tory governments neither built nor intervened in a market failure where private developers didn't build despite astronomic price booms. "

Is a bit rich things weren't perfect in 1997 but they got a lot worse very very quickly under Labour.

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The Guardian seems quite schitzo at the moment. Half of the comments are baying for the return of our cherished leader Gordon Brown and his ilk, the rest are (fairly sensibly) vehemently opposing such madness.

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The guardian says about housing conditions, overcrowding, exploitation and housing policy but yet again doesn't mention anything about things like the increase in population and the predicted population growth and whether building say 200,000 houses per year will be sufficient to meet the current shortfall and then the future millions the population is predicted to increase by upto 2020 and more millions afterwards..

Edited by billybong

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"Last month an absentee landlord who failed to register was in court for putting four families on four floors, the basement family sharing its kitchen with the rest, although the ceiling had fallen in and there had been no electricity for eight weeks. With rent at £350 a month per room, his £6,500 fine was negligible. Another landlord with 50 properties is a serial violent harasser of his tenants."

Can we also put some burden tenants to actually seek help about these issues.

Yes you will probably get evicted if you contact environmental health but do you want to live somewhere with huge problems?

"oh but its in a nice area" just makes me want to slap people. F*cking grow up. Report the twatty landlords.

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Yes you will probably get evicted if you contact environmental health but do you want to live somewhere with huge problems?

"oh but its in a nice area" just makes me want to slap people. F*cking grow up. Report the twatty landlords.

That's easy to say if you can find somewhere else better at the same price, without a landlord's reference, and have the deposit to put down. If not, then putting up with what you have for the time being can be the only option.

For tenants to feel safe reporting the landlord, you'd need proper tenant's rights first, such as rent controls, the right to live there as long as they pay the rent, or the landlord sells the property.

Edited by ManVsRecession

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"Last month an absentee landlord who failed to register was in court for putting four families on four floors, the basement family sharing its kitchen with the rest, although the ceiling had fallen in and there had been no electricity for eight weeks. With rent at £350 a month per room, his £6,500 fine was negligible. Another landlord with 50 properties is a serial violent harasser of his tenants."

Can we also put some burden tenants to actually seek help about these issues.

Yes you will probably get evicted if you contact environmental health but do you want to live somewhere with huge problems?

There are lots of illegal immigrants in East London. The last thing they are going to do is ring up to get a government inspector round to where they live.

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Fairly well known (or is your cynicism relating to something other than the basic truth of the statement?).

Maybe she thought that way it would carry more weight. As opposed to doing her research from her villa in Tuscany.

I don't really have a lot of time for Champagne Socialists.

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I've brought the council in to do an inspection of a property I was living in. They came up with a raft of remedial action and deemed the rooms in the attic flat too small to let out (Yup, I caused people to be evicted). The landlord in question is well known locally. When I rang the council they indicated that they had previously dealt with him on more than one occasion. I enquired if they have access to Land Registry or council tax records to get an idea of what he owned and was letting out so they could do a full inspection of all his properties. I was informed they lack the resources (and possibly the powers) to do this and instead relied on complaints from tenants such as myself. The problem is that most of his tenants are not aware of their rights or have drug problems other landlords would run a mile from. For example, the Nigerian in the ground floor flat didn't realise he was entitled to running hot water. Last year I met another tenant who wouldn't even ring the pest control people because he didn't want the landlord thinking he'd rang the council about the state of the property. Even worse he was buying mouse and rat traps from his own landlord's shop. As for the landlord, he can stomach the occasional fine or inconvenience of having to have work carried out at short notice. I'll guess he has 30 houses averaging 7 rooms let on a per room basis, mostly to benefits recipients.

Edited by LeeT

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His new Right to Buy gives tenants a discount of up to 70%, causing a stampede. Newham's mayor, Sir Robin Wales, calls it a "disaster". A Newham solicitor tells me she has just helped a tenant buy a council house for £45,000: they can let it out for £700 a month and sell it in five years for four times as much. Over a third of ex-council homes are buy-to-let, some multi-occupied, damaging estates; and rents are on average £230 up on the old rents charged by councils – a bill picked up by housing benefit. What sense does that make?

Is Polly right here?

Sounds really crazy!

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It's written by Polly Toynbee. Somehow, I cannot take her remotely seriously. She is competely without integrity in my opinion. I find the likes of Toynbee and Will Hutton to be quite nauseating,

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Never thought I'd live to see the day when I'd actually agree with Tuscany Polly's articles but that is a good one.

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That's easy to say if you can find somewhere else better at the same price, without a landlord's reference, and have the deposit to put down. If not, then putting up with what you have for the time being can be the only option.

For tenants to feel safe reporting the landlord, you'd need proper tenant's rights first, such as rent controls, the right to live there as long as they pay the rent, or the landlord sells the property.

No. All that needs to happen is for retaliatory eviction, which is currently legal to be tightened up so landlords can't just evict on a whim. It's pretty scandalous that at the moment a landlord can just evict people who complain (without making repairs). Basically a mafia type situation but protection money paid to the landlord is not enough, they have to keep quiet too or the landlord will make life difficult.

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No. All that needs to happen is for retaliatory eviction, which is currently legal to be tightened up so landlords can't just evict on a whim. It's pretty scandalous that at the moment a landlord can just evict people who complain (without making repairs). Basically a mafia type situation but protection money paid to the landlord is not enough, they have to keep quiet too or the landlord will make life difficult.

But it's the Sacred Free Market. Everyone entering into Voluntary Free Contracts so exploitation is impossible. I've been told this repeatedly...

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No. All that needs to happen is for retaliatory eviction, which is currently legal to be tightened up so landlords can't just evict on a whim. It's pretty scandalous that at the moment a landlord can just evict people who complain (without making repairs). Basically a mafia type situation but protection money paid to the landlord is not enough, they have to keep quiet too or the landlord will make life difficult.

Would retaliatory conviction be a criminal offence or a civil matter? If it's civil, it sounds complicated and expensive to prove. How can you prove that a landlord choosing not to renew the tenancy is being retaliatory? It would be like an employment tribunal, trying to prove an unfair dismissal. It could take a couple of years to enforce. How does a broke tenant on benefits pay the legal costs? Where do they live in the meantime?

I agree completely that it's scandalous that a landlord can so easily evict a complaining tenant. I just don't think you can expect the weakest and most vulnerable to risk being made homeless to enforce the rules.

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But it's the Sacred Free Market. Everyone entering into Voluntary Free Contracts so exploitation is impossible. I've been told this repeatedly...

It's not a free market, it's a government backed monopoly.

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I agree completely that it's scandalous that a landlord can so easily evict a complaining tenant. I just don't think you can expect the weakest and most vulnerable to risk being made homeless to enforce the rules.

A landlord has to go to court to evict a tenant.

An environmental health officer can stop a landlord reletting a property in bad condition and impose fines.

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It is actually worse than that. A landlord can choose to evict if he sees a car parked in your driveway that he does not like, or if the curtains are closed / open at the wrong time etc etc

A landlord can ask you to leave the property. To get you to actually leave they would have to take you to court.

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/downloads_and_tools/eviction_checker

A judge could refuse to grant a possesion order. I don't know how many do. Perhaps that's something for a FOI request.

But if the property is horrid or the landlord is a nutter why would you stay?

Because it's in a nice location?

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