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The Billions Going Into The ‘Fat Cat’ Wallets Of Landlords

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Paul Kenny, the GMB’s general secretary, said housing shortages and rising rents meant housing benefits were lining private pockets across the region. He said: “This exposé shows the rich and powerful sucking up taxpayer’s money through housing benefit.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/billions-going-fat-cat-wallets-6737809

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/private-landlords-pocket-millions-housing-6736885

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/largest-recipients-housing-benefits-wales-6736664

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And in Manchester

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/private-landlords-pocket-millions-housing-6736885

Manchester council paid four private landlords sums ranging from £185,000 to £275,000 - a total of over £920,000 - for housing tenants in 2012/13.

But they say the names of the property moguls cannot be subject to scrutiny because they are not registered as businesses.

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I wonder what would happen if councils refused to pay housing benefit to landlords not registered as a business?. Considering the amounts involved for even a single property landlord I don't see how they could argue it isn't a business transaction.

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I wonder what would happen if councils refused to pay housing benefit to landlords not registered as a business?. Considering the amounts involved for even a single property landlord I don't see how they could argue it isn't a business transaction.

Make it compulsory to show you're declaring the income?

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"The landlord … watches the busy population around him making the city larger, richer, more convenient. .. and all the while sits and does nothing. Roads are made … services are improved … water is brought from reservoirs one hundred miles off in the mountains and -all the while the landlord sits still … To not one of these improvements does the landlord monopolist contribute and yet by every one of them the value of his land is enhanced … At last the land becomes ripe for sale – that means the price is too tempting to be resisted any longer … In fact you may say that the unearned increment … is reaped by the land monopolist in exact proportion not to the service, but to the disservice done."

- Winston Churchill during debates on the Finance Act 1910

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But they say the names of the property moguls cannot be subject to scrutiny because they are not registered as businesses.

Only 'business activity' I know where you can get away with such privacy. Scoop millions in HB from the Council and no need for public trading address or registered office.

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Only 'business activity' I know where you can get away with such privacy. Scoop millions in HB from the Council and no need for public trading address or registered office.

It's called being self-employed.

Landlords are not the only people who can do that.

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This is what you get when successive governments effectively outsource their housing obligations (RTB > BTL) and fail to build more social housing purely for rent.

Although it's mainly the Conservatives (Margaret Thatcher in particular) that are vilified for the RTB policy in the early 80's, it was actually taken from a Labour idea/manifesto a lot earlier than that. :o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Buy

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Is it a housing story? Or is it a story about how the public sector is incapable of spending money wisely and that the benefit system benefits nobody but the already rich?

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