Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Perils Of Renting...

A cautionary tale from Brighton:
The 32-year-old founder of charity Kiya Survivors let her house in Wordsworth Street, Hove, to Miss Nobre in February while she spent two months helping poverty-stricken communities in Peru.
This was on the understanding that, when she returned, the shorthold tenancy would be up so that she could move back in with her four-year-old son.

As I think you can imagine, it quite didn't work out like that...
Despite being on an assured shorthold tenancy and having agreed she would leave the property when Miss Butler and four-year-old Bruno returned, the unwelcome guest is still there.
And the reason why is because...well, despite the property being the the rightful possession of Miss Butler, the law grants tenants rights over and above even legally-agreed contracts:
Miss Butler said: “She told me she had lost a lot of money on the stock exchange and couldn’t pay her rent. I tried to reason with her but she said she couldn’t pay and she wouldn’t leave.
In any other country, the authorities would back up Miss Butler.

But not here. We're civilised, you see. We are happy to see a mother and four-year-old deprived of their home in order to house someone who has defaulted on her agreement and, basically, stolen the property and is sitting pretty in it unmolested.

Miss Butler, you see, is a landlord (Boo! Hiss!)...
She has contacted Brighton and Hove City Council, the Citizens Advice Bureau and Sussex Police but none have been able to help her with her dispute, which has already cost her more than £1,000 in legal fees.

She said: “I spend my life helping people who have been made homeless but never thought it would happen to me. I can’t understand how I can have no right to enter the home I bought, lived in for five years and where I brought my son into the world.”
I can't understand it either...

19 comments:

MTG said...

This well known disgrace is just one of many rich sources providing a daily stuffing to fill the bloated bellies of lawyers.

Furor Teutonicus said...

In any other country, the authorities would back up Miss Butler.

WRONG! That is why there are fewer and fewer properties here to rent. Because the Landlords are virtually hostages to the tenants.

You need to wait two to five years, or longer, depending on which Land you are in, before the courts will even CONSIDER an eviction order.

Of course, like everywhere else, this does NOT apply to tenants in local authority property. Only PRIVATE landlords.

Bucko said...

I dont get it. Its her property and this squatter isnt even paying rent on it.
Surely the law must be on her side. It looks like an open and shut case.

Am I so wrong? If so, I cant imagine why anyone would rent out a house if it is so easy to lose it.

Furor Teutonicus said...

That is why a lot of people ar not doing so.

Particularly in the old East, here, there are whole streets boarded up, because the landlords just will not risk renting them out, and, as most of them are protected buildings, they can not knock them down either. Of course, no one will buy them.

Ed P said...

Wait until she goes out & change the locks and chuck her stuff into the street. Possession being 9/10ths of the law (still), she would have to go to court (and lose).

sobers said...

I thought that the law on squatting had changed? That if it is your only place of abode you can get rid of squatters PDQ? There was a case a while back that concerned some Eastern Europeans who basically broke into a house that was empty as it was in the process of being renovated. The family who owned it had moved out for Christmas while the work was done. (Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1242682/Family-shut-dream-home-gang-gipsies-moved-Christmas.html)

I researched it at the time and there is a fast track eviction system in such cases. The family in that case got their home back in about 2-3 weeks, bad enough I know, but at least the law worked. I don't know why the woman in Brighton cannot do the same.

Blue Eyes said...

We had a slightly different case on the estate where I live. A tenant had given up paying rent but each time it went to court she said "I'll start paying it back" and each time the judge said "oh well you are making efforts to catch up so you won't be kicked out". It wasn't even a case where the tenant would be homeless if evicted, she had her own (self-owned) place not far away.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Indeed, this is a bit of an outrage. I bow to the greater knowledge of Furor, Ed P, Sobers and Blue Eyes.

Mummylonglegs said...

I don't get these owner/tennant problems. How hard can they be to sort out. To me it's simples. Ms Butler and her son move back into the property, that they own. They then make life hell for the sitting tennant. They take over all the rooms, have the gas, electric, water supply cut off, as is the owners want, and just sit and wait. Oh and laugh.

They both have the right to live in said property but if I owned said property I would take great delight in making the squatters life hell.

Mummy x

John R said...

Seeing as the law is obviously a complete ass and the police are too busy booking innocent householders and motorists for made-up offences, perhaps its time for a couple of Miss Butler's (burly) friends to speak quietly to Ms Nobre in some obscure corner the next time she is out shopping, collecting her dole money, begging in the park etc to persuade her of the error of her ways?

Pavlov's Cat said...

I'm sensing some victimhood poker at play or about to be played here as well and not on Miss Butler's side

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

"I spend my life helping people who have been made homeless..."

Then the stupid cow should KNOW why people are homeless; they are homeless because of the cretinous laws passed by libtards like her.

JuliaM said...

"You need to wait two to five years, or longer, depending on which Land you are in, before the courts will even CONSIDER an eviction order."

I wasn't thinking about the EU countries, but rather somewhere less civilised...

"If so, I cant imagine why anyone would rent out a house if it is so easy to lose it."

As FT points out, that's why its becoming harder to find rentable property.

"Wait until she goes out & change the locks..."

If she's canny, she won't.

"I thought that the law on squatting had changed? "

Another thing that didn't work out as promised? Perhaps the council is less sympathetic in Brighton?

"...each time it went to court she said "I'll start paying it back" and each time the judge said "oh well you are making efforts to catch up so you won't be kicked out"."

Well, I'm guessing the magistrate didn't live anywhere near, so why should he worry?

"To me it's simples. Ms Butler and her son move back into the property, that they own."

The problem seems to be gaining entrance. If the authorities don't help...

John R's suggestion has merit. Perhaps we'll see a few more cases of people taking the law into their own hands. Inevitable, if they feel the law doesn't work for the law-abiding.

"I'm sensing some victimhood poker at play or about to be played here..."

I did wonder about that...

"Then the stupid cow should KNOW why people are homeless.."

I wonder if this has changed her opinion?

Furor Teutonicus said...

John R said...

Seeing as the law is obviously a complete ass and the police are too busy booking innocent householders and motorists for made-up offences,


It is a civil law offence. The police can only act on the prders of a court.

You would not want the police wasting their time on rent disputes instead of taking idiots of the streets who think it is O.K for them to go at over the speed limit, and therefore MURDER people just because "I have a metal box wiv weels an and endjun innit like!"

John R said...

@Furor T

I agree it's a civil matter, yet the police have recently found time to arrest a householder for painting his fence and allowing some flecks of green paint to splash through onto the other side. Seems to me the police use the "civil matter" excuse when and where it suits them...which was (vaguely) my point....rather than look at what's right.

Furor Teutonicus said...

THAT was reported as CRIMINAL damage and IS, therefore, a police matter, no matter HOW small the cost of the damage.

The law does NOT say. and it would be a wrong law that did, criminal damage only counts over XYZ value".

blueknight said...

Solve the problem by selling the house and sitting squatter to Nicholas Hoogstraten.....

JuliaM said...

"You would not want the police wasting their time on rent disputes.."

Nope. But then, like John R, I wouldn't want them wasting their time on the fence paint case either. It shouldn't have been classed as - or treated as - criminal damage...

"Solve the problem by selling the house and sitting squatter to Nicholas Hoogstraten....."

Heh!

Furor Teutonicus said...

JuliaM said...

I wouldn't want them wasting their time on the fence paint case either. It shouldn't have been classed as - or treated as - criminal damage...


The principal of actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, or Mens rea for short, DOES seem to have been lost somewhere in this case.

Do they not cover that in the Sergeants exam sylabus any more?