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Rent Arrears - Citizens Advice Bureau

Adam Hosker Offline Mute
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04-08-2012,02:53 PM
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Rent Arrears - Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Bureau has a Fact Sheet, dated 2011 I think.

Quote:Fact sheet on what to do if you have rent arrears, how to try to avoid being evicted and where to get further help.

You can Read it Here.

Something came to my attention when reading this, bearing in mind it is supposed for the Tenant to give them help against us evil landlords.

Quote:Some landlords have the right to send bailiffs to your home to take your goods without needing a court order. If you're threatened with the bailiffs, talk to an experienced adviser as soon as possible.

What? Huh
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john_corey Offline Mute
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04-08-2012,03:36 PM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizends Advice Bureau

The CAB is not unbiased. They are telling tenants what might be in the best interest of the tenant even if that is not going to help the landlord or even do further damage to the tenant's ability to rent in the future.
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sarah_jones Offline Mute
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04-08-2012,04:01 PM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizends Advice Bureau

(04-08-2012 03:36 PM)john_corey Wrote:  The CAB is not unbiased. They are telling tenants what might be in the best interest of the tenant even if that is not going to help the landlord or even do further damage to the tenant's ability to rent in the future.

They are no different to Housing Officers at Hastings Council who will quite happily tell tenants to sit tight for as long as possible.
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Adam Hosker Offline Mute
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04-08-2012,11:39 PM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizends Advice Bureau

Im sure what your saying john, but I think I agree with you that their is Bias, but that's what its was designed for to be on Citizens side and not business.

My question though was in relation to the repossession of goods without Court Order, that is not right? ... I always thought it was just the Tax Man whom could do that.

@Sarah The CAB say the same thing on another page and has the words "Voluntarily Homeless" in bold letters.
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Jonathan Clarke Offline Mute
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05-08-2012,08:58 AM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizends Advice Bureau

Very few people can enter your home legally by force without a court order or warrant let alone enter and then take your goods. I would be interested in bottoming out the facts behind that fact sheet. As a residential landlord i dont believe i have that power.


The CAB is an unbiased organisation. Its designed for all citizens which includes of course business men and women. Its advice is impartial. Lord Sugar is as equally entitled to use their services as is a homeless penniless person. There will be a natural bias towards the type of people seeking their services but not a bias in the advice itself which should be consistent. The advice given should be valid and legally correct to either party and it is entirely possible that the advice given to one party is at odds and acts against the interests of the other. That is right and proper however unpalatable it may be for the other party.

What i sometimes have issue with along with Sarah is the individual operatives tone and manner when they give the advice be it the CAB, a housing officer, shelter or other influential interested bodies.

3 ways of saying the same thing to a tenant which could unduly influence them and lead to a different outcome....

1) A sec 21 gives you 2 mths leeway. If you dont leave then it gets nasty and you will have the stress and hassle of court appearances and costs against you and then the baliffs and the police will come maybe at 6am in a few weeks without warning to evict you and it will be a nightmare for you and your kids. The decision is yours though

2) You do not legally have to leave on the expiry of a sec 21 but you may wish to do so then as there are consequences if you do not. The landlord will then seek a possession order from the courts and This may take 4 - 6 weeks and may lead to you incurring extra costs and having a judgement made against you in the county court which could affect your prospects in the future. The decision is yours though.

3) You have at least 2 mths. But dont worry they cannot legally force you out on the expiry of a sec 21 so you can just sit tight and ignore all the letters and this will buy you some more time to find somewhere to live. Landlords expect this to happen so dont worry too much about it you have to think of you and your kids first. They have made enough money out of you so its alright for them. The decision is yours though.

Its sometimes the attitude of the individual not the organisation. I have heard 2nd / 3rd hand evidence over the years of all 3 attitudes. Over the last 5 years though due i believe in the main from the enormity of the housing crisis a leaning toward attitude 3 in part simply as the councils etc have no spare homes to offer except B&B and they hope that the landlord will relent and let them stay on and not expend more costs on court action.
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john_corey Offline Mute
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05-08-2012,10:07 AM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizends Advice Bureau

Jonathan,

I believe we are saying the same thing. Anyone can seek advice. That does not mean the advice is without bias. As you noted, the advice is tailored for the person they are advising, hence the natural bias towards their needs.

I do want to ask about your closing statement. I accept the current law more or less imposes on a council the need to find someone a home. I do not understand why the UK believes the council must step in. Why not assume the individual has to sort it? Tough love?

Safety net is one thing. An automatic right to a home feels more like a prize than a safety net. I am not saying the council's homes are posh. I just do not get why the taxpayer automatically has to buffer people from life's problems.
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Jonathan Clarke Offline Mute
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05-08-2012,10:32 AM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizens Advice Bureau

John
Yes I think we are saying the same. The word bias though is perhaps not the best word as its meaning tends to imply not even handedness advice. The word `tailored` you use is better maybe in that context. The deliverer though may be biased in their delivery due to their own personal life vision or perception. They may be biased despite their training to remain neutral. They may consciously or unconsciously give a biased slant to their advice if for example they themselves had been evicted by a landlord and feel wronged.

As for housing and government social policy. Wow - Always a difficult one! Like the NHS. The alternative to society not picking up the pieces and offering housing is homelessness on the streets. That leads to ill health and a hospital bed or crime and a prison cell. Both of these outcomes are very expensive to the taxpayer. A B&B though expensive may be the cheaper option. Its a merry go round which ever way you look at it. . Ultimately society and therefore the taxpayer will have to pick up the tab. At what point do you intervene though is a subject of debate I agree
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john_corey Offline Mute
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05-08-2012,12:34 PM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizens Advice Bureau

(05-08-2012 10:32 AM)Jonathan Clarke Wrote:  The alternative to society not picking up the pieces and offering housing is homelessness on the streets.

I doubt there is proof for the above statement.

Most people do not go from having an income to homelessness. Some do so it can happen. I just do not think the number who make the full trip is statistically significant compared to the number who find a way to sort things without landing on the street. Bad things do happen so people can find unexpected situations. Moral hazards kick in when there is no fear of not dusting yourself off and pushing on.

I agree that if we assume that a select few do go from having their own home to homelessness and then ill health and then a hit to the NHS, then it might be less expensive. Maybe part of the problem is the safety net including the NHS makes it too easy for the financial burden to shift to the taxpayer. An failure early in the food chain ripples through with no firebreaks that stops the impact from cascading.
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Jonathan Clarke Offline Mute
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05-08-2012,08:47 PM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizens Advice Bureau

(05-08-2012 12:34 PM)john_corey Wrote:  
(05-08-2012 10:32 AM)Jonathan Clarke Wrote:  The alternative to society not picking up the pieces and offering housing is homelessness on the streets.

I doubt there is proof for the above statement.

Most people do not go from having an income to homelessness. Some do so it can happen. I just do not think the number who make the full trip is statistically significant compared to the number who find a way to sort things without landing on the street.

Ah I sense you are goading me John ! I will bite. Almost 50,000 people were made homeless in 2011. These are not people who have lost their job necessarily. Some are. Some are repossessd some have split up from their partner some evicted by landlords some by their own parents. Some leave abusive relationships. Death divorce and debt force a change in circumstances every single day. In my LHA world i see it on a regular basis. I cant provide for the demand out there so up to the council they trudge.

When I last served a sec 21 the tenant who was a priority case due to physical and mental health reasons she could not be housed for 3 mths after the expiry date. This was in September 2011. The waiting list backlog just stretched back 4 mths to May. Fortunately for her I didnt go to court. I negotiated with the council to pay an enhanced rate for those 3mths using money from the DHP fund
With the proposed welfare reform bill and the economic situation it will get much worse before it gets better.

If the councils legal obligation to house the homeless was withdrawn then every day would see more and more homeless on the streets. They would be an uproar. It would be inhumane. Many would simply have no place to go. If it was winter they would soon resort to crime to feed themselves or deliberately get arrested to ensure a warm cell for the night. They would drift into hospitals and the care systems would very soon be overwhelmed.

Practically though John if 10 homeless people turn up at the councils door tomorrow morning because all options they have tried over the weekend have failed where would you propose they stay Monday night if the council had no legal obligation to house them?
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john_corey Offline Mute
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06-08-2012,12:12 PM
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RE: Rent Arrears - Citizens Advice Bureau

Jonathan,

I am not into goading so it was an honest question.

Thanks for the reply.

You think there is a requirement that the government step in or we will have civil unrest. I do not. I think the assumption of unrest is closer to shadow boxing where a threat is perceived when there is none.

Violence from the mob so they can force others to pay their way is a sign of an unjust society. Tyranny of the masses might be a USA of labeling the problem. While there are some basic rights, actual housing is not one of them.

BTW - I am excluding those who are mentally ill. Their numbers are tiny so they are not the group that dictates policy.

We can agree to disagree if you like.
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