Why We Need To Resist Tenant Blacklisting

tenant-blacklistPaul Routledge, the man behind the tenant blacklisting company Landlord Referencing, has been defending his vile activities on twitter today where he openly mocked the homelessness his company could inflict on vulnerable people.

Routledge claims his service is not a blacklist, but merely a way to put landlords in touch with each other so they can share information about their tenant’s ‘lifestyles’.  Yet for a fee landlords can run a check on a potential tenant and receive a report back (PDF) declaring them a “Bad Tenant” with their previous landlord’s details included to find out more.

landlord-referencing-blacklist

The company boast that this can be used to discover information on the tenant’s lifestyle, including whether they ‘abuse’ drugs or alcohol along with any details of criminal behaviour.  Clearly landlords could share far more information than this should they choose, including information on tenants who  insist on their rights or who have had a dispute with their landlord.  Tenants could be branded as trouble makers behind the scenes and without their knowledge simply for standing up for themselves.

Only today Paul Routledge appeared to suggest he supported tenants being excluded from housing due to their political beliefs.

paul-rout-tweetElsewhere Routledge whinges about political correctness and has a weird obsession with attacking the homelessness charity Shelter.  There is clearly a political, as well as an economic, motivation behind his grubby company.

Even landlords themselves should beware of this service.  Those who share the kind of smears about tenants which Routledge encourages may end up in the court at some point, with legal challenges possible under libel and privacy laws, along with the law covering “negligent misstatement”.  This is the legal protection which can be used by former employees who have been given false and negative references.  The courts may well find this applies to landlords as well should a challenge ever be brought before them.  Landlords should ask themselves if they can afford to be part of an expensive legal test case before they start spreading information about tenant’s lifestyles.

Tenants have been treated like shit for too long by grasping landlords who think renting out properties is little more than free money and are happy to skirt the laws protecting tenants.  The all too common – and quite possibly illegal  – demand of No DSS , meaning landlords who will not accept tenants on benefits, already excludes many people from a home. Now tenant blacklists can be added to the ever growing number of ways in which landlords seek to increase the profits they leech from our communities.  Homelessness charities like Shelter could do worse than having their lawyers check over every fine detail of these discriminatory practices and help tenants bring test cases if possible.

Landlords ganging up to exclude tenants from the housing market, all egged on by a profiteering bigot like Paul Routledge, should be resisted every bit as fiercely as the employment blacklists which have destroyed so many lives.   It’s time to get creative and expose these parasites in all ways possible and bring this practice to a swift end.

And in the meantime you can tell Landlord Referencing exactly what you think of them on twitter @Paul_Rout and @LandlordRef as well as on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Landlord-Referencing-Services/114147758659902

They also have a list of sponsors, including several credit agencies, which can be found at: http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/landlord-services/

Watch the video where Routledge explains how his system could be used to blacklist people with mental health conditions.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

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38 responses to “Why We Need To Resist Tenant Blacklisting

  1. Read about Charles Dickens and realise what goes around will come around.

  2. GotYourDataPaulRoutledge

    or write to him :)
    Paul George Routledge

    (keep home addresses off here please – jv)

    • Nice one. Watch the fetid vulture squeal and roar as his precious privacy is invaded. Camper vans calling in after Glastonbury. Boney arsed Nob jockey departing to mothers until he has it all under control. Yeah right.

    • On no account occupy this man’s private space ;)

      • it’s rent seeking trash that have hollowed this economy out for the last 30 years. btl landlords are the real welfare bums.

  3. National lifestyle database ? Whats Next? National shoe size database? Fucking gatekeepers of the community? Some of them are vile nonces on the sex offenders register..

    • Yes all hiding behind ‘respectability’. Each one must be named and shamed. Perverts will be leering at anyone worse than medieval times. All need reporting to inland revenue as no esa suggests to me income isn’t fully declared. All bonds and deposits should be held separately independent of landlord and tenant.

    • i half expect to turn up at jobcentre plus one day and they say that in future i must report to the police station every 2 weeks to claim my jsa. i dread to think what they’ll come up with next.

  4. The website looks quite amateurish… and at first glance, I assumed that it was simply a con, perpetrated on gullible individuals (with pretensions and/or delusions of grandieur to become landlords). However, it also occurs to me that, irrespective of whether a con or not, simply advertising a service may fall foul of several laws…. including the Data Protection Act, and an attempt to perpetrate fraud (ie “Obtaining Pecuniary Advantage Through Deception”).

    I assume that someone has reported the pleb for the website, both in terms of contravening the Data Protection Act, and also to the Fraud Division of the Metropolitan Police ?

  5. UK going back to Victorian era

    My sister in law lives abroad and rents out her large flat in a very nice area of Glasgow through a letting agent. She said the reference list is brilliant as she will be able to reference new tenants as she thought it would save her a packet not having to pay letting agents fees and she can also share tenants details with other landlords.
    Her solicitor told her that under Scots law tenants could sue for defamation of character, libel, solatium and Data Protection Act and various other legalities and in fact that it might work against landlords. She ain’t a happy bunny – serves her right greedy selfish bitch! All it needs is one court case and it could blow it out of the water!

  6. sounds like Paul Routledge is the heir to Peter Rachman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Rachman

  7. Freemasons and their best mate is a copper. theres a thought …getting info on tenants because they have contacts in the police…i bet that goes on too

  8. Oh look they are acting like a private police force stopping illegal immigrants and drug busting ..they are a consortium it says

    http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/discuss/community-forum/exclusive-great-news-for-hmo-landlords/page-2/

  9. Trevor Warner

    Whilst I fully accept that landlords have a right to use databases in an attempt to avoid disruptive, abusive, criminal or dangerous tenants, it concerns me that the use of these ‘blacklist’ databases are becoming more common. What protections are in place for a prospective tenant to ensure the information is correct? ‘Bad tenant’ could be the label attached to someone whose only ‘crime’ was insisting their landlord carry out repairs as he/she is obliged to do under the law.

    Having been the manager of a department in an insurance broker in the City dealing with property owners, I know only too well the trouble some tenants cause to their landlords. However, I am also aware that their are some pretty unscrupulous landlords around who treat their tenants appallingly and consider them as nothing but ‘cash cows’ to be milked. As for Routledge treating the problems of the homeless as some sort of joke he should be ashamed of himself.

    • I had a landlord like that, a Tory councillor natch! After I’d been there 24 years, as he was retiring, he sold the house at a knockdown price to his nephew – a similarly slippery individual, who was also a conspicuous cokehead, to boot! The usual arrogance, ego and sense of their own righteousness and entitlement you’d expect from such. He tried to get his tenants on 6 month contracts after jacking up the rent but, as a Protected Tenant from the days before Thatcher abolished them, I went to Shelter, whom he ignored, so they got the council’s Private Tenants’ Liason Officer involved. Ditto, and before I knew it I was at the top of the housing list and now have a decent flat. Luckier than some, no doubt, but sometimes you can beat these bastards!

  10. An acquaintance property owner I know charges £500 bond and only rents on a 6 months lease, when he changes tenants he makes any excuse to withhold or reduce the bond money held from each tenant, so not only is he well remunerated through his extortionate short term lets, but benefits by up to £500 every six months on the bond.

  11. This piece of human detritus is all too typical of money-grubbing landlords. The head of our town’s private landlord association is a right-wing nutjob, forever expounding his loathsome views in the letters’ pages of the local evening paper – Thatcher was God’s gift to mankind; privatise everything; the unemployed are scrounging layabouts; more draconian cuts to welfare and public services, etc, etc.

    He’s recently become the leading light in the founding of a local branch of UKIP. Nuff said.

  12. What if you have the same name as some Criminal mastermind?

  13. There needs to be a landlord blacklist – play them at their own game. I don’t think it’d be libellous if the stuff about landlords on there was true.

    That way there’d be a list of landlords/agents who rent out slums, extort their tenants, don’t carry out repairs, harass tenants etc.

    Their website makes me so angry though. I could be on it simply because I once had a crazy Christian landlord who disagreed with my (perfectly normal) lifestyle. I wasn’t even allowed girls in my bedroom. It’s so subjective. I hate hate hate the stereotypes of tenants on drink and drugs though – very few people are like that yet anybody receiving housing benefit is tarred with the same brush.

    • , “Christian” usually equals hypocrite. No doubt your former landlord had some nasty little skeletons in his/her closet.

  14. Preobrazhensky

    Hi JV

    Totally off topic but check this if you haven’t already. Dated 13th June I think so quite recent. Latest DWP thinking on Universal Credit amongst other things.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmworpen/writev/jcp/m16.htm

    Keep up the excellent work.

  15. Teesside Solidarity Movement

    Reblogged this on Teesside Solidarity Movement.

  16. Landless Peasant

    Talking of other people’s lifestyles, I wonder what goes on behind Paul Routledge’s net curtains? What skeletons may be hiding in HIS cupboards then eh? For all we know. Know what I mean? Don’t think I’d want to risk being his tenant or his neighbour. You just never know. Nudge, nudge, say no more….

  17. The Routledge Report

    I’m going to be digging into Routledge’s finances and background; a scumbag like that is guaranteed to have many a skeleton in his closet.

    In the meantime

    (No details of people’s homes please, lets keep it righteous – jv)

    Rent seeking has been good to Routledge.

  18. This is just the sort of thing I have been predicting- landlords (and employers) who believe they have some sort of right to determine how you live; within reason, your lifestyle is your choice.

    Are we approaching the days when your employer owns your home and dictates what you do on your days off under penalty of dismissal and homelessness, with the added twist of telling everybody else about it?

    Of course, this would be a Tory Utopia!

    • Not just Tory, I can think of many organisations of the mainstream Left who have equally distasteful control freak tendencies. Quite simply behaviour that is not disruptive or beyond the bounds of reasonable decency (but only involving issues of informed consent; ‘reasonable decency’ often excludes behaviours that are beyond what most would regard as ‘decent’ but yet remain legitimate, if minority interests/activities if they are truly consensual) The Left has it’s fair share of moralists too, just as right-wing Toryism has it’s libertarian streak.

      Authoritarianism is pretty ugly no matter what the political background of the perpetrators.

      • As far as I’m concerned there is a big difference between individuals dictating where and whether you live, work and worship, for their own end and private wealth, supported by politicians who share the same values and restrictions in place for the benefit of the working class as a whole to prevent this selfish behaviour and to allow more equitable distribution of wealth and services.

  19. Hmm- just catching up on my email; I joined the Twitter conversation mentioned and it seems I am honoured to have had one of my tweets to him re-tweeted by him!

    Smiling_Carcass ‏@Smiling_Carcass 16h

    @Paul_Rout @johnnyvoid @claimantnetwork how do ‘bad’ tenants become good tenants if we don’t give them support, jobs, respect & a focus?
    Hide conversation

    Reply
    Delete
    Favorite

    1 Retweet
    Paul

    12:55 PM – 28 Jun 13 · Details

  20. “If they can’t [pay the rent], it’s only because they haven’t bothered to claim housing benefit. You’d be amazed how busy the unemployed are. They’d rather spend it on drinks or drugs.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/jun/28/new-class-landlords-profiting-generation-rent

  21. “Transcripts released this week by the Irish Independent record conversations in 2008 between leading Irish bank executives, joking about how they had scammed billions of euros to bail out the now-defunct Anglo-Irish Bank.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/29/bank-j29.html

    The Tory party is to the left of New Labour…

    “However, Labour has one caveat: in alliance with the most vociferous sections of the ruling elite, it also wants pensions to be included in the future cap on welfare spending.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/29/cuts-j29.html

  22. please make the mistake and have a member of the LGBT community commented on this sight because of there “lifestyle” and declined by a homophobic land lord! Paul Routledge will be homeless from the law suites

  23. Pingback: Why Tenant Blacklisting Is A Recipe For Abuse | the void

  24. Pingback: Left for Dead

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