One example of this is landlordreferencing.co.uk. This is a website used by landlords to share information about people they consider bad tenants. This does not just mean tenants who may have struggled to pay the rent at some point, but those with a ‘lifestyle’ which is not ‘decent’.
As well as providing the kind of information which might usually be expected in a credit check – in itself a recipe for mass homelessness as hundreds of thousands of the poorest people have bad credit – the website also boast they can provide information on a tenant’s ‘lifestyle’. This means that for just a small fee landlords can access information on not just a tenant’s employment or financial circumstances, but also on whether they have what the company calls ‘lifestyle problems’. This means drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or a criminal record according to the website.
The company requires landlords to give tenants a form in which they are expected to sign away their Data Protection rights in order to gain access to a home. They claim this means that that their grubby scheme is legal, yet the kind of personal information they hold and encourage landlords to share is clearly skirting unlawfulness. Any landlord passing on information about someone’s alleged drinking, drug use, or criminal behavior could find themselves sued for libel, and if they cannot prove this behaviour – and it’s difficult to know how they could – then they would lose. The company may also be breaking the law under Human Rights legislation which protects the right to privacy.
Just as importantly there is nothing to stop landlords reporting people as alcoholics or drug users out of spite or because they have religious views which mean they object to certain behaviour. Tenants themselves may never even know they have been libelled as they will simply be refused a property with no explanation.
Not content with digging around in the private lives of tenants, the company also acts a lobbying organisation for landlords with the aim of eroding tenant’s rights. The company seem to be in favour of illegal evictions, complaining that it is a criminal offence if a landlord violently evicts a tenant without a court order whilst tenants who struggle with the rent can only be pursued through the civil courts. No doubt they’d like to see the return of debtors prisons as well.
They are also be opposed to the deposit registration scheme, which means landlords can no longer routinely steal from their tenants when they leave the property. This bunch of grubby little Rachmans want to turn the clock back to Victorian times when slum landlords ruled over the poor with iron fists.
The company was started by Paul Routledge who is the smug twat in the accompanying photograph and can be found on twitter @Paul_Rout as well as on facebook. These bastards need exposing before even more tenants have their personal ‘lifestyle’ information passed around by rogue landlords desperate to erode to the right to a home for all of us in the name of swelling their bank balances.
Watch the video where Routledge explains how his system could be used to blacklist people with mental health conditions.
Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid