Why Tenant Blacklisting Is A Recipe For Abuse

rigsby-routledgeThe Landlord Referencing Service (LRS) run by Paul Routledge reveals just how far out of control landlords in the private rental sector have become in the UK.

Not content with soaring rents and one of the least regulated private rental sectors in Europe, now some money grabbing landlords want to further line their pockets by using the threat of blacklisting to increase their power over tenants.

Paul Routledge (@Paul_Rout) claims he began the blacklisting service after being seriously injured by a former tenant.  This has led him to embark, vigilante style, on a war on all tenants by investing a large amount of his own money on a website where landlords can name and shame tenants amongst themselves.  Routledge’s ambitions were not just financial – the stated aim of this blacklist is to install landlords as the ‘Gatekeepers of the Community’.  The community was not asked what they thought.

It is clear his motives were not deliberately malicious despite the harm this blacklist could cause. Routledge thinks that him and other landlords are the good guys, cleaning up the streets of Weston-super-Mare.  On reading through his website’s extensive forum, Routledge comes across as sincere in his attempt to be what he considers is a good landlord.  Others may not be so kind, as Routledge himself admits, it is  unlikely several of his former tenants would give him a good reference.

But it is fair to say that whilst elements of his site may be legally questionable – and those questions are now being asked – he encourages other landlords to stay within the law.  He sounds like a tight old bastard, but that goes with the job.  Routledge is far more Rigsby than Rachman.

And like Rigsby, the landlord from the Yorkshire Television sitcom Rising Damp,  he shares the same conservative world views that often descend into plain bigotry.  His vile attitude towards people on benefits – despite a significant portion of his wealth being derived from those benefits –  and his casual misogyny reveal a truly nasty streak that should make prospective tenants think twice before moving into one of his properties*.

His views on people smoking cannabis, an offence which is usually punished with a warning under the legal system, have led to at least one tenant being added to his blacklist just because an allegation of drug use was made.  Routledge is pursuing his very own war on drugs boasting that his registered landlords “tell one another about their druggie tenants to stop them getting a home in our communities”.

It’s not just people who may smoke the occasional spliff that Routledge has in his sights.  One landlord on the site advises a tenant should be blacklisted  because they got a dog, another landlord blacklists a tenant because their breath once smelt of alcohol and they were £15 short in an agreed payment.

There are many more examples of tenants being blacklisted due to financial disagreements with their landlords.  On one post tenants who have a dispute with their landlord over heating are called ‘scamsters’ and blacklisted, whilst another tenant is called is ‘lazy sponging immigrant’ and blacklisted for seeking advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.  One thread, tagged with the phrase ‘lazy Greeks’ seems to suggest a tenant has been blacklisted for being ‘lazy and rude’.

Routledge defends his blacklist with the dangerously naive notion that landlords are all wonderful, honest people who would never unfairly harm a tenant.  This means he believes anything a landlord says – so if a landlord alleges a tenant owes them money, or damaged property, then they go on the list, with little or no questions asked.

This gives the very worst kind of landlord a terrifying power over tenants. Even tenants who have alleged landlord harassment and illegal eviction have been added to the list with seemingly no thought given as to whether they might be telling the truth.

Whilst the blacklist only really seems to hold any sway in the South West of England, it can still be devastating for those who find themselves on the list.   One former tenant, who is quite open about former drug and alcohol problems which left them in debt and homelessness, pleads with Routledge on his forum to take him off his database now he has recovered.  According to this former tenant he has been rejected by a letting agency due to the blacklist and is homeless as a result.  Routledge is unrepentant and tells him he will remain on the blacklist for another 6 years.

Another landlord on the forum is more direct:

“Life is ALL about choices and YOU have made the wrong choices.

You are clearly of a weak disposition to turn to drink and drugs.

Such weakness could easily occur again.

I would wish people like you were NEVER again able to rent off a LL.”

And it is the comments made by this particular landlord which show that despite Routledge’s pleas that he has a vetting system in place to stop rogue landlords, this doesn’t appear to extend very far.

The landlord who made the above comment and calls himself Paul Barrett says elsewhere on the forum that he will not let to Roma immigrants.  Another landlord agrees later in the discussion.  This is clearly an illegal lettings policy under the Equalities Act.  Barrett also says he would not let to disabled people on Housing Benefit, again almost certainly illegal, because “as a LL I can discriminate against who I like”.  The days of ‘No Blacks. No Irish. No Dogs.’ are still very much in existence on the Landlord Referencing forum.

Yet these rogue landlords, who are not just happy to break the law, but boast about it, are welcome to add tenants to Routledge’s blacklist.

Elsewhere Paul Barrett recommends to another landlord that they ‘get the boys in’ to illegally evict a tenantNow this tenant, if the landlord is to be believed, does indeed sound like a landlord’s worst nightmare.  But we only have the landlord’s word for that, a landlord who refers to her as a “nasty dirty foul smelling bitch”.

A similar case involves the aforementioned Paul Barrett and his ‘tenant from hell’.  This tenant accused Barrett of serious sexual harassment.  As usual Routledge took the landlord’s side and blacklisted, and named the tenant.

The truth behind these desperate tales is impossible to know.  But there are two sides to every story and we only ever hear one.  The implications of this are chilling.

If this blacklist becomes successful – and it is in all tenant’s interests to try and prevent that – then any form of redress for tenants will disappear.  How many tenants will take on a rogue landlord knowing they could face six years enforced homelessness as a result?

Tenants can be added to the list whilst they are still renting from their landlord.  This means an abusive landlord could trap a tenant in their property by making it impossible for them to find anywhere else to live.  Landlords could threaten tenants with blacklisting because they demand  repairs be carried out, or threaten to make a complaint about them to a local authority. And landlords could blacklist tenants simply due to the nasty and petty personal prejudices which litter his website.

Routledge will no doubt claim that none of these things could ever happen because landlords never do anything wrong and “as long as we all give honest references how can anyone be libelled”.  But Routledge himself cannot know if these landlords are being honest and there is no clear way for tenants to challenge his decisions – in fact they may even be unaware they are listed.   The attitudes of some of the landlords who post on his forum – where misogyny, racism and contempt for  tenants on benefits is commonplace – tells a very different story to the one Paul Routledge presents.  Are these people really fit to be ‘gatekeepers of our communities’?

*Routledge also has some nasty views on people with learning disabilities which seem dangerously close to eugenics as spotted by @claimantnetwork.

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

For every landlord who has a difficult time with a tenant there are probably dozens of tenants abused by landlords.  Please feel free to share experiences of bad landlords in the comments.  Unlike Routledge I’d rather people who comment here (or myself) are not subject to libel or other legal actions, so please do not identify them.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

70 responses to “Why Tenant Blacklisting Is A Recipe For Abuse

  1. I once had a terrible landlord who’d constantly break the law and basically harass me. He was the same one I mentioned in your other post where he wouldn’t allow me girls in my room because he was a Christian. He didn’t live in the house but as I was renting a room in a house share he got one of the other tenants to spy on me, so I would get in trouble for just socialising with my friends. There was also an incident of a broken boiler that wasn’t fixed for 10 weeks, so I had to call environmental health to force him to fix it. I got in shit for that as well. I also had a broken window in my room (it was single glazed and the pane was falling out) so he “fixed” it by using hot glue. There was still a hole and it got so cold at night that I had to sleep in my dressing gown, in a sleeping bag, in bed. Only then was it warm enough.

    I know this all sounds rather ridiculous like some farce, but the truth is that this is rather common. People generally don’t speak out, and those vulnerable people who do get a buses by rogue landlords don’t have any forums to complain about them or report them. They say people have shelter and CAB but I’d say hardly any tenants use them – a lot won’t even know to use them.

    I could also see me being put on this blacklist by that landlord because I would have been a “troublemaker”. He would have spun some story to Routledge and he’d have believed it, because he has confirmation bias when it comes to tenants – they’re all scum and any evidence to the contrary is ignored.

    • “A buses” should say “abused”.

      I also forgot to mention the times he’d come banging on my door at 7am just to check no girls had stayed over. He said this was a reasonable time to come round but didn’t seem to grasp the fact that notice was required.

      • Many landlords don’t seem to grasp/respect that 48 hours notice is required, unless it’s an emergency. Even Registered Social Landlords, (housing associations etc) who should know better seem to think they can barge in on your life any time they wish. We should make it a matter of personal policy to remind these scum, in writing, with copies sent for information purposes to local political representatives – email is good as it is traceable and is accepted as evidence legally. This kind of action has a surprising effect on housing associations in particular. Such an effect that now I send a copy, for information purposes’ to an elected Welsh Assembly Member of all important correspondence with the housing association – not that they wouldn’t necessarily deal with me promptly, but it’s always good to have insurance🙂

        Housing associations aren’t scared of tenants, per se, ( unless they’re organised) but they are terrified of investigation by politicians… who they rely on for some considerable amounts of funding. It’d be far better to have an organised, and independent of the housing association tenant’s group, but in the absence of that yo have to use whatever clout you can muster.

  2. @JohnnyVoid do you see routledge almost accuse me of being a drug dealer on the void . He claimed i was upset because they had discoverd cannabis plants on his members premises…why would i be upset? If Only to imply i was connected to illegal drugs trade..i Also das the PB posts. What a narrow minded bigot..and that ‘dirty bitch’ comment too.
    And talking of harassment we had a fan of routledge mouthing off on the void calling a poster a ‘ carpet muncher’ he told me to shut my fat gob…this is the mentality of those in that world.

    • something survived...

      carpet muncher as in lesbian? I wonder what they call gay men? black people? Asians? I remember 1990s (!) signs that said, on housing, b&b’s, and pubs/clubs: No Irish, No Blacks, No Gypsies/Travellers [=Irish Traveller, Romany etc. and New Age Traveller/hippy/alternative; AND homeless people], No Asians, No Gays. A married couple I knew, that lived near some of those signs, got turned down for housing. While I knew them they got legally married after years of cohabiting as a common-law couple. Both were white. They wanted a bigger place as the woman was having a baby and planning to have several more. Both had jobs. They had at least one car. However. The fact that they were vegans and peace-people, and had long dreadlocks, got them called ‘new age travellers’ (sic). Even when they pointed out they were home owners and not travellers, and British, they got blacklisted or turned down when househunting. Landlords thought that there was something intrinsically evil about being a vegan! In the end they decided to stay put. At least they had a house.

      I won’t say where, as you said ‘no identifying details’, but in the same city I used to live in (as above), there was a case I never knew of till I saw it on a repeat on latenight TV years after moving away. It wasn’t quite housing related (though the guy had difficulty getting housing under some unwritten ‘no spazzes’/’no crips’ rule), but it illustrates how mad and bigoted things can get. The man, a wheelchair user and ADULT, had finally managed to get himself a place to live, an adapted house that was partly supported housing (ie people visit for maintenance/repairs). He was basically living independently and alone. I’m no longer able to remember for sure, but I think he either had cerebral palsy or some other condition.

      Anyway he met a woman, ablebodied. They fell in love. He proposed, she said yes. So far, so good. Then neighbours started saying, what are you doing with her? you don’t have the right to a sex life/a woman that good looking; you should be in an institution? how dare you because you’ll have spaz/crip babies! They started a hate campaign and a petition to get him evicted. Meanwhile, at the same time, he ran into trouble. The churches and registry offices actually said they’d refuse the wedding, marriage licence etc; and social services got involved, and agreed. Their arguments:
      -That as a physically disabled person he was vulnerable, AND not able to make decisions (like a child) [actually his brain was fine] and being physically disabled means you are retarded mentally!
      -That it was against his interests and welfare to allow him to get married.
      -That they could not agree to a ‘mixed marriage’ to an ablebodied person. If he wanted to marry a woman and both were disabled and both well over reproductive age and both white and both living in the same residential institution, they MIGHT consider letting disabled people get married, with prior request/permission.
      -That disabled people wanting to marry must first have a PSYCHIATRIC assessment. (This was 1990s England not 1890s, for farage’s sake!_!)
      -That they had theological objections (church) and legal/social objections (registry office; social services) to the marriage: they assumed that he could not consummate the marriage! [actually he had no problems there] They asked intimate questions about his body and sexual ability. Currently being ‘unable to consummate’, even if you ARE unable, is not a barrier to marriage.
      -That if you ARE able to have sex, you must get sterilised because what if you get her pregnant? We prefer both of you to get sterilised just to make sure. [He, and she, refused] You can’t be allowed to have disabled kids, and if you have a ‘Normal’ (sic) kid how can you look after it – and you can’t function economically as a family either. How can you ‘keep her’? [assumption women are not independent workers]
      -That if they got married he’d be evicted for moving in an ablebodied spouse, even though there wasn’t anywhere else for him to go.

      At the end of the documentary he was still planning to marry her despite all the obstacles from those bastards. Hope they managed to keep their home, and got married. I think they were Christians so actually wanted a religious wedding as all or part of the marriage ceremony. He was talking of trying to move to a different church to find one not as bigoted.

      • How ironic..calling lesbians carpet crunchers, as Routledge has a couple of them working for him, one for his Cadogan house rental properties & her partner for L.R.S. Hippocrites.

  3. This site should be exposed. During my tweeting exchanges with one of the landlords, I highlighted the fact that on their site, all tenants are bad tenants until they prove otherwise. That should not be the case. A lot of tenants have problems and should be supported in other ways, but it is wrong for landlords to bring all their prejudices into a very fundamental issue, which is the right for people to have a roof over their heads,

    • It always seems weird to me that these kinds of landlords who actually rely on their tenants for their living then go on to slag-off their tenants. I’m sure that not all landlords are like this, and to be sure there are the tenants from hell, but it has always amazed me that these landlords actually make a living by renting to their tenants – if they didn’t have tenants they’d be bankrupt and maybe homeless and claiming benefits… Now there’s a thought…

      Many years ago relatives of mine had a self-catering holiday complex that wasn’t doing too well in what it had been designed and built for, so it basically became a pretty luxurious hostel for predominantly unemployed local youth who at that time qualified for full housing benefit. Indeed, I could think of fewer nice places to live locally than there as it had a lot of amenities, However, I can remember my relative’s wife complaining bitterly about their tenant’s perceived lack of willingness to get a job, (like they grew on trees in West Wales that had a 27% unemployment rate locally at that time) and how that she did so much work to keep it all nice. It didn’t go down well when I pointed out that it was a nice little earner, as the place was full, and though they could certainly get more on a week by week basis for summer lets for about three months of the year, they were doing very nicely indeed having the place full 12 months of the year witl local people who were unemployed or seriously under-employed.

      She also made disparaging comments about some of the tenants’ behaviour… neatly forgetting that I had been in school with her so I knew that she herself had behaved in very similar ways to the behaviour she now complained of… Reminding her that she was no better than she ought to be was sweet indeed!

  4. is there not a rouge LANDLORDs list?

  5. Johnny, the fight back is in the works. Paul Routledge is now going to be happy, especially as I’m using the http://www.landlordreferencing.org.uk which he failed to register himself!🙂

  6. @double karma, Yeah I’m doing a landlord blacklist now at http://www.landlordreferencing.org.uk Guess who will be the first on the list? Double Karma for Paul!

  7. Oh yeah, we should all screen grab those forum pages Johnny links to in this article. Something tells me they’re not going to be there in the morning!

  8. Reblogged this on disillusioned marxist and commented:
    Their “motto” is a bit fash to say the least … as someone whose struggling to find a property to rent this shit makes me sick

  9. has anyone checked to see if he’s registered under the data protection act ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_1998
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents

  10. http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/10486330.Lettings_agent_in_court_over___159_000_fraud_case/
    I was renting from the above agents about 10 years ago. They charged the property owner for fixtures and fittings they never installed. She didnt find out until I left that they never installed them(and all I knew is they kept promising to fix things that never got fixed) then they tried to tell her that I had taken apart the new ones and put the old fittings back on(the ones they would have thrown out if they had really done the job). She told me when relaying the story that she would never use a letting agent again. I have also had one landlord who conned me out of 10.000 pounds when I bought a mobile home and when I tried to move out a year later the person I paid the ground rent to blackmailed me over the sale and I couldnt sell my mobile home. I had another one who I rented a bedsit from who let himself into my room and stole my possessions while I was out. He even sold my bed which I owned after I gave my notice, before I moved out. He had my gas and electric hooked up to a meter that I had to buy tokens from him to run. I was only ever in that bedsit for about an hour before I went to bed and was straight out in the morning to have breakfast at a friends as it was very cold and horrible with no insulation, I stayed at my mums or boyfriends at the weekend. It still cost me nearly 20 pound a week for the meter tokens.

  11. Wondering why the website is sponsored by the likes of bailiffs, water companies and debt collectors. I may be entirely wrong but I can’t imagine a bailiff company sponsoring a site unless it was helping them out in some way. Is there any way we can find out whether info has been shared about tenants to any of these ‘sponsors’?

    I would urge anyone who is a renting property privately to report the website to the police, some of the Landlord comments JV alludes to may be construed as ‘hate crime’ and ‘discrimination’.

    It would also be useful if people concerned with the practices of this company make reports to trading standards, data protection authorities and perhaps Shelter. If you live in Weston S Mare please consider contacting the local authority housing department and your MP.

    • Dawn they do seem to keep referring to the sponsors a lot on there..do you think they will try and collect info on all us lot?

      • I can’t imagine why, but if you are renting I wonder if you should find inform your Local Authority of the website and express your concerns.

      • If they do obtain data on any or all of us on here then they’re breached the data protection act somehow & will leave themselves open to legal action. It would certainly spell the end for Routledge’s grubby little site, although no doubt some scumbag landlord would start up another.

        • something survived...

          Anyone remember local resident campaigns to evict people (mostly gay men) nearby who were found out as having, or falsely believed to have, AIDS/HIV? The Sun, Star, Mail, Express and Mirror at the time BACKED these campaigns. Even people streets away signed petitions to ‘get rid of the dirty HIVers’. 1980s and 1990s.

  12. I was right After all mastercard was behind the benefit smart card plan..seems they were geared up all for it.
    And demos the think tank Who were pushing it were at a tory conference..

    It also seems that landlord referencing are big fans of benefit smart cards what with the universal credit train wreck approaching. After all the landlords want to ensure they get their dosh and tenants waste the money on..well stuff that they deem wrong..Which could be anything really…how dare they have a nice coat so what if its freezing…Its all their fault for being lazy….all that fucking moralising from people Who have a lump of bricks stuck. Together.

    http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/blog/2012/10/10/technology-limiting-how-benefit-payments-are-spent-could-ease-uks-troubled-economy/

  13. Landless Peasant

    Some friends of mine, a young couple, got into rent arrears with a private Landlord, who then sent his nephew round to assault them and threaten to shoot their dog. The same Landlord has had some properties compulsorily purchased by the local Council because he left them empty for years. He owns so many properties that he can’t remember what he owns. He employs alcoholic European immigrants as labourers to do maintenance and pays them £10 per day plus 99p chicken & chips. He once asked me to install a new electricity meter in one flat, even though I have no electrical qualifications whatsoever. He is fairly typical of many private landlords here in Bradford.

    • Ye gods, a landlord asked a totally unqualified person to install an ELECTRIC meter. Did the idiot not know that’s illegal?. Landless, if you had gone ahead & the meter was not correctly wired & earthed it would have gone live & could either have electrocuted someone or shorted & burnt the house down & YOU would have been held responsible & proscuted, NOT the landlord, as you would have been the person who carried out the work.
      Thank goodness for your sake you saw sense not too, that landlord is a menace to his tenants.

      • Sorry, just noticed I misspelt “prosecuted”

      • Landless Peasant

        Oh yes I am well aware of the potential/likely disastrous consequences of messing with mains electricity, and that’s what I told him. It’s unbelievable but true. The guy used to pay me a little cash-in-hand to do odd-jobs like cleaning out semi-derelict properties that had been empty for years, apart from the rats and squatters of course, and occasionally filling skips or gardening. But no longer. The flat with no leccy had been already let to Chinese students who were due to arrive in a couple of days and it was nowhere near ready.

  14. Even if that landlord was beaten up by his tenant-there is no reason to go after *all* tenants because of one violent one.

  15. Something deeper is going on here – landlords can now be fined or jailed for letting to illegal immigrants. This is rapidly being extended to tenant’s behaviour, lifestyle and – crucially – political activism, with the threat of being street homeless if the tenant fails to jump through all the correct hoops.

    • It’s even more insidious with the socially rented sector, i.e. housing association and council housing, where there seems to be an increasing trend towards tenant control in the more sinister form, (of them controlling tenants, rather than the contrary). UC will of course increase the control housing associations especially have over tenants, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if some of the more go ahead, (in a government approved way) associations will think up schemes to utilise the untapped labour of the poor. Housing associations are increasingly corporate entities, and seem to have their sights more on making money than in providing truly affordable housing, (and not the joke they refer to as affordable). On my way back from the city centre the other day I spotted a retail and office development in the city centre that was being let by one of the larger local housing associations, and was pretty disgusted that they seem to have ventured into letting expensive city centre retail property.

      The salaries paid to housing association CEOs needs serious scrutiny, as they are paid according to how many tenancies a housing association has. Now, I would always support the notion that someone is adequately paid for doing a necessary job, but when in comes to CEOs who are, in my opinion, doing a job that is totally unnecessary, (about as much use as a fairy on a Christmas tree) paying them anything means they are grossly overpaid.

    • something survived...

      where are immigrants supposed to live then? oh no – they are NOT supposed to live! Zyklon B???? Fascists!

  16. The sexual harassment of young women by their landlords and sometimes other residents/tenants or those with control over their housing, situations hostels, shelters etc is largely unreported. Tenants fearing to place their tenancy/residency in jeopardy. I know of at least 2 cases.

  17. Its just something about the whole landlord issue, Its so primitive and open for abuse, This feudal type system must be done away with. All these revolutions and wars have done nothing for the people. They are applying pressure everywhere, work (if you have), home, money, safety (it gets worse on the streets every day).
    Then you have to come home and deal with some corrupt evil bastard.

  18. My daughter’s ex-landlord failed to return her deposit. It then became clear that he had not protected the deposit in any scheme (as required by law) and had given her a false address for correspondence. What do the local council advise? They can do nothing. They can’t put the incident on record because he hasn’t had a court judgment against him; because you can’t serve papers without an address.

    Her university took the same blind-eye route and still send prospective tenants to his properties.

    He is typical of a student slum landlord. Loads of promises of work to be done over the Summer and then in Autumn when term starts again and it is too late to find anywhere else, little has been done. What kind of idiot… paints OVER the wallpaper, in a damp flat, with gloss paint? …supplies a washing machine but wont spend to plumb it in so it empties into the sink instead, adding to the damp? …I could list more.

    There are good and bad landlords (few are in between) but there is little point in making laws if there is no way of getting those laws enforced when they are broken. Once the slum-landlord knows that there is no enforcement and little or no punishment they just carry on regardless.

    Sounds to me like the reported web-site would be perfect for this clown.

    • has anybody heard, some ministers in parliament could get an extra £7500 per year. WTF they should chuck their rotten cash out the window.

  19. The last 2 places I rented were a nightmare, the first place was riddles with damp and when asking the LL to do repairs they suggested moving all the furniture away from the walls as they thought that was causing the problem. Second place was through a very amateurish operation. Fell into slight arrears (less than 2 months ) and they served a section 21, constantly harassed us via SMS messages and phonecalls, I threatened them with harassment and to only contact me via e-mail which to be fair they did. After the section 21 period was up they were in constant touch telling me to move out, I pointed out that this was blatant intimidation and I would not move out until they went to court and got a possession order. Once they realised I knew my rights and refused to be intimidated and actually threatened them back, they calmed down. Luckily, we now have a new place with a reputable local agents and have had no problems thus far.

  20. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Off Topic – But Good.

    How much should MPs be paid?

    MPs’ pay is back on the agenda, with reports suggesting the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority may recommend £10,000 pay rise for MPs. What is a reasonable salary for a Member of Parliament?

    You can vote for how much you think their yearly salary should be.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2013/jul/01/mps-pay-rise-poll

    • Obi, that’s a good question. But I personally think all mp’s are as bad as each other. (All the employment mp’s should take 75% pay CUT. Riduculous how much they get. How much would you pay an mp Obi ??

  21. Obi Wan Kenobi

    £31,000 and no extra’s also I would insist on reciepted expenses – no reciept, no refund!

  22. Obi Wan Kenobi

    J.V. – Minor correction – Rising Damp was made by Yorkshire Television.(ITV)

  23. One of the worst landlords in Edinburgh is a guy called Mark Fortune, and it’s okay to name him because he has a criminal record for threatening tenants and has been banned from acting as a landlord. But he’s going to an appeal and can still rent out flats in the meantime.

    http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2011/09/12/rogue-landlord-warned-tenants-they-could-be-shot/
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-21365421

  24. This is what happens when you allow private landlords you get God botherers, EDL or ukip nutters. All of those denied a roof should demand land to either pitch a tent, caravan or build their own homes and put these bastards out of business altogether, then get the council to repossess their empty homes paying a reduced market value.
    Nobody should be wanting these control freaks in power, national and local government are bad enough without these purveyors of justice spewing their venom.

    • something survived...

      Some landlords are good so they should have help to be allowed to rent to disabled, benefits recipients, immigrants, homeless etc; and to have help making sure they (landlord/buildings) comply with safety laws . The council tax rules stop people renting to benefits claimants.

  25. The flat I used to live in with my boyfriend was terrible. It was basically a dodgy extension to a large house and the walls were single brick, not damp proofed and there was soil next to the outside wall up to 3 feet high. The windows were single glazed and when we moved in the windows in the bedroom were screwed shut! There was a patio door in the bedroom (??) and this was soaked with condensation every single day. Needless to say, the damp soon started with a vengeance. We complained for 2 years about the mold and damp and in the end went to Environmental Health before the LL did a thing about it. Even then it was too little too late and the walls were damaged and eaten away by the disgusting mold there. Add to that the fact that the LL and wife were living right in the house next to our flat and were noisy day and night, standing outside the bedroom ‘window’ (patio door) and talking loudly on phones and kicking footballs at the glass all day. There was no privacy and they treated us like crap. Once the LL and wife collared me and spent five minutes shouting and screaming at me because the rent was late (I’d just been made redundant and my benefits hadn’t come through yet). I was in tears afterwards. When we finally escaped they went to my boyfriend’s mother’s home and screamed at her, saying we had stolen our own washing machine. It was horrible. Then they tried to accuse us of moving on a different date and messed up our housing benefit. I had to go to the One Stop Shop with proof of our moving date and the LL had to pay the money he’d received back!

  26. Pingback: Paul Routledge Is A Lying Bastard Who Compared Tenants To Paedophiles | the void

  27. We were illegally evicted by a dodgy as hell landlord. Now I’ve had slightly dodgy landlords before but this guy was mean.
    He was going bankrupt and decided to rent out his family house, a massive 4 floored Victorian mansion by the sea. There were something like 10 tenants in the house, all sharing a kitchen/front door. After 6 months of living there he starts to throw out tenants who for whatever reason owed him some money. He stole HB cheques from the front door, then threw ppl out when their rent was late. (It takes a while to cancel the cheque and get another sent out) My partner and I were the last left in the house cos we were never in arrears.
    He tried to strong arm us out, I hit back with legalities. He sent us an illegal eviction notice. I wrote back telling what he had to write to make it legally binding. He continued to steal cheques. Then he disconnected the boiler (no hot water). Then he turned the water off and locked the stopcock. Then he turned the gas off. It was hell. All the time he kept refusing to send a proper eviction notice. We were looking for a new place to live but it’s hard with pets and a partner on DLA (for a serious head injury). It all came to a head when he came in one day to try and remove the white goods from the kitchen. My partner faced up to him and said he can’t treat us like this, it’s illegal. He replied “I can do what I want it’s my house” and slams the door into my partners head. She instantly went down into a grand mall seizure. He freaked out and ran off. Left us alone after that until we had found somewhere else to live. Police not interested. It was a shitty time. My heart goes out to anyone who has been illegally evicted. Some landlords have no comprehension of “home”. As far as they’re concerned your home is their property to with as they will regardless of laws.
    If this landord was on this website I would have no doubt that our names would be down as bad tenants.

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  29. One of my landlords (25 years my senior) asked me on a date four weeks into moving into the property. I was 19 and had a one year old baby. When I told him no, and made up the excuse that I don’t get out much due to having the baby, he said he would come round with a bottle of wine. I said no.

    He made comments about me being braless under my robe once when I answered the door. He bragged constantly about being able to hook me up with illegal cable, or drugs if I was after them.

    He tried to keep my £450 deposit when I moved, it was only when I screamed blue murder down the phone at him and countered his threat “I know the address that you’ve moved to” with a “fucking come on down mate, you bring your boys and I’ll bring mine” that he backed down and handed over what was rightfully mine.

    5 years payment on time no arrears.

  30. We had a classic bad landlord as students – looking back on it now, we were lucky to get out of there in one piece!

    He was an absentee landlord – off living it up in Thailand, apparently. The rent was paid to a lettings agency, who were supposed to be managing the property. The landlord used to send a mate of his round to do repairs and deal with the overgrown garden. We only found out after we’d moved in that this mate was a proper creepy perv of a bloke who used the ‘gardening’ as an excuse to drool over the female students next door while they were sunbathing. He made me feel deeply uncomfortable – in my home.

    The house was a total dump. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was a deathtrap. None of the windows fitted properly and any repairs that needed doing were rarely done because of matey boy described above. Also, for quite a while, we couldn’t figure out why we were getting slight electric shocks every time we touched the kettle or the microwave in the kitchen.

    Then, on New Year’s Eve 1999, I was getting ready to go out. I plugged my hairdryer into a wall socket and began drying my hair. Suddenly, I smelled burning plastic. I looked down to see sparks flying out of the wall socket, like a welding torch! Luckily, I was OK, but that could have caused serious injury or burned the house down. That was it, something had to be done.

    The lettings agency were worse than useless, they didn’t want to know (in fact, they’d previously reduced one of my housemates to tears by their behaviour). In fact, nothing happened until I’d gone to my Student Union for advice and they’d sent a letter via their solicitors.

    Suddenly, things started happening. An electrician turned up and checked the wiring. He was appalled. Did we know, he asked, that our cooker was wired directly into the mains? Or that the whole house needed rewiring as soon as humanly possible? We moved out – we had no choice.

    And yes, both the landlord and the lettings agency got snotty over our deposit. We didn’t get much of it back.

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  33. I’ve had a few nightmare landlords/ladies. One refused to admit there was a problem with a gas fire until Transco came out and condemed the thing. Apparently the carbon monoxide levels were huge, we were lucky we hadn’t died. Landlord later admitted it was their fault and replaced the fire and surround. I then moved out. Another landlady was impossible to deal with. She’d ring me up to 50 times a day demanding rent that was already paid, withhold her own number, and refused to give me a contact number. She tried to illegally evict myself and my daughter and then promptly sold the house while we were still in it. We moved again. I have had some lovely landlords too. One in Hull was wonderful, lowered the rent for me, installed central heating, and gave me my bond back in full, he even delivered it to me himself. And one in Pontefract who helped me when I was suffering domestic abuse. He kept my new location secret when I left when my ex was taking over the tenancy. My current landlord is ok. My rent is low and I don’t hear from him at all unless rent’s late. He is very slow with repairs though. It took a month to fix the boiler and about 2 weeks to fix the taps in the bath. Not ideal with 2 small kids but it could be a lot worse.

  34. Pingback: Paul Routledge Boasts How Tenant Blacklist Could Be Used To Discriminate Against Disabled People | Mark Fisher - Personal Blog

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  36. I really hope the equality commission finds out about this website so they can bring discrimination proceedings and i hope the owner of this website has to compensate each and every individual named on the site whether or not they were named by the website owner.

  37. Over a year ago I moved out of a private rental property owing rent arrears. The property was rented directly from a private landlord there was no agency involved. As I lived in the property for 6 years I did have quiet a bit to do with the landlord and had regular communication with him. We got on for the majority of that period and my rent was always paid on time until I lost my job which put me in financial difficulty. following this the landlords behaviour changed pretty quickly, communication broke down, he started creating scenes of public humiliation, he knocked on neighbour’s doors to inform them that there was “a debtor” in his flat, using Facebook to contact my friends and family to inform them I owed rent, he would follow me into local grocers shops and tell them I owed him money etc.

    Shortly after I left the property I had communication from the landlord’s solicitor and offered to pay the arrears in instalments (the solicitor was threatening me with bankruptcy, even though I have no assets or money and he didn’t even have a court order). I offered to repay more than I could afford in order to clear the arrears but this offer of payment was rejected by the landlord and at that point he dismissed his solicitor and began chasing me himself.

    As a female, I knew that if I was to give the landlord a forwarding address for me he would never leave me alone and would continue his intimidation and harassment and for this reason have had to ‘live under the radar’ ever since. I cannot update my address with my bank or give my address out for normal purposes as I know for certain he will find me and harass me, my housemates and my neighbours. Although he is a professional man and can be charming he is also very intimidating and his behaviour towards me and his actions have gone far beyond anything that could be considered a legitimate debt collection process. None of his communications following the dismissal of his solicitor have had anything to do with negotiating a repayment schedule.

    To sum it up I feel very frightened. He has been aggressive and threatening in his demeanour with me in public places. However as he is clever he uses tactics such as public humiliation, harassment and stalking which are what has and is continuing to cause me great distress although I do know that my case is going to be a low sympathy case because of the fact that I owe him money.

    To give you some examples of the types of incidents I’ve had with him:

    There was an occasion when I was walking down the main high street and turned around to find him following me in his car, slowly driving along the curb. I thought the best thing to do would be to enter the nearest café in order to get away from him. He then pulled up his car and followed me into the café by which time I had fled to the toilets behind a set of doors. From this position I was able to hear him loudly telling the staff in the café that I was a ‘thief’ and went on to tell them about how I owed him money and other defaming personal things about me which were not fully true. The waiter, thinking he was doing the right thing, offered assistance to this landlord and for sometime I was stuck in the back of the café in and out of the disabled toilet. Eventually I saw an opportunity to flee out of the fire escape at the rear of the building which I did and was able to seek refuge in a nearby premises. From this vantage point I was able to see the waiter and the former landlord in and out of the café, up and down the main road, entering every other business premises on the street to ask if anyone had seen me. He then approached the premises I was in. By this time I had spoken with the manager to explain to him that I was being followed and he allowed me to hide in the toilets while he told the landlord that he could not go about matters in this manner, that it was not the right way to do things. The landlord was then asked to leave the premises and waited outside for a further half an hour at least before eventually leaving. All this time I was stuck in the toilet. the manager had to come and tell me when he had left.

    The following day I lodged a formal complaint about the waiter in the first café to the café’s Head Office and telephoned several of the premises on the street. Some were willing to tell me that the landlord had been in, given a physical description of me and asked if anyone had seen me. Also he left his contact details and offered money to staff if they would tip him off if I was to subsequently come in.

    Following this incident he contacted me by text and made some offensive personal remarks about my physical appearance and how it would look on CCTV. He implied to me that he had been given footage of CCTV at the rear of the first café and had seen my running. The café subsequently denied showing him any such footage. He also informed me that he had been into my old workplace and told everyone there that I owed him money. When I called them I was able to confirm that he had spoken with several staff members and also with the manager who had to tell him that it was none of their business, they could do nothing for him and that it was a private matter. He knew that following my job loss I had applied to university to retrain and told me he had contacted all the universities I had applied for informing them that I owed him money and had “stolen rent” from him thus jeopardising my application. I was subsequently rejected from all these universities. He knew which universities I had applied to because he had been opening my mail.

    I have evidence that he has actually since travelled all over the UK to all the universities to which I applied and spent time in the towns searching for me, visiting the relevant universities to see if he can run into me and to speak with staff, telling them about the rent arrears and other very damaging and largely untrue personal information about me. I also applied to a university in Italy because its free. Incredibly I recently came to know that he had travelled to Italy to the same city where I applied to university and visited the university there searching for me. The amount of money he has spent on these trips will far exceed the amount of money that I ever owed him and I fear that this has become a personal obsession for him and is not about legitimate debt collection.

    Prior to this I became aware that he had hired a private detective to put a surveillance on me and find out all my personal information. I knew that it was a private detective because I googled the phone numbers that he called me from and found it led to a firm of private investigators located near to where the landlord’s father lived.

    Since that time I have been living in fear and my movements and ability to go outside and walk around the streets freely have been seriously inhibited. I only take certain streets and am very vigilant always concerned that I am being followed. It has been like this for over a year now. I cannot go into many premises in the neighbourhood for fear of him either being there or people who work in the premises tipping him off that I am there.

    Yesterday I experienced yet another traumatic incident with him. I had to travel by bus to a location and the only bus stop going towards this locations is from a bus stop on the main road that I don’t normally go to and a vehicle pulled up in traffic adjacent to this stop. I did not recognise this vehicle but as it was very close I was able to clearly recognise the landlord in the driver’s seat and he saw me. He immediately pulled up the vehicle slightly beyond the stop. I did not know what he was going to do. A few seconds later the bus arrived, I got on it. He then pulled away in front of the bus but when the bus was stopped behind traffic lights he pulled into a side street to wait for the bus to pass and then started following it from behind. Every time the bus stopped at a stop he pulled up to wait so as he could continue following it. This continued until we reached the next suburb, some 20 minutes away. Other passengers on the bus to whom I spoke were aware of the vehicle and agreed with me that it was clear he was tailing the bus and one man offered to record him from the back window on his phone. I also talked with the driver but the driver wasn’t English and he was having difficulties understanding what I was trying to explain to him so wasn’t much help. At one point the bus passed through traffic lights but I noticed that the landlord had been stopped by a red traffic light and I took my opportunity to run from the bus at the next stop as the bus had gone around a slight bend and it was just out of his line of sight from where he was stuck at the traffic lights. I ran as fast as I could behind a business premises near the bins and waited there for over an hour before daring to come out. Eventually I came out and had to telephone a taxi which I could not afford because I was so scared that he was either waiting for me on the main road or somewhere nearby.

    I am scared that because I owe this man money that I have no rights to prevent him continuing this behaviour. I know beyond any doubt that if this man was to obtain a residential address for me he would not operate within the law. He would hound me and never leave me alone yet all the while not accept any offers of repayment that I can afford. I am convinced that his behaviour towards me is not about a legitimate debt collection. He refuses to hand the debt over to debt collection agencies. I fear that this has become a personal obsession for him and I feel that his aims are to cause me as much fear and distress as possible.

    This landlord’s wife is a solicitor and he himself used to be a solicitor and he is from an influential community. I do not know if the police will take any meaningful action or even take me seriously. I also worry that they could be obliged to give him an address for me if I make a report. This situation is affecting my mental and physical health and restricting my ability to move around freely etc.

  38. Trust me if you were a “good and honest” landlord, then you are grateful for sites that blacklist tenants. The law in all cases is biased towards the tenant, with the landlord reduced to being the one forking out after following the law to the letter and still being well out of pocket because a tenant just “refuses” to pay. The reason people leave such bad reviews of tenants is because the landlord has no other redress and believe me when you have been on the receiving end of a tenant dispute, it leaves you with feelings you never dreamed possible. I am that landlord, I am accredited with the council for good housing practice and gave a tenant a lovely house and what I thought would be a great start in life for the family. WRONG. Pure scum. I could write far worse, but suffice to say, if me putting their names on a blacklist to one, prevent them form getting decent housing and two, make their lives hell after they made ours hell…… So be it. I call it justice, you call it what you want

  39. I rent out a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom flat in London, I have not raised the rent in 8 years. I consider myself a good landlord. I always carry out repairs in a short time mainly same day or next day, everything has sailed along for 7 years with no problem I never made any visits unless the tenant called me with a problem. It was a new build flat so in good condition and well insulated. The social paid the rent and mostly it was on time until last may. My tenant found a job and was told by the council to pay £100 a month towards her rent, that’s where my problems started; she has not made one payment. I had earlier decided that on her leaving I would sell this flat but would wait until her son finished primary school so their wouldn’t be too much upheaval. But the lack of her paying the full rent bought my decision forward
    I gave her legal notice to vacate with double the notice required under section 21, she failed to vacate so it was off for a court order £280. She has ignored the court order because the council has told her to break the law stay there and wait for the bailiffs or she will not be re housed? So now the bailiffs with throw her out shortly I will take possession and sell my property. Am I a bad landlord because I expected the rent in full? The flat was already renting at £200 lower than any other flat in the block because I hadn’t put it upin8 years, She now has a CCJ for non payment of my court cost and owes over £1000 in unpaid rent. Do you think I am reasonable to expect my money in full? She is working and can well afford it. My own personal belief is that after spending so long living on the state and a little cash in hand job; she now is reluctant to pay her way in the world. I think it reasonable she should have a CCJ with an attachment of earnings, and be on a warning list (Blacklist) to future prospective landlords In my mind the only person who has put her there is herself by not paying her rent in full which is of course breaking her tenancy agreement, so how can she be surprised. She has already moved out but leaves one box there to keep her tenancy until the bailiffs arrive to give me back my flat. The main reason for this I have found out is that other bailiffs and money collectors would like to get access to her goods and chattels to pay other debts she has defaulted on. Personally I will take pleasure in forwarding on her new address to these people.
    So I can personally see why landlords are reluctant to rent to benefit claimants, it is not just the tenant but also the councils attitude when it comes to an end and they encourage the tenant to ignore court orders etc and make it as difficult as possible to gain possession.

  40. Michele Faulkner

    Blacklisting must be going on throughout the UK. My husband and I are going through the most horrendous time trying to find a property after being evicted from our property which I must add we had been living in for 27 years.The landlord decided to get the property back as my husband decided to go self employed having worked for them for 30 years.We also had to pay court costs for the eviction which didn’t even go to court.We secured a property though had to wait 10 weeks hearing excuse after excuse for the delay then finally to be told we can’t have it because we were too inquisitive! No letting agent will touch us now.We were good tenants and paid our rent every month.The landlord has decided to live in our property to save himself 40% tax when he sells after lying to us that he wants market rent for it.Letting agents treat tenants like second class citizens and the law needs to be changed regarding the extortionate fees you have to pay and rent which should be capped.Im disgusted by the whole housing system

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