NLA and ARLA condemn tenant-humiliation practices
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by Lin Freestone
The National Landlords’ Association (NLA) has joined forces with the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) to condemn any practices which ridicule and humiliate tenants.
The two associations, which represent more than 23,500 landlords and letting agents, have criticised the action of some landlords who have authorised the erection of rent dodger signs on the properties of defaulting tenants.
The chairman of the NLA has said that, although it is very frustrating for landlords if tenants fail to pay their rent, there are legal channels available for landlords to gain possession if absolutely necessary.
The law is on the side of landlords in this situation but the courts can be slow to deliver, with delays of six months not uncommon. Despite these frustrations, the NLA strongly advises landlords against supporting this kind of behaviour. It is fundamentally a flawed idea.
The NLA appreciates that the system does not always provide easy channels for landlords to take action and that, in leaner economic times, landlords are as stretched as everyone else. Tenants have a responsibility to keep up with their payments.
Ian Potter, head of operations for ARLA, supports this view. He has commented that it is almost certainly an illegal activity, contravening data protection and planning laws.
He has questioned what the agent and landlord expect to achieve. How do they think they will appear to the majority of people in the street? He said that taking the law into their own hands is dangerous in many more ways than one.
In the opinion of ARLA, any letting agent who encourages landlords to take this sort of action should be avoided. This kind of behaviour is severely detrimental to communities and the relationship between letting agents, landlords and tenants.
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