Given the financial issues that landlords can experience when they rent their property out to a nightmare tenant, especially those that allow rent arrears to mount, more needs to be done to protect buy-to-let landlords, according to a leading journalist.
Writing for The Spectator, Emma Lunn, former editor of Landlord Today, calls for ‘a register of rogue tenants’ in the private rented sector to be introduced and made publically available.
She points out that while rogue landlords face various fines and penalties, tenants are seemingly free to “fleece one landlord after another”, mainly because landlords whose tenants do a “moonlit flit” owing them money have few rights, due to the fact that failure to pay rent is not considered a crime but a ‘civil matter’.
This means landlords have to take their ex-tenant to the Small Claims Court to try and get the money owed to them. Even if they succeed in getting a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against the tenant, “there’s still no guarantee they’ll pay up”.
Lunn added: “As is stands, a rogue tenant can move from one property to another leaving a trail of rent arrears and unpaid bills in their wake. Tenant references are fairly easy to fake while credit checks don’t show if a tenant has paid their rent on time.
“If the government is keen on protecting tenants from rogue landlords, why not protect landlords from bad renters too?”