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Government could snoop on Landlords’ bank accounts - claim

A Labour member of the House of Lords is warning that a new law could allow landlords’ bank accounts to be monitored by the Department of Work and Pensions.

The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, now being debated in the House of Lords, will give the DWP powers to check bank accounts of those claiming benefits. 

Landlords with tenants’ rent paid directly from the DWP will be monitored as "connected accounts”  as part of a campaign which the government claims will save £600m over the next five years by reducing benefit overpayments and fraudulent claims.

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Lord Sikka says: “Why would a landlord want to receive money from housing benefits directly when it will mean that all of his bank accounts and linked accounts will be looked at? He will simply say no. I have received lots of emails and letters and met individuals who are very concerned that they will be made homeless because their landlords will not want their bank accounts to be put under surveillance.”

One Conservative peer - Lord Kammal - is warning that up to 40% of all bank accounts could in theory be connected in one way or another to the receipt of benefits of some kind and he told the House that: “Putting additional onerous obligations on banks may make them decide that it is too difficult to provide accounts to those in receipt of benefits.”

A letter signed by 20 MPs and Lords and sent to the government last month warns that the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill would require banks to "sift through tens of millions of bank accounts to identify people in the welfare system around 40% of the population" and it warns that: Searching for such signals without reasonable grounds for suspicion would reverse the well-established presumption of innocence."

The letter says: "We note the tragic events of the [Post Office] Horizon scandal in which innocent people suffered wrongful prosecutions, financial ruin and reputational damage following data used from faulty software in algorithmic systems. We cannot condone powers that risk replicating this disaster on a much broader scale with vulnerable people, many of whom live on the poverty line.”

Viscount Younger, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the DWP, defended the proposed legislation and told the Lords: ”In 2022-23, the DWP paid out more than £230 billion in benefits and payments to people across Great Britain … This figure is forecast to rise to nearly £300 billion by 2024-25, in quite short order, so this is a really serious issue to address. However, more than £8 billion has been overpaid in each of the past three years because of deliberate fraud against the state or because genuine errors have been made.”

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  • George Dawes

    Id like to snoop on mps accounts especially after the last few years , would explain a lot

    Ian Deaugustine

    MPS, real thieves, that is what they are

     
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    So this is why they want landlords to accept benefit tenants!

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    We might be able to figure out if we spent £8’000.00, it’s a saving of £3’200.00 ?, on the other if I hadn’t spent that £8’000.00 but paid the £3’200.00 tax on it I would still have £4’800.00 left, I better make a cup of tea I won’t get back to sleep now.

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    Wow, you were up ⏰ late, like me 🥵 coughing.

     
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    Big brother is watching you

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    George they can’t snoop on mps accounts …. They are mainly off shore aren’t they? They would be better closing the loop holes that Amazon, Starbucks,Apple,EBay, etc etc use to pay little or no tax in this country …. That’s why I drink coffee in Costa ( who pay their tax)

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    I love Amazon because they provide a superior service to most companies online. I also use Apple because they provide the best quality laptops and phones. I hate people who follow politics of envy. People who don’t understand how the world works and yet comment on things they don’t understand. Such people should visit rows of houses in parts of this country where people are living on benefits for generations. Ask yourself why and try and figure out the reason. Then talk to most northerners in this country and they will tell you why?

     
    Richard LeFrak

    Fully agreed Jan.

    Pat, little derogatory towards the good folk up North, for what its worth I do not think Jan was displaying anything like envy. I agree Amazon, Starbuck and all should pay tax on their turnover like we as landlords now have to. Why should they have tax breaks yet the man on the high street is at a distinct disadvantage because of business rates, corporation tax and everything else.

    Not envious just a level playing field.

     
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    Agree with both Jan and Pat in part.
    A business will get away with what they can in any expense, including tax. Our laws and implementation of said laws should present a fair playing field. It simply does not and that is the problem, not the companies.
    Look at Section 24, Landlord's are the only one's not able to offset the interest on their loan.
    The Tories should be ashamed at where they have brought us and i do not think Labour will be any better, certainly not on past performance.
    This is still a great country, it's being let down massively by our leaders.

     
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    I think my point is quite simple.
    Companies invest billions on infrastructure and other expenses to run a business like Amazon. The whole country benefits from it, yet the people who spent nothing want to complain about their corporation tax rates. Some countries offer good corporation tax rate to entice large companies to invest in their countries.
    The comparison to the north is a demonstration of what happens when an industry is killed off and the wider damage it does to communities. Liverpool without the shipping industry and other areas without mining or clothing and so on. So people need to stop crying about large corporations paying little tax and understand the benefit of such organisations in providing employment, and a number of other business that supply the needs of such business and the people working there.
    As a landlord, you should understand what you put into your business, who the hell is a tenant to complain about your tax affairs?
    As for taxing landlords, this is a common practice of HMRC. The IT independent consultants had to form LTD companies to trade with companies. Then IR35 was brought in to force such people pay a salary, then pay employer and employee taxes and NI.
    They are doing a similar thing for landlords now. It is a way of removing such people legally.

     
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    • A S
    • 03 May 2024 11:59 AM

    Pat - you are so right. Large international corporate landlord company run by an American billionaire will be so much better for the country than the average Mom and Pop British landlord the likes of who reads this forum. After all, that 6th Malibu beachfront property won't pay for itself!

    How you think a billionaire owned foreign corporation should be given tax breaks at our expense is mind boggling!!!

     
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    Sorry AS. Politics of envy. You have zero idea about large business like Amazon. If we all think like you then tenant should have equal rights as the landlord. They should get 50% of any gains ??? What planet are you living in? We put in our hard earned money and we will benefit from it. If large corporations are using tax laws that allow them to pay less tax, there has to be a very good reason for it. Some people just want them to pay equivalent tax, then I ask these people to invest equivalent amounts of money and create jobs etc.

     
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    • A S
    • 03 May 2024 12:46 PM

    Pat - so not wanting a foreign billionaire to buy another mansion = sharing my profits with a tenant. Right you are.

     
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    • Joe
    • 03 May 2024 07:48 AM

    Typical Graham scaremongering

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    Thank you Joe. I am not a fan of reading rubbish like this. This site continually stirs up already upset and annoyed landlords. They also provide some newsworthy stuff - it will be a newsflash item.
    On the other hand, it is also good to vent our frustrations but don’t need to add to it with throw away comments used as news.

     
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    Another good reason to say NO DSS

    Richard LeFrak

    Stay away from them but who will house them? Citra? doubt it

     
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    To be totally honest, I don’t care 🤷‍♂️ There is so much fraud and thievery in the system, that anyone receiving tax payers cash SHOULD be subject to monitoring 📺

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    I'd agree. They are welcome to look at my bank account, they won't find anything of interest other than that it's not worthwhile to be a landlord just now!!

     
  • Nic  Kaz

    Articles like this only get credence because those in power have shown they can’t be trusted to respect laws, contracts or privacy when it comes to landlords. Somehow we are fair game.
    If payments for accommodation are being made directly, then the benefits office track how much is being paid, to whom, for what - so any investigation can be done at source by their own payment office checking their own payment trail!

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    Nice, benefits office staff pay out money to claimants but forget about them. Records not kept properly, they get lost within 6 years. Then they need staff to work on them. They would rather have another lot of staff to just make enquiries to LLs or banks to provide this ready information. So extra staff cost at dwp at tax payers money, more work for banks and landlords. When you think they have run out of ideas, they think of further stupid notions.

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    What's not mentioned is that pensions are now classed as benefits ( which makes me angry because it's been paid for by National Insurance contributions). Presumably all those in receipt of a pension will be liable to account monitoring. As a 68 Yr old landlord they have me on both fronts!

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    I've pre paid my state pension paying tax and NI since starting work in 1968, now I'm getting some of my own money back

     
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    1967 for me, Andrew and I am still working part-time and paying tax. 😠

     
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    Presumably if you have a managing agent it would be their accounts that would have to be monitored.

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    Reason 37,546,794,456 not to have Tenants on Benefits.

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    Gosh Pat, you are on fire Shipping gone in Liverpool and the 7 miles of Docks but you can still get the ferry out of it. I worked under the Mersey in both tunnels but not relevant I know still be better down there than being a landlord.
    This Draconian Government with there outrageous licensing schemes.
    Application for license £1600.00 and agree to a £5k penalty on a whim. License for 5 years but they’ll sit on application for a year and deduct it from the 5 years before you get it, if you complain might only give you 2 year. They can vary or revoke at anytime or fine you what they like we have no rights whatsoever, this is not the case for the big Companies.

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    Pat gan, Murican firms don't pay corporation tax and are often monopolies. Biden threatened Britain when they were going to enforce tax laws etc, Further Biden has handed billions out to the main protagonists !

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