Posted by: Roger Southam19 April 2012
Can’t pay? Apparently, there’s no need to!
The Supreme Court recently ruled against the Hounslow Council and its attempt to evict a tenant for rent arrears. The court found the council fell foul of the European Convention of Human Rights’ Article 8, which is to respect for someone’s home, and to my mind this has left a barn door open for challenges to the private rented sector and opportunities for miscreant renters.
Sometimes a decision arises that leaves one thinking how and why? How is society funding, presumably through legal aid, for those who don’t want to play their part and abide by basic terms of a contract. If these types of individuals do pay their legal fees, why don’t they just pay the rent arrears, or indeed, the rent on time?
One can look around a lot of areas and think how did these positions arise? Surely nothing is more simple than someone signing up to rent a property and, if they don’t meet the basic term of actually paying the rent, surely the landlord should be able to protect their own investment, property and livelihood. This applies to councils and social landlords as well as private rented sector.
What does it take to restore balance from the quirks of decisions that ride rough shod over the natural justice and what most would see as common sense.
Hopefully, somewhere down the line another case will restore the natural balance and justice but it will take either a lot more legal aid and a council or private landlord incurring huge legal fees to achieve it.
Surely the Government should step in to clear up these anomalies and abuses of what the Human Rights conventions were intended for.