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In the aftermath of the riots in London, and other parts of the country, we posed a question here on the Upad blog: "should rioters lose their council homes?" We were overwhelmed with dozens of comments and the response was unambiguous. The vast majority answered: “Yes!”

Jane spoke for many when she answered, “Of course they should! There are plenty of law abiding citizens on waiting lists for property, through no fault of their own.”

Tamara Hurwood was more strident with her comment: “What other country gives houses away to people perfectly capable of work but won't because they are just bone idle? Or girls who grow up with their only goal in life to own a council house with god knows how many kids which all grow up with the same aspirations. I agree with making them homeless. Action speak louder than words!”

Kathy was more circumspect, but did suggest stiff community based sanctions for convicted rioters: “I was horrified at what some of these criminals did, but wonder if putting them out on the streets will do the rest of us any favours. A homeless criminal is surely more likely to commit further crime? On the other hand, it makes me very angry to think that the rest of us are paying for these idiots. What about giving them something useful to do like cleaning the sewers?” John was also concerned by the ramifications of evicting council tenants: “The rioters should be punished, but not by making their entire family homeless.”

But private landlords wondered whether they were expected to pick up the pieces and rehome the rioters evicted from council homes. And if private landlords were to rehome such people, several asked whether the government would help sweeten the offer.

Pamela Johnston wrote that it's “time for more support for Private Landlords. More private provision is expected yet these statements are a giveaway as to how much respect there is for Private Landlords."

Paul Barrett added to the voices calling for a quid pro quo from the government and local authorities: "We as private landlords are and should be equal to social housing. And yet as she (Pamela) highlights it seems we are supposed to take these dregs who could potentially cause us to suffer receivership; repossession and ultimately bankruptcy. I don't think so. There are more than enough private tenants out there not to concern ourselves with LHA claimants and ALL the problems they bring. One way the government would be able to encourage private landlords to take on these LHA tenants is to offer a FAST TRACK method of recovering one's property."

What do you think? Are you a private landlord? Would you rehome an evicted rioter?

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By Dan
26 Aug 2011

Categories: Housing Benefit, Property Rentals

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