A landmark case was brought to the Supreme Court just recently when a council tenant had rent arrears of £3,500 but under the new European human rights ruling couldn’t be evicted. A single mother from Hounslow with four children in her care and raking in an impressive £15,000 in benefits was granted permission to stay in her council house because evicting her and her family would be a breach of her human rights because she would be made homeless.
Legal experts have said that they find this has become a new trend for council tenants, by saying it would breach their human rights the courts are powerless to pass any hard sentence. Neighbours from hell and those that fall behind in their rent are regularly looking for loopholes that mean they do not get evicted so easily.
Hounslow council have had to accept defeat but the tenant has agreed to pay back her £3,500 rent arrears at a rate of £5 a week or contribute more if she can. Seems like a joke really and all the other council tenants out there who find out about this will no doubt try to do the same. It’s shocking that the council and courts have no power over this matter so scroungers can continue to try their luck.
I don’t see why a homeowner with mortgage arrears couldn’t do the same thing; I somehow don’t see how they could get away with it? Others have also seen this ruling as a joke that could pave the way for even more benefit fraud that could make the economy worse. As this case was dragged through the courts in 2007 the money it has cost taxpayers to date is a whopping £200,000! Surely they could have resolved the case without the need to involve so many costly lawyers and no doubt the woman in question got legal aid and did not have to pay a penny for legal advice.
The Government really need to do something about this as they promise to crack down on benefits, if council tenant is genuinely struggling then they should be offered help but if they can afford to pay but choose not to their benefits should be reduced until the full amount is paid for in full with interest!