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Bad landlords and good housing lawyers on the TV


Panorama on BBC1 this evening (link to iPlayer, good for the next few days) was about notably bad examples of private landlords providing ‘housing’ for benefit claimants. Tame Estates in the North West and some others, who frankly all looked like a mass disrepair claim waiting to happen, also imposed high charges for missed rent payments, letters or phone calls. And the talking head of sanity and housing law was Paul Ridge of Bindmans, a friend of the blog. Good job, Paul.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Cait

    I got fed up watching it as it just seemed so naive ‘look at this terrible disrepair’ without saying ‘but heh he’s a single man with no rehousing rights, and an AST so no security of tenure’ Let’s see how quickly he is evicted if he takes disrepair action.

    and it kept banging on about ‘our public money is paying for this’ …. so I just felt like it was not actually going to explore the limited rights private tenants have at all… just more grist to the ‘lets cut HB’ shouters.

    So DID anyone raise the lack of security of tenure, lack of social housing priority, fact that people on housing benefit have no power to be picky/enforce their rights etc?
    (and it’s newcastle – so social housing issues different to those in London …. there *is* still social housing in the north)


    • NL


      I agree with all you say. Mind you, it only had 30 mins. It was also notable just how many of those tenants interviewed had since been evicted…

      The HB point was badly handled – thoroughly confused – so we had Con Dem man justifying the cuts on the basis that such landlords shouldn’t receive so much in HB, then someone making the ‘race to the bottom’ point in response, but no clear look at the issue and effects. Again, that would be a whole other program.

      It was, at least, not the kind of ‘tenants from hell’/scroungers in mansions rubbish that TV and some press have been serving up lately.

    • M

      Calling the programme Panorama (‘a comprehensive presentation’) is more than a bit of a misnomer since its reduction to 30 minutes.

      Consequently, it was the first time in years I bothered to watch it. Must agree, the failure to mention the significance of reduction of security of tenure was shocking. Journalists are so very bad at doing housing stories. Perhaps they’ve sacked the researchers to pay for all the compliance managers.


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