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It is not only the private sector where you can find a bad landlord. A housing charity, which was branded the ‘UK’s most prosecuted landlord’ in a list compiled by The Guardian in 2017 has now closed down.
Bristol-based charity, Alternative Housing, was opened to help the disadvantaged in the Bristol area with housing.
However, in May 2017, The Guardian reported that Alternative housing had been convicted of housing offences no fewer than six times over the two years prior to publication, for allowing the people it was trying to help, including those in need due to their age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage, to live in properties with issues such as overflowing sewage and other unacceptable problems.
It was reported that they had been fined a total of over £40,000 during that period.
Following the publication of the Guardian list, the Charity Commission opened an inquiry into Alternative Housing in July 2017 concerning the numerous breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006. A subsequent appeal against them was dismissed.
The inquiry was set up in order to examine the extent to which there was misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of Alternative Housing; the extent to which there was a significant breach of trust or non-compliance with charity law; and the extent to which there was a significant risk to charity property and/or beneficiaries.
During the inquiry that is still continuing, it was found that Alternative Housing has now ceased to operate and has subsequently been removed from the Charity Commission register.
While the inquiry is still ongoing the Charity Commission is unable to comment further about the particular case.
It seems that this case goes to prove that it is not just the private rental sector that contains ‘rogue’ landlords, but even a sector designed to help the least advantaged can be guilty.