Tenants squander rent on drink and drugs - landlord

HOUSING allowances are still being unfairly paid by the council direct to tenants who are squandering them on drink and drugs – according to a Weston landlord.

Paul Routledge, who owns 100 properties in Weston and is the founder of the Landlord Referencing Services database, says many tenants are using their rent money to support their habitual lifestyles rather than pay for the roof over their heads.

Mr Routledge, who was at the forefront of a protest to get the law changed so that landlords can be paid directly, has said that the Government has relaxed legislation for the better.

He adds that he is amazed that the unitary authority continues to hand over the cash to tenants who are vulnerable through alcohol, drugs or debt.

Mr Routledge says last month he lost more than �5,000 because tenants spent the money given to them for their housing.

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But North Somerset Council says although there have been changes to the scheme it will not be an automatic decision to pay landlord directly.

It says there is a safeguard in place for tenants who may not be able to look after their own financial matters, so if the landlord contacts officers they may be able to reach an arrangement with the tenants.

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Mr Routledge, of Cadogan House Investment Properties Ltd in St Margarets Terrace, Weston, said: “It is a total and utter disgrace that the hard working taxpaying public is having to cut back, yet this council continues to pay tenants more than �100 in cash each week to do with what they like rather than pay their landlords for their accommodation.

“With the new coalition Government relaxing the law there is no excuse.”

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