Southwark Council publishes your tenancy status on-line

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Thursday 21 January 2016 12.07am
Here's one:
Southwark Council has just published the tenancy status of every address in the borough on a searchable website.
It means employers, lovers, school chums, (and criminals) can look up your address and see if you're a council tenant or leaseholder.
Maybe it's a good thing.

Now, I really don't mind if people know I'm a council tenant, but if I had been asked, I'd have said:
'No thanks, I'd rather not have my tenancy details published on the world wide web.'


Have a go:
https://www.ilatch.co.uk/
Thursday 21 January 2016 9.56am
It is not a good thing. Southwark has a lackadaisical approach to data protection and its principles. Whilst some may argue that the data on the website are in the public domain in any event - and to an extent that is true (HMLR etc) - it is the searchable information that is made available by Southwark that is wrong here.
Thursday 21 January 2016 10.27am
Disgusting, mind you they flog off electoral registers, land registry make a charge to discover who owns a property. I cannot believe it, unless thinking about it it stops tenants renting out pretending they own the property? For quadruple rent?
Thursday 21 January 2016 1.18pm
That's exactly the reason for it Jan, and it's a good thing. It makes it much more difficult to illegally sublet council properties. If it wasn't easily searchable then it wouldn't be very effective.
Thursday 21 January 2016 1.38pm
sjac wrote:
...and it's a good thing...

It's not. Any prospective tenant has always been able to conduct a search at HM Land Registry to establish the bona fides of the purported owner. That is a sensible precaution for any prospective tenant or agent to undertake. Indeed an agent will do so before taking a property on. "Office copies" can be had from the Land Registry for a few quid and all you need to supply is the address or title number.

The danger with this system is that, like all other systems, it won't be used solely for the purpose you outline. It will be used by businesses, some potentially scrupulous, to identify the demographics of a particular road/estate and to target occupants either because they are or are not tenants.
ldw
Thursday 21 January 2016 11.17pm
it does not I just tried and got message: The current information on the system indicates that this property is not privately owned and should not be advertised or let.
No name given
Thursday 21 January 2016 11.23pm
ldw wrote:
it does not I just tried and got message: The current information on the system indicates that this property is not privately owned and should not be advertised or let.
No name given

The clear inference from the message being that yours is a socially rented property.

It doesn't include housing association properties in Southwark - a bit of a lacuna there.
Friday 22 January 2016 1.53pm
Yes, in ldw's example that is clearly a socially rented property, therefore it should not be advertised or let. That's the point. It's a quick, easy, and streamlined search that gives away little personal info (unlike the land registry search that you espouse). It also acts as a deterrent to those who may flout the law by subletting council housing because it makes it easier and quicker to identify potential violators. I struggle to see a disadvantage.

I'm not sure who these businesses are that want to "target occupants either because they are or are not tenants", or what advantage it would give them to have that info anyway (and, as you have stated, it's already available if they really wanted it). Maybe for estate agents or mortgage brokers if they want to send advertising to leaseholders? Probably easier to just send to everyone in the block than to have someone conduct a search for each property.
Friday 22 January 2016 3.41pm
sjac wrote:
Yes, in ldw's example that is clearly a socially rented property, therefore it should not be advertised or let. That's the point. It's a quick, easy, and streamlined search that gives away little personal info (unlike the land registry search that you espouse).

If you are signing up to give someone 1,000+ a month for rent then as a very minimum you want to know their name, address for service and their bona fides. I would venture to suggest that the only way of satisfying oneself in these situations is to conduct an HMLR search. This stupid site does not say definitively what the ownership position is. All that has been done is Southwark has made a quick buck by flogging tenants' details.

sjac wrote:
I'm not sure who these businesses are that want to "target occupants either because they are or are not tenants", or what advantage it would give them to have that info anyway (and, as you have stated, it's already available if they really wanted it). Maybe for estate agents or mortgage brokers if they want to send advertising to leaseholders? Probably easier to just send to everyone in the block than to have someone conduct a search for each property.

You're talking the likes of expensive doorstep lenders targeting potential customers (or indeed any other business targeting a particular demographic of customer). Yes, it might be easier to send everyone in a block a letter if an HMLR search was needed to establish ownership, but not with this new system.
Saturday 23 January 2016 10.34pm
Gavin Smith wrote:
If you are signing up to give someone 1,000+ a month for rent then as a very minimum you want to know their name, address for service and their bona fides.

This is particularly important since one stands to lose the deposit they paid to the so-called landlord if the council discovers the illegal sub-let, evicts him and reclaims the property.

Sure: the system is open to abuse, but then again so is the HMLR search.
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