Rent Dodger Lives Here: A Landlord Resorted to Public Shaming to Oust Rent Dodger

When landlord Elaine Stenson couldn't get her tenants to pay their rent for months and ignored legal notices to vacate the premises, she decided on a very old (medieval, actually) technique: public shaming.

And while the technique worked, it sparked an outrage by some:

A letting agency in Dundee is taking radical measures to name and shame tenants who are running up rent arrears. Lease2Keys are installing “for sale”-style signs outside properties with "Rent Dodger Lives Here", emblazoned on them. [...]

Gordon MacRae of the homeless charity Shelter is outraged by the letting agents’ actions. He said: “We thought tarring and feathering went out with the middle ages. People who find themselves in rent arrears usually have multiple reasons for being in debt.

Link - via Arbroath

Do you think it's right to publicly embarrass a rent dodger or a deadbeat?


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The campaign is about mis-appropation of taxpayers money. The tenant gets paid their rent directly then refuses to pay the landlord, actuyally a case for criminal law. The goverment can not expect any other result as they have not given the tenant the training, tools and support to budget correctly. Local councils have been left holding the can for this policy which shows no empathy to this section of the community. Tenants do not want or need the stress of handling large sums of money expecially as the cost of living has risen steeply.
George Stenson - Lease2Keys
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I completely agree with some of the above commenters: let the shame be public.
I have been wanting to re-intorduce the stocks for some time now.
With most jails at or above capacity these days, why not let lesser offenders have the choice between a short jail time or public shaming?
Drunk driving or petty theft? One week in prison, or 5 weekends standing in a public square, with full name and offense on a poster around your neck.
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In addition to shame, there's the aspect of having a widespread reputation as a deadbeat to consider. No reasonable person would extend credit to a person known as a long-term rent dodger. If a person falls suddenly on hard times, it may be possible to work out some kind of arrangement with the landlord to immediately and temporarily reduce rent, making it more likely that they can sustain their residence while looking for a new job or working at a lower pay. Doing this depends on having good relations with the landlord, of course. A person who is a reliable and pleasant tenant may be extended mercies that an erratic and troublesome tenant could never ask for.

Of course, an anonymous, uncaring or impersonal landlord will simply have the police come and haul you off for trespassing. But even a management agency is made up of people, and people can be persuaded that a tenant with a good history may be worth more than the uncertainty of a new tenant at full rent.
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