Friday, 24 October 2014

Landlords hit back at Shelter research

An umbrella body for private landlords has hit back at homelessness charity Shelter’s research which said children’s lives are harmed by growing up in rented homes.

Richard Jones, policy director at the Residential Landlords Association’s, accused Shelter of ‘scaremongering’.

He said the charity was playing a ‘dangerous game by frightening off investors from increasing the supply of much-needed private rented housing’.

Shelter’s research, released today, based on a Yougov survey carried out in November last year of 4,327 adults in England living in the private rented sector, found 44 per cent of the respondents said their child would have a better childhood if they had a more stable home.

But the RLA denied landlords were to blame for short tenancies. It said agreements were normally ended by tenants, with only 9 per cent ended by landlords, usually as a result of tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

‘Contrary to popular myth, most landlords would prefer to keep tenants rather than being left with an empty property,’ it said.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said the findings of its report Growing up renting proved ‘that today’s volatile rental market is simply not fit for purpose’.

But Mr Jones hit back saying: ‘While we agree that a small minority of landlords ruin the lives of tenants and should be banned from renting property, the reality is that the majority of landlords in the country provide a good service.’

The RLA, which represents nearly 17,000 private sector residential landlords in England and Wales, pointed to government figures in the English Housing Survey which showed the mean social rent went up more than private rents between 2008/09 and 2011/12.

Mean weekly rents in the social rented sector went up from £71 to £83 from 2008/09 to 2011/ 12 – an increase of 16.9 per cent. The comparable figures for the private rented sector were £153 to £164 – an increase of 7.18 per cent.

Readers' comments (14)

  • I have this image of Shelter policy staff like the cartoon character Dick Dastardly. They come to work every day, thinking up ways of landlord bashing... (or thinking up ever more perverse ways landlords may have screwed tenants).

    The policy staff at Shelter should break away and set up their own charity called 'landlord bashers'.

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  • BTW it is the first time I have seen any of the landlords organisation challenge Shelter's claims. Usually they are dignified and don't comment.

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  • Chris

    Wow 'comparable' private rents went from being £82 higher than social rents to being only £81 higher - however do the private landlords manage to make ends meet!

    [note - I recognise that most of the additional cost of private renting is to fund the financing costs associated with the more inefficient model of housing.]

    [note 2 - social housing rents ceased to be subsidised some time ago, other than via housing benefit, exactly the same as private renting, except less costly to the tax payer.]

    [note 3 - any childcare expert will be able to tell you that the most important element of a positive childhood is stability, so this Shelter research findings discover nothing new.]

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  • Iron Fist

    The PRS has the worst conditions of any sector, in terms of security of tenure and the physical condition of the properties themselves. I don't pretend there aren't exceptions Concerned Landlord; I'm sure there are some people with children in the PRS who have enjoyed a long and safe stay in PR tenancies. However, you have to look at sector as a whole across the country and once this is done, you have to question how, in its current form, it contributes positively to the lives of the children who live in it.

    BTW, the sector's lack of response to other Shelter claims could also be taken as having no defence and/or being condemned by its own silence.

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  • I just have one question of the RLA. What size minority are the so-called 'rogue' landlords? No one has been able to answer that yet.

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  • I don't see what the PRS have got to whine about, they are the most
    taxpayer subsidise sector of our economy via housing benefit and are
    laughing all the way to the bank.Let's see them moan when their inflated
    rents are capped and housing inspectors start taking away the licenses
    they will have to have for fit and proper housing standards?

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  • BlokeWithAConscience

    Private landlords exist for one thing .... profit and as much as possible. Buying to rent prevents first time buyers getting a home. Sky high private rents mean increased housing benefit for the UK, time for rent controls to stop the exploitation of the chronic housing situation. Landlords providing a good service? More like landlords maximising profits, this must be stopped by legislation. Well done Shelter for raising the issue of the damage caused to family life by short-term tenancies and the lack of security for tenants.

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  • There are many reasons why Shelter comments are propaganda.

    Firstly, most families moves because they are entitled to bigger homes. This can be for many reason e.g. new child, children over age of 10 entitled to own bedroom, school catchment, change of area etc..

    It seems, Shelter would prefer kids to grow up in social housing such as high rise tower blocks, join the local gang and end up in trouble.

    The Private Rented Sector is a chance to escape all this and to get a house with a garden. To live among ordinary folks.

    "Let's see them moan when their inflated rents are capped and housing inspectors start taking away the licenses they will have to have for fit and proper housing standards?"

    If you want rents cap, then it is only fair the government to cap the wages of plumbers, carpenters, builders, roofers, electricians, cleaners etc...?. In fact, stop the price of raw materials going up e.g. copper pipes, petrol etc...

    Who is going to pay for the wages of these housing inspectors?.

    When they introduced HMO licenses, the price a room shot up from £45 per week to £80 per week.

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  • Chris "Wow 'comparable' private rents went from being £82 higher than social rents to being only £81 higher - however do the private landlords manage to make ends meet!"

    Housing Associations received subsidy of £80,000 per property. Council homes were built in the 1960s and woudl have cost £500.

    Private Landlord have received no subsidy what so ever.

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  • Well my landlord bpha,wants locking up two threatening letters manager
    And two staff housing,officer not seen for 5 years and one more
    Think on this BPHA was sent complaint recorde next day signed for,£5.90
    Never hear anything sent letter to mike biles housing,total silence gave up in end. 6 chronic illnesses ,medication 700 tablets.
    To fisnish older people abused by service providers we know ill treatment

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