Landlords attack scaremongering Shelter campaign

Written by RLA

The Residential Landlords’ Association is today attacking the homeless charity, Shelter, for launching a scaremongering campaign…

The Residential Landlords’ Association is today attacking the homeless charity, Shelter, for launching a scaremongering campaign.

The charity’s “Growing Up Renting” campaign argues that families with children are bearing the brunt of insecure tenancies, high rents, and constant moves that it asserts are standard in today’s market.

In dismissing this allegation, the RLA says that the reality is that nearly all tenancies are ended by tenants. Just 9% are ended by landlords, usually as a result of tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour. It demonstrates that contrary to popular myth, most landlords would prefer to keep tenants rather than being left with an empty property.

On rent levels, figures in the English Housing Survey for 2011-12 show that over the 3 years between 2008/2009 and 2011/12, average rents in the private rented sector increased by an average of just 2.4% per year, less than half the rate of 5.6% in the social sector over the same period.

The Housing Survey also notes that tenants who have remained in their property for ten years or more face much lower rents, on average £123 a week compared with the average £173 paid by those resident for less than three years. This amounts to an average 28% discount in rents. Private tenancies have also reached a record average length of 20 months, showing that landlords are responsive to tenants needs.

RLA Policy Director, Richard Jones commented: “The RLA condemns the scaremongering that Shelter is engaged in. Whilst 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.

“At a time when increasing numbers of people are depending on the private rented sector for their housing, Shelter should act more responsibly and not promote inaccurate generalisations which only serve to frighten families into thinking that a majority of landlords can’t wait to throw them out which is nonsense.

“The reality is that landlords will do all they can to keep tenants in their properties rather than face an empty property.

“Whilst we agree with the need for longer tenancies where needed, Shelter’s calls for universal five year contracts with index linked rent rises would be bad news for families who are presently seeing average rents increase by less than inflation.”

Mr Jones continued: “Shelter are playing a dangerous game by frightening off investors from increasing the supply of much needed private rented housing.”

What do you think of Shelter’s “Growing up Renting” campaign? Let us know by leaving a comment below…

About the author



The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.


  • Yes the picture of landlords painted by shelter and much of the media annoys me. I’d like to think all may tenants are happy clients, and they are welcome to stay as long as they need. I would like to sell one unit but have decided to wait until somebody gives me notice that they are moving on. As for index linked rises, what a dream that would be. I increased somebodies rent last month £5 per week, as shes been there 4 years on the same rate. I earn what I need so tenants and I are happy. This is not the impression shelter gives.

  • Shelter has been taken over by politically motivated socialists who are more concerned with attacking their political enemies than helping the homeless. Shelter stayed away from the debate on additional HMO registration thus endangering the interests of the very people whom it claims to be helping. While the Buy To Rent Private landlords are doing everything they can to beat the Government and help the poor and deserving homeless in our society.
    Shame on Shelter they are no longer fit for purpose.

  • what Shelter don’t take into account is that the wheel has turned. Upwardly mobile twenty and thirty somethings do not see renting as having the social stigma that it has had over the last few decades. It is just seen as the most efficient and effective way of re-locating when job moves are frequent , with accommodation just another commodity. Germans, Swiss and Dutch , Belgians etc have rented their apartments for years and cannot understand the British obsession with owning their own homes. With strict legislation surrounding rent increase and evictions , security is not a problem. Most landlords never want to evict a tenant anyway…

  • My Grand-parents rented all their married life until they both died.This was the norm then. Many of our tenants are on periodic tenancies and have been in properties for many years, unless a landlord needs to sell or the tenant causes problems tenancies can run indefinitely. We tried to evict a tenant, a drug addict with a drug addict partner who regularly had pitched battles in and out of property with Police called on an almost daily basis, the first time I have every served notice on somebody in Prison. Shelter provided him with all the legal help he needed to avoid eviction, our Clients house is trashed, his rent is in arrears and we have to just sit and wait for the Section 21 notice to end. I will never fund raise or give money to Shelter again

  • I cancelled my substantial annual donation to Shelter some time ago, for the same reasons as many other landlords. It has moved a long way from its original aims, and has become overrun by political activists.

  • Most landlords keep there properties up to a good standard and charge fair rents.I have been a landlord for over 25 years and have only evicted twice through the courts.Its the tenants who tend to be the problem in my experience

  • Delighted again to see Shelter correctly exposed for what they are. They have long since lost focus of their real purpose and have adopted this scaremongering anti-landlord, anti-letting agent way.

    This brilliantly written article highlights some very valid points and I hope Shelter can refocus their energies on people that need it and spend a little less time berating an entire industry with their negativity and politically biased viewpoints.

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