The RLA is accusing Shelter of scaremongering and playing to people’s fears as the homeless charity publishes yet another alarmist press release on evictions in the private rented sector.
Citing a “record rise” in the number of calls Shelter’s helpline has taken from tenants it says that the number of callers at risk of losing their home has doubled over two years to 7,600.
Whilst the Residential Landlords Association believes it is unacceptable and wrong for tenants to be living in fear, public policy cannot be based on a distorted sense of the problem. Shelter will only ever hear from tenants in the minority of cases where things go wrong and therefore fail to see the bigger picture.
- With 9 million tenants in private rented housing in England, the 7,600 calls referred to by Shelter equate to just 0.08 per cent of tenants.
- Government figures show 83 per cent of tenants in the private rented sector are satisfied with their properties compared to 81 per cent in the social sector.
- Just 9 per cent of tenancies in the private rented sector are ended by the landlord, mostly as a result of tenants committing anti -social behaviour or failing to pay their rent.
Responding to the report, Alan Ward, Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association said:
“Shelter are once again needlessly playing to people’s fears.
“Whilst we believe it is wrong for any tenant to have to live in fear, we need a rationale debate that recognises that the vast majority of landlords don’t spend their time looking for the first opportunity available to evict their tenants. That’s why the average length of private rented tenancies is now over 3 years, with tenants enjoying considerable discounts on their rents where this does happen.
“In the end however, the best way to root out those criminal landlords who reap misery on tenants live is a substantial boost to the supply of homes to rent providing tenants with genuine choices about where they live.
“The RLA has a comprehensive manifesto for growth in the sector. Unfortunately, Shelter seem more concerned with playing to people’s fear than coming up with constructive ideas on how to support and encourage the good landlords whilst rooting out the minority of criminals operating under the radar.”
Previously: Shelter need to end campaign against landlords