Shelter scaremongering again

Written by RLA

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…

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.

This shows:

  • 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

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.


  • I used to rent happily to tenants on Housing Benefit and insisted that I was paid direct. I certainly will not do so again if the direct payment is stopped.

    There are – I believe – ways that the tenant can arrange this basiaccly by saying that s/he would not be able to cope with being paid the rent

  • Whilst Shelter do a good job in many instances, I am afraid that I have experienced the “other side” – whereby H/Benefit Tenants have openly refused to pay their rent to the Landlord – then wanted Shelter to help them “win the case” in court when I sought eviction. This Tenant left the property is a hopelessly derelict state, and this on top of unpaid rent cost me over £5,000. They only paid the first months Rent – after that they spent the money on what they thought fit. Oh!! and left owing over £2,000 in unpaid gas and electric bills.

    Trying to support and help the vulnerable has nearly put me into the Bankruptcy court. Which makes it worse for those Tenants who are good and honest people.

    I think the government has to take a long, hard look at the difficulties encountered by Landlords when paying H/Benefit direct to the Tenant. Sadly I cannot take H/B applicants unless they can provide someone who is willing and able to act as Guarantor………

  • My little house in Cambridge had been let to a working man and his girlfriend, who then took in other people as they saw fit, including at one point his brother. At some point the original tenant moved out and the brother because the principal tenant, he sub let the remaining rooms to other people, collecting their contributions and paying the rent and utility bills. Then this person claims to have developed a drug problem and missed month here and there, paid partial months and then nothing, all the time pocketing the remaining two persons contributions. WE eventually got him out of the house and were left with the two tenants that he had “defrauded” and I had almost another month of non income…as they claimed to have paid their rent to him !!! Honestly one tries to do the right thing, but we all know which way the courts and tenants rights groups work, and it always against the landlord.

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