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Shelter's non-stop attack on rental sector is "plain wrong"

An industry group says the seemingly non-stop attack on the private rental sector by campaigning charity Shelter is “plain wrong.”

After a claim about a million tenants a year being subject to some form of problem with landlords allegedly acting illegally, the Residential Landlords Association - citing data from the latest English Housing Survey - asks why Shelter fails to explain how 82 per cent of tenants in the private sector are satisfied with their accommodation.

This figure is higher than in the social rented sector, it says.

Shelter also refers to the apparent instability private tenants face yet the most recent EHS shows that tenants are on average living in their homes for four years - hardly a sign of instability - with just eight per cent of tenancies ended by the landlord rather than a tenant.

“Shelter is once again making extravagant claims about the standard of all housing in Britain, let alone private rented property. Though we share Shelter’s ambition for every rented home to be of a decent standard the answer is not more regulation” says RLA vice chairman Chris Town. 

“With over 400 regulations covering the sector, what is needed is not new powers but better enforcement of existing powers to root out the crooks, rather than tying the majority of good landlords up in excessive red tape” he adds.

“The most effective way of ensuring housing is affordable is to increase supply. We hope Shelter will support landlords in calling on the government to change recent tax policies and on councils to scrap ineffective, but costly, licensing schemes all of which discourage investment.”

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    This article clearly makes Shelter look like a bunch of amateurs. So who is right?

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    I'm of the view that there may be darker forces afoot in these high-handed efforts by Shelter. It's perhaps no coincidence that the - controversially appointed - Sir Derek Myers (Chair of the Board of Trustees) is a friend of the likes of George Osborne and, under the guise of the 'Third Sector' principles, may well be (as was Osborne, when in office) attempting to severely undermine the private-landlord, in favour of corporate-built rental homes. He also has a number of acquaintances amongst major property developers. Just a couple of reasons we should perhaps look deeper into Shelter's current hate regime. This might benefit from some investigative journalism ?

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