Shelter report into private rented sector tenancies accused of ‘scaremongering’

A body that represents nearly 17,000 private sector landlords has accused the housing charity Shelter of “scaremongering” in a report published today.

The charity’s ‘Growing Up Renting’ report revealed that families with children are bearing the brunt of insecure tenancies, high rents, and constant moves that are standard in the private rented sector. The report is based on research with over 4,000 private renters and is the largest study of its kind ever conducted.

But the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) claims the findings are unfounded with the reality being that “nearly all” tenancies are ended by the tenants themselves.

The RLA says just 9% are ended by landlords usually as a result of tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour. And contrary to popular myth, most landlords would prefer to keep tenants rather than being left with an empty property.

RLA Policy Director, Richard Jones said: “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 added: “Shelter are playing a dangerous game by frightening off investors from increasing the supply of much needed private rented housing.”

Article courtesy of Jon Land for in Housing

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