BREAKING: Shelter blasts landlords and agents over ‘illegal behaviour’

Shelter has launched a broadside against landlords and letting agents, using research among 3,500 private renters to ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - BREAKING: Shelter blasts landlords and agents over ‘illegal behaviour’ | LandlordZONE.

BREAKING: Shelter blasts landlords and agents over ‘illegal behaviour’

Shelter has launched a broadside against landlords and letting agents, using research among 3,500 private renters to accuse both groups of illegal behaviour.

Of those polled, the lobbying organisation says 45% report illegal behaviour by their landlord or letting agent. Of these, 25% reported their landlord or letting agent entering their property without permission, 22% reported legally required safety equipment such as smoke alarms missing or not working and 18% had not protected their rental deposit with an approved scheme.

Most alarmingly, 9% of those polled said they had been threatened physically or verbally by their landlord or letting agent.

“Enough is enough. Nobody is above the law and renters are tired of being powerless to enforce their rights,” says Shelter chief executive Polly Neate (main image).

The research was conducted by pollster YouGov but Shelter has not replied to LandlordZONE questions as to whether they were tenant clients of the organisation or random member of the public.

If the former, the figures would not be surprising – tenants contacting Shelter for help are already unhappy with their renting experience.

The research also has a political purpose – Shelter is keen to ensure that the government does not waiver from its promise made in the most recent to bring in significant reform for the private rented sector (PRS).

This could include a national landlord register for England and abolishing Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

The research has not gone down well with organisations within the PRS.

Eddie Hooker (pictured), CEO of Hamilton Fraser, says ‘‘these sorts of wild accusations are not helpful at the moment but what I would agree with Shelter about is that too many tenants do not understand how the rental market works including, for example, how the rules governing protecting deposits vary depending on the kind of tenancy a renter has signed”,” he says.

paul shamplina portrait

Paul Shamplina of Landlord Actions, adds: “Suggesting that 45% of landlords have been involved in some kind of illegal activity is totally incorrect, as is the claim that a quarter of landlords have let themselves into a property without permission – none of these claims made by Shelter are an accurate reflection of the hard and diligent work many landlords and estate agents put into managing their properties”.

nathan emerson fraud

And Nathan Emerson, who heads up the UK’s letting agent trade body Property, says Shelter’s figures are “disheartening as our members do and have worked tirelessly, particularly throughout the pandemic, to maintain tenancies and ensure that properties are safe and meet a high standard even whilst under restricted working conditions”.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - BREAKING: Shelter blasts landlords and agents over ‘illegal behaviour’ | LandlordZONE.

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Double standards? ITV documentary uncovers the worst council landlords

A new documentary has revealed the shocking conditions endured by scores of social renters around the country, ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Double standards? ITV documentary uncovers the worst council landlords | LandlordZONE.

Double standards? ITV documentary uncovers the worst council landlords

A new documentary has revealed the shocking conditions endured by scores of social renters around the country, often with council landlords who at the same time bring private landlords to book for similar poor management of their properties.

aired on Sunday night and was full of horror stories, apologies and a few happy endings.

It included footage of residents squelching across sodden carpets, being injured by falling ceiling debris and suffering breathing problems due to rampant mould.

The ITV documentary met tenants whose lives have been destroyed by squalid, dangerous social housing, with nearly all the interviewees in tears as they described their terrible living conditions.

In one flat, water dripped through electrical sockets, prompting an independent assessor to determine that there was a “100% chance of electrocution”. Many told of how they felt sub-human and ignored by councils and housing associations; one woman recorded at least 20 phone calls to Croydon Council, without success.

Based largely on the news reports ITV has carried in London, Birmingham and Croydon during the last year, it revisited residents for updates.

Repairs done

Reporter Daniel Hewitt said these stories had put pressure on social landlords and indeed, all were followed by promises that councils and housing associations were going to rehome tenants or get repairs done.

However, Hewitt said these reports had generated thousands more messages from residents around the country suffering similar problems.

A Birmingham housing officer admitted how powerless they were to help the many thousands on its social housing list, while a councillor acknowledged that many were in properties that weren’t fit for purpose, but that there wasn’t enough cash to build all the new homes the city needed.

With one million fewer social rented homes than in 1980, and councils’ repair budgets slashed, there’s a perfect storm which has created slums similar to those they were built to eradicate, according to the programme, which is costing the NHS dearly as a result of tenants’ resulting health problems.

Housing Secretary was also interviewed and put the blame firmly on councils’ and housing associations’ poor management.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Double standards? ITV documentary uncovers the worst council landlords | LandlordZONE.

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