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Thursday, October 16, 2014

RLA accuse Shelter of distorting evictions

Shelter's have been pumping money into their most recent campaign to convince the general public we are suffering from an eviction epidemic. The charitable / tax payer funded campaign group would have us all think that landlords are bludgeoning tenants out onto the street if they so much as turn their nose up at the state of a microwave.

"Please Mr Landlord, could you put a front door on my property."
"A door, whatever next? You're evicted!"

This is far from the truth. The majority of landlords want to keep tenants for as long as possible. Re-letting a property is a costly and time consuming exercise that is best avoided. 

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to find that political campaigning is biased, warped and manipulative of the truth. It's why so many of us have lost faith in the entire political system.

Today's political furore involving Lord Freud is a classic example. Politicians seizing on a sound bite, like cheap lawyers, dissecting a phrase or sentence out from it's context, blowing it out of proportion and sensationalising it for a cheap point score.

It's embarrassing, and sadly it reveals politicians for what they are, ugly actors and PR bunnies.

In the Lord Freud case, though his wording was ill considered, the fact that he was at least debating the issue and looking for solutions should be looked on as a positive. ( I did spend five years setting up projects and schemes for adults with learning difficulties so understand some of the issues his comments were directed at.)

The cheap political point scoring only goes to underline how one word out of place can be seized upon and man-handled into some kind of dishonest truth. 

So I say it again, that's why people have lost faith in politics.

Anyway, enough of my Thursday morning rant, back to evictions.

The Residential Landlords Association has pointed out that according to figures in the most recent English Housing Survey,  2012/13, there were seven per cent of tenants who had been asked to vacate  their rental property in the last three years. This is a fall of 2% from the previous years figures, with the 2011/12 English Housing Survey recording a figure of nine per cent.

The RLA has said that the majority of evictions happen for legitimate reasons, a landlords wanting to sell, or  perform refurbishment extensive work,  or because tenants aren’t paying their rent or are committing anti-social behaviour. 

The association claims the figures expose Shelter’s campaign today as “irresponsible scaremongering which can only serve to unnecessarily frighten tenants” according to

Policy director Richard Jones, policy director for the RLA has accused Shelter of putting out "highly questionable" statistics. 

Going on to accuse the charity of “irresponsible scaremongering which can only serve to unnecessarily frighten tenants”

“The official figures show quite clearly a fall in the number of tenants having their tenancies terminated and by far most of these are for perfectly good reasons. Shelter’s campaign on so called revenge evictions is totally inaccurate and irresponsible”

“To severely restrict landlords’ right to regain possession as Shelter advocates would severely damage confidence in the sector. This would reduce supply at a time of high demand causing more people to be homeless and we thought Shelter is all about reducing the number of homeless” he says.

Sadly, Shelter have a lot more money to throw their distorted PR messages our there.

But heh, that's politics for you.

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1 comment:

Rachael said...

I am so happy to read this article! Shelter's campaign was ridiculous and an absolute waste of everyone's time. Sure there are a small number of "revenge evictions" out there but nothing even close to the figures they were quoting and certainly nothing to warrant more red tape which would have choked the Housing Market. I read their statistics including the one about the percentage of Tenants who have experienced "mold" in their property but wondered what percentage of these tenants didn't bother to open a window, turn on a fan or blocked an air vent....