Property Hawk the landlord's homepage since 2006
Free Tenancy Agreement FREE tenancy agreement
Free Landlord Software FREE landlord software
Home | Property Manager | Free ASTs | Landlord Forms | Mortgages | Insurance | Inventory | Magazine | Landlords Bible | Directory | Forum | Training | News / Blog |

Monday, October 03, 2011

Shelter snoops on landlords

The Housing Charity Shelter is apparently employing underhand tactics using the freedom of information act to pressurize local authorities into taking action against landlords including introducing landlord accreditation schemes.

Shelter's Chief Executive Campbell Robb recently announced an attack on rogue landlords:

“Every day we see the devastating impact rogue landlords have on people’s lives as they remain trapped in homes that cause misery and, in some cases, put lives at risk,”

Freedom of information act used

By using this legislation Shelter are forcing councils to reveal how many complaints they have received against private sector landlords. These landlords they have categorised as 'rogue landlords.'

Requests submitted by the charity under the Freedom of Information Act found that East Staffordshire Borough Council received 176 complaints about rogue landlords from 2008-09 to 2010-11 — roughly one a week. North West Leicestershire District Council received 113, while South Derbyshire District Council got an eye-watering 623.

The real truth.. ?

On the face of this it sounds terrible. One imagines literally hundreds of 'dodgy' landlords at each of these councils exploiting vulnerable tenants. Hold on a minute though! How many of these complaints actually relate to the same landlord. I know from my experience in working in various local authorities that most of your time is taken up with dealing with one or two cases involving the same people each time. A single landlord tenant dispute could therefore easily generate tens of complaints. Added to this fact is that a complaint is not the same as a proven bad landlord. "What about adopting the principle of innocent unless proven guilty!" How many of these complaints may have been brought by the tenant trying to avoid eviction for non payment of rent or other failings in their tenure?

The real rogues

The real figures that Shelter should be concentrating on is how many successful prosecutions are brought by these councils. If there really are so many 'rogue landlords' out there as Shelter have sort to suggest; then maybe the real rogues in the mix are the councils that fail to bring about the successful prosecution of such demonstrably bad landlords.

To read more

Landlord Insurance - professional rates
Bookmark and Share

No comments: