Shelter’s latest attack on private rental sector rejected by industry

There’s been an angry response by the rental sector following the latest attack by campaigning charity Shelter.

The organisation claims that private tenants have fallen ill because of housing-related worries.

But the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) insists this is not, as some may think Shelter suggests, be a problem restricted to the private sector.

The RLA instead dismisses what it calls the false impression that landlords spend all their time looking for ways to evict their tenants or increase their rents.

The RLA points to official statistics which show that:

– 84 percent of private sector tenants are very or fairly satisfied with their current accommodation, a higher proportion than tenants in the social rented sector;

– Private sector tenants live in the same rental properties for an average of 4.1 years;

– The proportion of private rented housing with at least one of the most dangerous ‘Category 1’ hazards has halved over the last ten years to 14 percent;

– The amount that tenants in private rented housing are paying in rent as a proportion of their income is falling, whilst in the social rented sector it is increasing;

– Almost 90 percent of tenancies brought to an end are done so by the tenant, not the landlord.

RLA policy director David Smith says: “We accept that, unfortunately, some private sector tenants will feel unhappy and stressed as a result of their housing but the same will apply to many social housing tenants and owner-occupiers.

“We accept also that not all landlords are perfect but the objective assessment is that the overwhelming majority of private sector tenants are satisfied with their accommodation and enjoy a good relationship with their landlord.

“It is vital that tenant groups properly reflect this, rather than stoking fears that tenants are about to be evicted for no apparent reason, live in sub-standard accommodation and are charged exorbitant rents. This is simply not true and it is irresponsible to suggest so.

“We do all we can to support landlords to provide high standard, secure and affordable tenancies and we call on tenant organisations to work with us to help achieve this and root out the bad landlords that none of us wishes to see in the market.”

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