An open letter to Polly Neate at Shelter

An open letter to Polly Neate at Shelter

0:01 AM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago 9

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Below, we publish an open letter from Property118 reader, ‘Dismayed Landlord’.

He details issues about helping his tenants – and wants Polly Neate, the chief executive of the homelessness charity Shelter, to help him find housing for his tenants as he is intending to sell up.

He has not yet received a reply offering help – but he did receive a letter outlining what they do and how they do not ‘slag off’ landlords but want to work with us. He was also promised that his letter would be seen by Ms Neate.

Dismayed Landlord tells us: Really, what I wish is to bring this fiasco out into the open and ask: Does anyone else have any similar experiences?

Dear Polly,

I am a landlord trying to help my tenants. I’ve been doing this for 25 years.

One is a single father living with his now 13-year-old in a one-bedroom flat. There are health issues. Been like this for 5 years. No rent increase for this period.

The other is a family of 5. Mum and dad, a 16-year-old and 2 children aged 3 and 18 months in a 2-bedroom house. Tenants of 9 years. There are health issues. One rent increase in 9 years, 3 years ago.

Both rents are substantially below market rates.

This time last year (a bit earlier) they both approached me asking to be served Notice of Possession to enable them to be rehoused by the LA. The property sizes were causing these health conditions to get worse, and they were never going to get rehoused by LA otherwise. The property conditions are not the issue.

This I did. Process started. Using section 21 because there were no rent arrears, and no other section 8 reasons could be applied. In your words, a ‘no-fault’ eviction. Yes, to me this makes no difference as the rent is being paid and I do not live there. But I have been asked and I am supporting my tenants. Section 21 expires and of course the LA will only rehouse on an eviction – basically as the bailiffs turn up. We knew that, so I employed an agent who has successfully obtained over 50 possession orders and has 15 evictions going through now. Section 8 could also cause them not to be rehoused by the LA – which would not be the result I wanted nor them.

Eventually, I receive a Notice of Issue for the family of 5. This is dated 22 November 2022. To date that is all I have heard from the Dartford court. Nothing else – ZERO!

For the flat I receive a date of 19 January 2023. Both were submitted at the same time in July 2022.

For the flat, I then receive a Judgement Order on the 28 February 2023 stating the claim has been ‘stood out’. The reason? ‘The claim has been issued by an agent/person not authorised to conduct litigation’. This is the same person who has obtained over 50 possession orders in the past and who has 15 evictions (I assume illegal evictions now) coming up in the next few weeks.

Can you find a home for these 2 families? I cannot.

Owing to the vilification and continual onslaught from yourselves and Generation Rent etc, and the government actions, I am selling up. I am 67 with extensive and intensive long term health issues. I need the sales to pay for my medical care. However, I am still trying to help my tenants.

I am ashamed to tell people I am a landlord. Paedophiles get better press than we do. Yes, I became a landlord to support my family after being made redundant too many times and losing jobs due to ill health. Now I am a burden on the NHS whereas I could be paying for medical care myself and getting it now – not waiting months as the NHS is under-funded. Plus stopping people who urgently need medical help and really cannot afford to pay for it themselves.

My medical problems are not yours but surely these 2 family’s conditions are.

Surely the Judge’s arbitrary decisions will concern you? Is that what you are meant to support? Tenants’ rights?

Some 15 people are to be either illegally evicted or the inconstancies from the Judge are stopping one family from being rehoused and another one having to endure overcrowding issues. I still have not heard anything regarding the Judgement Order for the family of 5.

That’s a year in the system. The Claim was issued on the 22 November 2022 and nothing since. You cannot phone them – you cannot turn up at the court – so its emails only and the response is ‘Please do not contact us. We are extremely busy and will respond as soon as we can’ or words to that effect. The 16-year old’s life is being destroyed. Her younger siblings face the same outcome.

It’s your call. The media listen to you – you are a charity for the underdog tenants. What are you doing to stop this fiasco? Stop demonising all landlords and start working for tenants.

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Darren Peters

10:58 AM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

I would look to getting a new S21 in place ASAP while looking to understand exactly what is wrong with the existing S21

Presumably the person that has issued the previous 50 possession orders has something to say?

Perhaps one of the companies that handle possessions on here could have a look at your paperwork and if necessary take over.

Don't waste your energy on Shelter, they aren't going to intervene on your behalf.


10:59 AM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

Another example of how the legal system is now a total shambles. My tenant was asked to leave by February 2022. My section 21 hearing came up in Sept last year. When the case was heard, the County Court judge at Willesden, invented a deposit for my tenant - there was none! - and then promptly threw out my case because I had not protected it by lodging the money in one of the tenancy deposit schemes !!!!! I have since submitted further evidence that there was no deposit. My case has been been put back to Feb 2024. I'm going to call it for what it is. We are now entering an era where the judiciary are corrupt!


11:03 AM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by TJP at 15/05/2023 - 10:59For housing cases the judicary have always been on the side of the tenant. Corruption or just plain bias?

john kelly

11:05 AM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

LOL i also wrote a year ago to the £350k public earning Polly Neate with good housing solution to no response! All LLs need to educate themselves to what is happening to LLs in California and NY run by LL hating Socialists. Shelter finanically benifits from lobbying and lying against LLs. They like most public funded groups are sleaze and corrupt. They dont give a dam about tenants or LLs only their jobs and salaries. With Labour winning next GE things are only going to get tougher for LLs . Dont expect fairness, its all Political


12:11 PM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

Here is an example of a hardworking, consciensious, kind and caring landlord - not untypical of our profession.

But he is typical of landlords who are continually vilified by the likes of Shelter who only seem capable of spewing out vile progaganda.

The damage Shetler has done to landlords and tenants alike is absoultely disgraceful.

Shame on you Shelter

Polly Rawlings

12:58 PM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

Thank you for being such a conscientious landlord - I applaud you. Please inform the local MP of this situation - they have responsibilities to assist these tenants.

Tracy Conner

14:16 PM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

Thank you for articulating such similar experiences and feelings that I have had over the years. Myself and others I have spoken to have bent over backwards to help tenants in this warped business. And having some knowledge of the court system am horrified at the veiled chaos within HMCTS and the militant heckling of Shelter.

Dylan Morris

16:19 PM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

If you think the Court system is bad now, just wait until Section 21 is scrapped and you have to go to Court to obtain a Section 8 Sale Order (or whatever they’re going to call it). The Court system will collapse completely. All by design.


16:57 PM, 15th May 2023, About A year ago

I have just sent this to the Bevan Foundation, who do research in order to influence the Welsh Government

Response to the paper. Wales the housing. Crisis March 2022

Dear sir/ madam.

This communication is intended to give feedback on your report mentioned above.

I phoned to have a chat with you 8 hours ago, and was promised a call back within 10 mins....this has not happened!

I have been a special needs teacher and private sector landlord for in excess of 30 years, renting affordable properties to refugees and people on low incomes in Wrexham and Flintshire.

I like most people involved in private renting in Wales, am extremely concerned to the homelesness pandemic about to engulf our Country.

It was therefore, with great sadness that on reading  your report, that I could not find ANY research/ quotes from landlords, as to what they see as the problem, why they are leaving  the rental market in droves and what they think could be done in order to encourage them to stay in the market and help eleviate the problem....

Surely if you are looking to influence WAG policy to the betterment of ALL Welsh people, then this lack of balanced research, must effect your recomendations; and possibly exacerbate the problems your are trying to help solve.

One example of this is your reference to "rent caps". I charge £100 a week for my 1 bed flats, and have not put my rents up for 10 years.

If rent caps come in, I will not have the flexibility to increase my rents to cover any further increase in my mortgages.

I will therefore be forced to sell my properties, or have them repossessed......either way my great tenants some of whome have been with me for 10 years....will loose their home!!!

This is only one example of the problems your research and recomendations are going to cause if adopted....

Unfortunately I have to say that I feel that this is a flawed paper, with dangerous recomendations, and has the potential to make the homelessness situation, the country is in considerably worse.
David Martin

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