10:27 AM, 8th February 2017, About 5 years ago 57
Dear Mr Barwell,
I noticed in your appearance on Newsnight last night that you said the main cause of homelessness was the ending of a private tenancy.
In fact, it is important to keep explaining to people who say this (you have clearly picked this up from the anti-landlord rhetoric of Shelter and the like) that:
1. The vast majority of private tenancies are ended by tenants
2. By far the main reason for landlords serving notice is breach of the tenancy agreement, notably by not paying the rent and by damaging the property.
If an employer sacks someone who has been stealing from them, is it the employer or the employee who is to blame for the latter’s actions?
Ditto landlords; we are not responsible for tenants whose behaviour leads them to be evicted. In fact, if you check the figures you will find that Housing Associations evict more than private landlords do and yet no mention is made of them ‘causing homelessness’ (a bizarre accusation to make of any housing provider).
I would appreciate it therefore if you can refrain from making this misleading statement again. You will appreciate how landlords were dreadfully scapegoated by George Osborne for the country’s housing shortage when, in fact, without us the housing shortage would be so much worse; if we hadn’t risked our own savings and used them as deposits and taken out BTL mortgages to fund the provision of new homes to rent and the conversion and rehabilitation of decrepit housing over the last few decades, things would have been a lot worse.
It is rather sickening to have none of our contribution recognised but instead to constantly have aspersions cast in our direction.
This has to stop.
Dr Rosalind Beck
It would be good if other readers could also write to Gavin Barwell.
His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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