Newsnight’s biased anti-landlord coverage!

by Dr Rosalind Beck

14:28 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Newsnight’s biased anti-landlord coverage!

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Newsnight’s biased anti-landlord coverage!

newsnightTo whom it may concern.

I watched your programme last night and must point out firstly an error that was made.

In the introduction to the film shown, Emily Maitlis stated: “in this next film we meet three individuals, each kicked out of their private lodging when things got tough…”

In addition to the unprofessional and inflammatory language (‘kicked out’), in fact the first ‘individual’ profiled had been evicted by a Housing Association after her partner went to prison. So she was not evicted by a private landlord at all; she was evicted from ‘social housing’. The euphemism ‘things got tough’ is also highly unsatisfactory as it hides much more than it reveals. I will unpick what this is really likely to have meant below.

The reason that it is important to not allow things like this to go unchallenged is that every opportunity seems to be taken at the moment to scapegoat landlords and even blame them for homelessness – and this vilification of landlords has led to highly destructive attacks on the sector which are going to exacerbate the housing crisis (I can give you reams of information on this if you require – in fact, I will paste the link to my report on this below).

I have written to Gavin Barwell, as his comments were also very misleading. My letter has been published as an open letter (see below). I would like you to read it to see what was wrong with how both the producers and he misrepresented landlords and made the programme very partial and biased.

The producers were in fact guilty of some very lazy journalism – in that no-one asked the women tenants who featured in the film for the specific reasons for and details of their eviction.  Neither did anyone ask the Housing Associations and/or private landlords who had evicted them, why they had done so.  It is highly likely that they were evicted because of arrears and/or damages. That is the overwhelming reason for evictions both from the private and social sectors. The producers should have asked the private and social landlords for evidence – such as the court documents showing the arrears and damages (which usually run into thousands of pounds as it takes a minimum of 5 months, and often a lot longer, to evict anyone in the UK).

The fact that this was not mentioned made it look like the tenants were poor, blameless victims and once more aspersions were cast on the ‘nasty private landlords’ even when it was a Housing Association that evicted them!

Finally, it would also have been more balanced if you had had a representative of private landlords as aspersions were also cast by the panel of three tenants about the unaffordability of private rentals, with no-one giving the landlords’ viewpoint. They were also all from South London. Please get a more balanced profile in future. I thought Newsnight was supposed to be a national programme, not one purely relevant to South London.

Can you please follow this up as a complaint and let me know the views of the producers on this and how they will make amends. I suggest one way to go about this would be to have a long piece looking at private landlords’ viewpoints for a change.

Yours faithfully.

Dr Rosalind Beck

 

Today I launch my comprehensive report on Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015

Today I launch my comprehensive report on Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015

24/10/2016

Today I launch my comprehensive report: Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015: “the unjust legislation that will make the UK housing crisis much worse.” I would like to thank all of those who have contributed to this report, which I hope will have a significant impact in our campaign to reverse this… Read more



Comments

Neil Patterson

14:30 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

BBC accusations of Left Wing Bias are nothing new and should be reported like this when so obvious.

Well done Ros 🙂

Dr Rosalind Beck

15:41 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "08/02/2017 - 14:30":

Thanks, Neil. I also referred to my letter to Gavin Barwell so if anyone missed it, here is the link:

https://www.property118.com/letter-to-gavin-barwell-housing-minister/94497/#comment-87070

I would encourage others to write to Barwell and Newsnight and report back here any answers received.

Sarah Fowler

9:40 AM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Hear, Hear to Dr Rosalind Beck's comments. I am tired of the vilification of private landlords. I wrote to your website on 16/12 "Can the system really be so stacked against the landlord?". I am a buy-to-let landlady of 3 properties. I charge under the market value for rent because I want to keep my tenants.
At the time we had a tenant who hadn't paid rent since April. We started the process of repossession in August and were awarded repossession by the court on November 10th. He appealed the decision based on the fact that he didn't receive some paperwork from the court within the due time period (the courts are snowed under). His appeal was set for January 13th and was thrown out - just delay tactics.
We've finally been given an eviction date in March (one year after he stopped paying rent).
I note that on the back of the eviction notice there is a point that the bailiff will not proceed if there are health & safety issues. Well this tenant keeps referring to his sick wife. I believe this is all part of the ploy. I feel we will never get rid of him.
We are now over £12,000 out of pocket and I know we will never get this sum back. If I walked into a garage and drove off in a nice second-hand car I'd go to jail for theft. What is the difference?

JohnCaversham

10:16 AM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Private Landlords got another bashing too on BBC breakfast TV this morning for 'revenge evictions', the piece showed a couple of very poorly maintained properties which looked more like squats with rubbish and belongings laying around inside and stories of landlords not maintaining their properties to a minimum standard and the local councils being involved. Apparently MP's have said that legislation put in place to prevent these evictions of tenants who complain about poorly maintained properties by rogue landlords isn't working, the piece then ended saying briefly that in fact the number of these revenge evictions was very small!
So again more bad PR for the whole PRS on mainstream media over an issue that effects very very few tenants by the minority of the very worst landlords.....
Bearing in mind Dr.Ros's piece is there someone in the BBC with an ax to grind against us?

Dylan Morris

10:32 AM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

The BBC is state television and constantly pushing out left wing propaganda. Worse still we have no choice and are forced to pay for it. It's not fair ............. in North Korea they get their state TV for free.

Please sign this petition:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/end-the-bbc-licence-fee

Dylan Morris

10:40 AM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sarah Fowler" at "09/02/2017 - 09:40":

Have you thought about going for High Court enforcement ?

Richard Mann

11:07 AM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Everyone,
Once again our champion of cause Dr. Rosalind Beck delivers a clean uppercut and with dignity intact offers a solution and not just a criticism. I do feel like a punch-bag at the moment anyone feel the same? Every media outlet, MP and most Journalist appear to be in a Zombie trance unable to think clearly and with focus simply taking the "template" landlord and applying it to every story, situation or latest outrage. When will it ever let up for just a minute? Most of BBC current affairs and news appear to apply themselves to popular headline grabbers. Filler stories like this are so "cookie cutter" its easy to pack out five minutes when you are missing a story.
Send the Journo down with his/her handycam for the chit chat interview ( the grimmer looking the more embellished the story becomes ) Bit of library of Houses of Parliament, For sale signs, to Let signs and Bobs your Uncle you've got your piece, back to office for a quick Voice over, few statistics( reader beware ) and you have your piece. The reason it was south London and not South Shields is the programme simply does not have the budget to send the journo there to shoot the interviews.
When they are told what story to cover, they are also given a budget chargeable to programme, hence if the journo wants gain brownie points they'll shoot the story on their own doorstep if necessary, coming in under budget means they have a bit more money for a bigger better story down the line a 10 minute piece for example.
Well, I look forward with some doubt, at a balanced pro Landlord stance...anywhere actually...
Thank you Dr.Rosalind Beck you are a true champion.

Sarah Fowler

11:44 AM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dylan Morris" at "09/02/2017 - 10:40":

We were told the following by our solicitor back at the start of December "that to get a writ of possession (rather than warrant of possession) we would need the permission of the court which would add another stage to the process and in our experience is often refused by the court. Therefore whilst it can be a quicker route in our experience it is not and hence the reason we advise clients to use the bailiffs!"
Obviously this is just her opinion but I'm totally new to all this. At the time I felt it would just delay matters and cost more.

Appalled Landlord

11:51 AM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Maynard" at "09/02/2017 - 10:16":

It is being repeated every hour on the BBC News channel, and is referred to frequentlly in the headlines.

CazT

14:16 PM, 9th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dylan Morris" at "09/02/2017 - 10:32":

Signed and put in my Facebook profile! Outrageous charges for crap (sorry) reporting!! I was fuming after watching the two 'reports' mentioned - isn't it about time they started at least trying to give an unbiased report on the reality of BTL! Grrrrr, so bloody angry!

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