Rogue Landlords Under Attack for Tenant Misery

by Property118.com News Team

16:04 PM, 13th September 2011
About 7 years ago

Rogue Landlords Under Attack for Tenant Misery

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Rogue Landlords Under Attack for Tenant Misery

Shelter logo

"Shelter's new survey findings"

Homeless charity Shelter claims around 1,500 rogue landlords are making life a misery for tenants.

The figure was pinpointed from asking councils across England and Wales about private housing complaints.

The response was councils have received 86,628 complaints from tenants in the past year.

The calls for help highlighted potentially life-threatening dangers like hazardous gas and electricity supplies.

Councils allege the number of complaints have climbed by 25 per cent in the past two years.
Shelter has also started a ‘landlord watch’ web site that reports successful prosecutions in the courts against landlords. The charity says councils proceeded with just 270 successful prosecutions.

The landlord watch map plots the country’s worst landlords on a map.

The charity claims the private rental sector is blighted by amateur landlords failing to offer high standards to tenants and that a small number of landlords prey on the vulnerable.

England and Wales has a private rental sector of 3.4 million homes – the number of complaints represents just two per cent of the number of homes.

The Shelter report does not include comparison figures for complaints about social housing.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “The reality is that rogue landlords are out there and they’re getting away with it.

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

“What’s more, we believe there could be thousands more tenants who are suffering in silence, holding back from complaining out of fear of the consequences or because they don’t feel their voices will be heard.”
Robb also criticises councils for not protecting tenants from profiteering landlords.

“Local authorities have the powers to tackle rogue landlords but too many aren’t making the most of their armoury. They must follow the lead of those councils taking a zero tolerance approach to rogue landlords, and support tenants who are suffering by cracking down on the worst offenders in their area.”



Comments

Mary Latham

12:26 PM, 14th September 2011
About 7 years ago

It would be far more relevant and helpful if this report analysed the nature of the complaints made by tenants . As the West Midlands Regional Representative of the National Landlords Association (see http://www.landlords.org.uk) I work closely with all of my local authorities. I represent the NLA on the Homestamp consortium (see http://www.homestamp.com ) At a recent meeting one of the partner authorities made the comment that they were aware that many tenants complain to local authorities to avoid eviction and that this particular authority always asks tenants if there are any rent arrears before they follow up on a complaint. I am the last person to try to justify any landlord not treating his tenants with respect but, in my extensive experience, I have found that most landlords get it wrong because they do not know how to get it right. There are very few who deliberately flout the law and my authorities know who those landlords are. The vast majority of landlords come into this business, particularly since the late 90’s when But to Let mortgages were launched, without really knowing their legal responsibilities. Many of these landlord expect a positive cash flow and are unaware of the real cost of providing decent homes.
Through the Homestamp consortium West Midlands authorities have taken the decision to help and support landlords through education rather than castigation. The Midlands Landlords Accreditation Scheme (see mlas-online.co.uk) has been successfully educating landlords since 2007 and now has over 2000 members offering many thousands of tenant safe, comfortable homes that are well managed. In all of that time only 28 complaints have been received from tenants against member landlords and most of these have been cleared up with a very short space of time through the co-operation of the landlord. The scheme actively promotes the complaints and arbitration service to tenants through local authorities, universities and student bodies and it is a testament to those landlords, who have chosen to become educated through MLAS, that so few complaints have been made.
I would like to see some of the Government funding that is given to organisations like Shelter being used to facilitate the education of landlords. The NLA run a national accreditation scheme that is self funding and many local authorities are turning to the NLA to establish accreditation based on education in their areas. The NLA scheme is identical to the MLAS scheme and landlord are passported from one scheme to the other at no additional cost. The scheme is becoming more and more popular with local authorities because they recognise that landlords, who are working to a national Code of Conduct and being educated and constantly keep up to date, are reducing their workload and raising standards.
Shelter are well aware that the PRS need to be kept onside, as the need for decent homes grows, and local authorities struggle to meet their statutory obligations to house the homeless. Keeping landlords on side means less publicity about the rogues and more encouragement for those of us who work very hard, often with difficult tenants, to provide well managed safe havens for those who might otherwise be out on the streets.

follow me on twitter @landlordtweets

10:45 AM, 16th September 2011
About 7 years ago

No one condones expliotion by rogue Landlords(housing providers). and it should be addressed where ever it occurs.
However, SELECTIVE LICENCING is not the way to do that,
S/L is discriminatory, non-democratic and simply unfair, it makes no distinction between good and bad Housing providers or tenants, it suggests that all who rent their homes are "anti-social" and will have avery negative affect on the areas "designated" bringing lower property values, tenant abandonment, higher insurance premiums and a reluctance by lenders to finance.
with around 40% of of the population now having to rent rather than buy, and an ailing economy, the introduction of such measures as SELECTIVE LICENCING is madness ! with a figure of £600 per property for a licence Is this merely a back-door tax by local authorities to finance yet another quango ! it will do nothing to stop rogue landlords
and stimatise these areas and decent ,hard-working home providers even more !!
.


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