Shelter’s Campaigns Director misrepresented the law to the agent it harassed

by Appalled Landlord

8:19 AM, 9th November 2018
About A week ago

Shelter’s Campaigns Director misrepresented the law to the agent it harassed

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Shelter’s Campaigns Director misrepresented the law to the agent it harassed

Does the truth not matter to Shelter? Click here

On 16 October the campaign of harassment by Shelter’s supporters against Ludlow Thompson (LT) culminated in instructions to the firm from Greg Beales, Director of Communications, Policy & Campaigns. Click here

Beales stated that “In order to comply with the Equality Act and genuinely end discrimination you must not market any properties that seek to exclude tenants receiving housing benefit from being considered equally.”

This was not correct. Discrimination against HB claimants does not infringe the Equality Act because being an HB claimant is not a protected characteristic. He already knew that.

On 17 August he had written “In the next few months Shelter intends to bring a series of test cases to court which challenge those who refuse to consider letting to people on benefits and to ask the courts whether their practices are lawful or are in fact indirect discrimination.”  Click here

He included a link to the initial instruction for Shelter’s supporters to harass LT. This said that banning people on housing benefit “could be” unlawful.  Click here

A few days later Beales appeared on a TV programme and said “Our intent over the next few months is to bring a series of test cases to ask the courts to look at this closely, ……to ask them to say it’s unlawful.” Click here

Of course, Beales may not have intended to deceive LT. He may have been misled by his minions Kojo and James, who told supporters that Ludlow Thompson were “definitely in the wrong”, as they incited further harassment in September and October. click here and here

To motivate supporters they used nonsensical claims. Kojo wrote “It’s small actions like this which help make housing better for all of us”.  So harass an agent and everyone’s housing situation will somehow improve, including your own.

James wrote  “It’s small actions like this which help more people find a home”. This is also nonsense.  There is a fixed number of homes available to rent at any given time.  If Shelter’s bullying managed to make another property available to an HB claimant, which is unlikely, then it would be instead of a non-claimant who needed a home.  The number of households will not increase through harassment of an agent.

The campaign continued with a petition in October which described discrimination as potentially unlawful.

Beales is a former Downing Street adviser to Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, and formerly Director of Strategy and Planning for the Labour Party.



Comments

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:00 AM, 9th November 2018
About A week ago

Yes, AL. Shelter's invective is building into a crescendo of negativity and lies about private landlords and agents - they're getting hysterical. The sooner that sense and truth prevail the better and you are doing a great job in exposing this. They just dream up one campaign after another - most of which just do damage to the sector; none of which provide homes for anyone. If anyone wants to help homelessness charities they will hopefully soon realise this and stop giving to Shelter and instead give to a charity which provides real, actual, practical help rather than words.

Old Mrs Landlord

9:19 AM, 9th November 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 09/11/2018 - 09:00The situation is not helped by headlines like those on the front page of today's Times, "Landlords pushing up rents to exploit Housing Benefit shortfall". The article, quoting Polly Neate, characterises landlords as "wily" and exploitative . In fact it is referring to those few who rent out "cramped and dirty rooms" to councils to temporarily house the statutorily homeless, but the headline is misleading to the casual reader.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:21 AM, 9th November 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 09/11/2018 - 09:19
Yes, some of us have commented already beneath that Times article. The Times is really doing downhill with its sensationalist, biased and poorly-researched articles on the PRS.

Annie Landlord

9:23 AM, 9th November 2018
About A week ago

I saw a TV interview with a Shelter rep yesterday, but can't remember which programme. The interviewer asks some quite searching questions about the discrimination angle and the Shelter rep was obviously uncomfortable because she couldn't really support her own case. Will Shelter attack banks that threaten a single parent with repossession or a Housing Association that refuses a tenancy to a single parent who doesn't meet their 'affordability criteria', which is just another way of saying DSS?
I am going to write to Shelter, asking to meet with a rep. I seriously don't believe that most of the staff have any understanding of what they are unleashing

Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:44 AM, 9th November 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 09/11/2018 - 09:19
I can see here that a decisive action of the new National Landlord Alliance should be directed at such articles

Luke P

21:15 PM, 9th November 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 09/11/2018 - 09:21
I cancelled my Times subscription last week for that very reason.

AP

8:47 AM, 10th November 2018
About A week ago

I was in M&S buying a sandwich the other day and say that they are donating 10% of all their Xmas lunch products to Shelter. Why not to a charity that actual provides for the homeless instead of a political campaigning group?

Martin Thomas

10:38 AM, 10th November 2018
About A week ago

You just have to hope that Shelter says something about someone or an organisation that is defamatory and finds itself in Court as a result. Give them enough rope...….

Luke P

11:14 AM, 10th November 2018
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by AP at 10/11/2018 - 08:47
They did it last year and I ran as an article on here last year…

https://www.property118.com/ms-food-shelter/


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