Spotlight on Michael Gelling OBE CIHM Hon of T.A.R.O.EMake Text Bigger
Michael Gelling OBE CIHM Hon
Organisation: Tenants And Residents Organisations of England “T.A.R.O.E.”
Status: Chairperson of the T.A.R.O.E. Board
Career to date:
Michael Gelling has been a member of the T.A.R.O.E., board since it formed in 1997. He has been Chairperson of T.A.R.O.E. for nine years, standing down from this position between April and November 2010 when he was appointed by Government to Chair the short lived National Tenants Voice.
Michael served as local councillor for a 16 year period and held various key positions, giving him a broad understanding the workings of local authorities. Michael also served for 6 years on the Housing Ombudsman Service Board filling a position of a Tenant Director through his membership of T.A.R.O.E. Michael is also a tenant rights Advocate representing tenants who have issues with local Social and Private Landlords. Michael is involved in many voluntary and community groups where he lives, including the Halton Community Partnership Trust, a one-stop shop for the voluntary sector, Halton (community) Credit Union with over 4000 members, and the 70 full-time equivalent child place Acorn Community Nursery, employing 18 staff. Michael has also served as a non-legal member of the Employment Tribunal Service since 1979 and is sponsored to this position by the CBI. Michael Chairs the Liverpool Employment Tribunal Service Members Association.
How would you describe the roll of your organisation?
T.A.R.O.E. believes that there is a role for the PRS and in the world of tenants and in that world there are some very good PRS landlords who work with tenants to maintain and develop lasting tenant landlord relationships.
All tenants’ desire safe, secure and well maintained properties to live in with a real element of security and landlords want their property looked after, well maintained and having the ability of making them a return on their capital investment.
All too often we hear about the relationships that fail because the landlord values income before all else or that the tenant has total disrespect for the property they are renting because they do not see it as a long term relationship.
T.A.R.O.E. believes that these instances are the exception to the rule and that in the main tenants in the PRS do have successful tenure experiences.
There is a consensus, which T.A.R.O.E. does not agree with or signs up to, that ‘social housing’ needs to move from a sector of choice to that of a sector of last resort. This view is assisted and compounded by the introduction of “Welfare Reforms” by registered providers and the policies being introduced to make people who manage to improve their lot to “Pay to Stay”.
These introductions should be seized by the PRS as a real opportunity to fill the gap of aspiring individuals who want decent rented accommodation rather than to place themselves in debt for years to come through the pressurised home ownership philosophy of self interested stakeholders in this country. This philosophy is something that amuses many on the continent where renting is more common than ownership.
The role of T.A.R.O.E. is to make sure to Government and other stakeholders within our own sector and the PRS, that the majority of tenants are decent individuals who deserve the best accommodation that can be supplied. That renting is not an element of the poor and that individuals should have the element of choice as they do on the continent. Home ownership is not the desire or aspiration of everyone and any and all Governments have a duty to recognise that and allow renting to flourish in both the social housing sector and the private rented sector.
How do you see T.A.R.O.E working with “The GOOD Landlords Campaign“?
T.A.R.O.E. will work with anyone who promotes good practice, giving long term security to tenants and recognises tenant’s rights and aspirations. T.A.R.O.E. believes that ‘The GOOD Landlords Campaign’ can only assist the PRS in raising the standards of the private sector by marginalising those who are ‘in it’ for all the wrong reasons.
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