Tell Shelter what you think!

Tell Shelter what you think!

13:43 PM, 1st August 2017, About 7 years ago 13

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A sure sign that a person or organisation knows they are wrong is when they cannot answer to the truth and instead silence their critics. Shelter is currently doing this to anyone who raises serious questions about their remit and activities.

In the last week alone several landlords have been blocked by Shelter from commenting on their Facebook page. One was warned that he was not to mention the name of the new Chief Executive (Polly Neate). Why he should not mention her name is unclear, but he was blocked swiftly after this episode.

Clearly Shelter just wants ‘yes’ people to comment on their page; they happily answer anyone who has anything negative to say about landlords, try to project themselves as ‘caring’ and helpful (even though they provide no shelter so are of very limited practical use) and their campaigns are primarily focused on casting aspersions about private landlords and proposing further restrictive policies for the PRS. They have even implied that we should provide free housing to tenants for 5 years in order for them to build up a deposit.

They’re the ‘charity’ (with a massive budget every year, which in my view they squander and use for destructive ends); we’re not a charity – we have to get the rent in to cover all the costs of running our service provision and we need some profit as well as that is payment for our work and what many of us live off.  Social landlords also need to get the rent in; Shelter thinks that’s okay, but it’s not okay for us.

What’s more, they have never explained why they only target private landlords and not social landlords as well. If they want to be negative and destructive why be so selective about it? We all know that the problems in the social sector are far weightier and urgent. Why not deflect even more attention away from the fact that they provide no housing by attacking other providers of housing too?

I have already analysed some of the reasons why I believe they have the focus they do here:

Shelter (and now, it would appear, also the Joseph Rowntree Foundation under the new stewardship of the former Shelter boss, Campbell Robb) seem to think that criticising private landlords and constantly proposing new regulations for the PRS ‘helps’ tenants. Their support of Section 24 is a clear example of how they are so hooked on their anti-private landlord agenda that they won’t admit how taxing a business at potentially infinite rates will lead to increased charges for the service.

So although they are now beginning to see how rents are rising (they say they’re ‘soaring;’ they always say that even though up until recently rents rose largely in line with inflation), still they don’t reverse their position on s24. They see how homelessness is rising amongst those with the lowest incomes and they don’t put 2 and 2 together that landlords have to ‘phase out’ tenants with the least means as s24 is ‘phased in’. We predicted two years ago that this would happen  and we have also explained why it is now coming to pass, here:

Shelter is in a mess and they need to be confronted with these facts. Naturally, it is now tricky for some of us to expose this, having been ‘banned’ from their Facebook page, so I throw down the gauntlet to others:


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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

14:46 PM, 1st August 2017, About 7 years ago

Hi Ros

Shelter also banned me for posting home truths on their Facebook page quite a while ago but I can't say that I blame them for it because I cannot see how it is any different to us banning people who post extreme anti-landlord views on this website.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:26 AM, 2nd August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "01/08/2017 - 14:46":

It is still worth trying to get our message across on their public forum, Mark. Otherwise, what do we do? Give up and let them continue spreading their anti-private landlord message and have their chums on the Guardian report their rhetoric as though it is the truth? I think it is worth continually confronting them with what they are doing - all kinds of negative things, but most importantly the fact that they now recognise homelessness is on the increase, they see that it is those with the lowest incomes who are no longer going to be able to afford to live in the PRS and they know there are no social homes for them, and yet they continue to support Section 24 and even referred to the 'mild' policies affecting landlords. That one has made me furious. If they read and absorbed the knowledge in the case studies in my report of what this is doing to thousands of portfolio landlords and thereby millions of tenants, they wouldn't have the nerve to dismiss this as 'mild.'

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:33 AM, 2nd August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dr Rosalind Beck" at "02/08/2017" rel="nofollow">">02/08/2017 - 09:26":

I agree with all of that Ros. My point was that you shouldn't be too surprised or disappointed that they've banned you from their Facebook page. Would we do any different if it was the other way around?

terry sullivan

13:24 PM, 2nd August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 01/08/2017 - 14:46i think you should notify charities commission of this behavior

neate is another in a long line of public sector troughers--never had a real job?

terry sullivan

13:25 PM, 2nd August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 02/08/2017 - 09:26we should all complain to charities commission--shelter is political and should not be a charity

Whiteskifreak Surrey

13:43 PM, 2nd August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 02/08/2017 - 09:33If I click on that link in your post, Mark, I see a huge figure 404 and the text "The computer says No"....

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

14:13 PM, 2nd August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 02/08/2017 - 13:43Thanks for letting us know. We think that problem is fixed going forwards but we have been unable to change any like that retrospectively.

Dr Rosalind Beck

15:33 PM, 2nd August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 02/08/2017 - 13:25This is something I've been considering. If anyone wants to go ahead already though and report back here, that would be good. They must have some guidelines to follow, so I would aim to make it as good as possible to maximise the chances of success.

Arnie Newington

16:52 PM, 11th August 2017, About 7 years ago

Good article which highlights that Shelters ban on letting agent fees has done damage to the letting industry and pushed up rents.


7:04 AM, 12th August 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Arnie Newington at 11/08/2017 - 16:52Can I suggest every reader sends this link to their MP and ask them not to support the ban. But support a cap.

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