Monday, 13 September 2010

Shelter's claims polarise the lettings industry

Claims made in a new campaign by the charity Shelter polarise the lettings industry in our opinion. Shelter claim that their survey indicates that nearly one million tenants have been the victims of landlord scams.

Their campaign called Evict Rogue Landlords is designed to highlight the fact that there are rogue landlords operating in the UK. We agree, there are clearly rogue landlords out there but there are also rogue tenants, something Shelter's campaign ignores.

We spoke to Shelter today and they confirmed that most landlords are decent and honest. They claim that the intention behind the campaign is to make tenants aware of their rights and responsibilities. However, their headline of one million scammed tenants has been picked up and reported on by many media outlets. Those media outlets, and Shelter, have not balanced the case by pointing out that many landlords have had serious issues with tenants, ranging from non-payment of rent to cannabis farms. Based on the Shelter campaign the media has portrayed the lettings industry as full of rogue landlords scamming innocent tenants. believe that this type of campaign is exactly what the lettings industry does not need because it polarises the industry into us and them. Bad landlords and bad tenants are both equally bad for everyone in the lettings industry. Singling out the bad in one group out and ignoring the bad in the other group just creates division and mistrust. Landlords and tenants need to work together to weed out the rogues.

Shelter should be working to promote good letting between landlords and tenants, not working hard to promote the impression that landlords are untrustworthy thieves with tenants as their innocent victims. That impression does nothing to foster good landlord/tenant relations and simply serves to polarise the lettings industry.

Click here to view the Shelter campaign Evict Rogue Landlords