Monday, 8 October 2012

Thousands of tenants lives threatened by rogue landlords

The lives of thousands of tenants are being put at risk by England's rogue landlords, a report has revealed.

Councils received 85,000 complaints against landlords last year, 62% of which concerned serious and life-threatening hazards.

The research by homeless charity Shelter shows that landlord complaints have risen by almost 30% in the last three years.

There were 487 successful prosecutions against private landlords last year, an increase of 77%.

Shelter is now urging people to contact their council and demand that they stamp out rogue landlords.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive, said: "Despite the significant increase in complaints, we believe that the number of rogue landlords is still underestimated – some local authorities don’t keep records of complaints and tenants often hold back from complaining out of fear of the consequences or because they don’t believe their voices will be heard, even though such a high proportion of complaints are about life-threatening issues."

Jack Dromey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, responding to the report, said: “These shocking statistics highlight the growing abuse tenants face from rogue landlords in the private rented sector. It is absolutely wrong that tenants have no protections against rogue landlords who make their lives a misery.

"These figures should be a wake-up call to the government and the new Housing Minister, Mark Prisk. They should change course and implement those protections rolled back by his predecessor."
Click here to read the original article.

NetRent Comment

We support the drive to remove rogue landlords from the lettings industry but Shelter and Jack Dromey need to get some perspective. 85,0000 complaints represents less than 3.5% of the private rented sector.

Dromey claims that 'tenants have no protection against rogue landlords' clearly forgetting that his party was in power for 13 years and commissioned the Rugg Report which it then chose to almost completely ignore.

Councils have over 80 pieces of legislation which they can use to target 'rogue landlords' with Mr Dromey, hardly no protection.

And nowhere in either Shelter's report or Mr Dromey's statement is there any mention of the damage that some tenants do to landlord's property. Nowhere in Shelter's report or Mr Dromey's statement is there any mention of the increasing number of tenants who default on their rent.

What this report amounts to is a one sided attack on the lettings industry with cheap headline grabbing sound bites about 'rogue landlords'.