The National Landlords Association (NLA) has responded to last week’s Citizens Advice report on the private rented sector in a statement entitled “Lies, lies and damned statistics”.
In a report called A Nation of Renters, the charity claimed rogue landlords are raking in £5.6billion a year for unsafe homes that fail to meet legal standards, and that 740,000 households in England live in privately rented homes that present a severe threat to tenants' health.
Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive officer, said: “We recognise that bad practice exists in private housing, that it can have a devastating effect on those it affects, and that it needs to be stamped out. But this report uses loose definitions to compound a perception that private housing is insecure and unsuitable across the board, and it ignores the weight of evidence to the contrary.
“The English Housing Survey finds that the average tenancy now lasts just shy of 4 years, and that only 7% of tenancies are ended by landlords. Our own research shows that 86% of families consider their properties as their ‘home’ and that 62% do not see renting as a barrier to family life. Furthermore just 0.5% of families who rent privately say they’ve had to move because their landlord increased their rent.
“What this shows is that private housing is far from the CAB’s assertion of a market that is ‘failing systematically to deliver what consumers want’. Those who suffer at the hands of the criminal and negligent minority do so because of widespread failure of local councils to commit resources to enforcing the laws that already exist against poor landlords and criminal standards, and because of the failure of successive governments to incentivise the building of much needed homes that would relieve the pressure on the whole housing market.”