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RLA questions Shelter’s claims

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has written to Shelter questioning the latest statistics from the housing charity which claimed that tenants across the country are suffering at the hands of rogue landlords.

Shelter claimed last week that 125,000 tenants had suffered abusive behaviour from landlords in the past year, although the number of tenants cited as calling its helpline was actually less than 17,000.

RLA Chairman Alan Ward has written to the chief executive of the charity saying the figures “do not add up” and accused Shelter of being “selective” in the data it chooses to publish.


Shelter claims that 120,000 privately renting tenants in the West Midlands and another 100,000 tenants in the North West are subject to various forms of harassment. This exceeds the published national figure and the RLA has requested clarity on how these numbers were attained.

The RLA has questioned if the figures were taken from a smaller survey sample and then extrapolated. Shelter claim that YouGov conducted the research and the RLA has asked for the numbers to be published in full.

The RLA also notes that the case studies used across the UK appear to be one tenant renting in London.

The RLA says Shelter’s claims are very serious and should not be taken lightly, however transparency with figures must be provided and it says its request should hopefully shed some light on such an “emotionally charged” subject.

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    So if I am reading that correctly, Shelter were asked a couple of questions and selectively only answered one where they claim yougov conducted the research? However have they answered the question on if they are going to provide full transparency on the figures? I hope this is not ignored and they are hounded for full transparency. Where are folk going to realise Shelter are a waste of time and do more damage to tenants on a whole than good....

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    Shelter, The Guardian, etc., have their narrative, and they're going to stick with it, reality be damned. If Shelter told the truth, it would soon become clear that their existence as an organisation is unnecessary. Campbell Robb would lose his ridiculous salary (what is it now, £130,000, or more?) and would have to get a real job. Horror of horrors! How degrading it would be for this champion of the poor to have to work for a living!

  • Kenny Sahota

    Have to agree there Graham and James. This is a clear manipulation of statistics and one which paints landlords in an incredibly bad, and incorrect light. There is a huge amount of difference between the 17,000 actual complaints made and the 125,000 apparently 'abused' tenants that are mentioned here.

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    • 09 September 2015 12:48 PM

    Yes, definitely unfair for Shelter to release these statistics if they can't be backed up. As is with many figures that are released in the property sector, complete and utter transparency should be a given.

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    It is also important to note that self-report surveys can be very unreliable. If anyone asked my most recent 'tenant from hell' had I been abusive towards her she would say 'yes' even though it was her screaming down the 'phone at me. She didn't seem to believe she had a responsibility to pay the rent and was not happy when she was therefore given her notice. So, if Shelter only surveyed and interviewed tenants then they only got one side of the story. Even more landlords could have been 'abused' than tenants, but Shelter wouldn't report those figures even if they collected them (which they wouldn't, of course). It is so ridiculously biased that they have a nerve publishing this one-sided nonsense as though it were 'truth.' I'd like to get right to the bottom of this and expose Shelter for what it is - an organisation that thinks it champions tenants when all it really does is attack landlords and damage the PRS. It is partly through its successful lobbying that the lunatic tax grab decision was made in the Summer Budget. We must get it reversed and pronto. Sign the petition and pass it on over social media etc. Here is the link: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104880


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