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RLA slams Shelter’s ‘extravagant claims’ about housing standards

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has once again defended the private rented sector (PRS) after Shelter’s latest analysis of housing trends in Britain claimed that four in 10 British homes are not up to standard, with the problem most acute in the PRS.

The RLA slammed Shelter’s ongoing assault on the PRS as ‘plain wrong’, as it suggests that the sector is not fit for purpose as private sector tenants are more likely to face insecurity as a result of short term tenancies. 

The RLA pointed out that the PRS provides a crucial service to a growing and varied demographic of tenants, as illustrated by recent research which revealed that 82% of tenants in the private sector are satisfied with their accommodation, higher than in the social rented sector.

Shelter’s analysis of housing trends in England suggests that tenants face instability as a result of short term tenancies. However, the RLA pointed out that the most recent English Housing Survey shows that tenants are on average living in their homes for four years, and a version of the survey published last year showed that just 8% of tenancies are ended by the landlord.

The RLA’s vice chairman, Chris Town, commented: “Shelter is once again making extravagant claims about the standard of all housing in Britain, let alone private rented property.

“Though we share Shelter’s ambition for every rented home to be of a decent standard the answer is not more regulation.

“With over 400 regulations covering the sector, what is needed is not new powers but better enforcement of existing powers to root out the crooks, rather than tying the majority of good landlords up in excessive red tape.

“The most effective way of ensuring housing is affordable is to increase supply. We hope Shelter will support landlords in calling on the Government to change recent tax policies and on councils to scrap ineffective, but costly, licensing schemes all of which discourage investment.”

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