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Property management chief backs Shelter over poor quality homes

A prominent rental industry figure has backed Shelter’s sweeping condemnation of the lettings sector - but insists landlords are not to blame.

Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley - which is a property management and PropTech business - says Shelter’s latest claim about tenants feeling unsafe is largely justified. 

Shelter says only 51 per cent of private renters in England feel their home has made them safe during the Coronavirus  pandemic; some 3m live in poor conditions with electrical hazards, pests or damp-related issues in their home; and 3.6m say they pay too much for the quality of home they have.


Ringley agrees, saying: "The UK has some of the oldest housing stock in Europe, especially in the private rented sector, where the majority of homes are converted flats rather than purpose-built, so it comes as no surprise that three million renters report to be living in poor conditions.

"Fundamentally, this research is a damning indictment of our collective failure to build enough new homes of all types and tenures over the past few decades.

“However, it is important not to demonise landlords, many of whom have worked closely with their tenants during the pandemic and lockdown to reassure them about the security of their tenancy despite facing considerable financial uncertainty themselves.

“The government cannot expect buy to let investors to subsidise renters indefinitely and are now facing higher loan repayments as loan repayment holidays did not extend the term but increased the cost. We need to see firmer and greater action than what the Chancellor has announced when it comes to supporting households monetarily.”

Meanwhile Shelter’s claims have received a more guarded response from the Local Government Association, which says it’s too early to draw conclusions on how Coronavirus has affected the PRS.

David Renard, Local Government Association housing spokesperson, says: “While the impact of COVID-19 on the private rented sector is yet to be seen, what is clear is the desperate need for the country to build more social housing.

“With more than one million households on council housing waiting lists, the Spending Review needs to give councils the powers and tools to get building council homes again, which would not only help to meet the government’s annual 300,000 housing target, but reduce homelessness, get rough sleepers off the streets and support people’s wellbeing.”

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    Poor quality properties do need to be brought up to a decent standard, but there is a trade off here, once these poor quality properties are improved they will be suitable for a better quality tenant, so what then happens to the low life feckless tenants that had been living in them,'' horses for courses ''

    • 07 October 2020 10:08 AM

    Good. I hope these cheating crooks get everything they deserve and more.....
    One thing they should NOT get is a house to rent!!!!!!!!!!

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    Almost all properties are handed over to tenants in good condition but many are returned trashed. Will Shelter support landlords seeking compensation to restore them to the condition they want them to be in?

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    • 07 October 2020 10:21 AM

    Simple answer: NO...and NO again.



    You disappoint me.

    Surely Shelter wants to do what is right to ensure as many good quality properties as possible are available to rent - even if that means punishing those who trash them?

    PS. I think I'll go and lie down until I'm thinking straight again!

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    • 07 October 2020 11:02 AM

    Silly me....Of course they do!

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    I don't object to a register of Landlords and a council inspection every 3 years to ensure accommodation is up to decent standard with gas and electricity certificates. This would eliminate rouge Landlords. We also need a Tenants register where tenants who do not look after rental property, cause damage or do not pay rent on time can be listed. This would mean good Landlords were less likely to end up with bad tenants. To be fair we should not have one without the other.

    • 07 October 2020 16:48 PM

    Pure common sense! Good landlords need good tenants. The two go hand in glove. All accommodation should be safe to rent and landlords should consider this as a baseline standard (I am sure most do).

    As for the statements in the above artical about renters not feeling safe against COVID.. What type of open ended question is that? The accommodation is too expensive. To answer that fully is very complex as we all know. Mortgages, insurance, tax, electrical checks, gas safety, maintenance, Co tract renewals costs etc all keep driving up the costs.


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