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Graham Awards


Who’d have thought it? Shelter boss praises some private landlords

In an unexpected turn of events at a Conservative party conference fringe meeting, the chief executive of Shelter heaped praise on at least some private landlords.

Polly Neate used her introductory comments to tell delegates to the meeting - which looked at likely future legislation for the private rented sector - that she knew from first hand experience amongst her family that some landlords “bent over backwards” to help tenants during the pandemic.

In recent years Neate has used Shelter as a campaigning vehicle to stridently criticise the private landlord and letting agency sectors.


Later in the same Tory Party event she accepted that there were some very good landlords and some very bad tenants - again striking a more conciliatory tone than her organisation usually does.

Neate was speaking alongside housing and homelessness minister Eddie Hughes, and said on more than one occasion that she recognised the valuable role private landlords took in terms of providing homes.

However, she said that in principle she believed that much more of the power balance within the sector was with landlords than tenants, and she told Hughes that she hoped this would be rectified in the imminent government White Paper on private rental reforms. 

Neate told the meeting that while many renters had the prospect of moving on to become home owners, many others did not.


She claimed there were substantial numbers of people in their 30s in HMOs, or people living in poor conditions, and increasingly older renters who have little or no prospect of becoming owner occupiers. 

“Traditionally renters were those on the cusp of home ownership, but now too many on the cusp of homelessness and we need to protect them” Neate told attendees at the event.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    If LLs hold the power - and that's a big if - is that not right because they own the property? LLs invest their time & money in the property what do tenants invest? There is no other partnership I can think of where the junior partner hold the power.

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    Hence, the saying the tail wagging the dog, Mr Johnson, Sunak and Councils might have been asleep and just waking up but we are wide awake.

  • Matthew Payne

    I suppose being on stage at the Tory party conference she was sat in front of several thousand landlords, so she had to avoid being pelted with tomatoes. She will no doubt return to the usual ranting and raving when safely back at Shelter HQ.

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    I am a LL but a good friend told me her story, as a very good reliable Tenant she was forced to move three times in a row because Landlords wanted to do something with the property. This was London and I do think there is sometimes a culture of indifference when it comes to making more money. Sometimes we do have to consider the tenants in the scenario. It's a difficult tight rope walk I know. I want to develop my own rented property and i am giving the Tenant a few years notice so he can mentally prepare. The landlords definitely still have the upper hand at the moment and i can understand why there will be more changes coming. But if the changes make it too difficult for LL to make the profit they want then they will exit and find other investments.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    This ' fringe ' meeting was organised And FUNDED by Shelter !!! - How on earth can that be Independent and where are the Govt to allow that ? As always, they'll take anyone's money.

    Another question can be asked of a so-called registered charity organisation, paying for political activities ( meetings )

    About time Shelter took some responsibility for the rise in Rents.

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    Had no idea it was funded by Shelter!!!! No wonder there was no one representing the PRS on the panel.


    That’s the whole idea so they can push their one sided very narrow minded view of the sector with no opposition

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    Francis, yes Shelter that caused the Deposit Problem and Scheme in 2007 based on a pack of lies, they alleged that up to 45% of Deposits were withheld by LL’s, that was a whopper it turned out less than 2% went to Deposit Resolution. It had the desired effect to force in Deposits Schemes. The same people that was pushing Sarah Tether MP to bring in Private Members Bill that failed. The same people that when Private Members Bill failed had Plan B ready immediately namely the 2015 Deregulation Act that they got in, a whole load of stuff claiming property damage etc to avoid eviction. Why does Government allow unelected Representatives with Charity Status to make laws and Policy for Private Sector Housing, its not their Property and don’t supply any themselves but do enormous wilful damage to performance and unnecessary additional cost to the supply of housing .


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