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Shelter turns its fire on rogue social landlords

Shelter - for so long an outspoken critic of private rental landlords and letting agencies - has now turned its fire on the social housing sector.

In response to a government announcement of a new inspection and regulation regime for social housing, as part of a new Social Housing (Regulation) Bill, launched this week in the House of Commons.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: "Social housing tenants have put up with too much for too long - too many have been ignored and stigmatised because of where they live. Five long years after Grenfell, this Bill will tip the scales of power closer in the direction of fairness and accountability.  


“As the Bill moves through Parliament it's crucial that it’s robust enough to truly hold landlords to account. That means regular inspections and increased professionalisation of the industry - just as we would expect a teacher or a nurse to have relevant qualifications, we should expect this of our social landlords.”

In theory, the Bill - ion it becomes law in its present form - means that social housing landlords could face unlimited fines and Ofsted-style inspections.

The Regulator of Social Housing will have stronger powers to issue unlimited fines, enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice – down from 28 days – and make emergency repairs where there is a serious risk to tenants, with landlords footing the bill.

In what the government calls ”a major reset of power between tenants and landlords” residents will be able to demand information and rate their landlord as part of new satisfaction measures. 


Tenants will also have a direct line to government, with a new 250-person residents panel convening every 4 months to share their experiences with ministers, inform policy thinking and help drive change in the sector.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says:  “In 2022 it is disgraceful that anyone should live in damp, cold and unsafe homes, waiting months for repairs and being routinely ignored by their landlord. These new laws will end this injustice and ensure the regulator has strong new powers to take on rogue social landlords.

“We are driving up the standards of social housing and giving residents a voice to make sure they get the homes they deserve. That is levelling up in action.”

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    Shelter is a non-discriminatory body - it hates all LLs equally!

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    While I agree in theory that everyone should have a well maintained, warm, dry home with repairs carried out in a timely fashion the reality faced by landlords doesn't always make that possible. Whenever these policy ideas are thought up there always seems to be the assumption that everyone is a thoroughly decent person who lives by the same middle class code of conduct.
    While most tenants are thoroughly decent people there are some with substance dependency or mental health issues.
    Social housing providers have some quite challenging tenants who have zero respect for their homes. How many tradespeople are going to be willing to enter a property with a snarling pit bull at the door? How many tradespeople will be willing to work in a squalid mess sky high with rubbish and rotting food while the tenant is slumped on the sofa gaming or semi conscious? How many homes are cold and damp because the tenant never opens the window and spends their money on alcohol instead of gas?

    There needs to be a balance between rhetoric and reality. Should resources be targeted towards the decent tenants who cherish their homes or disproportionately spent on those who wilfully destroy their homes purely so the housing providers can minimise the chance of being sanctioned?

    Kathryn Everson

    Totally agree with the above, particularly the first 2 paragraphs, as this applies also to private Landlords as well. Its not only those with dependency or mental health issues. Many people can appear at first to be most suitable tenants even with references, I have found when in situ, their 'standards of cleanliness and care of a property can vary enormously from what would be considered 'acceptable' (and as stated in their contract, or later with the DPS) and you can still be left with mess, costs and additional time to bring everything back to a good standard for a new tenant.

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    Waste of time talking to these People, they are all warm hearted soft headed Socialists, as long as the Money is not coming out of their pocket.

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    Main problem is caused by the government, ie class a drugs freely available, alcohol promoted as though it's pop, no law and order, care in the community, people given soft sentences for serious offences. No protection for landlords, three murdered not long ago.NO GO areas and open borders.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Very succinctly put Edwin, rented housing is just where these people reside., with impunity from any consequences.

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    You won't believe this, but l has a land dispute with HMLR, who within the documents they supplied, it showed that they could refuse to visit some areas ! Ie NO GO areas ! Further l have had a problem with bona fide contractors issuing fake certification ! Unbelievable !

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    '' Everyone ???'' Good honest working tenants certainly deserve properties in good condition, free loading scum don't even deserve a tent


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