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Rogue Landlords No Laughing Matter

by Sarah Halloran

The housing charity Shelter has come up with a clever way to back up its campaign against rogue landlords.  They’ve created a dark comedy film starring Sean Lock as a less than honest private landlord.

The five minute film shows Lock in full rogue landlord guise showing potential tenants around his dark, dingy, and dangerous property apparently oblivious to the problems the tenants would be facing should they be mad or desperate enough to move in.

Risky Business

It can be risky renting a property especially when so many rogue landlords still operate across the UK.  Letting out homes in appalling condition and harassing their tenants is all in a day’s work for an unscrupulous landlord and they are continuing to get away with it.

Shelter is currently aiming to raise awareness of these practices and the fact that complaints to its hotline have risen by 23% in the past year is cause for concern.  This rise in complaints is partly down to a larger number of people choosing to rent property over mortgaging, but it also shows how rife the problem of rogue landlords is in the UK.

It might be shocking, but according to Shelter, only 2.2% of landlords actually belong to any professional body.  Even more worrying is that, according to a YouGov survey, almost one million people in the UK have been the victim of a private tenancy scam or a dodgy landlord in the past 3 years.

Time for Change

In light of these figures, Shelter is calling on the Government to form a national standard for landlords in the UK.  This could require all landlords to become a member and to commit to providing good quality accommodation, fulfilling their duties, and to follow a defined set of principles.

Shelter is currently requesting people to sign their petition in a bid to convince the Government that they have a duty to protect people renting homes across the UK.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive, said “The Housing Minister’s claim that ‘the vast majority of England’s three million private tenants are happy with the service they receive’ has been seriously thrown into question.” He went on to say “It’s frightening to see complaints about bad landlords are increasing at such a rate, at the very time when renting a home is fast becoming the only option for thousands of families across the country.  It appears that rogue landlords are cashing in on the growing market.”

It’s true that more and more people are renting these days and yet it seems almost implausible that no protection exists to protect the interests of those renting property.  Watch this space.  We’ll bring you news of any Government initiatives should they be introduced and will also keep an eye on the petition that Shelter are planning on presenting.

Oh and you can watch the Shelter short film here.  It really does highlight the problems that tenants are up against.

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