The Residential Landlords Association has hit back at Shelter’s claims that so-called “revenge” evictions are on the rise, the latest exchange in the long-running feud between the housing and homelessness charity and the private rented sector.
The RLA has described Shelter’s campaign as “irresponsible scaremongering,” which misleads tenants with “highly questionable statistics.”
Citing the most recent English Housing Survey (2012/13), the RLA claim that just 7% of tenants who had moved the last three years were forced to do so because their landlord or agent asked them to leave. This was a 2% fall from the previous year.
Shelter reported recently that over 60,000 families were threatened with eviction in the past year because they complained to their landlords about poor conditions in their home. But according to research by the RLA, which represents 20,000 landlords, the vast majority of these evictions happen for legitimate reasons, such as wanting to sell or move into the property, non-payment of rent, or needing to perform extensive work.
Further, the RLA warns that should Shelter have their way and landlords’ rights to regain possession are restricted, confidence in the private rented sector would be damaged. This could, ironically, result in more homelessness due to a fall in supply at a time of high demand.