Landlords criticised again in a political speech

January 16, 2013

Landlord Information

The recent publication of the 2011 UK census results has shown the anticipated huge change in the racial and cultural makeup of the United Kingdom, particularly in and around London.

This has led politicians of several parties to comment on both the challenges and opportunities that this opens up and it might be safely anticipated that 2013 will see frequent returns to the subject, as the next general election starts to appear on the horizon.

It is regrettable that, in recent speeches on some of the challenges arising including the one referenced here*, that yet again landlords seemingly en-masse have been on the receiving end of several gratuitous sideswipes.

Here there are some references to landlords jamming immigrants into overcrowded properties, with all the Dickensian implications of profiteering and exploitation associated with that.

Few responsible landlords would question that there is a small minority who behave unacceptably and very possibly illegally, in housing people in unsafe and overcrowded conditions.

Most would also point out that there are available legal sanctions to deal with these individuals and that a more enthusiastic application of the law might be sufficient to address the problem.  It is also worth pointing out that even the best landlords insurance quote and subsequent policy, will be based upon assumptions that the policyholder is complying with the law.

However, what is far from clear is how significant this landlord issue is overall in terms of the context of the speeches referring to the inability of the nation to provide sufficient housing for the vast numbers of people entering the UK or indeed the challenges associated with racial and cultural integration between different groups.

The challenges for society here, as a whole, are significant and there are without doubt ways in which some of the existing problems can be ameliorated.

What is unfortunate and regrettable is the discussion of landlords housing policies in this context, as though they are somehow a major contributory cause of some of the problems arising.

Landlords have commented previously that as an industry, they appear to get scant recognition from politicians and are frequently gratuitously mentioned in a very negative context when discussing social problems that are arguably little or nothing to do with them.

Landlords have not created the significant waves of immigration into the UK over the past 10 to 40 years nor have they generated the situation which has led to insufficient new housing being built and an economic malaise – both things that are major contributors to the now publically-acknowledged challenges in terms of the housing and assimilation of the new arrivals.

Some may see this as yet again another example of landlord-bashing and this will perhaps further the perception that the industry is an easy target for political sideswipes.




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