If everyone is strongly against an issue, problem, or situation, and people march on the streets and sign petitions etc, does that mean that everyone else is silently but actively in favour? I mean, unless you protest loudly, and keep repeating and emphasising your opposition to an issue, does this mean you support it?
No. But given the fuss being made about so-called ‘rogue landlords’ you’d think this was the case. Freedom from rogues… an end to rogues… down with rogues! All campaigning groups and political parties stress their strong opposition to rogues.
But how do you define rogue? The scum who rent out those notorious beds in sheds? The landlady who killed a tenant through allowing faulty wiring to go unchecked and unrepaired? The man who illegally evicted his tenant by hiring thugs to assault him and then threw him out on the street?
I think rogues are a distraction. Where they exist, there is enough relevant legislation to ensure they imprisoned or fined, but apparently little will to deploy it. Shelter are campaigning hard on rogues, and yes, rogues are really, really bad.
Never forget the worst part of renting: the low level misery. Should a landlord without a licence, or one who rents out property without permission from their mortgage provider, or who issues retaliatory eviction to a tenant who asks for a repair be considered rogue?
I recently contacted my local (Labour) MP, regarding the Commons debate on renting, and requested that he raise: short tenancies, retaliatory evictions, that rentiers need only give two months notice and tenants are out etc.etc etc… His reply was amazing.
He is in favour of: ‘regulating residential lettings and management agents; protecting tenants, landlords and the reputations of the many responsible agents; ending the confusing, inconsistent fees and charges regime, making fees easily understandable, upfront and comparable across agents; promoting longer term tenancies and predictable rents; and introducing a national register of landlords to help empower local authorities to improve standards and deal with rogue landlords.’
Rogue landlords kill people, but they could already be imprisoned. It’s a bit like the lighter sentences given for death by dangerous driving, which never make sense to me. Causing tenants to live in shed, killing them by rogue electrics, beating them up should be properly sanctioned. Which they are.
I get the impression that with renting, no politician actually get it, because they don’t do it. Renting for them all is a brief and tricky sojourn, in halls of residence or even ‘rooms ‘ at Oxbridge, and then in better homes while they save to buy, not a way of life forever. MP’s who rent do not suffer the enduring insecurity suffered by renters at the ‘affordable’ end of the market, where a request for essential repairs will see them shown the door.
Rogue landlords are vile, on this we can agree. But far worse for tenants is the short term insecurity, the never knowing how long you can stay, and accepting that if you press for repairs can be given notice on a carefree caprice.
Rogues are very, very bad, but there is a greater wrong.