The Residential Landlords Association has reacted angrily to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, after the publication of what it calls ‘misleading and distorted’ information into evictions in the private rental sector.
Alan Ward, Chairman of the RLA, sent the letter to the Foundation’s new chief executive Campbell Robb, formerly head of Shelter UK.
Mr Ward’s letter highlights concern about the, ‘potentially misleading and distorted presentation of official statistics on repossessions.’ This includes the claim that, ‘the number of tenants evicted by private landlords exceeded the number evicted by social landlords for the first time in 2014.’
Citing detailed Ministry of Justice data, Ward said that these results clearly show that in every year since 2014, social sector landlords have made more repossession claims than private sector landlords.
In his letter, Ward said, ‘This would be the case even if every claim using the accelerated procedure was undertaken by private sector landlords. I would therefore be grateful if you could provide an explanation as to how JRF has arrived at the conclusion that ‘the number of tenants evicted by private landlords exceeded the number evicted by social landlords for the first time in 2014. ’
RLA angry over ‘misleading’ evictions report
Furthermore, the RLA disputes a claim from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that, ‘over 40,000 tenants were evicted from their homes by landlords in 2015.’ It is also seeking clarification over the claim that, ‘of the 40,000 evictions, there were 19,019 repossessions in the social housing sector and 22,150 in the private rental sector.’
Responding, Ward again cities Ministry of Justice figures: ‘This data very clearly shows that since 2014, more bailiffs have been sent to repossess properties in the social rented sector than in the private rented sector. The only way that it could be shown that there were more bailiffs involved in repossession cases in the private rented sector would be to assume that every accelerated procedure was for the private rented sector which as well as being undocumented is unlikely given the documented balance between private and social landlord evictions. I would be grateful therefore if the JRF could make clear where its figures have come from.’
The response from the RLA comes a day after Paul Shamplina, head of Landlord Action, called for eviction firms to be regulated, in order to ensure professionalism within the sector.