LETTER: Don’t tar all landlords with the same brush - shortage is the real housing disaster


In response to the open letter from Boston Labour councillors: Buy-to-let disaster (Weds June 18).

While it is true that many landlords are looking to further investment in housing, quite how this represents a disaster is anyone’s guess. Rather than recognising that the real disaster is the chronic shortage of housing, the Labour councillors instead seem intent on placing the blame firmly at the feet of landlords and tarring them all with the same brush.

It’s simply not true that landlords fail their tenants and we can’t let this kind of short minded rhetoric persevere without pointing out a few  of the facts.

Far from living in poor quality homes that don’t meet decent standards, the majority of private sector tenants – some 75-80% – are in fact happy with their tenancy.  

Also buy-to-let mortgage transactions represent but a small number of total mortgage transactions in the UK; so while landlords will inevitably compete with first time buyers in some cases, in reality there is very little cross over.

The NLA does see eye-to-eye with the Labour group about one thing: nobody should have to put up with sub-standard, badly-managed housing.  

The NLA is actively working with Boston Borough Council to find ways of identifying rogue landlords and incentivising professional operators to continue to provide good quality housing.

With the help of a £109k grant from central government for better, more targeted enforcement, Boston Borough Council’s Rogue Landlords Project inspected 78 properties and issued 34 notices to improve between February and April this year alone.

To solve Boston’s housing problems we must continue with this strategy in order to engage with the good and root out the bad.  

We can’t impose more red tape or regulations, and by proxy infer blame on the majority of good landlords who provide well maintained, affordable properties for often some of the most vulnerable.

Don Robbie

Landlord and National Landlords Association representative for Boston.