In an egregious piece of research (in every sense of the word), Shelter claimed - more or less - that private landlords were killing children:
Shelter’s research, released today, based on a YouGov survey carried out in November last year of 4,327 adults in England living in the private rented sector, found 44 per cent of the respondents said their child would have a better childhood if they had a more stable home.
Well not quite killing children. And not even half of the respondents either. Indeed it is true that many people living in private rented property, just like many living in the social housing sector, would have wished for a more stable place to bring up the children. However, it simply does not justify the over-the-top comments from the big Shelter boss:
Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said the findings of its report Growing up renting proved ‘that today’s volatile rental market is simply not fit for purpose’.
Now I don't wish to be boring here but what Shelter are doing (egged on by the Labour Party and local council leaders who really should know better) is mounting an attack on private landlords. The idea that private landlords would prefer to kick out a tenant after six months is arrant nonsense - the volatility is mostly down to the tenants not the landlords.
If these idiots from Shelter (and the Labour Party) get their national register of landlords - doubtless under the aegis of a new regulatory body, OfRent or whatever - the result will be to raise rents, reduce supply and exacerbate housing problems in places such as London. Instead of damning landlords with exaggerated claims of their evil nature, Mr Robb should be supporting the private rental sector, helping it to meet the complicated and varied needs of people needing housing.
But then that wouldn't get a headline, would it?