Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report ‘Misleading’ Says RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has spoken out against what it describes as ‘misleading’ results from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

A report released earlier this week by the foundation suggested that for the first time, evictions from private landlords overtook the number of evictions from social landlords. However, chair of the RLA Alan Ward, has argued in defense of private landlords that this was not true.

In a letter addressed to Campbell Robb, chief executive of Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Ward said: ‘Results clearly show that in every year since 2014 social sector landlords have made more claims to repossess a property than private sector landlords. 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.”

Ward used data from County Court Bailiffs to further his argument, saying: ‘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.’

Finally, he addressed the way in which key pieces of data were excluded from the report: ‘I should finally be grateful for an explanation as to why, in a report on security of tenure, the JRF has failed to note that, accordingly to the English Housing Survey for 2015/16, the average length of time a tenant has been in their current private rented property is now 4.3 years. Likewise, the survey showed that 73 per cent of private sector tenants had moved from their previous property because they chose to, 11 per cent said that their landlord or agent ended the tenancy and just 2 per cent said it was because of a rent increase by their landlord.’

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