All private renters should have permanent tenancies as legal norm, says Shelter

Shelter is calling for permanent tenancies to become the legal minimum norm for all private renters.

A social housing commission set up by Shelter also wants to see some form of rent controls, plus a new consumer regulator, similar to the Financial Conduct Authority, which will register, monitor and enforce social and private landlords which have over 25 homes.

Its report says: “Social renters are more protected from eviction but they face stigma and indifference – and their complaints go nowhere.

“Too many private renters are stuck in insecure, unaffordable tenancies, too frightened to complain about poor conditions or rent increases for fear of eviction.”

The calls come in Building for our future: A vision for social housing which makes 23 recommendations designed to shake up the social and private rented sectors.

The report says: “Unless we act now, we face a future in which a generation of young families will be trapped renting privately for their whole lives, where more and more people will grow old in private rentals, where billions more in welfare costs will be paid to private landlords – and hundreds of thousands more people will be forced into homelessness.”

Its recommendations include building 3.1m more social homes over a 20-year programme at a cost of £10.7bn a year.

It claims that two-thirds of the cost could be clawed back through housing benefit savings and extra tax revenue, and that the programme would pay for itself after 39 years.

It says that new social housing should be part of ‘tenure-blind’ mixed developments.

Shelter set up the commission after the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The commission gathered views from 31,000 people and found that “by a very long way, most people thought the biggest issue facing social housing is that there is not enough of it”.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a priority for this Government.”

The reforms that the Shelter commission wants to see in private renting are:

  • All private landlords with over 25 homes would have to register with a new consumer regulator
  • This body would set consumer standards for all private rented housing
  • The Government should increase resources for local enforcement to tackle bad landlords and poor housing conditions, in line with the growth in the number of households renting privately
  • The Government should end Section 21 – so-called no fault eviction, so that permanent tenancies are the legal minimum for all private renters
  • Private renters should be protected from above-market rent increases and the Government should make available information on rent prices for different property types at local government ward level


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  1. ArthurHouse02

    “All private homeowners should have a permanent right to remain in their home even if they dont pay their mortgage”, “any repairs should be done by the mortgage company in a timely fashion, and when the fixed mortgage term has expired, there should be no risk of the mortgage rate going up”

  2. JMK

    “Shelter set up the commission after the Grenfell Tower tragedy”

    What has Grenfell got to do with this?  Other than one of the Board of Shelter is the sole shareholder of a company that supplied the offending cladding, as reported in the Guardian.

    1. PossessionFriendUK39

      JMK  is right,  No Shelter, as a Charity are ‘ DIRTY ‘ in moral terms.  They don’t provide any housing, criticise those that do,  and We’re found at Fault in a recent employment Tribunal of disability discrimination. What on earth are all the sponsor companies still doing supporting them. !!! We should ALL   boycott the Shelter  sponsors, for  e.g.  How many Landlords have got mortgages with Nationwide –  who are giving some of their profits ( landlords interest payments, to Shelter )  B & Q,  M & S,  and many more.

      1. MF

        Apparently Shelter now do wish to provide housing:

        1. qweasdzxc

          The Government should end Section 21 – so-called no fault eviction, so that permanent tenancies are the legal minimum for all private renters

          The units will be rented from 1 month (minimum) up to 2 years (maximum).

          So it will be one rule private landlords and one rule for Shelter, the National Campaign for Homeless People Limited? Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

        2. Gromit

          That is a different charity called “Shelter Community” and is totally separate from the nationally known “Shelter” who do not provide a roof over the head of a single person (except their highly paid executives who have very nice cosy warm homes courtesy of donations made by the duped general public).

  3. letstalk

    Have they all forgotten that a similar set up was once in place in the past? Of course, that worked out really well didn’t it, which is why the law surrounding trnancies changed at the time, no?

    Clearly a complete lack of common sense or understanding of the past is prevailing here! Once again Shelter, do you research, it is sadly lacking.

    However, at least now you are part way there with understanding that the real issue is that councils need to build more homes, it is the only way to truly solve problems.

    Outside of that you are legislating to a point where you are cutting off your own nose to spite the face of the people you claim to represent!

    1. JMK

      Good post but I’d disagree with your comment about cutting off their nose to spite their face.  IMHO Shelter is deliberately attacking the PRS in order to cause as much homelessness as they can.  The worse it gets the more they can shout about how bad things are and justify the Director’s remuneration.  I’d suggest they are a truly despicable outfit who care little about the people they claim to represent.

      1. CountryLass

        Wasnt there something on here about how Shelter staff were having to visit food banks etc as their wages were so low they couldnt pay bills?

        1. JMK

          About one third of Shelter’s staff were on strike in December because of low pay, some saying they couldn’t afford their mortgages.  Then there’s the case of the ex-employee that took the ‘charity’ to a tribunal for disability discrimination, harassment and constructive dismissal.  He won on all points.

    2. CornishMark

      The only thing we can learn from the study of history is the fact that we learn nothing from the study of history.

  4. whitby64

    This just makes my blood boil. Shelter have no concept of how the PRS works and assume all tenants are angels and all landlords like Rackman. End Section 21? So tenants never change their circumstances/habits and a landlord has to serve notice? Landlords circumstances never change so they need to sell? Shelter need to realize (they won’t) that not all landlords let properties they don’t need purely for profit. We’ve known many who have to rent properties to pay mum’s Care Home fees or are sent abroad to work for 12 months. What would happen to them if they couldn’t get the property back when mum passed or they returned to the UK? This would scare off many potential  (and genuine) landlords and thus reduce the housing supply. In my humble opinion the worst decision was to pay benefits directly to the tenant to “empower” them. This changed everything and most tenants didn’t want that responsibility anyway!

  5. jeremy1960

    Hey shelter, I have a landlord you need to talk to, his tenants abandoned his flat over Christmas, just sent us an email saying they’ve moved back to Sri Lanka. 7 months to go on tenancy, no cleaning done, place is filthy, vandalised doors (2) broken bathroom cabinet,  smashed thermostat,  lock broken, carpets damaged and  graffiti daubed on many walls. Cost to put right will be north of £1800 plus no rent for at least a month (£850). Did check out report, emailed to tenant who denies all claims which now means weeks of waiting for the DPS to decide who should get the £1300 deposit!

    I think shelter that you will find that more tenants want out than landlords want to get rid of tenants and that not all tenants are angels.

    Permanent tenancies? Yes as I’ve said before, you get your directors and staff to trial it along with MPs for 5 years and we’ll talk! Housed any homeless folk over the past year shelter?

  6. Anonymous Agent


    Agree that large landlords should be registered and treated differently, probably those with 10 & above though instead of 25+.


    1. Gromit

      They already are! Luminous was reliant on over 1,000 gas safety checks and only told off by the authorities. You or I would of been dragged to Court and heavily fined.

  7. NotAdoctor32

    Shelter need to focus on offering some people shelter, instead of piping off about the private rented sector and making daft suggestions all the time.

  8. Realitycheck97

    Okay, this is getting silly. And dangerous. The 77 Rent Act killed the PRS. Then ASTs were brought in to deliver greater availability of stock for an increasingly mobile workforce.  It worked really well. The problem is a lack of social housing.  And if Shelter want to pile the pressure on the social providers, there is no better way than reducing the PRS stock. Homelessness is already on the rise and I am very clear that Shelter’s vitriolic attacks on PRS landlords have contributed to this. i fully accept there are some dreadful landlords and agents out there.  Enforce the panoply of measures that already exist to deal with them instead of talking nonsense, pressurising the social sector and making people homeless.

    1. letstalk

      Spot on!

  9. Woodentop

    Shelter lost the plot years ago. It is now run by people who have forgotten its core reason for existence and are more interested in their own position of power to get involved in politics. Every time they come up with these ideas, it is nonsense and often open to self defeating argument. They are nothing more than an anti-landlord pressure group, the people who have every right to protect their investment while they provide a roof over the heads of people that would otherwise be homeless. The nonsense of demonising landlords as all rogues, has to stop, they are a very small minority and well proven. Therefore their ideas are unfounded, unnecessary and with more than enough regulation already. Their looney ideas are counter productive and increase the shortage of rental properties as landlords provide the needed housing they will scare out of the market. Shelter has become a far left wing organisation, not a charity which is funded by you and me?

    1. PossessionFriendUK39

      Absoltely NOT a charity,   so come Everyone,  put pressure on their sponsors,  stop   buying at B & Q,  M & S,  no financial business with Nationwide – move your business,  vote with your feet .

  10. CountryLass

    OK, a regulator for private AND social Landlords with minimum standards is not actually a half-bad idea… And the same about protecting Tenants from above-market rent increases. However personally I would look around to see what else is available if I felt that the increase is too high, the same as I do with insurances and mortgages. If I think I can get a better deal elsewhere I will leave, and if they want to keep my custom then they can either match the price or keep it as it is.
    And more funding to help tackle the bad landlords probably wouldn’t be needed, if they allowed us to actually do our jobs. Rather than just make them register with the body, make them HAVE to at least get an Agent to do an inventory on a property and confirm that it is in a safe, legal condition to rent. We don’t have to manage it, or anything like that, but any property has to have had a regulated Agent visit it and put their name to a report stating that at the time of heir visit the property complied with all current legal standards.
    But a Section 21 is a no-fault notice for a reason. The Landlord needs the property back for whatever reason, maybe to sell it, maybe to move back in or house a family member or maybe it needs some work that he doesn’t want to do with a tenant in place. It is the simplest way for the OWNER to get possession back of THEIR PROPERTY.

  11. Wanderer

    ”The Government should end Section 21 – so-called no fault eviction, so that permanent tenancies are the legal minimum for all private renters”   We manage approx. 500 properties, I don’t know a single landlord of ours that would sign up for a permanent tenancy, so that’s now 500 properties in the area that are no longer available if this came to pass, but it doesn’t fix the fact that the people who want to rent possibly don’t have enough money for a mortgage deposit or just don’t want to buy for whatever reason does it! I myself rent, because I can’t afford to buy. Reducing the amount of properties available for me to rent does not help me one bit!!

  12. KByfield04

    All employees, even when working for a charity, should be paid a good an fair living wage. Let’s start there shall we Shelter?

    1. LandlordsandLetting

      Well, their lovely CEO does alright. She’s on over £120,000 a year! Don’t know about the rest:)

      1. JMK

        She’s on way over that!  The AVERAGE the DIrectors paid themselves up to end March 2017 was over 127K so she’d be above average and we’re almost two years on.

      2. Gromit

        …. and where does this money come from?  Most comes the donation from the general public who Shelter dupes into thinking that their donations will put a roof over a homeless person head – NOT!

  13. LandlordsandLetting

    The **** talked by these do-gooders is simply unbelievable. Why not introduce compulsory 5 yearly Landlord Psychological Assessments (LPAs) for all landlords with two or more properties with penalties of up to 10 years in prison for non-compliance?
    And these ****** socialists never understand the market. ‘Private renters should be protected from above-market rent increases’. They already ARE! If I raised the rent much above the market rate my tenants would leave and I wouldn’t be able to replace them, because….
    In 2015 I speculated on future anti-landlord legislation: It doesn’t seem quite so mad now!
    Those asterisks show how angry I am:) 

    1. Deltic2130

      Brilliant, L&L! I totally agree, and was laughing my nadgers off at your superb post. Bunch of chuffing lunatics, the lot of them!

    2. Gromit

      Some of it is coming to pass .
      I had to provide a DBS certificate (formerly called CRB check) when applying for renewing my HMO Licence, as proof of being a ‘fit and proper person’ to be a Landlord.

  14. qweasdzxc

    Its recommendations include building 3.1m more social homes over a 20-year programme at a cost of £10.7bn a year

    I make that approximately £69,000 per home. I assume this covers the cost of buying the land as well. gives the cost of building a home as at least £1000/square meter. The rough guide I have always used for rebuild cost for insurance is 1/3rd of the house price so £46,000 to buy the land on which to build a 23m^2 house.

    Or are they going to be building tower blocks?


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