The continued operation of rogue and condemned landlords is making headlines — but for many of us, it’s a reality that we’ve been living with, day-in and day-out. While a new report on the loopholes that allow landlords to continue to operate — renting filthy and dilapidated homes at gouging prices — is welcome, it’s frankly, long overdue. “The Guardian and ITV News investigation showed how rogue owners are collecting rents – often funded by taxpayers via housing benefit – despite being convicted of housing offenses and failing to pass the ‘fit and proper’ person tests required by housing legislation in England and Wales,” the Guardian reports. “Because of the way the law is written – with the tests applying on a borough-by-borough basis – this is usually perfectly legal. It allows landlords to be banned in one borough and operate in another.”
It’s disgusting, but for many of us, it’s not a surprise. So for us, the uproar around the state of renting in 2018 is at once a relief and also a little laughable. Rogue landlords, you say? I had someone illegally excavating under my room trying to put in an extra flat without the owner knowing. A friend had a landlord who let himself in to use the garden on sunny days. I once had mold in my bathroom that was growing actual mushrooms — and it took more than three months to get it dealt with, no matter how many photos of our developing fungi farm we sent. Rogue landlords, you say? Yeah. No kidding.
Pleased to hear @johnmcdonnellMP calling for a national landlord registration scheme and proper resourcing of local authorities to drive out rogue landlords. We need a fundamental shakeup of laws regulating the private rented sector https://t.co/MufND0VjWM
— Tom Copley (@tomcopley) October 25, 2018
These aren’t isolated incidents. These aren’t coincidences. This is the plight of generation rent. For so many of us — and so many young people, in particular — the Tories’ apathy toward the current landlord legislation and our growing pile of rental disasters is no surprise. It’s just hard to believe that it’s taking people this long to catch up. Now that you’re here, let’s see if anything happens. We’re waiting.