Landlords leader Ben Beadle (main picture) has challenged rental campaigners to put down their arms and find common ground.
Beadle, who is CEO at the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), has offered an olive branch to groups and charities working for tenants in an open letter calling for both sides to work together.
He says landlords and tenants have become “increasingly polarised” in recent years, and people are seen as either pro-landlord or pro-tenant.
Everyone involved in the PRS needs to come together, and ensure improvements are made that benefit all sides, he says.
The letter was sent to campaign groups including Crisis, Shelter and Generation Rent, as well as Citizens Advice.
Beadle identifies court backlogs, grounds for possession, pets and DSS ads as areas where conflict needs to be resolved.
Debate about the future of the private rented sector has become increasingly polarised as a battle.”
“Over recent years, debate about the future of the private rented sector has become increasingly polarised as a battle between the needs of tenants on the one hand and those of landlords on the other.
“We do not think this has to be the case and are concerned at some of the language which gives the impression that someone can be pro-landlord or pro-tenant, but not both. This is simply not true,” Beadle says in the letter.
He also says that: “Whilst we accept that there are issues on which we will not agree, we believe it important that as groups representing tenants and landlords, we are able to find common ground where we can work together for the benefit of the sector as a whole.”
It is time to end the “divisive rhetoric,” he says, which gives “the wholly inaccurate impression that the majority of landlords cannot be trusted”.