PDPLA Chair Martin Silman was involved in a Facebook debate on 'affordable housing' this month and accused of 'spinning' the truth in support of members as well as greed, money grabbing and a number of other things. Sharing facts about what the government definition of 'affordable housing' actually is (as opposed to nice homes for nice people at cheap prices which most assume) and details of average yields and how people finance their properties, the high cost of maintenance etc are of little use. People appear to have a very strongly negative view of landlords sustained by organisations such as Shelter and Crisis who seem to benefit from painting us as the bad guy.
So it was with some interest that the Guardian, stalwart newspaper of the liberal (and less liberal) left came out this month with an article arguing that enough was enough and landlords do not get a fair deal.
In the article, they said: "But has the vilification of some landlords gone too far? Last week, we published the tale of one landlady who is quitting the buy-to-let market for a mix of reasons, including the new tax hikes. It attracted a vast amount of abuse from people who posted comments online. But it went beyond that, with the author hunted down on Facebook and subject to nasty postings. On Google, her health status was identified, then shared online. One person even went so far as to make up fake one-star reviews of her book on Amazon." The article concludes with the obvious but rarely stated, "one thing that is not an option is the sort of vengeful ad hominem attack on a decent landlord we saw last week"