Shapps: Landlords should throw open their books

With public subsidies being reduced, housing associations will need to change so they can do more for less, and continue to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The Minister said all organisations that manage and build social housing should open their books and publish their expenditure, so tenants can see how their money is being spent, and the wider public can see they are getting value for money.

The Department for Communities and Local Government was the first to publish details of all spending over £500 – and Mr Shapps encouraged housing associations to do the same as the start of a new ‘spirit of openness’.

The Minister added that social housing tenants will demand to know if the people who provide the homes they live in are earning more than the Prime Minister. Anyone who relies on taxpayers’ money to provide a public service will need to prove that they are providing the best possible service with the money available.

Grant Shapps said:

"Housing associations have proved themselves to be experts at steering massive private investment towards social homes – without them the housing shortage in this country would be even more acute. But over recent years large amounts of public money has been invested and I want to know we can get the most out of this past, present and future public investment.

"We’re now in a new era of public spending – there will no return to the old way of doing things, and no one can afford to rest on their laurels. So I’m calling on organisations that deliver and manage social housing to throw open their books and show the people they serve where the money is going.

"This isn’t a gesture; we need to squeeze the most out of every pound spent. Where there are opportunities for greater efficiency the public will see these – and they will demand they are taken."

He added:

"They want to know how many people think that their job is tougher than being Prime Minister.

"And I want to know how it can be justified to pay enormous salaries which are ultimately being paid for either through the hard work and toil of taxpayers – or worse, from the rents of tenants who maybe the people in society least able to afford your salary."

Have your say on this story using the comment section below

0 thoughts on “Shapps: Landlords should throw open their books

  1. anonymous

    What a wonderful idea, will the RSL chiefs also have to declare their free travel, free central London and country residences and the multi-million pound speaking opportunties and company directorships they will undoubtedly have after as little as 4 years in the job!!

  2. John Thorpe

    I have been a landlord for 40 years through good and bad times. Under the last Labour Government we were poorly served. Being frank with Government and its quangoes isn’t a recipe for getting a fair hearing or legislation that isn’t aggressive for the private sector. Reports on landlord performance drafted by Shelter and the Citizens Advice Bureau only draw on their experience with the small number of bad landkords and it was this information that got taken on board by the pathetic bunch working in the Communities and Local Government Ministry.

    Regading profits, over the years my return on the captial invested (ie the current market price for all the prorerties I own, all mortgage free) is 8% and the untaxed profit after all expenses and repairs etc is about 3%. After tax this can be slashed even more. I don’t think the Prime Minister has anything to fear from Private Landlords

    I think it is a quite different story for the landlords and owners of very large blocks of leasehold flats. in these, the maintenance charges can soar to 30% of the leaseholders rent income and if he is renting out this is bad news.

    If the private landlord has mortgages to meet he could be operating at a very low return on capital and voids can then produce a real and damaging loss.

    I hope others can repond to this issue.

    John