What is it?
The Rogue Landlord campaign centres on a 'mockumentary' video starring the stand-up comedian Sean Lock, which is available to view on the charity's website, on YouTube and the charity's Facebook page. The film highlights key themes of the Shelter campaign, such as the exploitation and harassment of tenants and the problem of poorly maintained and unsafe properties.
What is the charity hoping to achieve?
Members of the public are driven towards the Shelter Facebook page, where they can sign a petition to make landlord accreditation law. The charity is hoping to obtain 5,000 signatures. The petition calls for the housing minister, Grant Shapps, to produce a clear plan to tackle rogue landlords and show his commitment to private tenants by ensuring that all local authorities sign up to a minimum standard accreditation scheme.
The actors Oliver Chris, Sally Bretton and Mike Fielding also star in the film, while the voiceover is provided by the Episodes actor Tamsin Greig.
How big a problem are rogue landlords?
Kay Boycott, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, says of the campaign: "One million Britons have been victims of a landlord scam in the past three years, and we predict the problem will increase further as more people are priced out of the housing market. This campaign will help us engage the general public in order to start a conversation about the issues and empower people so they don’t become the next victims of rogue landlords."
How is the campaign being promoted?
The campaign will be flagged up using the charity’s presence on the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook. The campaign is also being seeded through as many relevant online territories as possible, including property websites and blogs, and film, comedy and student sites.
Who produced the video?
The brand marketing agency Amplify created the video alongside Irresistible Films.
Third Sector verdict:
The campaign has already almost reached its target of 5,000 signatures in only its second week. This shows how successful it has been, and the charity is now hoping to surpass that total by the end of the campaign. Celebrities including Stephen Fry and Armando Iannucci have been tweeting about it and spreading the campaign message, demonstrating that Shelter has picked an issue that will resonate with many people. Also, by seeding the content on other related websites, the number of people who see the campaign will be higher than if only traditional channels were used.