Sir – Joe McManners of the city council attempts to justify its HMO scheme (Letters, September 8) on the grounds that it is a “universal scheme” which achieves a “universal raising of the standards”.

He does not seem to notice that the scheme does not apply to landlords who rent their property to a family — so how then can it be called “universal”?

He also boasts of more “enforcement action against landlords” than any other council.

Undoubtedly unscrupulous landlords need to be curtailed, but dare I say most landlords are well-meaning, law-abiding citizens, not people to be hounded merely because they offer a chance to people to live in a decent dwelling who cannot afford to buy their own.

In that situation, tenants are often happy to accept slightly lower standards, rather than pay extra for small improvements to finance the council (who are picking up the extra money via their excessive charges to landlords of HMOs). Living in a homeless hostel or a cramped bed-sitter are, I assure you, much worse. As I said in a previous letter, professional people who prefer to live in shared accommodation should not be denied that chance by a fresh miasma of rules and regulations, which for home-owners will make selling to the wealthy a far easier option then renting to those with less money and no family. And why should people who do not have a family be treated differently from those who do?

Ken Weavers, Headington