There are three arguments for tenant involvement – moral, regulatory and practical. Over time I have argued for all three but every now and again I meet the “So What” Wolf. The “So What” Wolf will be familiar to many of you. Charmless, cynical and conservative (with a small c) the Wolf lies in wait during discussions on tenant involvement. The Wolf is always critical about it, denigrating tenants and tenant involvement alike and dismissing anything about empowering tenants as ‘frothy stuff’.
The wolf matters because they do exist and unless those of us who care passionately about tenant involvement deal with them they will win the day in Board and Executive meetings.
But is caring passionately enough? Surely there is a strong moral case for involvement? Unfortunately the So What Wolf will blow this house down. They will argue that landlords are businesses and their business is to provide services to customers. They are not there to be nice, empower anyone or do anything that strays beyond that business purpose. The So What Wolf will argue that those arguing an evangelical case should be gently ignored or patronised and hopefully those evangelicals will go away and annoy someone else.