PWe are told that homeowners will be prohibited from evicting their tenants without good reason. James Brokenshire, the Housing Minister, promised "the biggest change in the private rental sector in a generation," aimed at preventing "unethical" homeowners from claiming their properties.

His proposal has been widely applauded by commentators and broadcasters. The owners, at least in the abstract, are not popular. Our vocabulary itself is charged against them. In general, they do not own much land and they are very rarely lords. But at a deep ancestral level, the word makes us think of absent dukes frowning while their agents chase children in tears from their Irish domains rather than …

.