40% Of Right To Buy Homes Being Rented Out By Landlords
Nearly forty years ago in 1980, Margaret Thatcher introduced the Right to Buy homes scheme as she wanted the UK to become a ‘property-owning democracy’. Many people jumped on the bandwagon to become home owners and also viewed their residences as a means of investing for the future.
When the Right To Buy Homes scheme was introduced few believed that it in the future 40% of the homes would be owned by private landlords.
A weekly trade publication has recently obtained data, under the Freedom of Information Act which reveals that under the Right To Buy Homes scheme 40.2% of public housing sold by councils are being rented out by private landlords, with tenants paying twice as much to live in the properties to how much the councils had charged.
The research was unable to uncover exactly how much renters are paying in the Right to Buy homes, however the publication claims that the average rent councils charge throughout England is £88 per week, in comparison the average weekly rent landlords are charging is £210.
The report uncovered that Milton Keynes has 70.9% of private letting in the former council owned homes, it also shows several other councils, including Bolsover, Brighton & Hove, Canterbury, Stevenage, Cheshire West & Chester, and Nuneaton & Bedworth have more than 50% of private lettings from previously owned council stock.
After having studied the research Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing, John Healey, said: “We desperately need more genuinely affordable homes, but the Conservatives’ Right To Buy Homes means council homes are being sold off and communities are losing out.
“Only one in five homes recently sold under the right-to-buy has been replaced. As this research shows, too often these homes become buy-to-let investments with higher rents costing the taxpayer millions more in housing benefit.
“Labour will invest in the biggest council housebuilding programme in more than 30 years, and to ensure that areas can build and retain council homes for local people we will suspend the right-to-buy, allowing councils to reinstate it only if they can prove a plan to replace homes sold one-for-one and like-for-like.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government, countered by saying: “More than 77,500 tenants have used right to buy to purchase their home over the last five years, helping more people own a property.
“There are restrictions on selling on a property bought under Right to Buy within five years, and under our reinvigorated scheme every additional home sold off must be replaced by another one, nationally.
“Councils should deliver these additional affordable homes within three years, and so far they have achieved this.”