32% of Right to Buy Homes in Lewisham now privately let

A new report ("Right to Buy to Let") from the London Assembly finds that 32% of homes bought through the Right to Buy scheme are now let by private landlords. The figure is lower than the London average of 36%, but shows the extent to which the private rented sector has replaced Council-let housing, rather than creating residents with a long-term equity stake in their community, which was the original aim of the policy, introduced in 1980.

Author of the report, Assembly Member Tom Copley, says:

Right to Buy has also resulted in the situation where councils now rent back homes that they once owned from private landlords at much higher rents in order to fulfil their statutory duties. The increased rental costs are then usually met by the benefits system. Even the figure of 36% is probably an underestimate. The data in this report is drawn from records of leaseholders who have registered an “away” address with their local council (i.e. those owners who do not live in the property). However, landlords are not required to register an ‘away’ address and many do not, meaning that they appear to live in the property they in fact rent out.

The report's recommendations include mandatory covenants on all Right to Buy properties so they cannot be let through the private rented sector, a new system should be introduced whereby local authorities retain an equity stake in any property sold and that local authorities should have a ‘right not to sell’ if it is not in the community interest to do so or if they believe it would harm their housing operations.


Headhunter said...

A friend of mine bought an ex council flat in Denmark Hill to live in - it was all she could afford at the time. Since then she's moved in with her husband and rents the ex council flat back to the council for quite a lot of money which I always thought was a bit strange... They basically pay her a little less than "market rate" but they guarantee to pay her every month, whether it's occupied or not and manage the rental of the place themselves. All she had to do was make a few changes and upgrades to satisfy 'elf 'n' safety regs then handed over the keys to the council and job done, no muss, no fuss from thereon out...

PeoplesAssemblySEL said...

Tomorrow night, (Thursday Jan 16th) there is a Defend Council Housing organising meeting at the Lewisham Foodbank, 467 New Cross Road,
Deptford SE14 6TA on New Cross Road at 7pm.

Lewisham Council intends to transfer its remaining housing stock out of council run hands so it will be effectively privatised.

Council housing used to be a branch of the welfare state like healthcare
is but years and years of political dogma has worn this idea down. Now
we have a home as a financialproduct and the ensuing madness, seen in
house price inflation, 'generation rent' and a £22billion a year housing
benefit bill.

Defend Council Housing campaign is about inject some balance and sanity into the housing system.

All welcome, do come along.

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