Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has issued proposals, should Labour form the next government after any general election, forcing private landlords to sell property to tenants under a Right to Buy scheme.
The scheme would work in a similar way to Local Authority Right To Buy where tenants would get a discount on the purchase price depending upon how long they have lived in the property. To quote McDonnell, tenants will be allowed to buy at a “reasonable price”. He said the Labour government would set the criteria for calculating right to buy prices.
We appreciate there has been significant growth in the numbers of landlords and private rental properties in the UK but this smacks of theft. Claiming that there is an unfair distribution of wealth is easy for a politician to say when they vote through their own inflation busting pay rises, pension increases and claim huge expenses for 2nd homes in London etc. What about the hard working individual who has saved hard all their lives, finds annuity rates too low to retire comfortably and has bought investment property? Not just for a better returns/income on their money but also in providing good quality, maintained accommodation for people that are not ready to be on the property ladder.
It is successive governments that have failed to build enough affordable homes. It is successive governments that have promoted the rise in property prices with low interest and selling off cheaper local authority property when they should have kept and maintained them for people that cannot afford homes. It is also the fault of the same that continually blocks planning permission to develop affordable housing ‘not in my back yard’.
The move, we suggest, will also lead to landlord’s not offering long term lets, flipping tenants regularly so that no rights to buy are secured and indeed no stable home environment can be built.