To think some social housing rents should be tripled?

(259 Posts)
LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 13:49:43

First of all, please read the post carefully, this is not meant to be a benefits-bashing thread. It's meant to be a thread in favour of "economic correctness."

I want all rents to be set at the market rate, which apparently might mean tripling them in parts of London. I was watching the "How to get a council house" series, and in the program in which Tower Hamlets was featured, the rents seemed to be about a third of the market rate. (I have also watch the Manchester program, so realise there is less of a discrepancy elsewhere.)

I think it is wrong to price anything at other than a market rate, as it results in misallocation of resources.

I presume realistic rents would make no difference to those most dependent on benefits, it would just increase the amount of housing benefit they received. Obviously some other people would be affected. For example some working people who pay social rents with no help from benefits might decide that if their council house no longer had a subsidy, they might prefer private housing, freeing up their council house for someone else.

I know from previous threads that lots of people on here have a confused idea about what subsidy means. It simply means getting something for less than it would cost in a free market. If the owner could rent out a property for £300 a week to the highest bidder, but do in fact rent it for £100 a week to a social tenant, then the social tenant is being subsidised by £200 a week the owner is forgoing.

Essentially the point of "social housing" should be to provide secure tenancies, since the market currently doesn't do this. (Though possibly there should also be changes so that the market does.) It should not be to provide "cheaper" housing, since there is no such thing. Housing is worth what it's worth: when people talk about "affordable rent" or "low-cost" housing the correct economic view of what they mean is almost always housing with a hidden subsidy. I'm not against explicit subsidy, via higher housing benefit for example, but I am against the hidden subsidy in below-market rents.

(Before I saw these programs I was under the impression that central government had already introduced a rule that social rents had to be raised to realistic levels, so I was surprised by the size of the discrepancy in Tower Hamlets. Are Tower Hamlets just being slow in complying, or am I wrong to think there is such a rule?)

Icedink Fri 16-Aug-13 13:54:46

I think all rent should be lower, it doesn't seem right at all to me that working people need to claim housing benefit which private landlords profit from.

I disagree that 'housing is what it's worth' because I disagree that a free market should be god.

Instead I take the opposite stance to you - there should be a massive social house building programme so that rents/ ownership costs come DOWN.

I do not think we should line the pockets of banks/landlords further and prop up an insane property market which does not service us as an economy.

The totally free market in property just makes a select few richer.

Fuck that, the inequality is bad enough.

Build more houses - only 6% of Britain is built on.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 13:56:49

Private rents need to be lower.

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 13:58:42

If social housing is paid at a lower rate then the housing benefit bill will be reduced.

And the rental market is just stupidly priced at the moment. I pay over 50% of my wages on rent. So why shouldn't we look at reducing the cost of renting a house rather then increasing it for people who probably can't afford it at all.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 13:59:45

And I don't understand how if your plan happened, people who couldn't afford their SH rents could move to private rents.

Which would be just as expensive

MousyMouse Fri 16-Aug-13 14:00:38

renting should be better regulated both for tennants and landlords.
housing assiciations should rent also to private tennants making estates better socially mixed.

specialsubject Fri 16-Aug-13 14:02:22

making money by renting property is seen as a crime by many here. Regardless of whether the property was funded by (shock horror) WORKING AND SAVING.

landlords have mortgages and bills to pay. Tenants should not rent properties that they consider too expensive. You move to a cheaper area, same as those that buy houses do if they can't afford where they are.

yes, I know it is not that simple, but that's supply and demand for you.

BushCricket Fri 16-Aug-13 14:02:50

Could you explain what you mean by this:
"I think it is wrong to price anything at other than a market rate, as it results in misallocation of resources."?

Minifingers Fri 16-Aug-13 14:03:20

So the council should give people loads more housing benefit to pay for higher rents in social housing.

Housing benefit which they'd be giving back to themselves in rent.

That's efficient, OP.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:03:30

I agree with you if you're talking about London.

I don't think it's right that some people get such cheap rent in areas that the majority of people couldn't afford to live in. It's just plain unfair.

I don't agree with the argument that we need to subsidise housing for low paid or minimum wage jobs, because those jobs could be done by young or single people who either live with their parents or house share or rent rooms. There is a surplus of unskilled workers at the moment, that's why unemployment is high. Society does not need people who have children to support to do low paid work, therefore I see no need for housing in expensive areas to only be available to the very rich or very poor.

maja00 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:05:52

Why would it ever be a good idea to increase the housing benefit bill? Don't you know we're in a financial crisis.

Social housing rents should be set at what it costs to maintain the buildings, pay staff etc. Most council housing has paid for itself many times over now and is running a surplus. Don't see the logic in artificially increasing rents at all.

Debs75 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:07:16

Oh FFS get out of your Ivory Tower and see that 'market rates' just doesn't comply with NMW or even a liveable wage.

I have lived in council properties all my life and have seen them raise in them years just not at the stupid rates that private rents and house prices have. Our first 3 bedroom house was £35 per week, on a rough estate but a decent house. This was 16 years ago and the rents have doubled to over £75-£90 per week. In that time though private rents in our area have tripled and in case quadrupled way out of many peoples reach.

By getting people to pay market rents when they are on housing benefit will cost them as the Local Housing Allowance is set at the 30% mark of all the local rents. When we were recently looking for a 4 bed house there were hundreds that were way out of our reach. On a NMW we could barely afford the £100 per week our house is if it was £300 we would not be able to eat.

We need lots more affordable housing built and lower rents all round

ClaraOswald Fri 16-Aug-13 14:07:42

Market rate is too high.

Private landlords have become greedy in a lot of cases, and there are quite a few who are negligent in maintaining their properties. It's all about profit for them.

Social housing was sold off in droves in the Eighties, and no more was built, hence the huge crisis there is now. Had the social housing been retained, house prices wouldn't have shot up as fast as they did with people buying ex-council properties and renting them out/selling them on for vast profit.

Debs75 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:11:15

Broken but some people with families to support can only get a low paid menial job because a) they don't have the qualifications or b) they only have that skillset. For them to excel at both often means training and further education which they can ill afford

Minifingers Fri 16-Aug-13 14:12:02

"I don't agree with the argument that we need to subsidise housing for low paid or minimum wage jobs, because those jobs could be done by young or single people who either live with their parents or house share or rent rooms."

But they can't live with their parents if their parents don't have a spare room. Which many older people don't as they themselves are in social housing.

Young middle-class people living with parents who can accommodate them and support them at home don't generally want to do jobs like working as care assistants, TA's and nursery nurses, jobs that are actually quite skilled but which are very very badly paid. At least they may want to do a few months in these jobs between school and university but would not do in the medium to long term.

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 14:12:19

Perhaps the nimbys complaining about house building at the moment should be happy for housing to be built to bring the cost of renting down.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 14:13:24

I'm actually amazed that brokensungasses thinks that people with families to support shouldn't do minimum wage jobs.

Maybe more employers should pay a bloody living wage then.

KhloeKardashian Fri 16-Aug-13 14:14:09

I think they should leave things as they are for the current clients. Anyone new should be charged the going rate.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:16

They care charged the going rate.just not the over inflated private rent rate.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:33

Are*

BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:58

Training and qualifications should be gained before having children to support though. And if that doesn't happen, as it didn't for me, then we shouldn't expect to be able to live in the most expensive parts of the country.

lougle Fri 16-Aug-13 14:16:01

Understanding the rent- restructuring formula for housing

Rent setting for social housing tenancies

These documents set out the rent structure for Council/HA housing.

The issue is not about Social Housing rents, it's about rents on the 'free market', where landlords adjust their rental rates to match the ceiling rate of housing benefit available.

Viviennemary Fri 16-Aug-13 14:16:55

I don't know what the answer is but it certainly isn't to triple rents. I'd like to see people not being entitled to carry on in their council house if they can afford to buy their own house. I read that Peaches Gedolf and her millionaire boyfriend rent a HA house. Is this right. Not IMO.

lougle Fri 16-Aug-13 14:17:04

" BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:58

Training and qualifications should be gained before having children to support though. And if that doesn't happen, as it didn't for me, then we shouldn't expect to be able to live in the most expensive parts of the country."

So just who is going to clean the toilets in the restaurants, sweep the roads and care for the children of parents who go out to work? Low paid work is low paid work, wherever you live.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 14:18:00

Ah, good old council house envy.

cantdoalgebra Fri 16-Aug-13 14:20:16

For the sake of accuracy in the "build more houses" debate, the figure of 6% as the percentage of urban areas is misleading - it is actually 6.8% for the UK - 10.6% for England, as opposed to 1.9% for Scotland, 3.6% Northern Ireland and 4.1% for Wales. England clearly has the highest percentage of urban areas.

But surely the problem is that the market rate is far too high & crippling many working families??? Rather than hiking up social rents we should be capping private rents to make them more affordable. Yes, that would mean a loss in profit for landlords but surely would help the economy as a whole if tenants werent forking out half their salary on rent (as they would have more cash to spend). Private rents are far too high esp in SE & I am a landlord myself (though an accidental one!)

OddBoots Fri 16-Aug-13 14:22:35

I agree with those saying that the 'market rate' is too high and something urgent needs to be done to close the gap between earnings and housing costs.

Shelter says "If food prices had risen at the same rate as house prices over the last 40 years, a chicken would cost £51.18.

Four pints of milk would be £10.45, and a loaf of bread would set you back £4.36.

We wouldn’t accept this with food. So why accept it with housing?

Unless something changes, a generation will struggle to afford a home of their own."

timeforanothernewname Fri 16-Aug-13 14:29:28

OP, wtf is this "correct economic view" you know all about? That'll be why all professional and academic economists are in agreement, right? Oh, wait...

froubylou Fri 16-Aug-13 14:30:26

If there was more social housing then rents on private property would decrease and housing would be more affordable.

The buy to let industry was partly responsible for the last property boom which then led to the credit crunch. Private landlords effectively out priced first time buyers and you need first time buyers to keep chains moving.

Once the credit crunch hit and lenders stopped lending to buy to let investors there was no one to buy the smaller properties as they were way too expensive for the average first time buyer.

And my DP is a builder affected by the reduction in properties being built and at the time I worked for a financial adviser who specialises in buy to let and had an extensive portfolio himself.

You actually didn't need a huge deposit or a high salary to start buying up property. Not back then. And most landlords will have the properties they own mortgaged. So whilst interest rates are low they are making massive profits from the rental income they receive.

Social housing doesn't actually cost the housing associations anything. They should be run as a not for profit organisation. Which means once staff are paid and maintenance costs covered any surplus money should be reinvested into more social housing.

The only thing that increasing the rental value would do would be to increase the cost to the tax payers as housing benefit costs would increase.

And it would destroy communities as people wouldn't afford to be able to live there and drive the price of houses up even further.

No one other than the lending institutions benefit from this.

The cost of housing and the cost of energy causes more poverty than anything else. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Nice.

Debs75 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:32:24

Broken do you want to see the workhouse back for those who have children at the wrong time?
Some people do things the right way for them which could be kids first then career later. Or they might not want a career. Some people are very content working as a cleaner or in McDonalds or in care. They still have the right to raise a family.

Old Boots that is shocking I spend about £70 a week on food but there is no way I could feed a family of 6 on one chicken a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk.

dirtyface Fri 16-Aug-13 14:34:13

is the OP real?

this has got to be one of the stupidest things i ever read on here or anywhere

yes lets treble the housing benefit bill for the unemployed. brilliant. plus even for tenants that are in work, who is going to provide the shortfall for all the ones that suddenly wouldnt be able to afford their homes by themselves?

and as most intelligent people will agree, it isn't that social housing rents are too low, (they are proportionate and fair and in line with the average income) its that private rents have become way too high and out of whack with the average income

wages have stagnated whereas housing costs have skyrocketed

really it doesnt take einstein does it

<bangs head against brick wall>

ffs angry

sparklingstars Fri 16-Aug-13 14:36:00

Why shouldn't landlords make money from renting houses? If they are running a business as a property owner then they are entitled to make money from it? Nobody would say that a taxi driver can't profit from the car that he owns just because somebody else can't afford a car and it's no different - they have an asset that somebody else needs.

Darkesteyes Fri 16-Aug-13 14:39:25

Employers should pay a bloody living wage and rents need to come down.

Broken why the fuck is it always suggested that ppl without children can afford to put up with all the crap and live on less.

Interesting survey in Red magazine this month about parents and non parents in the workplace and how resentment can build between the two groups You should read it. Because suggestions like yours cause this type of resentment.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Aug-13 14:40:23

Yeah, YABU.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:41:22

I think you could project your own issues a little more if you try a bit harder there Debs!

Since when did people who believe in being able to afford children and expensive areas of housing equal believing in workhouses? hmm

I'm a big supporter of the welfare state, I just don't think it should pay people to have children they can't afford or live in areas they can't afford.

No one has a right to live wherever they want to at someone else expense, that's just ridiculous.

If you want a low paid job and to have children at the same time, then fine, but don't do it in one of the most expensive areas of the country. Do it somewhere you can afford, and if you are in a cheap area, living frugally and working full time but you still can't afford to feed your children, then you can rightfully expect state help.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 14:41:30

I disagree that 'housing is what it's worth' because I disagree that a free market should be god.

Instead I take the opposite stance to you - there should be a massive social house building programme so that rents/ ownership costs come DOWN.

Actually I agree that building more houses is a legitimate way to bring prices down. Houses are "worth what they worth" at a point in time, but that figure can change over time, and obviously supply and demand affect it.

I live near the former Times print plant in Wapping, there's a planning application to build several 15 storey residential towers there, plus another 70-storey building and a school, I hope that all goes ahead. In fact much of the City end of Tower Hamlets could do with being demolished and replaced with residential high-rises, it's a pity the planning system doesn't do more to facilitate that. (I'm in favour of private compulsory purchase, a private developer should be able to compulsorily purchase poorly used land and convert it to a higher-value use.)

OddBoots Fri 16-Aug-13 14:43:39

"I'm in favour of private compulsory purchase, a private developer should be able to compulsorily purchase poorly used land and convert it to a higher-value use"

What do you regard as poorly used?

ShimmeringInTheSun Fri 16-Aug-13 14:43:44

I presume realistic rents would make no difference to those most dependent on benefits, it would just increase the amount of housing benefit they received .

As of this year housing benefits amongst others have been capped, so many. many people are already contributing to their rent as the benefit doesn't cover it all.

So move to a cheaper place is the answer is it?
Well, if you're claiming benefits then how the heck do you afford to move? ....and where to? ........

Icedink Fri 16-Aug-13 14:46:41

Sparklingstars I disagree, People have a choice not to use a taxi - they could walk or use public transport if they don't have their own car. We unfortunately don't have the choice not to use a home.

BushCricket Fri 16-Aug-13 14:49:37

"(I'm in favour of private compulsory purchase, a private developer should be able to compulsorily purchase poorly used land and convert it to a higher-value use.)"
Would that include huge mansions owned by the very rich but not lived in for 10 months of the year? Or just social housing? I wonder if you are just trying to be provocative with this thread?

Chattymummyhere Fri 16-Aug-13 14:50:36

Lack of housing pushes up prices as you basically have people fighting over 1 house.. Landlords know this and know they can price houses up more and more..

A street I know 3bed houses 90k-100k to buy outright, rent £550-£650 per month that's 6.6k-7.8k a year so the 90k house rented at £650 a month would be paid for in full within 11.5 years (if interest was not added of course), yet one family (a close friend) owns a house and live in it down said street their mortgage repayments are £350 a month..

I'm sorry but £300 a month profit as the house is not going to need work on it every month is huge.. It's technically cheaper to own than it is to rent, but with rents so high not many can afford to save, then you have banks saying but you cannot afford £550/£650 per month on repayments.. Yet you have been managing to pay your rent at that price with no help. A lot of private renters get stuck in the trap as rental prices have been allowed to get to high.. Oh and the £550 houses down said street are priced like that on purpose as to only be £1 over the housing benefit cap.

More needs to be done about the private sector and landlords need to be forced to keep their stock in a good condition, at the moment things have to be so dire for a enforcement to repair and at that point the landlord will still evict the tennant for being an issue... Maybe we need a law on just how many houses people can own with the full intention to rent out, it might bring some houses back onto the open market, cap rents, and make the houses have inspections but not for the landlord but to check up on the landlord and how he/she is maintaining the houses

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 14:50:41

If social housing is paid at a lower rate then the housing benefit bill will be reduced.

But if the council is also the landlord, there will be no saving, as a decrease in rent/housing benefit will be matched by an increase in hidden subsidy.

Where someone else (e.g. housing association) is the landlord, then yes the council is worse off, but the housing association has more money with which to provide more houses.

georgettemagritte Fri 16-Aug-13 14:52:21

OP your argument only works if (and it is a big if, these are highly-disputed theories not fact) your theory of markets is in fact correct. And then only if markets do in fact work efficiently. However there is plenty of evidence that pure market theories do not work in reality and that so-called "free" markets are not only not "free" but highly rigged by rentier interests, skewed public policies and speculation. For various macroeconomic reasons housing is not, and has never been, a "free market", and it is currently vast skewed even from historic norms by speculation and economic imbalances resulting from more than three decades of poor public policy and malinvestment. So AIBU I'm afraid.

Social Housing has already paid for itself - rents cover repairs and admin, not mortgages. Councils aren't supposed to make profits as far as I was aware. I live in a very undesirable part of London and have absolutely no hope of paying market rates for my council flat - it would be an extra £1k a month! (I don't get HB btw, not all people who live in social housing do)

Move to a less expensive area? Well, that would be out of the South East I guess, so I'd have to leave my job, Dh would have to leave his and the DCs would have to change schools. Bit of upheaval I couldn't afford, plus how am I supposed to pay for the market rents wherever it is I'm now allowed to live (as I'm not allowed to live in the city I grew up in...) when we've had to give up our jobs. Oh fuck it, we'll just claim HB and income support and jobseekers and whatever else it is there is.

YABU. Yes.

Debs75 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:59:26

I'm not projecting any issues Broken.
I do live in a low rent area and I do live quite frugally. Even here though NMW was not enough to live on, as everyone else knows, without benefits.
When I start and finish Uni I hope I can afford to raise my children in line with whatever standards you use.

I do agree the welfare state is in a shambles but when you see all the corporate tax this government can't or won't take from big businesses it is unfair to then take from the poorest of the poor.

Anyway back to Social Housing a lot of people are in social housing who work and do not receive benefits. How could you justify tripling their rents it could see them go under. They would be earning too much to get help but effectively would lose their homes

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 15:01:21

So why shouldn't we look at reducing the cost of renting a house rather then increasing it for people who probably can't afford it at all.

We shouldn't because we can't. People who say what rents (or wages) "should" be are framing the issues wrong. The market says what these things are worth, if what someone can sell their labour for doesn't cover their reasonable expenses then we should bridge the gap with welfare, we shouldn't pretend that the gap is other than what it is by legislating the costs. This artificiality, this lying to ourselves about the true cost of things, will cause adverse consequences elsewhere.

People who think like this are usually in favour of rent control, for example. However rent control increases demand and reduces supply of housing, i.e. it makes things worse.

There are legitimate ways to change costs. You can bring down housing costs by building more housing, or (in theory) reducing the population. You can increase what someone's labour is worth by education/training.

KissMeHardy Fri 16-Aug-13 15:03:30

For example some working people who pay social rents with no help from benefits might decide that if their council house no longer had a subsidy, they might prefer private housing, freeing up their council house for someone else.

Yeh, and pigs might fly!! What world are you living in - obviously not Social Housing World. Once you've spent years getting one you hang on to it for dear life.

Why on earth would anyone with a secure social housing tenancy want to move back into the world of private rented where you can be moved on every 6 months?

sparklingstars Fri 16-Aug-13 15:03:31

Icedink, that's a fair point as, like you say, you could walk. But I still think that it is OK to profit from owning a house; we all profit by going to work and offering our services and a landlord is doing no different if their line of work is managing houses for rent.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 15:06:43

You can increase what someone's Labour is worth by paying them a decent wage.

The lowest paid jobs are usually the most important jobs imo.

froubylou Fri 16-Aug-13 15:12:31

I think landlords should make a profit from the property they 'own'.

But property is a limited resource in this country, certainly at the moment. So I don't think it is fair that resources are effectively being held to ransom over the rest of the country that can't afford to get on the property ladder.

And its all well and good getting a better education or better training, but how many graduates are unemployed at the moment? Or doing unskilled jobs just to make a wage?

DialsMavis Fri 16-Aug-13 15:13:51

I agree that you have everything skew whiff in your reasoning. its the cost of housing (especially private rent) that needs to come down. We struggle to pay the £1500 rent on our cold horrible house every month. Its ridiculous, we could move but this is the best area for us to try and build decent careers using our training, I hope it will be worth it in the end. We will never be able to buy in this area though, even when comfortably off. We would need £100k cash for deposit, fees and stamp duty to buy a 3 bed in need of modernisation, thats a lot to save when you are paying £1.5k in rent every month. Our only option for home ownership/ retirement is to try and scrabble together the deposit for a flat somewhere cheaper and then charge some other poor sod over inflated rent to cover the mortgage!

kissme that's an opinion you'll find quite a lot here on MN.
I was told that I should give up my council house and take up a private rental once DH had been promoted and I'd secured a part time job as I would be able to afford it.

ClaraOswald Fri 16-Aug-13 15:21:40

There are legitimate ways to change costs. You can bring down housing costs by building more housing, or (in theory) reducing the population. You can increase what someone's labour is worth by education/training.

So when we build more on land that might be usable for the raising of foodstuffs/ emotional wellbeing, when do we stop? When we are incapable of growing food to support ourselves? When there is no more land left and every foodstuff has to be imported or we starve? Fantastic- you have just lessened the population because people can now no longer afford to buy food and have a roof over their heads.

Or do you suggest that we begin killing off whole swathes of the population? Who do we start with? Oh, I know. The poorest in society, the weak, the sick?

TheFallenNinja Fri 16-Aug-13 15:24:34

I like the OP, clearly of enormous fiscal savvy.

I particularly enjoy the phrase "the markets set the price", let's poke at that a little bit

The "market" in this case is commission based estate agents telling landlords what rent to expect, this then becomes the de facto rent for that street or suburb.

So, the lofty idea that your rent is set by anything more intelligent than some spivvy little git from some tuppeny hapenny estate agent is wrong.

So when paying your crippling rent, thank the estate agency industry.

sparklingstars Fri 16-Aug-13 15:25:10

Dials but you don't need to pay £1.5k in rent every month, you can choose to live somewhere where rents are cheaper than that. For example, you could pay £1.5k for this or you could move and pay £625 for this - both are in big cities where you could find a job.
People who are buying a house buy where they can afford, why should it be any different for people renting? You've got more chance of being able to save when you are paying £600 in rent than £1.5k

I was quite shocked at how expensive some of the rents were in that programme last night!

I live in social housing in the south in somewhere that is known for being damned expensive to rent/buy, yet I pay only a fraction of the rent being shown on flats and bedsits for a 3 bed semi.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 15:25:54

Could you explain what you mean by this:
"I think it is wrong to price anything at other than a market rate, as it results in misallocation of resources."?

I think it is a general rule of economics, here are some examples of what I think it might mean in this context. (Actually it might be two perspectives on the same example.)

A social landlord who is letting a property at below-market rent to someone who no longer needs benefits is forgoing income that could be used to help someone in need.

Two people in identical circumstances, both not on benefits, but because one obtained social housing in the past they continue to get a subsidy, when any rational system should treat both the same.

Social housing is not a subsidy.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 15:29:09

Social housing is not a benefit

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 15:30:56

SH is affordable housing, it's not SH tenants fault that private rents are too high.

Its all a bit foot stamping and its not fair,really.

It all basically boils down to whether you believe safe, affordable, appropriate housing is a human right. Some people earn less, some people earn more. Do they all have a right to live somewhere?

There are cleaners, call centre workers, people who collect bins, SWs and teachers FWIW who have to live in London. Where do you suggest they live if they work teaching your children and collecting your bins?

MammaTJ Fri 16-Aug-13 15:34:02

One of the disadvantages of social housing is that you live where you are put. Why should people pay the same for this as someone who get to choose where they live?

We are not on benefits and pay full rent but could not afford to live in private rented. I did not need benefits to pay my rent when I moved in ehre either. So I don't get your comment A social landlord who is letting a property at below-market rent to someone who no longer needs benefits is forgoing income that could be used to help someone in need. Really, not everyone in social housing is on benefits. hmm

I am guessing from your stand point, OP, that you do not live in social houing, or if you do, you get housing benefit.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 15:39:50

So the council should give people loads more housing benefit to pay for higher rents in social housing.

Housing benefit which they'd be giving back to themselves in rent.

That's efficient, OP.

Where the council is also the landlord and the housing benefit equals the rent, it's equally efficient to have the rent anywhere between £0.01 a week and £100,000 a week, the only thing that changes is a number on two forms, figuratively speaking.

Take your argument to its logical conclusion: why not make the rent nothing? Then there would be efficiency savings, as you wouldn't need a housing benefit system or a rent-collections system, that really would be more efficient.

ouryve Fri 16-Aug-13 15:41:21

Sparkling - when your parents and other family, who might be able to provide childcare, are in London, you are not going to make your situation any easier by upping sticks and moving over 100 miles away so that you now have to pay for childcare. And, of course, unless you command a particularly good salary, claim tax credits/relief for that childcare.

And if people who don't command a high wage aren't allowed to live in London, because they can't afford it, then who the hell will work in the shops, or do the cleaning, or serve the deserving latte drinkers in the cafes?

And what happens to the newly tripled rent paying social housing occupier if they get a job?
That's right, they won't, because they can't afford to pay the rent.
So no one earning less than a fortune could live in the south. Good luck getting your bins emptied, schools and hospitals cleaned, deliveries from online stores, finding a sales assistant to serve you in a shop.... Etc.

Take your argument to its logical conclusion: why not make the rent nothing? Then there would be efficiency savings, as you wouldn't need a housing benefit system or a rent-collections system, that really would be more efficient.

Now, intelligent MNers. Is this reductio ad absurdum or a straw man or both. Answers on a post card.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 15:51:56

Why would it ever be a good idea to increase the housing benefit bill? Don't you know we're in a financial crisis.

For people on subsidised rents whose rent is entirely funded by housing benefit, the combined housing benefit + rent subsidy bill won't be change by this. So the country is no worse off.

People whose rent is not covered by housing benefit may be worse off, if there is no benefit change to compensate them. So the country may be better off with respect to them.

I'm not necessarily advocating the second scenario though. The point of the change is not to make anyone better or worse off, the point is to create transparency. What we decide to do once we can clearly see who's getting what is a separate issue.

Even with no change to the benefits bill, the country could be better off afterwards in the sense that there's less misallocation of resources (the wrong people being subsidised.)

Take your argument to its logical conclusion: why not make the rent nothing? Then there would be efficiency savings, as you wouldn't need a housing benefit system or a rent-collections system, that really would be more efficient

And with that, I'm out.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 15:54:24

Why on earth would anyone with a secure social housing tenancy want to move back into the world of private rented where you can be moved on every 6 months?

I was originally thinking they might buy, then over-generalised what I wrote. You are right, private rentals are a terrible option. Something needs to be done to provide better options in private rentals generally.

But if Council houses aren't subsidised, and they have no mortgages on them, how is that the same? You are confusing an effective subsidy (in that the person has a lower rent) with an actual subsidy. Unless you want to plow the extra rent from the Council rents back into housing, which wouldn't be a bad thing. Except for the working poor, who would be fucked.

I was originally thinking they might buy. How are they saving a deposit? Since you think everyone in social housing is on HB, they are not allowed vast savings.

sparklingstars Fri 16-Aug-13 16:03:18

Ouryve I know; I had to do that myself when a change in circumstances meant that I could no longer afford to live in the place that I wanted to live. We're now over 100 miles away but we've made it work simply because we had to.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 16:05:21

Oh FFS get out of your Ivory Tower and see that 'market rates' just doesn't comply with NMW or even a liveable wage.

We need lots more affordable housing built and lower rents all round

I accept there will always be people whose reasonable outgoings, of which housing is a large part, cannot be covered by the income they can earn. There are three possible solutions.

1. Lie to ourselves about what their labour is worth: legislate higher salary.
2. Lie to ourselves about what their housing costs: legislate lower housing costs.
3. Bridge the gap with social security: benefits/tax credits.

I favour option 3. I believe that lying to yourself about what things cost always causes damage to the economy, often in subtle ways you can't see, predict or mitigate.

I think it was that kind of lying, taken to an extreme, that made the Soviet Union the economic powerhouse it is today. grin

Is it lying to ourselves to have free at the point of delivery healthcare? Because it's the same thing. We have decided that healthcare is a human right and shouldn't rest on someone's wage. IMO housing is too.

Viviennemary Fri 16-Aug-13 16:19:11

The system needs to be made fairer. The trouble is people have different ideas of what fairer means.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 16:21:42

Rather than hiking up social rents we should be capping private rents to make them more affordable.

No definitely the wrong solution. You will reduce the number of available properties (some landlords will disappear) and increase demand for those (some people sharing will be able to compete for their own home at the reduced rents.)

There are better solutions. Building more property. Taxing property more so that second homes are less attractive. Reducing the population would also work, though I'm not personally advocating mass murder. I also suspect the benefits system currently incentivises the formation of single-adult households, but that's a controversial theory that should perhape be left to another thread.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 16:34:17

Is it lying to ourselves to have free at the point of delivery healthcare? Because it's the same thing. We have decided that healthcare is a human right and shouldn't rest on someone's wage. IMO housing is too.

You raise a good point, as I wouldn't argue for abolition of the NHS.

Yes, healthcare free at the point of use is "lyng to ourselves", and one consequence is that for most of my life in the UK I've been unable to see a GP on half the occasions I've tried to make an appointment. Another consequence is that I've had to lose a couple of hundred pounds in self-employed earnings getting to a surgery during their opening hours to pick up a repeat prescription, because apparently my time is worth nothing and there's no other way of doing things.

One defence of free health-care is that the extent to which people over-consume is limited. For every lonely pensioner who likes to chat to their GP once a month, there's someone like me, who only tries to make an appointment once every three years, and half the time gives up when he's told he can't have one for two weeks.

While most people don't try to consume much more health-care than they really need, I don't think it's fair to argue that the same is/would be true of subsidised/free housing.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 16:47:55

"I'm in favour of private compulsory purchase, a private developer should be able to compulsorily purchase poorly used land and convert it to a higher-value use"

What do you regard as poorly used?

I'm not claiming this is fully though out idea, but I see lots of 2-4 story semi-derelict looking commercial property in this part of Tower Hamlets, in the same area there are already some private high rises ranging from several to 15 or so stories. I think the area would be much improved (and a huge amount of housing generated) if the commercial property were replaced by high-density residential. I suppose the measure of "poorly used" could be the total rents they would generate in comparison with the proposed replacement use?

Of course private landlords could in theory just buy property by offering an attractive price (which they would have to pay anyway under compulsory purchase) but I think there is a flaw in that when they need to combine adjacent parcels of land one or more current owners would hold out for an unreasonable price. (Unreasonable meaning more than the free-market price they could get for their property in isolation.)

I would argue that a family, housed with vaguely the right number of bedrooms, not a million miles away from work and family, no second home, no spare room, is NOT using more than they need. Just because they work and live in London, doesn't make them greedy, overusing bastards.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 17:02:16

"(I'm in favour of private compulsory purchase, a private developer should be able to compulsorily purchase poorly used land and convert it to a higher-value use.)"
Would that include huge mansions owned by the very rich but not lived in for 10 months of the year? Or just social housing? I wonder if you are just trying to be provocative with this thread?

Not trying to be provocative, I know "private compulsory purchase" sounds like an outlandish idea, and it's not one that I've thought through thoroughly. It's really designed to solve a problem I perceive in land-use, whereby it's relatively easy to subdivide land, but quite difficult to combine plots. (I don't work in property, so may be entirely imagining this problem)

In answer to your first question, no I don't think the fact that property is empty necessarily makes it "poor use", the owner is entitled to use it how they like. I suppose the mansion might be "poor use" if it was in the middle of a city, was already in an area where high-rise development was deemed suitable, and could be replaced by a high-rise worth several times as much. However maybe private compulsory purchase shouldn't be needed for cases like this, normal market forces should do the job. Maybe it should be reserved for cases where land needs to be combined.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 16-Aug-13 17:04:59

working people who live in Social Housing and pay the full rent actually subsidise those people who live in mortgaged property in the same Borough. Did you know that? There are no mortgages on these properties, so the rent goes to the Council to pay for services for all.

Private rent is too high with little security. Wouldn't it be better for Councils to take over all the "buy to lets" and rent them out at affordable prices. The people that owned these houses would be fine, they wouldn't mind. They could go and live with their folks and clean toliets. They don't want to I here you say...

angry

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 16-Aug-13 17:07:37

Camden Council are talking about taking over "mansions" that are not lived in, that are used as a sort of holiday home or bank for their very wealthy owners. I don't know the legality behind this but think it is interesting that it is even being discussed.

mumofweeboys Fri 16-Aug-13 17:09:53

I think rent in social housing should be linked to income ie if your working or on low pay you pay the current social rent, then it increases. It disgusting that social housing tenants in theory could be earning large wages yet still paying low rent.

I have lived in social housing for 20 years, up until a few years ago worked and paid rent, but how would I afford £2000 a month for a two bedroom house if it was market rent? getting housing benefit at the moment while I look for a job, but seriously what would be the point of me getting a job if the rent here wasn't 1/3 of market rent? I think the new 5 year tenancies are fair, gives people a few years to get on their feet and if they are earing over a certain salary the are excepted to move.

LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 17:12:59

OP your argument only works if (and it is a big if, these are highly-disputed theories not fact) your theory of markets is in fact correct

You make many valid points, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. However little economics in general (and housing in particular) matches the idealised version of how things are supposed to work, that's not a reason to ignore what it tells us altogether, by allowing mispricing where we don't have to.

PearlyWhites Fri 16-Aug-13 17:13:09

Op you really aren't that bright are you.

PearlyWhites Fri 16-Aug-13 17:15:53

Mum of wee boys do you think social housing was only meant for poor people?

Absy Fri 16-Aug-13 17:16:03

Private rent is too high, and there aren't enough protections for renters. That should be sorted - house prices in the UK are still overvalued (in some areas by around 30%) so the government shouldn't be doing it's damndest to raise prices.

mumofweeboys Fri 16-Aug-13 17:17:02

I have council house envy. We are stuck in our house due to economic climate so have put family plans on hold yet my friend just got rehoused in a 4 bed house (rare I know) and is expecting her 5th now - I'm jelous

georgettemagritte Fri 16-Aug-13 17:20:50

Londonman, but then you must recognise that if the market is already mispriced through speculative imbalances, then to revalue all housing costs at "market" rents massively augments the original mispricing, creating the conditions for a catastrophic collapse even if the market only returns to mean. What you are proposing would see this increased risk being borne by the taxpayer via housing benefit, sucking more demand out of the system to prop up overvalued private assets.

MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 16-Aug-13 17:21:55

I am choking on my noodles at BrokenSunglasses shock

Yes, it is that easy to get the job that you want/think you deserve. That's why I am President of Europe. <eye roll>

chocolatespiders Fri 16-Aug-13 17:31:42

Maybe the social housing rents are realistic rents and a better reflection of wages and cost of living. I live in a housing association house and pay my full rent as a single working parent but if I was renting privately housing benefit would be paying the bit I couldn't afford so where is the sense in that. I would rather be paying off a house I can leave my children as I wont have anything else to leave them rather then paying into someone elses retirement.

LST Fri 16-Aug-13 18:40:26

mumofweeboys what in your eyes is too high a income for social housing?

grumpyoldbat Fri 16-Aug-13 20:04:52

I'm in social housing and if our rent was tripled it would be well over 100% of my salary. We'd be homeless and hungry again.

I know I'll be judged and I know I disgust a lot of MNers. In my defence before I started a family I had training, qualifications, a well paid job, I was married, he was employed too, we owned a house with only a small mortgage and still lost everything.

What I'd like to know is what I've done that is so bad that makes other people wish a second period of homelessness on me. Even more so why do they want my children to suffer.

Feminine Fri 16-Aug-13 20:20:01

I'm very grateful for our socialized tenancy.

I've no idea how my mental health would be without it.

We are another family that lost everything, through no fault of our own.

I think private rents should come down.

dirtyface Fri 16-Aug-13 20:22:54

always the foot stampers in private rented on this thread

"oh lets make those in social housing suffer just cos we are"

how about look at the bigger picture

god i could rant for hours on this subject

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 20:28:22

dirtyface. I would love to get a house in our town that is not privately rented. I pay well over 50% of my wages on rent. If I could get social housing locally it would save me nearly £200 a month.

But am I saying that the price should go up. No. I can understand why people are fed up and want change.

dirtyface Fri 16-Aug-13 20:35:45

sorry ilovemyself. to clarify, i don't mean EVERYONE in private rented thinks that. of course i don't. there just seems to be lots on here that do, and its just bitter and nasty.

and i am sorry about your situation., it really does suck and its so, so unfair., there needs to be affordable housing for everyone.

you are absolutely right, things do need to change. but what needs to change is the lack of affordable housing, not plunging more familiies in to poverty by "social" rents being ramped up to the silly prices of private.

as others have said as well, if everyone wasn't skint cos of paying most of their salary out on housing there would me more money being spent in retail and leisure thus boosting the economy :S

NameThatTuna Fri 16-Aug-13 20:38:08

Social housing rent shouldn't increase. Ideally, private rent should come down, but landlords have a mortgage to pay. Some make money from the rent, some don't.

There should be more social housing.
When I was a single parent, I had to rent privately as there is a huge shortage of social housing in my area.
I had help with housing benefit to top up my wages because the rent is more expensive. £280 pcm more expensive. If I had social housing, I could have paid the rent out of my wages and not claimed any form of benefits.

They were paying my landlords mortgage.

Madness!

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 20:57:14

It's not just the rent though. It's fuel prices. And that then gets passed on to the end user as it costs nor to produce product and transport it. In the 25 years I have been driving fuel prices have increased from 35p/litre to £1.38/litre. And the majority of that rise has been in the last few years.

Wallison Fri 16-Aug-13 20:58:51

<<I know from previous threads that lots of people on here have a confused idea about what subsidy means. It simply means getting something for less than it would cost in a free market.>>

And just how exactly is the price of private rent a free market in this country? Tread carefully now.

dirtyface Fri 16-Aug-13 21:00:22

god yeah petrol prices are an f ing joke :/ dont get me started on that either! and gas and electric. and car insurance. and FOOD for that matter

<seethe>

Wallison Fri 16-Aug-13 21:00:23

<<They were paying my landlords mortgage.

Madness!>>

Exactly. All that most HB does is pay for landlords' personal property empires. There are six million people in the UK on housing benefit. The majority of those are in private tenancies, and the majority are working. Free fucking market my arse.

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 21:06:43

The problem is its not the fact the landlord is trying to make money. It's the stupid price of houses that is the problem.

A landlord buys on a buy to let mortgage and the mortgage company insists in the minimum rent that must be charged to cover the mortgage.

If house prices weren't so ridiculously high the mortgage company would insist on a lower mortgage and everyone would be happy.

McAvity Fri 16-Aug-13 21:12:56

We live in a inner London borough which has become quite expensive recently. We live in the bottom half of a converted Victorian house, family of four in two bedrooms which is not palatial but we manage. We pay £1400 pcm plus council tax.

Our next-door neighbours have the same house as ours, but not divided up so the whole place is theirs (four stories). They pay £600 a month to the council. They have 9 children, this is because as the woman explained to me her husband doesn't like condoms because they're 'too fiddly' and she didn't like taking the pill because it gave her acne. They are also fifth generation unemployed. Yes, you read that right, every single person in that family has been entirely dependent on benefits since before the First World war. They found this out by doing internet gynaecology. Furthermore, some of the children are teenagers who work for cash in hand and the council and the benefits people don't know about it.

But the thing that shocked me most was when she told me the whole family were going on holiday to Turkey paid for by Nectar points. I said I shop at Tesco not Sainsbury so I didn't know but it sounded like they build up faster than Clubcard points since we have never had that kind of amount. No she said, i also go to Tesco.

Turns out the council give every single tenant Nectar points every single month that they pay their council rent on time. This is to encourage paying on time as most people don't. Of course private tenants also have an incentive to pay their rent on time, NOT GETTING KICKED OUT OF THEIR HOUSE.

These Nectar points have to be paid for by people who aren't council tenants who pay their tax. I also spoke to a friend who shops in Sainsburys and she confirmed that to get enough points for a holiday with 1year (which is what they did) you would have to be getting thousands of points each rent payments, the equivalent doing twenty families worth of shopping every week.

dirtyface Fri 16-Aug-13 21:15:17

have they a massive flat screen telly as well mcavity?

and a goat

TimeofChange Fri 16-Aug-13 21:27:59

Wallison: I applaud you.

Mrs Thatcher was the start of the problem by introducing the Right to Buy for council tenants.

This country had a good social housing stock until the Right to Buy.

I know someone who gave his 85 yr old Mum money and organised her council house purchase, which was a pittance as she had lived in it for 50 years. She died, he sold the house at a massive profit and went back to his home in Oz with the money.

x2boys Fri 16-Aug-13 21:28:49

well I rent privately £650/month in a lovely three bedroom thirties semi in the northwest this does,nt seem to bad to me am on a reasonable wage with dh wage as well just over nmw after a disastrous mortgage we live ok at present I think its a renters market at present

x2boys Fri 16-Aug-13 21:32:09

but macvity would the family you described get housing benefit? so the council pays rent to themselves?

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 21:56:32

x2boys. Are you being serious. Unless we all move north ( at which time demand will be higher than supply so prices will rise rapidly) we can't all benefit from that sort of rent. My small 3 bed ( that was a 2 bed but had a loft conversion) is £775 per month. And that is pretty average for around here.

And you would be lucky to get shoe box for £650 in London.

x2boys Fri 16-Aug-13 22:04:30

ohi kow ilovemyself think I am just glad to rent what I consider reasonable for a lovely home after a truly terrible owning on home experience sorry to offfend and think rents in London are completely ludicrous

joanofarchitrave Fri 16-Aug-13 22:22:32

So misallocation of resources would mean the tendency to invest too much in things that are unproductive and irrational during times of too much credit/low interest rates,leading to a crash?

How does the provision of public housing at a rent that working people can potentially afford while still having a life, create a risk like that? Unless the plan is to flog off all the public housing as soon as the crash ends and then e.g. refuse to allow reinvestment in the same sector? Having solid public assets created which can then produce an income for a community sounds like something quite other than a malinvestment.

And if there were good quality public housing available on a secure tenancy in good areas, surely it's more likely that very rich people would want to move in to the public housing, displacing the working poor, rather than that poorer people would choose to move out? If there's one thing rich people love, it's a bargain - I say it as a rich person myself.

My sister has just moved because her previous LL sold the flat she was in - her new 1 bedroom flat (South London/Croydon borders) is £900pcm . It's nice but not posh or particularly luxurious. I don't think I'd want to live in whatever you'd pay £650 privately for around here!

dirtyface Sat 17-Aug-13 09:22:39

joan but surely "very rich" people could just buy a house? :S

why would they want to rent?

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 20:34:45

<<The problem is its not the fact the landlord is trying to make money. It's the stupid price of houses that is the problem.

A landlord buys on a buy to let mortgage and the mortgage company insists in the minimum rent that must be charged to cover the mortgage.>>

Actually, I would say that the problem is reliance on private sector housing provided by unregulated and unlicensed individuals, which is costing us billions a year in rent subsidies through the housing benefit scheme.

Private individuals cannot provide affordable good quality housing on the kind of mass basis that the UK needs. More than 30% of households rent. This is not a minority issue; it's something that affects more than 1 in 3 households (which is of course a greater number than 1 in 3 people). If you shift from public provision, where rent revenues go back into the public coffers, then you create an unsustainable situation. Private landlords don't keep their houses in good enough repair. They don't have the financial clout to be able to keep rents at an affordable level because as you say they are committed to sustaining a mortgage.

If you look at other countries that have healthy private rental sectors, the big investments in housing are done by big players with a lot of cash at their disposal - pension firms and the like. Through economies of scale they can keep costs down even while maintaining the rental properties to a much higher degree than seen by most tenants in the UK. They can afford to have void periods, and they don't need the properties back to sell/move into, so tenants have proper security of tenure and rent levels can be set by authorities at a level that provides income to the providers without requiring tenants to avail themselves of public funds just to keep a roof over their heads.

Basically, it's all to cock in this country because of the move back towards private unregulated individuals providing housing. In fact, it's been a fucking disaster. There are hundreds of thousands of homeless households in the UK, right now, this minute. They are living in privately-owned temporary accommodation that is costing a fucking arm and a leg in order to provide families with a room to sleep in, in a place where they have to put padlocks on bags holding their belongings because the junkies down the corridor would steal the clothes off their fucking backs otherwise. There are millions more households on council waiting lists who are living in overcrowded/otherwise insanely unsuitable accommodation, with no hope of getting a secure tenancy. And there are further millions of households who rely on state subsidy to pay their rent to private individuals, costing £billions a year that goes straight into landlords' pockets. It is a fuck-up on a monumental scale, and frankly if your solution to all of this is to encourage more private sector pricing and behaviour then you are deranged.

Ilovemyself Sun 18-Aug-13 20:52:15

Wallison. I love being called deranged. If you read what I said, I said that one of the reasons for private rents being so high was that with the rise in buy to let and house prices being so high, they have to rent at the price that is stupidly high.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 21:01:04

Sorry, I meant that the OP was deranged.

But re your point, like I say if there wasn't this insistence on private individuals providing rented housing, it wouldn't matter about house prices being high.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 21:03:24

In fact, house prices would probably come down if there were proper public investment in housing/large scale organisations had ownership of private sector housing.

IamFluffy Sun 18-Aug-13 21:07:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilovemyself Sun 18-Aug-13 21:07:52

Ah. Ok. grin

I agree to an extent but I am also for choice. House prices are stupidly high and this is part of the reason we are in the mess we are in in general.

What I meant was that if decent landlords could charge a reasonable rent they would.

IamFluffy Sun 18-Aug-13 21:09:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 21:10:46

Quite, IamFluffy. Social housing generates revenue. It is initial investment that is rewarded by a substantial, steady and long term income stream. Tenants in social housing make a significant contribution to the tax take. Tenants in private housing who rely on housing benefit in order to pay their rent are a drain on the public purse. Through no fault of their own, I might add - clearly, it isn't up to them how much rent they pay. But they or more rightly their landlords cost the country £billions every year.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 21:14:07

IamFluffy - it's even worse than that. A significant portion of housing in the capital is not only owned by foreign investors but they don't even rent it out - it's just a convenient way for them to park their millions. So there is no-one living in these places, no-one paying council tax or shopping and paying VAT etc.

joanofarchitrave Sun 18-Aug-13 21:39:19

I do feel that anyone owning a place that sits empty for more than 2 (6?) months of the year should pay triple council tax. But no doubt this would have unintended consequences, because most punitive laws do.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 21:42:50

Can't see anything much wrong with that, joanofarchitrave. Or why not just do what the Yanks (bastions of the free market economy) do and charge a property tax every year? After all it's an asset, so why not tax it?

Ilovemyself, sorry again for the misunderstanding. I don't get what you mean by 'choice' though. In countries with more regulated and centrally owned rental sectors, there is plenty of choice. More so than in the UK, because rental properties are of higher quality due to regulations requiring landlords to actually do shit rather than just sit on their arse collecting rent paid for by taxpayers.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 18-Aug-13 21:50:53

But surely renting privately has always been more expensive than council houses. The landlords in many cases are not making a huge profit but looking after their investment. I would imagine that having paid a mortgage, landlord insurance, and other misc expenditure, there isn't much left to profit from. If houses/mortgages were cheaper so would renting be cheaper. No?

iyuo Sun 18-Aug-13 21:51:33

The main thing that the government could do to reduce rents would be to dramatically reduce the amount of housing benefit that can be claimed. The consequence would be large numbers of people defaulting and being evicted leading to mass defaults from landlords on their mortgages. However this would cause mass homelessness and social unrest also so it can't really be done.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 21:54:00

Well, they've already reduced the amount of housing benefit that can be claimed and the result is indeed more homelessness and debt. This is already happening.

I think the main thing the govt could do would be to re-introduce rent capping. It works perfectly well in other countries and it used to work here too. If you want rents to go down, then force rents to go down. Surely that is a more direct and effective means of doing so.

Ilovemyself Sun 18-Aug-13 21:55:44

Wallison. No need to apologise. It's a lot harder than discussing face to face lol.

Having been through the torment of looking for a decent rentals operate a couple of years ago I found it a nightmare. Because I owned my own house I was not eligible for social housing. I needed to move as my wife was pregnant with our twins and our 1 bed shoebox of a house was too small.

I had a terrible credit rating and a number of pets. The pets would have been an issue with social housing.

We had to shop around and finally found a landlord that was fantastic and everything worked out, but we had to go through a lot of agents etc so the choice for us was vital. I am sure we are not alone in having trying situations.

That's why I like the wide range of choice. :-). Hope I made sense.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 21:56:15

Oh yes and of course rents haven't actually gone down since the changes to LHA were introduced anyway. In fact, they have continued to rise since the cut - by 2% nationally and by 4% in London. So that doesn't work.

iyuo Sun 18-Aug-13 21:58:55

The problem with a blanket rent cap is that it is such a disincentive to invest in new housing which we urgently need (the idea to stop foreign investment in housing is absolutely bonkers). Capping housing benefit is a far more attractive option in my view as very few new housing is rented to people who claim hb anyway so we would not really harm new house building but the Government would also stop assisting the inflation of the housing market.

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 22:01:54

Sorry to hear about your troubles Ilovemyself, and I'm glad you've found somewhere now. Looking for a home is always stressful and it's good that things have worked out for you.

Surely you didn't really have that much choice though, did you? I mean, there were lots of avenues that were effectively closed to you because of the way that renting works in the UK - no social housing and having to jump through hoops for private rentals. I know I keep banging on about it but having seen how renting works in other countries where there is a massive healthy rental market that is properly regulated, where people are 'allowed' to have children and pets, where they can decorate and hang pictures and do everything to make their house a home, where they can stay for as long as they please and where what they pay is set centrally based on square footage, where having a landlord with proper repairing obligations and proper recourse for tenants should the landlord not comply with these - wouldn't that equal more choice, in terms of numbers of decent and suitable properties, than we have here at the moment?

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 22:03:17

<<Capping housing benefit is a far more attractive option in my view >>

Even though it hasn't actually worked seeing as how rents have gone up since the cap was introduced? And even though the only result has been more debt and more homelessness?

loflo Sun 18-Aug-13 22:06:11

I'm with mumofweeboys and think the cost of rent in social housing should be linked to earnings. I know folks who were given council housing 20 years ago when they had small DCs and little income. Twenty years later they have plenty income, no children at home (so two empty bedrooms) and only pay £50 a week rent when they could easily afford to rent privately or pay a mortgage.

iyuo Sun 18-Aug-13 22:09:48

I don't think the cap has been set low enough but then to set it any lower is almost politically impossible my solution is more hypothetical then politically practical.

tethersend Sun 18-Aug-13 22:17:05

"Yes, you read that right, every single person in that family has been entirely dependent on benefits since before the First World war. They found this out by doing internet gynaecology."

<cries>

WafflyVersatile Sun 18-Aug-13 22:23:21

Some things are too important to be left to poxy fucking market forces. A roofs over heads is one of them.

Yes you are being unreasonable.

Next.

SaucyJack Sun 18-Aug-13 22:24:35

Of course landlords are receiving huge profits potatoprints as they will eventually end up owning properties that have been entirely bought and paid for by tapayers.

A buy to let landlord round here who owned just 3 or 4 bog standard flats could end up with a million in his pockets he'd done nothing to earn.

I'd call that a decent profit meself.

usualsuspect Sun 18-Aug-13 22:26:23

Yes,tethers that post made me weep too.

Well actually it made to laugh tbh.

You couldn't make it up.

Oh wait..

usualsuspect Sun 18-Aug-13 22:26:53

Me laugh*

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 22:29:04

<to set it any lower is almost politically impossible >>

Not only politically impossible but I would argue pretty much practically impossible. It is already set at the third decile of all rents in any given locality. Just how much lower would you have it go?

Wallison Sun 18-Aug-13 22:29:55

If I do internet gynaecology, will I stop getting reminders about my smear test?

tethersend Sun 18-Aug-13 22:31:38

I honestly think that's one of the best things I've ever read on here, usual grin

As a Tower Hamlets resident living in a HA flat, I was all poised to make an incisive and well thought out comment and then I read that and just split a kidney laughing instead. Brilliant grin

usualsuspect Sun 18-Aug-13 22:37:19

grin

Ilovemyself Sun 18-Aug-13 22:46:04

Wallison. To be fair I am ip only used to the UK so no I haven't seen how other markets work.

There was lots of choice - just a lot of it was closed to us for one reason or another. What I was getting at was we finally found somewhere through that choice. Had there only been 3 or 4 avenues open to us and they had been cut off things would have been different.

I agree that more social housing stock is required - in my area locals do not want it built for fear of damaging their house values and the wrong sorts moving to the area. Even if I was eligible I would have to move out of the small town I live in as there have been no council houses on the published list for over 2 years now.

And stop apologising. I can come across as an arse, but at the end of the day I just get carried away with my passion for subjects I am posting about

afromom Sun 18-Aug-13 22:50:31

I understand why it annoys people that social housing is so cheap in areas where some people are paying extortionate rent/mortgages for their properties, however, as has already been said, increasing rents would merely mean that high housing benefit is paid, not making any difference to the people actually living in the houses, but increasing the benefits spend further.

Agreed you could put all social housing in areas where rent is cheaper, however I am sure that people living in those more expensive areas use gyms, shops, public transport, refuse collection services and lots of other services delivered by people earning low incomes. Moving social housing tenants out of the local area, as they are priced out of the market, then means that everyone working in these low paid jobs has a long commute to work each day, at a high cost (even £5 per day commute would be more than 10% of a low wage (say £1000 a month - over minimum wage), which would then make it too expensive - and then who would do the jobs in these areas?

You need a mix of people in all areas to make a community work. Increasing rents just means shuffling higher amounts of money between the government, councils and landlords. Moving people out of more expensive areas has it's own problems too.

Ilovemyself Sun 18-Aug-13 22:56:04

Afromom. As someone that is paying a lot more in rent than someone in the equivalent sized house does on a mortgage and certainly more than someone in the same sized social housing accommodation I am not annoyed with anyone who is paying less, and I certainly don't want to move.

I just want cheaper housing in this area!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Aug-13 00:04:42

I'm with mumofweeboys and think the cost of rent in social housing should be linked to earnings. I know folks who were given council housing 20 years ago when they had small DCs and little income. Twenty years later they have plenty income, no children at home (so two empty bedrooms) and only pay £50 a week rent when they could easily afford to rent privately or pay a mortgage

No you don't stop exaggerating. Someone with 2 spare rooms in a house then your talking minimum 3 bedrooms.

I'm fairly sure (but will check first thing in the morning) that the cheapest you can get a social housing 3 bedroom house anywhere in the uk is £70 pw but most areas have a minimum of about £90w.

If HB covered any portion of there rent then they don't have "plenty income" they will have income below the HB threshold.

Quite aside from social housing never being intended to be just for the very poorest.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Aug-13 00:10:33

Oh and because some people don't realise this.

If a sh tenant does not pay there rent they get evicted, just like private tenants even if they qualify for full HB.

Its the tenants responsibility to pay it there liability and contract is with the landlord not the HB dept even if they are council tenants.

An error in HB that they delay fixing is enough to get you evicted,the courts always take the view that the rent is down to you no matter what contributing benefit factors come into play.

TheBleedinObvious Mon 19-Aug-13 00:41:44

I think the govt should work to build more public housing so that all disabled, elderly and low income people are able to rent these homes from the government at an affordable price. I don't like the housing benefit going towards paying a private landlord's mortgage/investment.

Once the low income people are all housed by the govt then the market rents should naturally fall as there would be less competition for housing. This would in turn benefit the middle income people who also have high housing costs currently.

The only people who wouldn't benefit from this plan would be the private landlords, but they can sell up if they choose to. And this will help in lowering house prices as well.

MistressDeeCee Mon 19-Aug-13 03:34:09

What benefit will there be to you OP, if others rents are hiked up so as to be unaffordable? The satisfaction of poorer people being priced out of decent housing so areas can be deemed 'nicer', me thinks. Cant have them lowering the tone of TH Docklands/Olympic areas when there could be nice, rich people living there, can we?

bugster Mon 19-Aug-13 08:47:14

A couple of people have said that social housing isn't supposed to be for poor people.

I don't really understand this, I thought it should be for those who don't have any other choice due to their financial circumstances.

Can someone explain?

annoyednow Mon 19-Aug-13 09:01:46

About building more public housing. What if they build it and sell it off at knock down prices into private ownership again.

Feminine Mon 19-Aug-13 09:32:01

bugster it was never intended to be for 'poor' people.

Originally all kinds of economic backgrounds lived in them. Then it became the big thing to buy...I think from about the 1930's.

They were well built and for everyone to use...

A fantastic thing.

As they were sold off, and not replaced ...there had to be a criteria for allocating it. As the rents are fair it now makes sense to offer them to lower income households.

There is a terrible pressure in this country to own a property. It shouldn't be...it should still be a choice where we spend our money!

MousyMouse Mon 19-Aug-13 09:37:31

but now they are absolutely needed for people on low income...

I still think a big (and probably painful) reformation is needed.
to level out the sometimes huge discrepancy in rent levels and to make the laws/regulations clearer and better for both landlords and tennants.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 09:40:28

IMO the rental system needs better regulation but that should be for BOTH Landlords and tenants.

sashh Mon 19-Aug-13 09:46:16

You have not really thought this through have you? Housing benefit is paid by the council. Council house rent is collected by the council so someone on full housing benefit, in effect, contributes zero to the council.

And that's the same whether rents are £50 or £500 a week.

So the only people this will affect are those paying their own rents.

And if they cannot afford their own rent what happens?

a) the council start paying HB to pay the difference, so no nett gain to the council but more paperwork, more people to process so council tax may have to rise.

b) they have to move somewhere cheaper, which means they might have to give up their job.

BTW it is only council housing that is cheaper, housing associations and other social landlords do have to charge market rent.

That's why my 2 bedroomed, one bathroomed, one living room bungalow is twice the rent of my neighbours', who back on to me, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 'reception' rooms.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 09:47:37

What further regulations would you like to see apply to tenants? They already have to pay their rent, pay a deposit, pay for any damage caused, get out when told to, allow inspections etc. What else would you have them do?

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 09:52:29

Wallison - make it easier to get rid of those that are unscrupulous.

Our situation was our tenant stopped paying rent (he was still working, still spunking huge amounts of money on weekends away etc). We served a severance notice on him so we wouldn't have to take him to court. He wouldn't move out. He stopped all contact (was a friend) and so we had to take him to court.

It took 7 months to get him out, including a bailiff. When we got in the property it was absolutely wrecked. To the point of thousands of pounds of damage.

Our insurance wouldn't cover it because the policy was invalid because he wouldn't allow access to the boiler service man which was a condition of our insurance.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 09:59:04

You got the property back though, didn't you? I mean, he isn't still there. You lost money, he lost his home. And yet still you want more.

Your gripe about lost rent and insurance is pretty illustrative of the shortcomings of expecting private individuals to provide something as important as homes for people to live in - most private individuals just don't have the capacity for when things go wrong, because they're doing it on such a small scale. Also, they take it personally, which is no way to run a business.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 10:00:08

And why didn't you just take him to court in the first place? Would have been much easier and quicker. Again, a shortcoming of having unregulated, untrained and unsavvy private individuals providing an essential.

Feminine Mon 19-Aug-13 10:00:17

Wallison how about medicals...and perhaps a forced eating plan?

wink

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 10:02:10

WTF Wallson - he didn't lose his home. He went on to live 6 months in a 5 star hotel. He could easily have afforded to pay us, just chose not to, wrecked the property in the meantime and that's ok?? It was absolutely his choice to get kicked out.

I didn't take it personally. I took it as someone who wasn't upholding their part of the deal and therefore it should be easier to deal with. Especially given it wasn't a situation where he couldn't pay the rent (which would have been a completely different situation) he just chose to live there for free.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 10:03:15

You see the thing is I am a good, fair landlord. I undertake repairs to the property immediately. It is always maintained, I only ask for access when absolutely essential.

Renting is a two way agreement - both parties should play by the rules or suffer the consquences

usualsuspect Mon 19-Aug-13 10:05:13

A lot of council housing was originally built to house people from slum clearance schemes.

To give people safe decent affordable secure houses.

Which worked quite well until Thatcher sold them off.

Ilovemyself Mon 19-Aug-13 10:05:19

Yes ladybryan. Well said. Because everyone that rents is not trustworthy and will default.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 10:06:06

Well, he did suffer the consequences, didn't he - I mean, he lost his home. What else would you have him do? Be placed in the stocks perhaps? Or paraded through the streets naked while small children threw stones at him?

Feminine - I think that would not go far enough. I propose that tenants should promise their first-born to the poor put-upon landlord in perpetuity, as grateful recognition for their largesse.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 10:14:53

I'm going to explain in small words as you're obviously not getting the concept Wallison.

(a) he clearly wasn't bothered about the home given the state of it.

(b) he COULD have paid the rent. He CHOSE not to. What would you have me do - allow him to live there for free perhaps?

You know what the consuequences are? I have a much tighter contract, I charge rent much higher to cover for such issues.

I am 100% all for unscrupulous LLs being dealt with. But people seem to be under a common misconception that all tenants are scrupulous. And that is absolutely not the case.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 10:16:52

I get it. You want to make it easier to make people homeless. Fair enough.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 10:21:06

People who don't pay their rent when they can absolutely yes.

People who are struggling due to circumstance I can/do help out

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 10:22:43

Well. And this is the kind of person that politicians have in their infinite wisdom tasked with the job of housing the rental population. Lovely.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 10:26:31

Interesting that you make the judgement on the first part of my statement and not the last.

A LL who is flexible with people who are struggling and DOESN'T evict them - yes I'm the devil.

But I won't allow people to take the piss and spunking £3000 on a holiday whilst choosing not to pay £300 a month rent - should I have just smiled sweetly and said "ok"

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 11:10:26

if someone does not pay rent for 7 months, whether the house is social or private rental, they need to be evicted, unless there is are extenuating circumstances, which is why the process can only be actioned by a court.

froubylou Mon 19-Aug-13 11:13:56

Wallison I work with landlords and help them deal with issues caused by tenants like the one that LadyBryan had.

The law is very much on the tenants side. It protects the tenant at the detriment of the landlord. A tenant needs to be 2 clear months in rent arrears before a LL can serve notice. The notice then stands for a further 14 days and only then can the LL apply for a Possession Hearing via the courts. This may take a further 6-10 weeks for the date. Even if the LL is sucessful at the first hearing (and a clever tenant can make sure they aren't) they then have to apply for court appointed bailiffs to remove the tenant which can be a further 10-12 weeks depending how busy the courts are. In the meantime the tenant can apply for a further 42 days stay of execution.

So in theory a tenant can be in a property without paying a penny of tent for around 8-10 months. And trash the place.

Once the LL gets possession of the property in whatever state it is in they can then begin to try and recover arrears. Those tenants on low incomes or benefits can use their low income as a reason not to pay the debt. Which can be expensive and time consuming to even begin recovery on.

So although it is right and just that the tenant be protected at the moment this is at the detriment of the landlord.

Some professional LL's with a good sized portfolio of Buy to Let mortgages can absorb the costs. Smaller landlords or accidental landlords can't and risk loosing the property because of the actions of the tenant.

There are good and bad tenants and there are good and bad landlords. Rarely is the good tenant at the mercy of a bad landlord as they can choose to live elsewhere in most cases. Once a bad tenant is in your property as a good landlord all you can do is try and minimise the damage.

cory Mon 19-Aug-13 11:20:15

BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:03:30
"I agree with you if you're talking about London.

I don't think it's right that some people get such cheap rent in areas that the majority of people couldn't afford to live in. It's just plain unfair."

Even expensive areas need people to do badly paid jobs: street sweeping, catering etc. Commuting is hideously expensive. If we don't to pay them enough to either rent at market cost or to commute from a cheaper place, and if there is no subsidised housing, then they will not be able to afford to do those jobs. If the wealthier Londoners are not prepared to subsidise the less wealthy, then the infrastructure required to support them in their well paid jobs will not be available.

It is all very well saying poor people should move to cheaper parts of the country, but how are you going to cope when nobody is doing their work?

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 11:44:21

but how are you going to cope when nobody is doing their work?

you manage without the job being performed - or you pay more money to do the job.

cory Mon 19-Aug-13 11:46:22

Absolutely, FasterStronger. But I don't think people have necessarily thought this through and considered how many poorly paid workers are essential to the smooth running of their daily lives.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 11:52:28

FasterStronger - we did go through the courts. (Actually first we tried to do it just as an eviction notice so he didn't have the record). From starting the court process it took almost 6 months to the day until the bailiffs came and threw him out.

Froubylou - I wish I'd known you last year grin

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 19-Aug-13 12:44:24

I have kept an eye on this thread over the last couple of days but apologise if I'm repeating points.

OP, the reason it would be so bad to suddenly triple social housing rates is because the people in social housing don't have the resources to cover the cost of either a rise or a sudden move and without any social housing have literally no where they can afford to go. Housing benefits have already been capped - there won't be any significant rise imo no matter what circumstances change.

Again imo, the only way to introduce meaningful and long lasting change is to invest in the stock of social housing available with the income going straight back to the council/charity who own the properties - a complete cycle that becomes self-funding and perhaps even profitable at some point.

Current changes have been made seemingly without a thought for what actually is available to anyone on low incomes (working or not) with the flimsy solution of 'the market will correct itself'. I'm skeptical that it will tbh, I'm also concerned about what happens to peoples lives whilst this supposed market correction is taking place. Wages aren't rising significantly, housing costs aren't suddenly dropping to affordable rates so what are people meant to do?

Move is not an answer. Moving takes time and money. I very much doubt there are thousands of people sitting in low paid jobs thinking they should now go and get that £30k a year job in Leeds where the rents are cheaper - they just couldn't be arsed before and you know, caring for dementia patients, portering, working in a warehouse 24/7, looking after their bedbound father is just so easy.

Never mind that I've never heard people talking about how easy it is to relocate your whole life and family - but people without money should just take it on the chin and tie up their possessions in a handkerchief and go off to seek their fortune?

On paper there are are so many solutions to housing, it's easy to forget that those figures represent actual people and their homes. The temptation to go not only for the solution with the lowest figure but one that generates private income is massive - it's also inhumane. We're all entitled to shelter, even with the economy the way it is, we are not a poor country there is no reason for people to be so stressed about one of the most basic human needs and it's a smokescreen to offer up the promise of profit to those who can get a toe in the water to get public support.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 12:51:19

But froubylou, as I said to poor old LadyBountiful upthread, the process ends with the tenant getting evicted. Sure, the landlord might lose some money. But the tenant loses their home. I actually think the timescale is reasonable - going to court is never going to be a quick solution, but a few months is a fairly short time for due process to take place. The alternative would be to do away with due process, which I'm sure the lovely landlords on this thread (landlords on mumsnet are always lovely - I know because they tell us they are so it must be true) wouldn't want.

Ilovemyself Mon 19-Aug-13 12:57:36

Oh FFS ladybryan. You are making out that the problem of poor tenants is a massive one and that poor landlords need protecting.

I am normally on the side of the landlord, but the way you talk about tenants I wonder why you bother to have a property that you rent out. After all, you are only going to get shafted by the tenant.

It is nowhere near the level you have suggested, so why do landlords need more protection

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 13:12:45

I'm not at all Ilovemyself.

I am talking about my experiences, if you can point me out where I said "all tenants" I'll happily correct myself.

It doesn't matter whether the problem of unscrupulous tenants (i.e. ones who can pay who won't) is one/ten/a thousand. It should be easier to deal with IN THIS SITUATION. I'm not sure how many times I am going to have to say before people actually bother to read that if there is a genuine situation, then I'd be happy to be lenient and allow the tenant some leeway. The majority of tenants are lovely, all my tenants have been great bar one.

I rent out because it isn't worth selling at the moment. But for your informaton, the rent I charge covers the expenditure. I make no profit on the renting. I have had many positive experiences.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 13:13:45

Clearly the small words weren't working eh?

He lost his home through HIS choice. Absolutely. He wasn't destitute, out of work, struggling. He was CHOOSING not to pay rent. That doesn't make him the victim.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 13:45:05

Unbelievable. Tenants in this country are at the mercy of unregulated, unlicensed individuals, have no rent controls, no security of tenure and consequently no real way of enforcing the very few rights that they have, but the real problem is the fact that you have to go to court to kick one out of their home.

froubylou Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:45

There is more protection given to tenants than to landlords. And that is the way it should be. A tenant has more to lose than the landlord in that the tenant can become homeless whereas the landlord only can lose an investment property.

However a small percentage of tenants know this and manipulate the system to their advantage. Because of this it causes landlords to be more particular about who they let to and less likely to be lenient in genuine situations.

From speaking to landlords this is one of the main reasons the majority won't consider housing benefit tenants and why many use letting agents to manage their property.

Because there are then extra costs involved when using an agent the costs of rent go up.

If the rent on the property is £600 pcm and a landlord has lost 6k in rental income and legal costs that is 6k they don't have to spend on the property if it could do with a new kitchen or bathroom etc.

So bad tenants don't only cause issues for the landlord but also for other tenants.

And because of the demand for rental property the landlord can afford to be picky.

MrsApplepants Mon 19-Aug-13 13:53:01

This debate irritates me more than any other. It has such a simple solution. Build more social houses of various different sizes. That way, those who want to downsize can, families can live in affordable homes which will then remove some of the demand for private rentals which will result in lower rents in that sector, making buy to let less attractive and thus creating more cheaper homes for first time buyers. I've got it all wrapped up, me.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 13:57:28

<<There is more protection given to tenants than to landlords>>

Ahahahaha! You're joking, right?

Outside of the six months shorthold period, landlords can give two months' notice at any time for no reason, which completely negates any of the few sparsely-defined 'rights' that tenants do have.

<<If the rent on the property is £600 pcm and a landlord has lost 6k in rental income and legal costs that is 6k they don't have to spend on the property if it could do with a new kitchen or bathroom etc.
>>

Exactly my point that it should not be left up to private individuals to provide housing. It just doesn't work - an individual who has lost £6k is in a quite different situation to a large organisation who has lost the same amount of money.

expatinscotland Mon 19-Aug-13 14:03:15

Social housing was built to clear slums, as low-income people could only afford rents in these areas. Now people want the garden sheds in Slough back because that's what poor people in low-paid jobs in high cost cities deserve to live in.

Be careful what you wish for.

Sallyingforth Mon 19-Aug-13 14:37:51

It's all very well calling for lots of new social housing, but where is it to go? There is no spare land in the cities. You can either build tower blocks that no one wants to live in, or houses miles away that mean expensive commuting.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 14:49:39

Well, aren't there something like a 300,000 houses that are long-term empty around the country? Give councils the power to compulsorily purchase them, for starters. There is also a load of old housing stock already in the public sector that needs renewing/replacing. No need for find land for that either.

No need to build on land in central London either - isn't One Hyde Park Corner pretty much completely empty as the flats were bought up by overseas investors? Compulsorily purchase that as well and give them to council tenants - at least they'll make use of the bastard place.

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 15:10:56

but are the 300,000 empty properties where anyone wants to live/work?

also - we don't want to increase the national debt. so where would the money come from to buy the extra houses?

and the answer is not scrap trident etc - because you might think that's important, but most people don't want that, so you need to come up with a populist way to get the extra money.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 15:14:53

I think part of the problem is that the properties that are empty aren't necessarily the ones that there is demand for. Around here there are plenty of what I would have classed as "first time buyer/renter" houses available.

But I think the demand is for the larger, family properties of which there aren't as many.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 15:24:38

Building publicly-owned houses is an investment, not a debt. It's an investment that pays for itself through rent revenues. Or we could just carry on as we are spunking £20 billion a year on housing benefit, and say that we can't afford to build houses because doing it this way is so much cheaper.

There are 170,000 houses in London and the SE which are empty - 55,000 of which are classed as long-term empty. If people were living in them, that would help at least a bit, wouldn't it?

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 15:28:20

wallison Building publicly-owned houses is an investment, not a debt.

only if you fudge the maths and ignore the opportunity cost of letting property at below fair value.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 15:30:04

Council rents are at fair value. It's private lets that aren't.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 15:36:56

I suspect the amount we rent our house out for is less than council house rental.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 15:43:38

Back following phone call. What I was intending to say was: -

We never intended on being LLs. And certainly not with the house we rent out. But when we made that decision I made the decision to do it well, do it properly and treat my tenants well. And we do.

There does seem to be a mentality that it is always the LL that is at fault - throughout this debate my point is that is not the case.

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 19-Aug-13 15:50:17

Barrett homes seem to have no problem finding land to build on?

Perhaps instead of the government cooking up new ripoffs schemes to encourage people who haven't got the money to buy and prop up their voters housing prices, started putting the same energy into building a social housing portfolio that could gradually help the market correct itself and stabilise without crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

It's long term thinking that's needed not 'next election' flirtations.

People like LadyBryan (and do correct me if I'm wrong this is all presumption) shouldn't find themselves as landlords simply because of the state of the market. Most people get on the housing ladder with the intention of it being a personal investment not becoming landlords. I've lost count of the number of people I see saying they only rent because they can't sell - they should be bloody angry at being forced into the position of a business person selling a fundamental need because government policy dictates their investment should now be counted as housing stock. They're effectively keeping you from selling your property and moving up the ladder by not sorting out the mess that is social housing.

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 19-Aug-13 15:51:30

X-posted with you there LadyBryan.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 15:55:22

You're right IASK - I don't see the situation changing, but it isn't a new thing.

This was 2008 when we made the decision that we had to rent out and buy somewhere else (or Mr would rent and we'd live apart)

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 16:06:50

wallison - in what way is social housing fair to someone who does not live in social housing?

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 16:09:49

In what way is social housing supposed to be 'fair' for someone who doesn't live in it? confused Or are you applying a toddler's logic to the situation - Bobby has a toy and Billy doesn't, therefore it's not fair.

usualsuspect Mon 19-Aug-13 16:15:26

People should be looking up and saying 'it's not fair'

Not down.

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 16:30:13

wallison - rather than applying toddler logic, I am applying....democracy. social housing is in decline because most people don't want it.

usual - if we are talking about global equality or just the uk? because there are very few people in the uk who aren't very fortunate in global terms.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 16:35:51

Most people support the death penalty. Just how far are you going to go in your pursuit of some perfect democracy?

And how do you know that to be the case anyway? Have you seen surveys? Because I've never been asked whether or not I want social housing. And there is still plenty of demand for it at least - millions of people on council house waiting lists - what about their democratic rights that were sold down the river by that mental old hag Thatcher?

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 19-Aug-13 16:36:08

"I am applying....democracy. social housing is in decline because most people don't want it."

I take issue with that statement - the waiting lists and frankly personal anecdotes suggest otherwise - either way it's not like there has been a serious acknowledgment of it ever being something to deal with other than talk of getting people to buy more.

Ownership is presented as the only serious option despite (it seems to me) a lot of people constantly bringing up renting as an issue - not one to get rid of but one to improve.

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 16:40:01

so if people do want social housing why does no mainstream party make it an election issue?

if it would get them votes.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 16:42:03

There are other ways for them to get votes without compromising their position as land-owners and property speculators.

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 16:43:49

so social housing compromises people who own their own homes does it?

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 16:46:45

No, of course not. But MPs and the rest of their mates at the top personally profit from ever-increasing house prices. The ordinary voter of course, does not. Why there isn't a party that actually represents the ordinary voter, particularly the ordinary left-wing voter, any more is a debate for another time.

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 16:57:21

^ Why there isn't a party that actually represents the ordinary voter, particularly the ordinary left-wing voter^

isn't the problem from your perspective that there aren't enough 'ordinary left wing voters' to make their/your politics mainstream?

didn't labour move to the right to become more electable?

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 16:58:36

the problem you have is joe public likes house prices to increase. so MPs are doing that the majority wants.

OddBoots Mon 19-Aug-13 17:01:59

That will change as Joe Public works out what this means for their children and grand children, but by then it might be too late.

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 19-Aug-13 17:02:29

My personal theory is that they are quite happy for the illusion that mortgage holders are somehow making or will make a profit to continue as it ultimately keeps house prices high in an economy where they shouldn't be.

Without the private rental market we have, the option for people like LadyBryan to rent instead of sell at a loss just wouldn't be there. The cost of housing benefit leeching into private pockets must be a lot less than a housing price crash and loss of votes. The proportion of people who should be in social housing (pretty much anyone receiving HB) are caught up in the private market.

I'm pretty convinced this government and all those wannabes in power have absolutely no desire for the housing market to actually correct itself and reflect what people actually earn on average. There's a lost generation of people who had to wait longer and are increasingly getting too old, too poor or too dis-infranchised with the whole idea of ownership to maintain a healthy movement in the market.

It's very much like the economic illusions that came crashing down in 2007 - it's just not sustainable because it's based on nothing.

I think a lot of people fall into the category of those been screwed over without realising, the admittedly small but significant minority of people who would directly benefit from social housing should be joined by those who would benefit from a stable market more than an increasing one. I genuinely think that a lot of people don't realise that having a mortgage and being on the property ladder isn't enough. If you own outright then yes you're out of the game so to speak, but renting or buying for the last 15 years is a massive gamble - which is very different from investment.

froubylou Mon 19-Aug-13 17:31:25

But increasing house prices benefit no one long term anyway? Even those right at the top of the property ladder. Should they decide to sell their property they would still have to live somewhere. So they either rent or buy somewhere smaller, both options are affected by the price of property?

The only people who benefit (or organisations) are the banks. The higher the house prices, the more people have to borrow to buy, the more interest is paid back to them, thus increasing their profits.

Wallison the current rental system does need a massive overhaul I agree 100%. I'd like to see it more like in Germany, where I believe a landlord doesn't have the option of a S21, which effectively terminates a contract for no reason with 2 months notice. So if a tenant pays rent and maintains the property they can if they choose live there forever. The only way for them to get the property back would be to prove to a court that they need it for themselves. This would I think give tenants more incentive to pay the rent on time and maintain the property.

We live in rented accomodation and have done for 7 years. In the same property. We have done the normalo decorating/carpets/minor repairs but if we knew we had a secure tenancy then we would do more.

Although my landlord is one of the good ones I am aware that I can be given a S21 notice and 2 months to leave. My landlord has a portfolio of property so I can't see him choosing to do so as we make good economic sense to him. However things can happen beyond his control that could force the issue. So we have our name down for one of the council houses that no one wants. I hope whoever said that the demand isn't there is right and our home town would catch on to this.

9 years I have been waiting now. No demand my arse lol.

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 19-Aug-13 17:44:30

Right now I don't think it's about increases more than preventing major losses.

There are a lot of people sold on very long term plans that can't absorb a dip in the market for more than a very short period of time.

Reluctant landlords can eventually be at a point to break even if they sell, that's a long way a way if you think of average mortgage terms and when the height of the property boom occurred. That's not great but acceptable, any attempt to rectify the market within the next decade could be a huge blow to most mortgage holders.

Much easier (and wins more votes) to keep up the marketing of the pyramid scheme of ownership and hope it doesn't crash on your watch.

Sallyingforth Mon 19-Aug-13 17:53:04

It's no good pointing out odd empty buildings here and there. To make any real difference to the problem we'd need very large numbers of social houses and in the right places. Then you need schools and hospitals to serve them. There just isn't space in the right places. You can build them outside the towns but then there is no work.

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 19-Aug-13 18:03:33

Sallying I live in a major city - there are constantly new private developments going on. There is plenty of land it's just never been approached as a serious option by any government since M.T.

If anything had been attempted I might be swayed more by the argument, but it has been left alone as an argument amongst ourselves.

Also if housing didn't eat such a large % of peoples income then perhaps commuting wouldn't be such an issue. I already commute (by buses for my sins smile) 1.5hrs each way purely because my rent is cheaper where I am. I'm looking to relocate and where I'm ending up this just isn't an option because the transport links are not worth what I can earn.

Luckily (kind of) I'm in a position where how much I earn isn't a massive issue, I can earn well below the average (is it £26k pa now?) as long as I stay above £14k (well above NMW). Which is a shame because for the same time commuting I could be in and out of London, but the cost is just too high and I can't afford to live there.

It's all a balancing act I suppose.

LadyBryan Mon 19-Aug-13 18:23:17

I don't think Joe Public does want houes prices to rise necessarily. But I do think they NEED them to be of a certain level to make moving viable.

Froubylou - I would absolutely support a system like that. I think that sounds excellent. FWIW we have NEVER severed a tenancy, save for the one involving the tenant who didn't pay. We have a larger turnover because the property is near a hospital and we get a number of trainee doctors etc who want 6 months/a year then move on. If a LL finds an excellent tenant it is sheer stupidity to get rid of them.

LondonMan Mon 19-Aug-13 18:35:37

And just how exactly is the price of private rent a free market in this country? Tread carefully now.

I sense a trap about to spring shut and sever my head from my body...

But to answer the question, I meant in the simple and most straight-forward sense, that at the instant a rent for a tenancy is agreed, the landlord is getting a price that is more or less the most he can hope to get, and the tenant is paying a price that is (in quality-adjusted terms) more-or-less the least he can hope to pay.

The big picture of why prices are what they are is a separate issue - I'm not against the big picture being changed, but at any given moment before, during transition and after implementation of such changes, the market price is what it is, at each particular moment.

LondonMan Mon 19-Aug-13 18:58:13

Private individuals cannot provide affordable good quality housing on the kind of mass basis that the UK needs. More than 30% of households rent.

I agree, and would go further: individual landlords and short tenancies should be a miniscule proportion of the private accommodation market, as both are undesirable from a tenant point of view. And I say that even though my circumstances are such that I'm more likely to be a landlord than a tenant. (I hope to remain neither.)

Essentially in the past the only way to obtain decent housing privately in the UK was to be a owner, and the financial crisis has thrown a spanner in that.

My definition of "decent housing" includes that you should be able to stay in a home for as long as you can afford it. Individual landlords, unlike institutional ones, tend to want to sell from time-to-time, perhaps because they've died, or divorced, or need money for something else. We need massive provision by institutional landlords. I'm not sure what needs to change to get that, but removing the prohibition (which I think exists) on pension funds investing in residential housing might be a start.

annabanana84 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:08:40

I disagree. I lived in social housing. I worked a part time job, so got paid around £600 per month, but couldn't claim benefits, because some months I had overtime, other months not. I could never have afforded private rent, so social housing was my only option. Without it, I would still be living with toxic parents or probably be dead through suicide because of living with toxic parents right now.

LondonMan Mon 19-Aug-13 19:29:07

frankly if your solution to all of this is to encourage more private sector pricing and behaviour then you are deranged.

My proposal wasn't meant to be a general solution to the problems of rental housing, though I think it would be necessary as part of a solution. Sorry to be tautological, but it was meant to be a solution to what it's a solution to! By that I mean it's my understanding that mispricing inevitably causes misallocation of resources, I can't necessarily tell you how the latter manifests itself. (Though I have gone examples up-thread and again in the next paragraph.)

There are only two kinds of pricing, accurate and inaccurate. Or maybe truthful versus fantasy would be better labels. The OP was in favour of accuracy/truth, because the alternative is likely to have adverse consequences. Such as people who don't currently need public assistance receiving public subsidies for their housing, which is intrinsically wrong, but may also cause them to over-consume, raising prices for everyone else, including people who may be poorer than them. Even more simply: fantasy pricing leads to working people getting subsidised rents in social housing while poorer people with greater need are on waiting lists.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 19:29:50

<<didn't labour move to the right to become more electable?>>

Well, yes and no. They moved to the right, certainly, but I don't think they needed to move so far in order just to become electable. Before Smith died, he could have easily won the next election - people were sick of Thatcherism and the way that she and her successors ruined the country. Smith was a socialist and also eminently electable, which I think shows that there was an appetite for left-wing policies. The movement of all three main parties to slightly different versions of neo-con policies certainly doesn't suit everyone in the UK - witness the falling voter turnout and the rise of minority often single-issue parties. There are plenty of people, not just left-wing people, who are not or barely represented in Parliament.

Kendodd Mon 19-Aug-13 19:33:10

I have only skimmed the thread, so jumping in.

I agree with the op, SH rents should rise to market levels, HB should top up the difference when needed. There should also be a condition that any 'profit' must be reinvested building new SH.

As for all those people saying 'rents are too high in the private sector' how do you propose to change that? Rents in the private sector are not too high, they are the market value for a scarce resource, building more housing is the only thing that I can see that will change that. Also tenants should have more rights making BTL less appealing so that people might be able to buy the homes they can only afford to rent at the moment.

IMO the argument that HB pushes up private rents is nonsense considering most private LL won't even accept tenants claiming HB.

MousyMouse Mon 19-Aug-13 19:40:19

IMO the argument that HB pushes up private rents is nonsense considering most private LL won't even accept tenants claiming HB.

because the banks thell them they are not allowed. which imo should be legally challenged. sounds very fishy to me.

georgettemagritte Mon 19-Aug-13 19:58:06

But what if the "fantasy pricing" is the marker rate? Current private rents are massively overinflated. The so-called "subsidised" rates are actually far nearer historical value. What you suggest doesn't work in a bubble economy where the market is actually overinflated rather than at fair value.

georgettemagritte Mon 19-Aug-13 20:01:39

Kendodd your idea of market value is far too simplistic. Housing in this country is not a scarce resource, but it is an already mispriced resource. When markets are already malinvested market value is not fair value. Your mistake is to assume market value is always equal to fair value. This is a very simplistic (GSCE) (mis)understanding of market economics.

FasterStronger Mon 19-Aug-13 20:05:32

so then georgette tell us how housing is mispriced and what change would be required to achieve fair prices?

Sallyingforth Mon 19-Aug-13 20:11:31

But sparkly those private developments are built by speculative builders for private buyers who can afford the mortgages. How are you going to replace them with low cost social housing? Out bid the builders? Compulsory purchase at a lower price than the builders will pay?

Debs75 Mon 19-Aug-13 20:40:24

The only thing that putting SH rents to 'market' rents will do is make those who rent privately feel they are not getting a worse deal. It won't help people who are contributing to society but not earning a liveable wage, they will just have to claim HB which would prob not be enough for a part timer who would then again be better off claiming dole.

Like a poster said upthread we should look up and say not fair not down.

Our council is currently in the process of demolishing some 300 houses, (to add to the 600 they demolished in the area over 10 years ago) and they will be building some 150 houses over the next 2 years. Out of the 600 they demolished they have built only 100.
It is a start replacing old stock which is harder to repair and maintain but they are not building enough to replace the lost houses so where will the tenants go.

There is a lot to be done to rectify housing in this country and if someone has a good and decent idea lets hear it

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 20:42:44

I would say that the fact that £20 billion a year (and rising) of public money going to subsidise rents is a fair indication that rents are mispriced.

Wallison Mon 19-Aug-13 20:44:20

Also that the average home now costs 7x the average wage.

FasterStronger Tue 20-Aug-13 09:01:52

wallison I would say that the fact that £20 billion a year (and rising) of public money going to subsidise rents is a fair indication that rents are mispriced.

but with limited land and a rising population, prices to buy or rent a house are going to rise. and there is nothing any government can do to change that.

Also that the average home now costs 7x the average wage. so maybe the change is someone on an average salary does not buy a house but is a life long renter.

georgettemagritte Tue 20-Aug-13 09:25:32

Fasterstronger by all objective economic metrics UK housing is overvalued both on prices and rents. Even the OECD suggests an overvaluation of over 30% (very conservative estimate).

We don't actually need to do anything. The population bulge in the current 50-70 age bracket will start selling their houses into the market in 10-15 years' time, and there are not enough people in the following generations to buy them all at current values given current wage levels, and prices will drop sharply. The secret about UK housing is not that there isn't enough housing. It is that it has been overconsumed by certain age groups and demographics. When those demographic trends go into reverse, the market will revert very sharply to historic values. Public policy should be smoothing this (as it should have prevented the bubble in the first place), but we have incompetent economic governance, so that isn't happening. Doesn't mean it won't correct though. That's also the reason why we won't end up with a nation of renters in 20 years' time. To put it bluntly: the rentiers are about to die off.

FasterStronger Tue 20-Aug-13 09:37:55

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/npp/national-population-projections/2010-based-projections/sum-2010-based-national-population-projections.html

so the ONS say the population will increase up until at least 2035 - their figures are another 10 million by 2035.

but you say 'prices will drop sharply' by 2025-2030. how so?

the renters are about to die off. so what age is the average renter v. home owner?

where is your data?

FasterStronger Tue 20-Aug-13 09:48:23

also the ons figures show the rate of population growth increasing up until at least 2035.

not growth slowing.

georgettemagritte Tue 20-Aug-13 09:54:19

Fasterstronger - migration is a red herring. Look instead at the population distribution and the amount and type of housing consumer at each level, compared to the wage distribution. Think of all those people in the 50-70 age bracket living in large family homes (an unprecedented situation historically as in previous generations retirees would consume less housing not more). Then look at the income and wealth levels of the upcoming generations and try to work out how prices will be sustained. Migration and the birth rate are red herrings, since the added population by both tend not to be at high income levels and are generally not able to sustain high prices (and there are various measures being put in place to constrain younger generations' income, eg paying large amounts for university; a large pensions and healthcare burden for the same age group who have overconsumed housing).

Put simply, we don't, and won't for some time if ever, be generating enough wealth in our economy to sustain older generations' expectations of pension, public care and housing wealth. Ain't gonna happen. Pretending we can import some more low-wage workers who will fund it all is a fantasy. What matters is the productive, income-generating part of the population, and that part is just about to have to start bearing a huge increase in pension and healthcare obligations on small wages. How are they going to support current housing prices? They're not.

cooeeyonlyme Tue 20-Aug-13 10:00:10

My Mil's mortgage is £400 per month. She rents her house out at £1500 per month.
Pure greed,
Social housing rents need to stay low.

georgettemagritte Tue 20-Aug-13 10:05:24

(To which, the message is: if you are a baby boomer relying on your house to fund your retirement, sell and downsize now rather than waiting until ten years' time).

FasterStronger Tue 20-Aug-13 10:11:28

georgette - can I ask if you are a home owner?

you seem very housepricecrash.

dirtyface Tue 20-Aug-13 10:41:28

cooee thats disgusting shock

pure profiteering

my mum and dad have a rental property, its a 3 storey 3 bed terrace, really nice. i think the mortgage is paid off now, as they bought the house for about 14k in 2001.

and they only charge 420 a month. which is slightly lower than market rents in our area, it would be about 600 i reckon normally.

LadyBryan Tue 20-Aug-13 11:49:10

It doesn't surprise me cooee - I imagine they're not short of people who will pay it either. It amazes me how much people are willing to pay to rent.

We have a three-bed semi, large garden, garage which we rent out for £375 per month.

dirtyface Tue 20-Aug-13 12:19:01

thats about the same as my council house ladybryan

good on you for charging a fair rent

you deserve brill tenants and i hope you always get them x

cooeeyonlyme Tue 20-Aug-13 12:55:02

Lady it's not even a spot on house. It's a bog standard home.
She also buys cheap homes in Wales, gives them a lick of paint then rents them out as holiday lets.

Her friends do the same thing, it's wrong and she knows it but she doesn't care that she's pricing locals out of the market.

where I live, a two bed flat costs about £1600 a month. That is in a a pretty tatty area of East London. If I earned £35K, that would give me about £2K a month. leaving me £400 for council tax, water, utilities, food and all sundries. please tell me where that would make me a) too poor to be allowed to live there, and b) someone who needs to move to another area where rents are lower and lose my entire community, my son's school, my family.

OP you are talking such utter shit it is disgusting. bubble pricing is neither sustainable, economically, nor "fair" .

FasterStronger Tue 20-Aug-13 19:27:47

my prediction for the housing market is that it wont go up at the rates seen in the last few decades but that in the SE and London it will be a better investment in the long run than putting your money in the bank. I do think we will return to more of a north/south divide in housing with greater house price variation over the country. this will happen as we move to a sustainable benefits and pensions system.

I think more people will live in flats allowing rents and purchases prices to be relatively higher than they were in the past on a per square metre basis.

borrowing money will obviously be more expensive than in the past (when the risk was underpriced) so more people will become life long renters - or rent until they inherit. others will continue to be renters and LL as they can afford to buy a house in the wrong location or not of the correct size for their needs.

Ilovemyself Tue 20-Aug-13 19:42:21

Ladybryan. Where are you? Around here you would be looking at £800 to £900!

Wallison Tue 20-Aug-13 21:16:10

Instead of dreaming up more hair-brained schemes to keep property prices so high (ie the packages guaranteeing buyers' deposits), wouldn't govt money be better spent building more council houses, allowing a crash and then paying off the excess for people consequently caught by negative equity?

In some places rents are already going up. Our rent at the HA place we used to live in (no council housing where we live, all local HA) started out at about £85 a week. Then it crept up and up until two years later it was closer to £110, which is pretty much market rate around here.

Word locally is that our HA were basically forced to put the prices up by the council, though I have no idea how this would benefit them as it's the council paying out the HB in the first place confused

Wallison Tue 20-Aug-13 22:24:22

The govt has started on a new scheme of 'affordable rent' for tenants in social housing. Of course, by 'affordable' they mean 'higher'. All LAs and other housing providers are affected by this. Bastards.

georgettemagritte Tue 20-Aug-13 22:55:26

Fasterstronger are you sure you're not a HPCer trolling mumsnet? hmm

FasterStronger Wed 21-Aug-13 08:46:53

George are you avoiding providing any data? Oh and your reference to the OECD was a complete misquote

And hpcers want a crash - because they mistakenly think it would help their stupid selves. Whereas no banks would lend, so people with money could just hoover up properties and wait for recovery.

dirtyface Wed 21-Aug-13 09:43:33

galaxy yes thats what i don't get :S putting rents up will just increase the HB bill? and probably end up putting working people on part HB that never needed it before

madness

FasterStronger Wed 21-Aug-13 10:38:48

the extra money being charged for affordable rents goes to build more social housing

dirtyface Wed 21-Aug-13 10:56:16

yes am sure thats what they will tell people it does in theory....but whether that will ever happen under this government remains to be seen hmm

LadyBryan Wed 21-Aug-13 11:01:21

ilovemyself - Yorkshire.

We had the property valued at £500-£550 a calendar month.

But we're not interested in making a massive profit, it is a stop gap until such time as we can sell the property for an approrpriate amount.

And before anybody asks, no we won't evict tenants, once we put it on the market we will simply not find another tenant when the previous moves out.

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