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Most private rentals "unaffordable"

(117 Posts)
TheVampireEmpusa Thu 13-Oct-11 10:47:30

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15284892

Not surprised by this, wondered what others thought. Especially in relation to those struggling for cash and reliant on local housing allowance.

According to the BBC article, the cheapest rent is in Burnley, at £394 pm, but according to the LHA calculator the max anyone could get is £340, so still need to find £54 a month. Quite a lot if you are struggling already.

Ryoko Thu 13-Oct-11 10:56:29

So even the cheapest area in the country is out of reach of HB, well thats the Tories for you did anyone expect anything else from them, they want to take this country back to the dark ages with the serfs earning £2 a day and living in communal shit holes, so they can make this place competitive with manufacturing in countries like India and China.

Wages are all ready dropping, tonnes of employee contract types have been created that get around the majority of employment law, Apprenticeship/trainee pay starts at £2.50 an hour.

Who ever voted in the ConDems deserves a slap.

MistyMountainHop Thu 13-Oct-11 11:05:41

its disgraceful, the cost of private rental is completely disproportionate to the average income.

how the hell is the average joe on the average wage meant to afford to save a deposit to buy a place to get out of the trap of renting.

its disgraceful. ten years ago i was 21 and living on my own in a very nice one bed flat for about £300 a month, which was a pretty fair rent as i was earning about 14k so could comfortably afford it. i have friends in their early to mid 20's that are still earning the same pittance except similar properties are now about twice that (in the midlands where i am)
and they are having to pay similar amounts or more for grim houseshares with not much hope of ever getting a place of their own, rented or bought. i fear for my DC's future, i really do.

i am "lucky" as i am in a housing association house but its in a pretty grim area, with shit schools and lots of crime. and even with the more affordable rent we still can't afford to save a deposit to buy with the cost of living these days sad and we wouldn't go back to private renting even if we could afford to as its such a rip off and not secure.

people go on about council and housing assoc rents being "cheap" - but its not that they are that cheap, they are just not a rip off like private rents.

anyway i have ranted but this is a real bugbear of mine and something NEEDS to be done about it. no idea what, but it can't continue.

TheVampireEmpusa Thu 13-Oct-11 11:09:53

misty We were forced into HA when we were made homeless and discovered that in the year we'd been renting our property, private rents had gone up so much we couldn't afford anywhere else.

Something needs to change, or more and more people are going to find themselves homeless sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Oct-11 11:11:59

There needs to be a sustained building programme of social housing. All the time there is a housing shortage, property will be expensive and rents will be high. There's a good case for using money in the housing budget, not to increase HB, but to put out of work builders back in employment building homes.

bobthebuddha Thu 13-Oct-11 11:14:14

Ryoko, rents have risen in line with more generous HB payments. I know of landlords who've lived very, very well of the back of HB tenants whilst they've left their properties go to rack & ruin. By rights, rents should come back down with lower HB thresholds. We'll see. And besides, rents (and house prices) rose steeply over 12 years whilst Labour was in government, so I'm not quite sure why you simply blame the ConDems.

BadgersPaws Thu 13-Oct-11 11:18:27

"its disgraceful, the cost of private rental is completely disproportionate to the average income snip they are just not a rip off like private rents."

The problem is though that the costs of private rentals are often not disproportionate to the cost that landlord faces.

Yes there are a few "evil" landlords who make vast profits while making their tenants live in hell holes, but that's not what most landlords are like.

We're seeing a lot more people become landlords now because they either are in negative equity and therefore can't sell, because given the housing market they can't sell but need to move or because they've got savings that are earning naff all interest so they pump them into property.

So all of those people have high mortages on the property, hence high outgoings and the rent needs to cover that and the additional costs of being a landlord.

So therefore the cost of renting goes up.

Tackling the "evil landlords" won't help this particular problem, yes we should nail them but they're a minority and won't help most people out.

Interfering in the market and/or trying to fix rents won't help. If the rents don't cover the mortgage people won't rent and there will be less property available to rent.

It's a complex problem and well wishing tampering can just cause even more problems.

My personal opinion is that part of the problem began when investments turned sour and more people began to turn to rental properties. That made so many more buyers end up chasing each property, especially in a place like London. All those buyers drove up the property prices, which in turn made more people turn to renting, which in turn drove more people to become landlords, which in turn drove the prices even higher. And round and round we went.

Is there any way that people who buy homes that aren't their own residence could face higher stamp duty or something? That's not an immediate fix to the problem of high rents but it will stop people who want to buy a home having to fight numerous people who want to buy to make money.

Ryoko Thu 13-Oct-11 11:22:15

I blame the ConDems because they have increased the rents of social housing, made the poor pay for the mistakes of the bankers while they swan off with money falling out there over stuffed pockets and are trying to push wages down in this country by introducing all kinds of loop holes so employers can get out of the majority of employment law and pay people less then minimum wage.

BadgersPaws Thu 13-Oct-11 11:26:08

"I blame the ConDems because they have increased the rents of social housing"

As someone has already said the silly price rises in property and the collapse in the returns on investment went on full steam under Labour.

And those are major, if not the major, cause of rents now being so expensive.

We're seeing the result of a situation that has been spiralling out of control since the mid 90s and spans three Governments. Blaming just the current one allows the previous ones to dodge the blame and won't address the real root causes.

TheVampireEmpusa Thu 13-Oct-11 11:51:14

"Blaming just the current one allows the previous ones to dodge the blame and won't address the real root causes."

True. The situation was shit under Labour, the Tories haven't improved it, and IMO are unlikely to. But it goes back further than just this govt, and further than the last too.

Badgers I'm not sure the higher stamp duty is the answer. There are not loads of BTL landlords chasing each property because bank financing is harder and harder to get.

The real issue is the lack of housing in this country at a time when housing demand has gone up due to social changes e.g. more marriage break ups, children leaving home earlier, older parents no longer moving in with one of their children etc successive governments have failed to build sufficient housing stock to meet demand.

BadgersPaws Thu 13-Oct-11 14:17:26

"There are not loads of BTL landlords chasing each property because bank financing is harder and harder to get."

My experience of selling property in London after the crash was that many of the buyers who came to view were BTL Landlords who were looking for better investments than more normal "savings".

The plural of anecdote is however not data, so I'd welcome seeing some figures. But my experience is that the crash and drying up of finance lead to a switch from one type of BTL Landlord (mortgage based) to another (funded by savings) rather than their disappearance.

And many properties were already in the hands of BTL Landlords, in London in particular there's been a massive problem with the buying up of multi-bedroom homes and the conversion of them into single bedroom flats. That makes family homes even scarcer by actually reducing the real number of them that exist, and that hammers prices up even further still.

breadandbutterfly Thu 13-Oct-11 14:27:46

I think the high cost of housing - both rental and owner-occupied is the single biggest issue this country faces. Labour is as guilty as the Tories as this, maybe more so in that the huge jump in house prices took place under Labour (the Tories actually let house prices crash to real levels relative incomes in the early 90s; this time round they've learned from Labour to tinker with interest rates indefinitelyto support the housing market - no matter if a FTB cannot hope to buy on a loan-to-value of 6, 7 8 or more times average income).

Access to housing is an essential need, not a luxury - it is our national disgrace that we have no laws in place to protect law-abiding rent-paying tenants from eviction and homelessness. And that rents can be charged (often to the public purse, via LHA) at whatever rate a grasping landlord chooses.

MistyMountainHop Thu 13-Oct-11 14:41:17

Access to housing is an essential need, not a luxury

hear hear breadandbutterfly

and yes you are quite right re the 90's when houses were relative to peoples incomes, i wasn't old enough to buy then but dh (who is older) bought in the mid 90's and was on about £12k and bought - on his own- for about £35k - roughly 3x his income. and he says this was the norm. it was actually cheaper for people to buy than rent. (sadly he lost his house before we met, long story)

TapselteerieO Thu 13-Oct-11 14:48:00

homes campaign.

I saw on bbc that "there are an estimated 870,000 empty homes in the UK and enough empty commercial property to create 420,000 new homes."

I live in a sea side village in Scotland, where house prices are £100,000 higher on average than anywhere else in Scotland, lots of holiday homes. We rent, and moving out of the area means moving my dc's away from school, ds has sn - so I don't want to move him. We just have to pay, we have rented 6 houses in the last 7 years, being moved on because the BTL landlord wants to sell or on two occasions wants to move in, one after renting for 4 months we got notice to quit because the LL wanted to move back in. I hate renting, but we have no choice.

All the LA houses here were snapped up long ago in Maggie Thatcher's day, sell all the decent council housing and get the poor ghettoised in the rubbish housing.

mousyfledermaus Thu 13-Oct-11 15:03:11

I think the problem is partly due to there not beeing a renting "culture" as such. landlords have too many right (or so it seems) and tennants too little security.
this is not helped by people with a how the hell is the average joe on the average wage meant to afford to save a for deposit to buy a home mindset. it shouldn't be this way. renting should be just one choice and not the lesser part of an evil.

MistyMountainHop Thu 13-Oct-11 16:24:24

this is not helped by people with a how the hell is the average joe on the average wage meant to afford to save a for deposit to buy a home mindset. it shouldn't be this way. renting should be just one choice

i agree mousy - people shouldn't have that mindset, i dont WANT to have this mindset. but i DO. because i would rather buy somewhere in a nicer area than live in the area i do, which is pretty grim. and i want to buy rather than rent because as lots of posters have already stated, there is very little security while renting. the last private rental i lived in, the landlord, on a whim, decided to increase the rent by £100 a MONTH and then decided he was selling anyway so i was out on my ear. hence why i live where i do now.

PhyllisDiller Thu 13-Oct-11 16:45:20

I just don't see HOW rents are going to come down because HB rates are reduced. In our area (SE), LL's are putting rents UP for sitting tenants.

Properties are few and far between and for each one there is a queue of people waiting who are not on HB (often a LL preferred choice)....for example, in this area the 2 bed allowance for HB will just about get you a flat. Why on earth would a LL let to a couple with DC's when they could let to a professional working couple with no DC's and no HB to worry about?

I suppose the idea is that LL's will reduce their rent rather than throw out and existing tenant who has had their HB reduced and can no longer afford their rent.

Perhaps in other areas it might be different, but the policies do not allow for regional differences.

BadgersPaws Thu 13-Oct-11 16:45:34

"landlords have too many right (or so it seems) and tennants too little security."

But what do you do?

If you tamper with that balance then you'll probably see a fair number of land lords backing out of renting. Land lords who were doing it because they can't sell their home right now or who are doing it as an investment might really not want to get into a situation where tenants can suddenly be there for years rather than a year at a time.

So there would be less places to rent and prices would go even higher, both would be disastrous.

In the longer term those places coming onto the market would help drive property values down, but that might take a while to take effect.

And that's the sort of problem you have with this area, there can be a lot of unintended side effects of monkeying around with the rules.

LaWeasel Thu 13-Oct-11 16:59:47

Of course we want to buy, it'll take us ten years to save a deposit, but when we do our mortgage payments will be less than the rent on an equivalent house.

We can just about manage to pay the £675 for our tiny two bed, we could really do with 3beds, but it would cost us around £900pm. A mortgage on a house that size in the area is around £750pm. So we will overcrowd our tiny rental until we have enough of a deposit to buy. What else can we do?

sodascream Thu 13-Oct-11 18:25:01

I am in a council flat and it makes no sense to buy under RTB, even if I could get a mortgage. The rent is always going to be lower than a mortgage and it doesn't really matter that we won't own after 25 years, since I'd always be able to live here with a secure tenancy and would get HB (the caps won't affect me as the rent is so low).

My SIL was offered a council flat on our estate and refused it in favour of a private rental, she felt that it was beneath her to live here. She'll have to move out of the area soon as she won't be able to top up the rent once the HB cuts come in. I do think that many people in private rentals aren't always those who weren't able to get council flats, but, like my SIL, just felt they deserved to live somewhere better and knew they could get a large chunk of the rent paid by HB. Our estate has a bad reputation according to crime figures, local schools Ofsted etc, but my personal experience of it is actually fine.

Betelguese Thu 13-Oct-11 21:05:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CustardCake Thu 13-Oct-11 23:02:28

Betelguese - I don't know how you figure out the Tories are to blame. Rents were bloody astronomical under Labout just 3 short years ago (when a rented house near us would cost nearly 33% more to rent than to pay a full mortgage on!).
Its landlords and housing policies that drive rents up. Landlords are greedy wanting to maximise the rents they get. Housing policy has to find private rented accomodation for many people and then pay landlords what they ask. The net result is landlords ask for more and more (as they know they will get it) and any poor sod who has to rent privately without help for housing costs sees the costs go up every year.

I don't know if that's a national picture but its been the same here under both Labotu and Tories.

frownieface Thu 13-Oct-11 23:31:12

All I know is that the average rent where I live for a 2 bed house is nearly £900pcm. My previous landlord kicked us out because they needed to sell up.

We currently live with my parents as we could not afford a deposit on another house (no housing benefit of any description). Something has to be done, because I am being priced out of the town I grew up in, the town I have my job in, the town where my family and friends are. It's bad enough for my generation (i'm 26) I really do feel for the next generation. sad

Betelguese Fri 14-Oct-11 09:03:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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