Would rent control make crisis worse?

York Press: Would rent control make crisis worse? Would rent control make crisis worse?

I KNOW I’ve hit the nail on the head when Bob Towner refers to my letters as “another rant”. He just cannot stand to hear the truth.

The retired local government housing officer has no idea of the percentage of bad tenants in the private sector.

I know from experience that it happens more often than Mr Towner would like people to believe.

Initial deposits are usually one month’s rent, hopelessly inadequate to cover damage inflicted in the worst cases. The “exorbitant” weekly rent of £177 quoted by Mr Towner is meaningless without reference to the type, location and size of property.

It is not the case that escalating rents are forcing up the housing benefit bill. There is a maximum figure that is payable in any housing benefit claim.

The call for a debate on rent capping has nothing to with housing benefit costs but everything to do with anti-capitalist prejudice.

The whole concept of one person owning a home which another individual rents is an anathema to those on the left; but they will not be honest and admit that this is the driving force behind calls for rent controls.

Matthew Laverack, Landlord of this parish, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.
 

• Bob Towner should know better. He was around in the 1970s when rent controls caused private lettings to almost disappear overnight.

Rent officers were notorious for regulating rents at absurd low levels which barely covered the cost of repairs and renewals, let alone the cost of paying back loans incurred in the purchase or construction of dwellings. And they certainly didn’t include any livelihood for landlords.

Their brief was to force down rents to ridiculous low levels without regard to economic reality. It was a disaster, which led to to the near extinction of private lettings.

A repeat of such folly in the present housing crisis will lead to the same result – a mass exodus by freeholders from the private rented housing sector. This will help nobody.

Mr Towner says things cannot continue as they are. The solution is simple enough. The authorities should fund and build council houses again in sufficient numbers and stop expecting private industry to do their job for them.

John Jones, Sand Hutton Manor, Sand Hutton, York.
 

• READING Bob Towner’s letter of March 5, one has to appreciate his expertise in social housing and his commonsense approach about the future if we continue the present system.

I enjoyed reading his letter on rent action being necessary and hope a sensible approach will prevail.

Keith Chapman, Custance Walk, York.

Comments (4)

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2:45pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Caerynys says...

According to government figures there are currently around 35 million tax payers in this country collectively paying approximately £26 billion into the pockets of private landlords. That equates to a tax payers subsidy to these so called free market businesses of approximately £ 743 per taxpayer per annum. In other words next time you check your monthly payslip it will be £62 lighter thanks to this government’s policy of not introducing rent caps.
My suggestion would be that local authorities should be given the duty to introduce such caps. Let’s say a figure based around two hundred pounds per month per bedroom based on the original number of bedrooms in each property. Of course this would make the whole buy to let scandal less appealing which should appeal to true capitalists. After all they are the ones who normally shout loudest about free market conditions and wastage of public money. This proposal to me would produce two benefits,
1, the cost of starter homes would be reduced as the buy to let artists began to sell their no longer profitable properties, this in turn would open up the possibility of home ownership for a generation currently denied the chance.
2, the £26 billion pounds per year saved could then be spent on a major new affordable housing scheme providing tens of thousands of jobs, homes and apprenticeships for the young.
Just an idea, but I’m sure my endorsement of such free market ideas will be dismissed as left wing thinking by those who have the most to lose from this modern day Dickensian scandal.
Have a nice day.
According to government figures there are currently around 35 million tax payers in this country collectively paying approximately £26 billion into the pockets of private landlords. That equates to a tax payers subsidy to these so called free market businesses of approximately £ 743 per taxpayer per annum. In other words next time you check your monthly payslip it will be £62 lighter thanks to this government’s policy of not introducing rent caps. My suggestion would be that local authorities should be given the duty to introduce such caps. Let’s say a figure based around two hundred pounds per month per bedroom based on the original number of bedrooms in each property. Of course this would make the whole buy to let scandal less appealing which should appeal to true capitalists. After all they are the ones who normally shout loudest about free market conditions and wastage of public money. This proposal to me would produce two benefits, 1, the cost of starter homes would be reduced as the buy to let artists began to sell their no longer profitable properties, this in turn would open up the possibility of home ownership for a generation currently denied the chance. 2, the £26 billion pounds per year saved could then be spent on a major new affordable housing scheme providing tens of thousands of jobs, homes and apprenticeships for the young. Just an idea, but I’m sure my endorsement of such free market ideas will be dismissed as left wing thinking by those who have the most to lose from this modern day Dickensian scandal. Have a nice day. Caerynys
  • Score: 15

9:25pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Mulgrave says...

Housing benefit IS capped, both by the need and type of accommodation deemed applicable and, having evaluated that, it is limited to the 30th percentile of rents for that type of accomodation within the area. This pre-dated the so-called bedroom tax applicable to social housing by a year.
Housing benefit IS capped, both by the need and type of accommodation deemed applicable and, having evaluated that, it is limited to the 30th percentile of rents for that type of accomodation within the area. This pre-dated the so-called bedroom tax applicable to social housing by a year. Mulgrave
  • Score: 3

1:53am Tue 11 Mar 14

Magicman! says...

If there was a law limiting private rents to no more than a certain percentage of the total houses in any given street, then there'd be more houses available to more people... sure the occupants would still be paying 'ren' in a form, but to a landlord in the shape of a bank whereby eventually the bank has enough money back and the person then owns the house. Compare that to private renting, where an occupant pays a very similar sum of money each week/month (if not slightly more), and can do so for an undefined period of time, and yet is no closer to owning a house and would have to start all over again if they moved or if the owner of the property decided to move or sell.

By introducing such restrictions it would free up more housing and eventually this would be reflected in houses being more affordable to more people. The only ones who would lose out are those who think they can make a quick profit out of somebody else's misfortune in not being able to buy their own house.
If there was a law limiting private rents to no more than a certain percentage of the total houses in any given street, then there'd be more houses available to more people... sure the occupants would still be paying 'ren' in a form, but to a landlord in the shape of a bank whereby eventually the bank has enough money back and the person then owns the house. Compare that to private renting, where an occupant pays a very similar sum of money each week/month (if not slightly more), and can do so for an undefined period of time, and yet is no closer to owning a house and would have to start all over again if they moved or if the owner of the property decided to move or sell. By introducing such restrictions it would free up more housing and eventually this would be reflected in houses being more affordable to more people. The only ones who would lose out are those who think they can make a quick profit out of somebody else's misfortune in not being able to buy their own house. Magicman!
  • Score: -1

11:52am Tue 11 Mar 14

York Fox says...

Magicman! wrote:
If there was a law limiting private rents to no more than a certain percentage of the total houses in any given street, then there'd be more houses available to more people... sure the occupants would still be paying 'ren' in a form, but to a landlord in the shape of a bank whereby eventually the bank has enough money back and the person then owns the house. Compare that to private renting, where an occupant pays a very similar sum of money each week/month (if not slightly more), and can do so for an undefined period of time, and yet is no closer to owning a house and would have to start all over again if they moved or if the owner of the property decided to move or sell.

By introducing such restrictions it would free up more housing and eventually this would be reflected in houses being more affordable to more people. The only ones who would lose out are those who think they can make a quick profit out of somebody else's misfortune in not being able to buy their own house.
This is why the governments Help to Buy scheme is so welcome - a young renter like myself can suddenly escape the rental market and hope to buy a house to call their own. Without this scheme, myself and hundreds of thousands of first time buyers would be helplessly in the hands of private landlords. Well done the Coalition.
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: If there was a law limiting private rents to no more than a certain percentage of the total houses in any given street, then there'd be more houses available to more people... sure the occupants would still be paying 'ren' in a form, but to a landlord in the shape of a bank whereby eventually the bank has enough money back and the person then owns the house. Compare that to private renting, where an occupant pays a very similar sum of money each week/month (if not slightly more), and can do so for an undefined period of time, and yet is no closer to owning a house and would have to start all over again if they moved or if the owner of the property decided to move or sell. By introducing such restrictions it would free up more housing and eventually this would be reflected in houses being more affordable to more people. The only ones who would lose out are those who think they can make a quick profit out of somebody else's misfortune in not being able to buy their own house.[/p][/quote]This is why the governments Help to Buy scheme is so welcome - a young renter like myself can suddenly escape the rental market and hope to buy a house to call their own. Without this scheme, myself and hundreds of thousands of first time buyers would be helplessly in the hands of private landlords. Well done the Coalition. York Fox
  • Score: -2

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