Proposed Right to Buy Amendments...
18/01/2012 9:59 am
... So we all know that the Gov. are currently consulting with LA's and RSL's as to the feasibility of increasing the RTB discount on social houses for those who are eligible.
But no one seems to be discussing the covenants of the leases themselves or a change to the regulation behind it? i.e. currently you must hold a RTB property for 3 years from initial purchase in order to let it out, and 5 years in order to sell without havingt to pay any of the discount back.
Do people think that this could change? I personally think they may stipulate that it it must be your primary residence in order to prevent the increase of "RTB-to let"?
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18/01/2012 10:18 am
An automatic offer to repurchase should be the first covenant attached to Right-to-Buy. This would allow the local authority a mechanism to keep the 141 pledge by the government, so long as the government does not continue to make off with the proceeds of the sales, with buy-backs.
A anti-subletting covenant would be useful in ensuring that taxpayer funds were really used to give tenants a hand up and not give a prospective buy-to-let landlord a hand out.
The tenure conversion idea, where a struggling home owner can convert to a tenancy, was one of a few positives to be thought of by Labour - but it needs greater backing and funding to make it have a real effect. However, as a mechanism to increase the availability of affordable housing there is the potential for up to 4 Million homes to be purchased and rented back under such a scheme, as this is the estimate by lenders of the numbers in mortgage difficulty currently. Now whilst the owner will be the immediate tenant, what is avoided is the owner needing to be placed by the local authority into private sector accomodation as homeless etc, or for the local authority to do what it has had to do since the Tories ensured RTB as a regressive action, and use a social let to rehouse the failed owner.
The additional bonus of course would be that by increasing the social housing stock by such a factor would restore the original flexibility and cost saving volume that once existed. This would allow truly affordable rents (saving masses from the benefit bill) and also the prospect of moving within the stock as one's housing needs change over time (reducing under and over occupancy issues).
Of course, nothing like this would ever be agreed to as it would undermine the sole objective behind each of Shapps's policies, namely the total erradication of social housing and the social exclusion of those associated with it.
18/01/2012 12:58 pm
I agree with the diea for Section 141 therefore extinguishing current assured tenancies through people exercising their RTB, but then the LA getting back their stock (eventually) for social re-use.
Anti-subletting - this could not be for the life of the tenancy - it would be extended admittedly. But otherwise could hamper the rejuvination of the housing market as eventually with RTB lettings/sales clauses expiring movement within the housing sector will increase (much like when it was first introduced) - I'm not arguing whether this is good or bad. Just the probable thoughts of the government.
I'm assuming when the consultation ends (02/02/12) we will see the results thereafter. I don't see the new legislation being pushed through for the start of the new financial year as they expect though.
18/01/2012 1:47 pm
What about a RTB amnesty so all those who purchased but would now like to change their mind can revert to being tenants of the Council, including all those thousands who now are private tenants paying extortionate rents to rip-off landlords. How can an ex-council home be let out at over £1,000 per week be justified in this day and age when the neighbouring home is still be rented out by the council for £135 per week (Westminster City Council property)
If the government is so convinced that private renting is popular put it to a referrendum for private tenants, and to add spice make it a transfer ballot: Private Landlord / Council / Housing Association / Co-op. I bet that they are too scared to offer the choice.
18/01/2012 2:49 pm
The reason Shapps does not care about the details is he knows full well that the majority of those persuaded to buy will simply be repossessed down the line and provide another cheap house for dear private rent. Why he doesnt just give his friends a blank cheque book instead.