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tomandlu

The Rent Racket: Tenants Are Trapped In A Game Of Monopoly That Won't End

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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/29/rent-tenants-private-landlords-power-regulation

Asked for something as simple as photographic proof, the agent replied: "We have no proof, but I don't believe we would have rented it out like that." When you ask as a journalist, however, these difficulties and infractions evaporate, and the money materialises; it's almost as if the objections were completely cooked up in the first place. I am struck by the bald impunity of it, the shoulder-shrugging certainty that the boot is never going to change feet.

There is something wrong with this market, and that is because it is asymmetrical: the returns for the landlord are massive. Every year of the past 18, money put into a buy-to-let mortgage has returned an average of 16.3% – all the way through a recession, immune to the slings and arrows hitting every other asset class. In the private rented sector, a third of homes are classed as non-decent (PDF). Whichever way you cut it, those landlords are rapacious – and there are plenty of them. Average rents in England and Wales will reach £765 a month by May and £800 by this time next year. It pleases the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) to compare rent costs to CPI inflation, but the salient comparison is with wages, which have been stagnant or falling for over five years.

Worth a read, although nothing earth-shattering.

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OK to a certain extent but, as usual for the Guardian completely ignores the underlying problems of low interest rates, growing population and planning controls.

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'Only 15% of social housing meets decency standard'

Disgraceful.

I dont know where that statistic comes from since I cant be bothered to read the article, but assuming it is valid, what is more shocking to me is that, from the Generation Rent poll in the guardian that was discussed here, something like 80% or more of renters said they found their rental in decent enough condition. And 60%+ even called it good value for money. Its like people are just surrendering or mindlessly adapting to a new normal.

Id be interested to know what percentage of voters are owner occupiers. I have been bandying about the number 65%, when discussing some opinion polls as a reason why voters are so unconcerned about housing, but it has struck me that this number I think is wrong. Its 65% of the population that is an owner occupier, not 65% of voters. So if there is a disproportionate number of people renting who cannot vote, like low skilled immigrants, that means that the percentage of voters who are owner occupiers (ie gain from rising house prices) is actually more than 65%, but I dont know how much more because I dont know anything about immigration numbers. Would seem to explain even more strongly why the opinion polls show voters as unconcerned. Not to mention that a lot of voters are not too happy about a lot of these immigrants anyway.

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'Only 15% of social housing meets decency standard'

Disgraceful.

It actually says: Only 15% of houses in the social sector fail to meet the minimum standards for decency.

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Id be interested to know what percentage of voters are owner occupiers. I have been bandying about the number 65%, when discussing some opinion polls as a reason why voters are so unconcerned about housing, but it has struck me that this number I think is wrong. Its 65% of the population that is an owner occupier, not 65% of voters.

Actually that's wrong too, it's 65% of properties that are owner-occupied. There will be plenty of people living in owner-occupied properties who are not owner-occupiers (think younger adults continuing to live with their parents into their 20s and 30s). Shared rentals are likely to contain 4-5 voters under one roof, none of whom are owner-occupiers. I'd guess that the proportion of the adult population who have some claim to property ownership is somewhere between 50-60%, possibly even at the lower end of that range.

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Actually that's wrong too, it's 65% of properties that are owner-occupied. There will be plenty of people living in owner-occupied properties who are not owner-occupiers (think younger adults continuing to live with their parents into their 20s and 30s). Shared rentals are likely to contain 4-5 voters under one roof, none of whom are owner-occupiers. I'd guess that the proportion of the adult population who have some claim to property ownership is somewhere between 50-60%, possibly even at the lower end of that range.

Totally anecdotal but I was delivering letters for a local council election - not out of any particular party affliation but because an old family friend is running who is a fairly decent sort and is actively campaigning on a "cheaper houses for your kids" ticket (though I suspect he'd probably be a bit more ambivalent about an out and out HPC) - and it was striking how many people were registered to vote in the flats (between 4-10 per converted house) in comparison to the original houses which were fairly evenly split between no registered voters at all or one registered voter, with a very occasional two. Of course I may have been given an anomalous street, and in any case have no idea as to who was renting and who was an owner occupier, but there was a definite lack of registered voters in the unconverted houses which I would have assumed were prime boomer (and therefore prime voter) territory.

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'Only 15% of social housing meets decency standard'

Disgraceful.

92% according to here

A third of the private rented sector doesn't. Then again what do you expect from the unprofessional 'fly by night' brigade.

Edited by aSecureTenant

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