In an opinion piece on the 2nd of September, the National Landlords’ Association (NLA) was unequivocal in its condemnation of Labour party proposals to give private sector tenants the right to buy their homes from their landlords.
The proposal was made by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who said that giving tenants that right to buy would help to mitigate the problems of a mushrooming buy to let market.
McDonnell went on to say that although it would be for the government to decide what discount should be offered to tenants wanting to buy from their landlords, he didn’t think the sums involved would be all that difficult.
Unsurprisingly, the NLA has poured scorn on the idea that landlords – who had to pay the going market rate for the purchase of their properties – should effectively subsidise tenants who wanted to buy. Any discounted price determined by the government would be purely arbitrary, said the NLA.
Conceding that there may be a handful of landlords who charge exorbitant rents or who fail to maintain their properties, the NLA believed that the very notion of this latest right to buy proposal went to show how out of touch the Labour party appears to be on housing issues.
If the party was sincere in wanting to address the current housing problems, said the NLA, it should start looking at ways of increasing the stock of social housing – that is where tenants are most in need and where the solution to the current housing shortages lie.