Councillors in Coventry are claiming that “Buy-to-rent” landlords are monopolising the housing market in Coventry and “crowding out” families who are first-time buyers. Policy moves would appear to be leaning towards discouraging small-scale landlords.
Given that one-quarter of all residents in Coventry are renting from landlords, a Coventry Council scrutiny co-ordination committee was told, there are fears that “buy-to-rent” landlords are monopolising the local housing market and “crowding out” families who are first-time buyers
As reported by the coventrytelegraph.net, rents in Coventry are higher than the regional average.
The midpoint rent stood at £625 per month between October 2017 and September 2018, it was reported, and it is thought to be contributing to less disposable household income per head being availably in Coventry – compared to the West Midlands, and also compared to the national average. This was stated to be £14,555 in Coventry in 2017, compared to £16,885 in the West Midlands and £19,988 nationally.
Coventry Council Chair, Cllr Richard Brown, had said:
“Presumably it’s because people are spending their money on the rent.
“It says to me that landlords in the private rented sector have been doing very well out of Coventry in the last few years and that concerns me.”
Acknowledging that rents are high in the private sector, Cllr Kindy Sandhu added that she is also aware of university-owned housing in her own ward of Earlsdon which is being sold to landlords.
Cllr John McNicholas had said:
“If that is being taken advantage of by landlords, that’s something we need to look into.
“Clearly that wasn’t the purpose of supporting student-built accommodation.
“We want first-time families but if they are being crowded out of the market because of higher rent requirements that’s not achieving our objective.”
It was recommended that these issues be brought to the attention of housing cabinet member Cllr Tariq Khan.
The council is said to be taking steps to improve standards in the private-rented sector with a “selective licensing” policy being drafted, which will “introduce new charges for landlords”, with the hope of “weaning out irresponsible landlords”.
Additional information indicates that licensing on houses in multiple occupation came into effect in April, imposing new charges in a bid to reduce the high number of HMOs in the city of Coventry.
At the same time, the council is said to be supporting purpose-built student accommodation to encourage students to move out of smaller student housing – supposedly to free them up for families to buy.