A leading poverty organisation has called for a radical overhaul of the private rented sector including a government-backed ‘right to buy’ scheme for private renters.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), which was founded by a Quaker philanthropist and sweets manufacturer in 1904 to ensure ‘everyone has a decent home in a good place’, says the government should use the current exodus of landlords from the PRS as an opportunity to ensure more housing changes hands from landlords to tenants.

JRF claims this would help budding homeowners previously unable to access the market find affordable, secure homes and give them the chance to build wealth. 

The measures within its latest JRF report propose a raft of far-reaching changes including “rebalancing the position of first-time buyers and landlords in the mortgage market and discouraging property speculation”.

Property speculation

“This could be achieved by reviewing the regulations that govern mortgage lending to prioritise lending towards those looking to buy for the first time over landlords alongside fiscal reforms to reduce speculation on property.”

JRF’s ideas also include funding local councils or housing associations to buy existing homes, upgrade them, and then let them out at genuinely affordable rents and supporting renters to buy the home they live in, including through a Right to Buy for private renters.

It also wants to see landlords given EPC upgrade loans but only if they then rent out their homes to housing associations at lower-then-market rents.

Darren Baxter, Senior Policy Advisor at JRF. “The housing market is not working. “In recent decades we have seen the rapid growth of the private rented sector alongside the decline in the proportion of households in social housing or owner occupation.

“Consequently, millions of people are stuck paying unaffordable rents, worried about being evicted by their landlord and have little opportunity to save.”

Read the report in full.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I very nearly wet myself laughing.

    The rental market is the way it is because Government keep coming up with schemes when they should have been building affordable housing for the last 30 years.

    But there is no money to be made in affordable or social renting, only ever increasing costs and responsibility.

    As there aren’t any plans to mass build such housing, local authorities could do well buying some hotels as they will be booking a hell of a lot of rooms for the homeless in the next few years.

    • I doubt enough hotel rooms are available – there are enough avaialble for the the refugees coming in. Nothing against genuine refugees but we can’t cope with the current numbers let alone all the homeless on the way.

  2. “It also wants to see landlords given EPC upgrade loans but only if they then rent out their homes to housing associations at lower-then-market rents.”

    Ha ha! If I had an EPC loan to upgrade my properties and then had to let them out to housing associations at lower-than-market rents, I’d be well out of pocket!

    • First question to ask this idiot Baxter is

      Does he believe ALL property is theft?
      If the answer isn’t NO then that tells you everything you need to know about the little twerp!!

  3. Issues caused by the government’s foolish actions has caused fewer properties to rent and hence higher rents . Epc threats and the current white paper will accelerate this situation. Darren clearly doesn’t have any grasp of the real world. I love when these naive nobodies give their opinions without any experience or knowledge.

  4. Govt action over the last few years has boosted my profits greatly as the size of the PRS gradually reduces then the rents are rising rapidly.

    Happy Dayzzzz

    • I agree. Whist all this anti-landlord sentiment and legislation is a pain, to me the BTL sector was in danger of becoming over-saturated before Osborne got stuck in. I used to have voids of up to 6 weeks + and perhaps 3 or 4 prospective tenants, now I have lower churn, virtually zero voids and literally dozens of applicants when I let a property.

  5. Tenants in the PRS already have the right to buy their own home… Its called “Getting a mortgage”…

    Quite popular with the Banks I believe and its been a “Thing” longer than the Joseph Rowntree Organisation has existed.

    The mortgage industry of the United Kingdom has traditionally been dominated by building societies, the first of which opened in Birmingham in 1775

  6. It is a great shame that organisations like the JRF are so naive.

    Surely they must be aware of the effects of S24 on rental property availability!?

    Then all the problems evicting feckless rent defaulting tenants.

    If these dopey organisations supported the businesses of LL they would find an I crease in letting properties occur which would exert a downward pressure on rents.

  7. This Darren plank clearly doesn’t have a clue.

    “In recent decades we have seen the rapid growth of the private rented sector alongside the decline in the proportion of households in social housing..” Yes, because social housing hasn’t been built in anything near the quantity required for the demand. The PRS has expanded to fill the gap – and just as well, or there would be an even more acute shortage of housing for such tenants. It is not LL’s fault that insufficient social housing is available. This is because it was flogged off on the cheap (to sitting tenants), and not replaced.

    “Consequently, millions of people are stuck paying unaffordable rents, worried about being evicted by their landlord and have little opportunity to save.” What absolute twaddle, rents are increasing due to Gov’t taxation and legislation against the PRS; if they had just left things alone, then there would not be an exodus of PRS LL’s, and those that remain increasing rents due to the additional costs and risks that have and are being imposed upon them.

    “the government should use the current exodus of landlords from the PRS as an opportunity to ensure more housing changes hands from landlords to tenants.

    JRF claims this would help budding homeowners previously unable to access the market find affordable, secure homes and give them the chance to build wealth.”

    More absolute gibberish, are they suggesting that the exiting LL’s sell their properties to the current tenants? If so, why would that be more affordable than buying a home on the open market? Do they expect – or would be entitled to – a discount from the LL? HAHAHAHAHA Watch the exodus if that ever came near to pass, never mind the court battles, and general chaos, if PRS LL’s are forced to sell their properties at a discount to their tenants.

    “The measures within its latest JRF report propose a raft of far-reaching changes including “rebalancing the position of first-time buyers and landlords in the mortgage market and discouraging property speculation”.” You mean even more so than S24, and the additional SDLT, and the additional licencing, EPC and additional other regulations have already done?

    “This could be achieved by reviewing the regulations that govern mortgage lending to prioritise lending towards those looking to buy for the first time over landlords alongside fiscal reforms to reduce speculation on property.” Oh yeah, how is that going to work? OK Mr Landlord, you have been approved for the mortgage, as long as no FTB rocks up that we will have to prioritise over you. Reduce speculation on property? It is NOT speculation, it is INVESTMENT!! Until people get that through their very thick heads, that ALL investments have associated risk – yes even putting money in a bank account – then they will fail to understand the most basic economics.

    Hopefully, one day the penny will drop, and they will realise that the problem is NOT property investors – it is a shortage of property. That is not the fault of investors, it is due to the failure to build sufficient homes – or to control housing demand – largely due to the draconian, and tightening, planning regulations and previously uncontrolled immigration, and reducing average household occupancy.

    • “Reducing average household occupancy”

      Changing demographics over the last 50 years have had a big effect on the market along with mass immigration.

      As a kid I lived in a 3 bed semi along with three adults and 7 other children.

      Today I live in a detached 3 bed property by myself!!!

      With the rise of divorce and single parent households a divorced couple now need two homes, one for him and one for her with housing benefit (HB) picking up the tab, years ago they would have had little choice but to try to work things out because funding two properties was out of the question.

      Provision of HB is a political decision that along with mass immigration has had a huge impact on the property market as a whole.

      Years ago students lived in bedsits now they live in Travelodge style hotel accommodation. Developers see more profit in that model than building houses.

      Ending HB and the state funding of single parents as a lifestyle choice would soon sort out the shortage of property as teen mum and kid would have to go home to live with Mum and Dad freeing up that two bed house funded by the state to be bought by a first time buyer.

      Within a year the birth rate of single females would plummet once they realised there was no benefits available to fund that lifestyle choice.

      Bottom line is that its political decisions that have created todays market not landlords.

      • Indeed for the vast majority of the female lower classes the benefit baby is the passport to independence and benefit riches.

        You can’t blame them
        The system is set up to support fecklessness.

        Personally I would ensure every baby has it’s DNA taken at birth.

        Then when the babies eventually convert to criminals and feckless deadbeat Dads the DWP will be able to cop the single father to pay for his offspring.

        That will put iff deadbeat Dad’s knowing they can be located by their DNA

        That will incentivise many to use protection!!!

      • A question.
        Would you take on 2 LODGERS if you knew ALL LODGER income was tax free and would not be considered in any benefit calculations etc?

        Forget the RFRA Govt to just announce ALL lodger income will be tax free.

        Such an announcement would surely incentivise many OO to let their spare rooms to such lodgers.

        This would utilise OO spare rooms to maximise a very underutilised facility.
        I seem to recollect that supposedly there are 11 million spare rooms for lodgers.

        Yes having lodgers impacts on privacy.
        But with finances being somewhat tight to say the least having tax free income from lodgers is worth that privacy sacrifice.

        What do you reckon to the lodger system?

  8. Wow….did not realise landlords were that powerful that they could stop a tenant from buying a property….this chap from the charity need to stop smokin whatever shit he is smokin – at least before writing an article, mate.
    “Give tenants the right to buy their rented homes” – its a great thought, only problem is…..it is the money lenders in this case the banks who decide who gets a mortgage – NOT landlords who are themselves subject to stringent lending criteria from money lenders who set the rules – they (money lenders/banks) sit right at the top of the food(debt) chain….apex predator…

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