The recent report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) calling for the Government to provide private renters with a right to buy the property they live in is a further example of ‘pie in the sky’ economics says a leading property firm.

DJ Alexander, the largest estate and letting agents in Scotland, says proposals such as this do nothing to help people get on the property ladder and are more likely to exacerbate housing shortages rather than relieve them.

The report suggests the government should be “supporting renters to buy the home they live in, including through a Right to Buy for private renters.”

It also calls for the Government to intervene in the mortgage market and discourage lenders from providing funds to landlords and property investors – something one building society has already taken up.

“This makes no sense at all,” says David Alexander, chief executive of DJ Alexander.

He argues that tax payers should not subsidise renters to purchase the property they live in because then everyone who “wasn’t a renter should also be supported to buy their home. You can’t subsidise one part of the market and not the rest”.

 “Aside from being hugely inflationary it also fails to understand that a lot of people are happy to be in the private rented sector.

“The private rented sector is an essential element of the housing market and any proposals to reduce its scale should be looked at with caution.

Key mistake

jrf report

“The other key mistake in the logic of this JRF report (pictured) is that they misunderstand the role of landlords.

“These are people who own properties which they rent to tenants. They are not obliged to provide this service but do so as an investment. They can just as easily withdraw from the market and invest their money elsewhere.”

“A tenant buying a property from a landlord doesn’t need government intervention as it can already happen, it just requires a willing landlord and for the tenant to pay the market value. The JRF seem to be assuming that market conditions don’t exist in property but exist in all other aspects of life.”


  1. I would be happy to sell to a tenant if it was beneficial to both parties, in respect that the property could be valued and then a discount applied, however, I would expect to have a like for like or better reduction in CGT to make it attractive, otherwise might as well sell at market rates.

  2. So my property, that I have paid 3% extra SDLT on, has to be sold because the tenant wants to buy it, so I pay CGT & then if I want to replace it I have to pay another 3% extra SDLT. And as a taxpayer I am helping them to buy it. Pie-in-the-sky economics it is!

    The Rowntree foundation should go back to making fruit pastilles!

  3. This would be a death knell for the letting industry and for myself as an individual. I moved out of my home in 2019 to live with relatives, not as a result of covid but as a result of ill health and no income, and no health retirement pension available to me. My home is now let to a lovely couple who have MUCH greater assets and income than myself. My tenants love the house and perhaps will one day move on into something similar in the same area. Are they really suggesting I should subsidise their purchase of my house? It would be a disaster. They really haven’t thought this through, and have just assumed all Landlords are rich and all tenants are poor. Talk about stereotyping.

  4. Should we all not be fed up of explaining why we rent and to who and what the government wants and doesn’t.
    The big issue is living is now a crisis.
    Record profits made by big companies.
    Supermarkets daily putting up prices on stock already bought and on the shelf before the next price rise.
    Garages not passing on falling prices.
    Come on goverment, putting up interest rates equals higher rents, which is the problem.
    Most renters do not want to buy that’s why they rent…
    Its really this simple.
    Deflect, deflect ,deflect. That’s all that’s happening.
    Rent or don’t rent landlords. But be proud of what you do.
    You all provide a service just like all the other companies however with smaller profits and more stress.
    The spot light is burning on all the other issues but no one is dealing with these big companies, too afraid me thinks. So landlords soft easy target.

  5. The JRF are proposing expropriation of property.
    For the many not the few.

    Why should the few be presumed and expected to subsidise the feckless lifestyles of tenants for them to be able to buy!?

    Such a RTB scheme would see the end of long-term letting arrangements.

    This is basically COMMUNISM.

    Once all letting property has been expropriated if not sold up before expropriation then what!?

    Nothing left to expropriate!!

    The JRF is an evil COMMUNIST organisation and should be banned and definitely lose its charitable status.

    It is simply another Communist lobbying organisation like Shelter.

    In the UK COMMUNISTS are not liked.

    Communist ideology would see a flight of capital out of the UK leaving nothing to expropriate.

    Yet we have this dopey COMMUNIST ideology of RTB for private tenants proposed by none other than that former Housing Minister idiot…….Jenrick……a supposed Tory.

    It is simply bonkers!!

  6. If tenants want to buy their own homes. Go ahead and do so. Why should the tax payer subsidise them? No tax payer helped me when I bought my house as a single person. I really went without everything. No going out, just going to work, cutting everything to the bone, found out that going without the daily paper paid for my milk bill etc. Then the first month the interest rate jumped up really high and I mean really high, but I carried on, and just worked, and existed. No use complaining. Go without and grin and bare it. Tenants nowadays want everything, will not go without anything, and expect everything to be given to them on a plate.
    GET REAL. LIFE IS TOUGH I SURVIVED, and learnt the value of money and good friends.

    • Yours is a totally realistic take on how things should be.

      I replicated your situation exactly.

      However these days the Gen Z snowflakes expect everything now at little cost or sacrifice.

      This is a fantasy.
      Where this sense of entitlement has come from I’ll never understand.

      Unfortunately these snowflakes have the vote and are distorting politics with their unreasonable expectations.

      I’m afraid the political direction of travel is to mollycoddle Gen Z with the wealth of others.
      Second homeowners in particular.

      Property wealth will be expropriated for the feckless.

      I’ve prevented that ever occurring by selling up making 16 occupants homeless.Telling the little darlings to do as we did is simply nit acceptable for the new feckless.
      They want it all and they want it now and little cost to themselves.


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