The Tories are caught on the horns of a dilemma: do they stick with their current “free market” approach to solving the housing crisis, or do they risk the ire of the predominantly Tory voting private landlords by doing as the Conservative leaning magazine The Spectator advises – adopt some Labour rental policies to avoid losing the next General Election.
There are far more tenants than landlords, and the housing crisis has affected “Generation Rent” far more that it has the relatively affluent property owning private landlord group, so will the policy makers take notice?
The Spectator says:
“Much rot is spoken about how the young have it so bad. In fact, this generation is healthier, richer and better-educated than any before.
“…But the one area where they do struggle is in buying a house. The asset boom of recent years has disfigured the economy, sending property prices soaring and conferring vast wealth on pensioners while giving the young a mountain to climb. Home ownership rates stand at a 30-year low. And the proportion of 25 to 34 year-olds in private rented accommodation has almost doubled in the last ten years.”
The pro-Brexit, Conservative-supporting magazine The Spectator has come up this rather surprising advice for the Tories, anathema to some, but does the author fully understand the implications of the Corbyn proposals for landlords. And would such a policy not make the housing situation worse not better?, one likely effect being that private landlords would desert the sector in their droves.
The article, “A home truth for the Tories: fix the housing crisis or lose power for ever” states that the housing crisis poses “an existential threat” to the Conservatives. Whereas rising house prices were once seen as an electoral asset, this has now changed dramatically. When parents start to see their children facing a lifetime in rented housing, their votes will be in question as well, thinks The Spectator:
“If you are stuck in a rented flat, frustrated at your inability to afford your own home, the housing policies advanced by Jeremy Corbyn at last year’s General Election are far more appealing – a cap on rent rises, three-year minimum tenancies and a licensing scheme that aims to drive rogue landlords out of business… Capitalism will never appeal to those without any capital”, it says.
The article goes on to argue for some (not all) of Jeremy Corbyn’s proposed changes, but included are longer tenancies of three years with controlled rents for that period. It implies that these would cost no public money to introduce, and might be a solution, seemingly without regard to the likely reaction of private landlords, and the public cost of policing the rent controls.
Read the full Spectator article here