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What Is To Be Done ?

Every week we hear more depressing news and stats on the plight of first time buyers.

No prospect of a loan, no way of raising a deposit to take out a loan, no real prospect of a meaningful pay rise and, to cap it all, little chance of renting something suitable on anything but a very short term basis. Just think of the long term prospects of this lost generation that is not allowed Image of angry man pointingby the whims of market forces to settle down, start a family and contribute to society.

The debate has moved on to the plight of first time renters. How can they afford to get on the rental ladder? Now agents acting for buy to let speculative landlords are more demanding than ever in their quest to prove "affordability" before handing tenants the keys - and by the way, a solid track record of paying the rent on time doesn't count when applying for a mortgage.

So build more houses and who buys? Overseas "investors" seeking a safe haven and buy to let landlords. Are we flattered that oligarchs and others want to invest in our green and pleasant land? Perhaps we were, once. Not now.

So do we intervene in market forces? Do we tax landlords to make this asset class unattractive? Do we levy overseas investors and use the revenue to build affordable housing? Do we bring back the rent officer, who determines a fair rent and increase Secure Tenancy Agreements to a minimum 3 years?

Author:  Allan Noel-Baker


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