2007 - 2020

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  1. Gray says:

    I rent out my flat and when the tennants ran into financial difficulties i reduced the rent by half until they get on their feet. And I am not alone in offering assistance at this time.
    There are of course some landlords who are unscrupulous but the vast majority are not.
    But this site seems to have a problem with all landlords for some reason.

    1. Lurker says:

      I agree. There is a BIG difference between the landlord with a large number of properties and someone like us with just one rental property for which we struggled

      We allowed the tenant time to find the money for the arrears and explained the problems we were having.

      Why does this site think all landlords are vicious grasping bastards? Yes some are (and are almost exclusively Tories) but that is like the right wing saying – or suggesting -that all campaigners against social wrongs are planning to set up a soviet style gulag.

      Or all anti-landlord people here like the guy who claimed all housing should be arranged by the state because he was unable to get a mortgage – the quantity of beer they consumed nightly would have amounted to a deposit in a couple of years. Are the people here bitter and envious, like the Alt right who claim all Blacks are the same?

      1. It shouldn’t really be up to an individual landlord being ‘nice; or not should it?

        We live in a rentier economy where in a pandemic tenants who rent have been give NONE, NO support whatsover. There are many landlords who have long ago paid off their mortgage and are literally profiteering from people suffering through this crisis.

        1. marga says:

          “There are many landlords who have long ago paid off their mortgage and are literally profiteering from people suffering through this crisis.” So once you’ve paid your mortgage, the flat goes free? Even public housing doesn’t work that way. You either allow private property or you don’t. This sounds like a halfway house.

          1. Axel P Kulit says:

            Agreed mostly. Profiteering is an emotive and poorly defined term. Such landlords have often worked to pay of the mortgage and a modest income can be regarded as the return for that work.

            The market may not be the best way to allocate housing, but it beats state control.

        2. r says:

          I hear you , and there indeed are some ugly faces out there (not all , but enough to have made a bogey-man for you personally , it appears) , and you are talking of the private sector landlords . I wonder where your ire will be directed when the proverbial really does hit the fan and the ultimate landlords show their teeth …

          Housing has indeed been commodified , but not so much by those landlords desperate to keep up with their loan repayments as by their usurious lenders . The desperate , nasty buy-to-letters are merely the opportunistic agents of their indiscriminate money-lenders . Indeed they are as much victim as victimisers if truth be told.

          All the good folk ‘on the housing ladder’ do not actually own their homes , they merely rent them from their money-lender until their agreement is concluded . The fragility of this arrangement is rarely alluded to – perhaps too close to the bone to contemplate comfortably for many . They do pay less than the ‘going rent’ (indeed many could not afford that for their present homes) , yet are tenants all the same in reality – they have to keep up the payments or their agreement with the real owner ends (a bit like a long ‘let’) .

          Truth is that there is a historic system , a ‘market-place’ , and personal needs are met by engaging with the ‘actualite’ (please excuse the missing acute accent here) . Reform only comes with crisis or breakdown , but even that happens within the greater whole . The Editor here would like to rant against some iniquitous folk who are only part of a pimple on the bum of a much larger beast .

          It won’t be long before repossessions of ‘homes’ (not just ‘rentals’) are ramping up . After all , you can’t let people think you are a ‘soft touch’ and still stay ‘in business’ can you ? Ed – you are snarling at the tail , the beast’s teeth are at the other end !

          1. Axel P Kulit says:

            “Ed – you are snarling at the tail , the beast’s teeth are at the other end !”

            Agreed r,

            It looks to me like the rabid left wing are always sniping at easy targets rather than taking on the real problems, like the power finance has over capital and indeed politics.

            Its like the BNP used to attack immigrants for “stealing jobs” knowing that if they attacked the employers who gave the immigrants jobs the BNP’s usefulness would be over and the authorities would be down on them like a ton of bricks. Either that or they are stupid. Perhaps both. Or the leaders of such orgnisations are knowing and willing establishment tools.

  2. Doug says:

    I have a similar issue with some of the attitudes here. Left Oz to come back to Scotland to look after aged parents, intending it to be a 5 year stint, and rented out my Australian place in the meantime.

    It’s rented out to a nice couple with kids and dogs, and I hope they enjoy it, but the rent they pay doesn’t cover the mortgage, land tax, rates, water charges, insurance and letting fees. Plus any repairs. So we pay the difference every month as well as housing costs here.

    And yes, I’m lucky we both work and can just about afford to do so. But we’re nearly 60.

    We certainly can’t sell it as we wouldn’t want to push the tenants out, and we don’t have the cash to repaint and do all the things (remotely) we would have to do to sell it.

    Apparently, after a combined 80 years working, exploiting our own labour to have a mortgage in Oz makes me Satan incarnate.

    1. Lurker says:

      Agreed,

      Some of the attitudes expressed here almost make me feel sorry for Tories.

    2. I dont think you are representative of landlords, do you? Do you most people who rent their property (s) see it as a form of social service?

      1. Doug says:

        I’m not suggesting we are typical. But painting anyone with a rental as forming a part of the exploitative class doesn’t win friends and influence people. Sure, change the ownership model, yes, most land is still based on feudal theft and later enclosure. But in the meantime, why paint people like me who are broadly supportive, as being the enemy?

        And perhaps not specifically germane, and I read Bella with interest, but sometimes I could tear my hair out as fundamentalists split into increasingly small and vocal groups expending all their ammunition on who is most ‘right-on’ and ideologically pure. I really don’t care. The fundamental prize is control of our own destiny, and the choices we can then make. Until then, all I see is division and rancour, generated by furious ideologues, for whatever motive.

        It was a very successful strategy used against the Black Power movement in the US, it was used here by provocateurs against various social movements, astro-turfing new groups is used to split the broadly ‘left’ vote in Australia, and it looks very much like similar activity in the pro-independence movement.

        I’m heartily sick of us tearing lumps off each other, and not focusing on bringing more people round to supporting independence.

  3. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I rent out a house to a person running a business. I charge what I believe to be less than what others might take and at a fair level. Their business had to close because of the virus and I hope they manage to get it going again but I suspect they may be in difficulty.

    Early in the crisis I agreed to defer rental payments and review again in August. I am sympathetic to the tenant’s situation but, looking forward, where are we likely to go? If they can get on the rails again I’ll work with them. If, as I suspect, their business is one of the many that goes to the wall what are my options? Do I let them live in the house rent free indefinitely or do I ask them to find somewhere else.

  4. SleepingDog says:

    In the world we want to live in, should some people have such power over other people’s lives? Bearing in mind of course, that we can trace much of land and property ownership back to historical moral crimes, and possibly close to zero instances of land-clearing and house-building personally by the landlord. Why are there no comments on here from landlords admitting that they are right bastards? The recent exposes of Blind Boy in the broken housing market including sex for rent should given anyone pause:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p06p3kj4/blindboy-undestroys-the-world-the-broken-housing-system
    And the relevant concept is system, not worthless character affidavits (where have we seen those before?).

    1. Doug says:

      Because right bastards don’t read Bella and make comments unless it’s to deliberately sow division and strife.

      What did you think? The 1922 Committee and the Duke of Buccleugh have subscriptions?

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Doug, good Lord no, they have people to do that kind of media stuff for them:
        https://landlords.org.uk/about-nla/NRLA%20JD%20Head%20of%20Communications.pdf
        Also, and this may shock you, some people lie on social media.

    2. Dougie Blackwood says:

      There are bad landlords, mostly those who run many houses in slum conditions. There are many that try to do the right thing by their tenants, not everyone wants to buy their house.

      There are similarly numerous people in power over social letting who exploit their position just as described above. Don’t get me started on care homes abuse and some children’s activity supervisors.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Dougie Blackwood, self-praise is no praise. Where were you taught differently? In the modern world, Amazon lets its customer reviews and recommendation engines do the promotion, and as long as many of the products it sells get 4.5+ stars, its business model should recommend defending that kind of democracy. Why would you not use the recommendations of tenants rather than the words of landlords to make a case? Or at least summarise some research or state inspection reports or investigative journalism. Self-interested comments that smack of privilege are hardly going to convince the majority, don’t you think? Unusual cases (the benevolent landlord) make bad laws, surely?

        1. Axel P Kulit says:

          “Unusual cases (the benevolent landlord) make bad laws, surely?”

          Surely the malevolent landlord is also an unusual case that makes bad laws?

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Axel P Kulit, no indeed, that would be like saying that you should not outlaw murder because murderers are unusual cases. People need legal protection against murderers and malevolent landlords. People do not need protection against benevolent landlords. So I would have to change that to something like ‘the existence of unusually benevolent cases gives no guide to good lawmaking (especially in a prohibition-focused jurisdiction)’. Thanks for pointing out that flaw. There are some jurisdictions which bind people to help others under certain conditions, such as the Good Samaritan laws. I suppose those could in some cases apply to a distressed tenant.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law
            On further consideration, there is a branch of law which pertains to professional conduct, where a relatively high standard of behaviour usually developed under a collective professional ethos is mandated. But unless landlords regard themselves as professionals, I am afraid I do not see a similar professional ethos applying.

      2. 15% of people live in the rented sector. Its completely unregulated.

        Its not about ‘some people don’t want to buy their own house’. This isn’t how it operates in other countries.

        1. Dougie Blackwood says:

          The rented sector may not have inspections and enforcement done as often as should be but to say it is unregulated is simply not true. There are many regulations covering landlords, their rented property and the standards that are required. Councils register landlords and are aware of the properties let by each; they accept the fees but do precisely nothing in return. They do not inspect, so far as I know they take no enforcement action unless individual cases become a cause celebre in the news.

          It is no self praise to say that the house I let is up to standard as most landlords provide housing to an acceptable standard. There are a significant number but small percentage that match the cartoon above but I suspect they are, as I said earlier, a few with a lot of slum properties.

          1. I’m talking about the cost of rent … the exorbitant unregulated costs of rent …

          2. Dougie Blackwood says:

            Rental costs are a factor of availability. The Scottish government is attempting to get the number of houses built up to a level where there is less pressure on availability. They are to be congratulated for getting on with this but it is like trying to turn an oil tanker, over many years UK and previous Scottish governments built little or no houses. In the main this is a legacy of Thatcher’s decision to sell off council houses. Almost all of the best were sold and those left with councils were neglected as money spent on them was likely to mean they were lost to a sale.

            When the Scottish government put a stop to the sale of council houses and started to encourage building things improved but there is still a long way to go. The greatest difficulty in providing houses goes back to the cost of land. This is something that has still to be addressed. There are two strands to land costs: it costs nothing to keep land in a bank and await somebody with deep pockets to come along and buy; If an owner can obtain planning consent for derelict land they can sell it at a hugely inflated cost putting it beyond the means of council and housing associations.

            To cut the cost of land for houses there are two actions needed: introduce a land tax on ALL land and double it for useable land that is held back and out of use and allow councils to compulsorily purchase land at a cost relative to before they opened the gate and zoned it for housing. These actions would do away with land banks and encourage the sale of land that is not immediately needed.

            Sorry for a long story but the rental costs are market driven and we need to fix that market so that people can get affordable houses. It’s no good saying landlords should undercut each other and reduce rents when there are a queue of takers at the prices that are being charged.

          3. I know its MARKET DRIVEN JFC.

            That’s the WHOLE POINT.

            The SNP recently voted down an amendment that would have meant changes to the emergency coronavirus legislation to protect tenants;

            Rent freeze

            Tenant hardship fund

            Protection against eviction

            Rent arrear forgiveness

            Here’s some advice – if you dont know what you are talking about- and you are part of a very privileged class in a time of crisis, arm yourself with some facts before entering public debate.

        2. Marga says:

          The rental sector is not completely unregulated. This kind of comment does not help any argument.

          1. There are no controls on rent.

    3. Axel P Kulit says:

      ” Why are there no comments on here from landlords admitting that they are right bastards?”

      Possibly because
      a) Nobody wants to think they are right bastards
      b) Right bastards are not the sort of person would follow a forum like this.

  5. Mark Bevis says:

    Apart from a brief period of home owning, where I had a stint at being a landlord (which failed miserably) I’ve always rented. I’ve never had such problems with a landlord. Currently I’ve been allowed to let the rent accrue on paper and pay it when I can. So whilst I haven’t been let off any rent, I’ve haven’t been pressured to pay on due times either. Many landlords do in effect become social workers after a fashion.
    And we might make a distinction between a person renting out a second home or suchlike minor investment on the one hand, and what might be deemed a factory-farmed business renter who has 1000s of properties on the other, whose main objectives are to get rich as possible and avoid the taxes and responsibilities due.

    The bigger issue here of course is that owning property, and specifically homes, is seen as an economic investment. In other words, the right to shelter has been commodified, like everything else, and sold back to us in the form of life-long debts or rents. And that’s true for both landlords with mortgages and tenants paying rent, as well as home owners on the mythical housing ladder.

    For a so-called intelligent species we do come up with some really shit ideas about how to do many things, and mortgages and rents are a couple of them.

    Any system where some one, somewhere makes money out of peoples’ basic needs – shelter, food, energy, water, healthcare – is fundamentally wrong. To me there is something morally sinister about any person who thinks that a privatised NHS is a good idea for example. Very often they only see a binary choice between “the market” and ‘not-the-market’, neither of which involve a moral imperative. The disconnect involved is a salute to the effectiveness of advertising and class stratification imposed by a minority over the decades, if not centuries.

    1. Axel P Kulit says:

      You put it very well.

      Some argue for the state to allocate housing rather than the market.

      I do not trust the state, I do not trust them to refrain from using that power for social control. I do not trust them to refrain from using that power to split up couples and families sending then to regions where labour is short. I do not trust them to refrain from making critics of the government of the day and the state homeless.

      I have managed to retire in a house that suits me in a place that suits me. I still have a mortgage which keeps me awake at night.

      The commodification of accommodation is not a good thing but I am not sure of a way round it, though other countries, for example Germany, may provide lessons.

  6. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Clearly the person that edits this thread thinks their ideas are right and we must all agree with them. I see that the option to reply has been removed on a couple of entries.

    The bottom line is that there are not enough good quality houses for everyone to either buy or rent. Do we want to go back to the corruption and cronyism that characterised the post war municipal housing. People had to “Know Somebody” to get a house otherwise they lived in a parent’s or someone else’s room. We have the market and while is is unsatisfactory it is better than bureaucratic control. Should the state take ownership and control of all houses that are currently rented as that appears to be what is proposed? Should we control all rented property from the tenement to the £15M mansion; should the state decide on a fair rent and set it accordingly. It’s a pipe dream.

    It isn’t fair and many people are in unsuitable houses paying more than they can easily afford; some people live on the streets and that is even worse. As I said above we need more houses, and as quickly as possible. Many want to buy and some of them cannot do so because the selling cost of houses is beyond their means. Many more people do not want to buy, like the lack of responsibility and the flexibility that renting brings.

    1. No option to reply has been removed – and here you are responding again …

      “like the lack of responsibility and the flexibility that renting brings”

  7. Canuck Freedom Fan says:

    American landlord here. I guess that would make me the equivalent of a Tory and possibly a right bastard, eh? (I’m originally from Canada, so I have some love for the Scots and your quest for independence)

    I see some interesting perspectives in the posts here. Hopefully I can add to the discussion rather than detract from it. I’m lucky enough to have moved to a place (Houston) where the cost of living is low, taxes are low, and there are good jobs. Living below our means has allowed us to save up money and we invested in some houses when the housing market crashed here. That meant taking foreclosed houses in terrible condition and spending our time and labor to fix them up.

    My view is that a landlord brings value in two places – maintaining and restoring houses in good shape, and providing rental property and the ability to live in a house for those who can’t afford to buy a house or don’t want to take on the responsibility of paying property taxes and doing maintenance. I’m happy to do so – as long as it’s a better risk-adjusted investment than dividend stocks. If it’s not, why would I take on the aggravation and extra work? I have a day job, and am trying to secure an appropriate retirement (not to mention setting aside money for American medical costs).

    So before you complain about landlords, think about if you would do it for the money involved. I own these houses, and have to budget 3 months rent a year for property tax, and another 3 months for maintenance and income tax. If I had to pay a mortgage on top of that, do you think I could afford to be letting people off the hook for rent?

    1. Wul says:

      “I own these houses, and have to budget 3 months rent a year for property tax, and another 3 months for maintenance and income tax.”

      In other words, for 6 month of the year your tenants are paying the actual cost of their accommodation, and for the next 6 months they are lining your pockets. That’s a 100% profit margin AFTER your costs are paid. A pretty lucrative business model!

      Plus of course the uplift in value of the “foreclosed” properties you snapped up when “the market crashed”. Say a minimum 40% uplift? (probably more since you said they were run down when you bought). Another 40% + unearned income and capital gain. Nice work.

      All those people, working away at their jobs every day, to make you richer and increase your assets’ value. And you’re one of the good guys?

      1. Axel P Kulit says:

        So you want him to have zero profit, nothing for contingencies?

        How would you ensure everyone has free housing and choice of where to live?

        1. Wul says:

          Alex, I’m sorry but I’m disengaging from talking with you. You are behaving in a troll-like manner.

          Where did I say I wanted “everyone to have free housing” and for landlords to make “zero profit” ?

          I didn’t. If you are going to put words into my mouth, and then demand that I justify those words, it is going to be a very long evening. I’ve better things to do. TTFN.

  8. Wul says:

    The fundamental problem with the private rental sector is that the price of rent is unregulated. It should be capped. Otherwise it will always be the very maximum that a tenant can possibly afford. Capping rents would cool off our vastly overheated property and land prices.

    It is morally wrong to make unearned income from someone else’s need for shelter. How can it really be a “market” when the “customer” is forced to purchase? The fact that so many older people divert their savings into becoming amateur landlords just shows what an easy, accessible and profitable vehicle it is.

    My daughter worker two part-time jobs; evenings & weekends ( on top of a full-time degree course) to earn enough to pay her £580/month share of a three-bedroomed flat in Glasgow. Three young women, all studying full time, all working and paying £1,740/month in rent for a small tenement flat. The man who owned the flat was gifted it by his father. He was “earning” around £15k/year for doing nothing (flat managed by a letting agency). Plus, of course, the flat was increasing in value at a rate far outstripping inflation. Another source of unearned income.

    My child will still be paying this rent and the uplift in property values, from her student loan repayments, for many years to come, because no matter how hard she worked, it was not enough to cover the rent. ( What percentage of student grants & loans end up in landlords bank accounts?)

    None of this makes the landlord a “right bastard”, I’m sure he’s a top bloke, but the system itself IS a right bastard. We should be finding ways to divert wealth towards our young (and older) workforce, not away from them.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Wul, agreed, there appears to be nothing stopping landlords reinvesting profits into more rental properties ad infinitum, their purchasing power raising the price of living-property-to-buy, and resulting in an unmitigated Matthew Effect:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_effect
      which is essentially the Game of Monopoly, or more educationally, its predecessor The Landlord’s Game (whose Wikipedia page links to another about Georgism, which I had not heard of).

      I haven’t had any reply to my question “how many hours a week (roughly) would anyone recommend that people spend improving their democracy (skills, information, collective-decision-making and so on)?”. One reason I asked that is for the follow-up question: how many hours a week do people spend on preserving their privileges (also a democracy-related question, and one that applies to the rentier class). If the status quo actually takes a lot of work to preserve, it may be seen as less of a natural order and more like a running scam.

    2. Axel P Kulit says:

      Let’s see what happens if rents were to be capped. Assume a landlord with mortgage plus costs. Assume too that the global rent cap is enough they are operating at a loss.

      What would happen is

      (1) Repossession or (2) selling out, below market value, to a big landlord who can buy outright and wait

      In fact (1) would lead to (2)

      and then

      (3) Rents would be set to 1p a year less than the level of the cap.

      (4) Big landlords would get richer.

      What is morally acceptable about you plans given this scenario?

      1. Wul says:

        “Assume a landlord with mortgage plus costs.”

        No. People should not be borrowing money in order to pass their own debt, plus interest, plus a profit for themselves, plus property price uplift onto someone else’s shoulders. That is what I think is morally corrupt. It encourages speculation and property bubbles. It makes poor people poorer and rich people richer.

        Your argument is entirely circular because your “costs” are are themselves set by the maximum that most people can pay. Cap the rents and the “costs” will fall. Remember, we are not talking about luxury cars or other consumer goods here. We are talking about a basic, universal human need. No one has a choice. Everyone needs a home.

        I’d be perfectly happy if it became financially unworkable for people to borrow money in order to buy and rent out a house. In any case, why is “big landlords would get richer” any worse than “My pensioner neighbour gets richer because he rents out properties” ?

        What is it about a rent cap that you think is “morally unacceptable”? I don’t understand.

        1. Axel P Kulit says:

          “Cap the rents and the “costs” will fall.”

          Really, so maintenance costs will fall, for example the builder who fixes a broken wall or the plumber who unblocks a drain will charge less because the rent is capped? Insurance costs will fall?

          If you want pensioners to get out of buy to let get the government to double the state pension or introduce a decent UBI. £3,000 a month say.

          at the moment many pensioners do not get richer but avoid the government induced poverty of low state pensions while the rich hide their millions in tax cuts abroad.

          So it is wrong to make money from people’s basic needs, for example food and clothing? The farmer and tailor should work for nothing?

          How would you ensure that everyone has a home for free without having to move somewhere they do not want to be or where they may be in danger?

          Because it looks to me like that is the only way to avoid the problems I mentioned with regard to rent caps.

          1. Wul says:

            Jeez Axel. Where did you hone your debating skills? Do you actually read what other people write?

            I said it was morally corrupt to make a speculative unearned income from other people’s basic need for a home. You can not compare being a tailor or farmer to being a buy-to-let landlord. Those two are productive jobs involving skill and create a useful product from raw materials. BTL landlordism is a parasitic, no-skill-needed vehicle to generate unearned, passive income.

            “Really, so maintenance costs will fall, for example the builder who fixes a broken wall or the plumber who unblocks a drain will charge less because the rent is capped? Insurance costs will fall?”
            Actually, yes. Because the builder’s rent on his yard will fall, his domestic rental costs will fall. he won’t need to pay his workers so much to cover their own rent. The guy who sells him bricks will be paying less for his builder’s merchant premises. You get the picture? Everyone will have the same lifestyle with less property costs. Sadly, the landlords will all be making less money and there will be less of them.

            Here’s a passage that sums it up nicely. I came across this whilst researching US property market:

            “Little effort to build wealth. The most effort comes from researching the property you want to buy and finding the right tenants to pay your mortgage. Once you’ve run various scenario analysis and screened your applicants, you can basically set it and forget it. My average tenant turnover is 2.5 years.

            Semi-passive income generation. Not only do you get to benefit from rising principal values due to inflation, job growth, and income growth, you get to also benefit from rising rents due to the same reasons! I first started renting my rental condo out for $2,300 back in 2005. Now I’m charging $4,200 a month for rent going into 2018. That’s a 83% increase in rent while my mortgage payments stayed the same or declined.”

  9. MBC says:

    As well as rents being too high, and unregulated, wages (which are regulated) are too low. If the government won’t cap rents it should legislation to raise the minimum wage to a lever whereby people can afford rents.

    But ideally, both the minimum wage and rents should be regulated so that they are in balance.

    1. Wul says:

      You make a good point. However, experience shows that any extra cash in tenants’ or house buyers’ pockets ends up in the landlords’ hands. Give workers more cash and the landlord will have it, thank you very much.

      The “help for first time buyers” scheme resulted in an increase in starter home prices. Likewise stamp duty reductions and other stimuli. One of a landlords main costs is his mortgage repayments. The cost of borrowing ( base rate) today is about one sixtieth of what it was 15 years ago ( 0.1% v 6% ). Have rents come down to reflect this reduction in landlords’ overhead?

      Same with “Rates Relief for Small Businesses” scheme. Landlords’ know you are saving money on business rates? “We’ll just add that to the rent for your tiny industrial unit mate. Thank you very much”.

      1. r says:

        Wul – you’re right and it’s all unfair – those with more make more – those granted access to the coffers of the already indecently rich and are ‘entrepreneurially-minded’ will ride on the backs of those held ‘not-so-worthy’ by the banks , ‘building societies’ and money-lenders .
        So you see that capital has agents , who in turn allow others to act on their behalf to screw more money out of the poorest and least ‘creditworthy’ . Please see this – you are railing against landlords – all of them ! I’m not making excuses for any of them (though some are decent folk) but please see that it is not them who are your social evil or necessarily your enemy .
        The whole system of the fat living off the thin is our enemy – the system that turns us not so much against each other (although that is what it does in the end) but convinces us that if we can see a way to take advantage of each other that it is morally acceptable . But that ploy needs us to buy into it – and we see it presented to us daily as ‘smart’ if not excusable .
        I find it ‘cute’ to think that any government would be able to stop this – our governments are , and have ever been , in the pockets of capital . Our politicians can be seen to be doing some things that could be seen as ‘stupid’ or ‘nonsensical’ or downright ‘wrong’ , ‘misguided’, – whatever you will – and in these instances you will , without much digging , find that our money is going the wrong way – away from us and into an already-fat pockets . But this is getting away from homes .
        Shelter has been commodified but then so has everything else – food , clothes , transport and now health , education and , indeed – mark my words here – so soon will the greater part of ‘welfare’ (read ‘benefits’ , not just ‘assessments’) . Until there is an effective social opposition to this , those who ‘contribute’ towards political parties and representatives will be able to flap the lips of their puppets to tell us what we are going to have to swallow.
        Bitter pill , Wul , but face those facts and get away from those wicked landlords – they are the least of your worries !

      2. Keith_D says:

        Nope, any increase in available money will end up with the banks, either directly or indirectly.

        Let’s assume everyone got a instant 10% increase in their income. That would mean a 10% increase in ‘affordable’ borrowing when calculating mortgages, but no increase in the number of houses in the market. So basic economics would suggest that house prices would increase by a similar amount, and that 10% income would be spent on increased mortgage repayments – directly to the banks.

        The effect on rentals would lag behind this, but when house prices go up 10% the landlords also have to take on 10% bigger mortgages to buy new properties. So if they are going to pay their mortgage they need to increase the rent by 10% too. No prizes for guessing who gets that 10%… yep it’s the banks again.

        1. Keith_D says:

          I forgot to mention that many small landlords use fixed mortgages to allow them to manage their costs. So it takes years for rate changes to filter through to the rental market.

          Currently, variable rate buy to let mortgages are around 4.5% even though the Bank of England rate is effectively zero. So someone in the system is making a lot of money and I don’t think it’s the landlords.

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