Green Party Leader Under Attack For Demonising
Private Rented Sector Landlords
The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett has attracted a great deal of criticism after she attacked buy-to-let landlords operating in the private rented sector (PRS) blaming them for helping to cause the UK’s housing crisis.
Ms Bennett cited extremely high rental returns for landlords with property in the UK private rental sector in the recent television debate between the opposition leaders.
She referred to a report published by the Wriglesworth Consultancy and lenders Landbay stating that there had been a 1,400% return for buy-to-let landlords since 1996.
But the report’s authors suggested that the calculations and methodology involved were far more complex than the Green Party leader had portrayed.CEO of Landbay, John Goodall, said: “Ms Bennett is absolutely right on one point. The UK is suffering from a dire lack of new homes. But to solve that we need more politicians to offer real solutions, rather than just aggressive rhetoric. Since 1996 there has been an unprecedented rise in property prices, due to a long economic boom and an even longer-term decline in the rate of residential house building. Landlords’ interventions have been vital in mitigating this. While UK house prices may have risen by 200% since 1996, rents have seen a cumulative increase of only 62% over the same time frame, or only one third the rate of house price growth. That would simply not have happened without the buy-to-let phenomenon. Meanwhile, home ownership in the UK is still far above levels in continental Europe, where society has not broken down, and overall inequality is often lower. Buy-to-let is not broken, it’s an evolving part of the solution. Tenants need buy-to-let lending as much as landlord’s, and with the emergence of peer-to-peer lending, normal people can take the place of banks in the process with as little as £100. Moreover, prospects for our next generation are not set in stone. If buy-to-let returns are to be lower over the next 18 years than the historic figure quoted by Natalie Bennett, this will be because of deep structural reform to supply more homes. And attacking the private rented sector is hardly useful in that serious struggle for reform. If our leaders really want to solve the UK’s housing problems, they should have a more grown-up debate about getting homes built, instead of fighting straw men and misrepresenting statistics. Natalie Bennett offered no solutions, just a cruel caricature of the very people willing to drive investment into UK housing.”
Blaming landlords for operating businesses that provide a service to those in need of housing is equivalent to blaming the proverbial goose for laying golden eggs – pointless!
Landlords are providing much needed homes for people who for whatever reason do not want or cannot afford to purchase a property of their own and politicians are just trying to influence voters sentiment ahead of the general election rather than offering tangible long term solutions to the UK’s housing crisis.
It’s fair to say that the Green Party will not be the PRS landlord’s preferred government should they miraculously win the election in May.
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