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Union claims Right To Buy lines pockets of agents, landlordsThe GMB trades union has launched a scathing attack on the private rental sector which it says will benefit if the Conservatives win the election and enact their promise of allowing housing association tenants to buy their homes.

The union claims that while tens of thousands of London families are unable to find a council house to rent, rich farmers and the elite are scooping them up.

It says it has undertaken research which shows that of 4.2m households living in private rented accommodation across Britain, the rent in 1.6m or 38 per cent of those cases is paid in part or in full by taxpayers.

This adds up to an annual total of £9.2 billion going to landlords in housing benefit.

The GMB research is based heavily on the south London borough of Wandsworth.

In that borough, the union says that of 15,874 dwellings in council blocks which have been purchased by tenants under the Right To Buy legislation enacted by successive governments, some 6,180 dwellings are now owned by private landlords who rent them to private tenants. That is nearly 40 per cent of the total sold by the council.

It says there are 977 private landlords who own more than one of these 6,180 dwellings.

One private landlord allegedly owns 93 and another owns 32. Another 15 landlords each own 10 or more and a further 83 landlords each own between five and nine of these dwellings.

In Wandsworth and elsewhere private businesses are making vast profits from the public purse while the people these homes were built for sit on waiting lists that never move. To add insult to injury many are using offshore tax havens to avoid paying tax on these profits claims GMB general secretary Paul Kenny.


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    Rich farmers in Wandsworth Well may be three hundred years ago......

    I suppose all the rich gits can run let accommodation for nothing and pocket all the rent while poor councils have to do maintenance and so on.

    Te figures I would like to see would be the net figures for council vs. private lettings. My guess is that the council costs will be much higher and there will not be any profit whilst private lets will have lower costs and and have a profit as well. We are are constantly being told how wonderful council managed letting is so let us have the evidence please. Until we have such figures from an impartial research group who can add up a balance sheet properly I remain unconvinced.

    We see that average 'profits' for BTL are around the 6% mark. In no way is that vast by any measure considering the capital outlay although it does look good against the paltry returns the banking industry allows the general serfdom of the country.

    • 17 April 2015 22:54 PM
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    Trade Unions, right The same Trade Unions who support the Labour Party The same Trade Unions who voted the stupid Ed Milliband as party leader when his Brother David was by far the better candidate ( in my opinion). This is yet another example of Landlord/Agent bashing. The statement " rich farmers and the elite" are scooping them up" is ridiculous. Rich farmers and the elite cannot exercise the right to buy unless they are living in the housing association property - which they are clearly not going to be. Therefore said "rich farmers and the elite" are buying them from the people who have exercised the right to buy -being the previous tenants. What, pray, is wrong with that The "rich farmers and the elite" are entitled to purchase property if they can afford to do so in exactly the same way as the ordinary man or woman in the street. Blame Margaret Thatcher if you like. Blame subsequent Governments for not abolishing the right to buy or insisting that the funds raised go back into building social housing - but does the tenant who has exercised the right to buy and then sold on for an exuberant price not also have to take some of the responsibility They are the ones, after all, who are benefiting most from right to buy. Anyone that comes along and purchases a former housing association property is paying the market rate for it. Unless I am missing something, these properties are not coming on the market at a knock down rate just because they were subject to right to buy. This article is pure electioneering from the Trade Union and should be read, thought about, seen for what it is, laughed at and then ignored.

    • 17 April 2015 08:52 AM
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    Good to see that these abuses are finally being challenged.

    • 17 April 2015 06:15 AM