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Renting off the hook? Government intervention shifts to ownership

Government intervention, which in recent years has seen scores of legal and regulatory changes to the private rental sector, may be shifting towards  buying.

There has been widespread criticism of government restrictions and tax changes affecting the lettings process, agents and landlords since 2015 in particular, which have been interpreted as an attack on the rental sector.

But in a speech to the Conservative party conference tomorrow, it appears likely that ownership rather than renting will be next in the legislative headlights.


A ‘Generation Buy’ scheme is to be promoted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“I think a huge, huge number of people feel totally excluded from capitalism, from the idea of home ownership, which is so vital for our society. And we’re going to fix that — ‘Generation Buy’ is what we’re going for” Johnson has told the Daily Telegraph newspaper ahead of his speech.

He says far more affordable mortgages should positively help first time buyers get on to the property ladder “even if they only have a very small amount to pay by way of deposit.” He also recommends a relaxation of stress tests used by banks, and calls for more 95 per cent loans to allow people to shift out of the private rental sector. 

Johnson claims low-deposit mortgages could be “absolutely revolutionary” for young people and that work is already underway between the government and lenders of a new breed of long-term fixed-rate mortgages with deposits of no more than five per cent.


Polly Neate, head of the campaigning charity Shelter - which has frequently accused the government of not intervening enough to control what she sees as the excesses of the private rental sector - says of the new proposal: The government has tried lending money for years to get more people on the housing ladder…As the economic fallout of the pandemic starts to hit, government cannot keep offering more of the same.”

  • Mark Wilson

    Like government debt , with super low interest rates it's not a problem servicing the debt, the problem is paying back the principle. The salary multipliers are simply too high.

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    "The government has tried lending money for years to get more people on the housing ladder…As the economic fallout of the pandemic starts to hit, government cannot keep offering more of the same -Polly Neate.”

    There you go if quoted correctly there is no pleasing this woman or her organisation. Their aim is destruction and its the tenants that will pay whilst she collects her six figure salary

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    I recall years ago the local council gave 5% deposit to 1st buyers interest free. It was a good scheme and this was when lending rates were 15%.

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    • 05 October 2020 14:09 PM

    Govt is being somewhat disingenuous.
    All it needs to do is lift the ban on IO residential mortgages allowing terms of 90 years.
    Suspend MMR; basing affordability on current domestic circumstances.
    Allow 5% deposits.
    Even consider MIRAS for properties up to £500000.
    That puts a FTB at a far more competitive advantage to LL who generally have to come up with a 25% deposit and are subject to far stricter loan criteria.
    I don't mind that as I would far prefer a nation of homeowners that renters.

    However I know that there will ALWAYS be a demand for private rental accommodation.
    I'm sure I can cope with that.
    If ultimately my offer isn't required then fine I will withdraw it and sell up.

    But I suspect my offer will be in demand.
    Homeownership in the numbers ideally required will take about 50 years to achieve.
    Plenty of room and time for a PRS to make good profits!

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    Good ol Polly. What ever anyone comes up with is never good enough. Take a salary cut and then turn Shelter the charity that houses no one into something more than a useless mouth piece.

  • Matthew Payne

    I notice they have set up stalls at petrol stations asking for donations from motorists to help impoverished tenants pay their rent. As with donations to help the starving in war torn African nations that seem to end up funding the lifestyle of the dicatator clinging to power, I wonder how much of the cash collected will actually end up in tenants pockets.

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    • 07 October 2020 07:42 AM

    Shelter the organisation that encourages feckless rent defaulting tenants to break their contract and not vacate at the end of a S21 notice period if served.

    This is ALLEGEDLY a charity that encourages theft of accommodation services from LL until they are evicted.
    A criminal enterprise surely a conspiracy!?


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