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Graham Awards


Buy to lets should be sold “at knockdown prices” - renters group

A pressure group representing private tenants wants government to help housing associations purchase buy to let properties “at knockdown prices.”

A blog on the website of Generation Rent speculates on a housing market after lockdown as seen through the recommendations of the Affordable Housing Commission, which reported recently.

It considers a situation where private developers will be unable to sell new build homes at current values and first time buyers may be hampered by being unable to afford deposits for any home.


It then talks of “distressed landlords” who have to sell their homes, and it says: “To encourage a tenure shift of homes from the private sector into the social sector, the Commission recommended that the government support social landlords to purchase existing homes. Buying homes at knockdown prices would make it easier for not-for-profit landlords to charge affordable rents.”

However the Generation Rent blog then states that buy to let investors could get there first - it claims they “see a housing market crash as an opportunity to buy up properties and then ramp up rents as the economy recovers.”

It concludes: “We need government to provide a social housing acquisition fund to make sure tenants are the ones who benefit from any crash.”

The author of the Generation Rent blog was the group’s director, Dan Wilson Craw: in the blog he describes himself as one of “15 leading figures from the housing world” who wrote the Affordable Housing Commission report.

  • jeremy clarke

    Come the revolution Wolfie!
    What utter b******s.

  • icon

    DWC is utterly clueless. He should follow Joe Halewood and might then understand that the social housing providers don't want to provide affordable rents.

  • James B

    To be expected from the entitled generation

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    If Craw thinks the Social Housing sector, who's rents are on a par nowadays with PRS, and who evict almost 4 x times the number of tenants - then he's a Nobody in Housing and ought to sign up to Joe Speye's ( Halewood ) Newsletter ( to learn the truth about Social Housing )

  • Mark Wilson

    The Commission recommended that the government support social landlords to purchase existing homes. Buying homes at knockdown prices would make it easier for not-for-profit landlords to charge affordable rents.

    Standing back at what was said I wasn't sure what so scandalous with the suggestion?

  • Roger  Mellie

    How thick are these people?? Developers have to practically give away their social housing provision for next to nothing in order to build a development anyway.


    And developers seem to regularly go back to the council who gave consent and say very sorry but we have no money left in the pot to build all the social houses we said we would so can we reduce the numbers. The council seem happy to accept this and hence they don't get built.
    JM I don't see that they are giving away anything, they are taking back what they were forced into to get consent to build and when they are built they mysteriously run out of cash for the affordable part of the development.
    Many years ago there were "commuted sums" for not being able to provide parking for town centre developments. I pointed out to a chief planning officer it was in my opinion blackmail. He got very irate at that suggestion!

  • Neil Moores

    It does generally make a lot of sense for the government, in this case via housing associations as that is how social housing now works, to buy up stock if it becomes available cheaply. Otherwise distressed sales will end up in the hands of the big corporates or the non-borrowing few. Personally I would prefer that the government cut out the middle man and provided the houses themselves, as they used to do. Ideally working from the same rules as they impose on the private sector.

  • icon

    Where exactly do they think the money will come from? As a result of Covid-19 there won't be any money left in the pot!

    Government could help by stopping right to buy and putting money into building more council properties which offer affordable rent long term.

    • 04 May 2020 12:17 PM

    Ahh! But what Govt could do is waive any CGT for LL selling properties to social LL.

    It would ve an effective way for many LL to exit the PRS but can't because of unaffordable CGT liabilities.

    If the LL has a £50000 CGT bill if sold why bother HMRC taking it.
    Just allow the LL to sell to social housing for £50000 less with no CGT liability.

    There are hundreds of thousands of LL desperate to get out of the PRS.
    Waiving CGT would enable vast numbers of private rental stock to be converted to social housing.

    There are many zombie LL out there who are desperate to leave before S21 and the AST goes.

    Govt would find buying private rental property for social housing would be very popular with the electorate.

    Obviously that would mean milkions of homeless tenants who won't qualify for social housing but Govt doesn't care about them.
    They just seek the eradication of LL.

    I'm desperate to leave the PRS.
    I'd love to sell all mine to the local council or local housing associations at full market price minus any CGT.
    Buying property with very cheap money for social housing is what Govt should be doing.

  • icon

    No lender on the planet will agree to any of this crap
    I would burn mine first and cancel my insurance

    A Zimbabwe type idea


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