The government needs to re-evaluate the Right to Buy scheme and establish a new way for citizens to live comfortably. If they focused on creating long-term options such as rent-only neighborhoods, or providing more funds to citizens with a low-income, the housing crisis could soon become a thing of the past.
The festive season is upon us. At some point over the next couple of weeks most of us will have a cosy evening decorating the Christmas tree in our Christmas jumper, listening to the Pogues and drinking mulled wine. People living in house shares are no exception. Except they are, well 16% of them. That's because 16% of shared homes don't have a living room. ..
An alarming number of private tenants - sixty per cent - believe UK letting fees are poor value for money, according to a recent poll. The survey, carried out by Populus, found that nearly half of private renters felt that letting fees did not reflect the time and effort put in by the letting agent.
Rewind a few decades to when the Conservatives, under Margaret Thatcher, were selling off council houses under the Right To Buy scheme. The then Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, said that home ownership helps to foster "attitudes of independence and self-reliance, the bedrock of a free society".
You think you've finally found the perfect place; you've dazzled them with your charm, wit and perfect blend of 'I'm serious and clean, but obviously totally easy-going and fun' and then, BANG, you get the news: 'Thank you very much for your interest in the room but we've decided to go with someone else'. Brutal.
From April 2014, many landlords are set to face hefty tax bills following George Osborne's Autumn Statement announcing a rise in capital gains tax (CGT). At present, the last three years of a rented property's capital growth is exempt from tax once sold, if the landlord once lived in it. After April this will be halved to just 18 months.
When I moved into my current rented flat in Forest Hill the area was reasonably cheap and had no coffee shops. Now, seven years later, it has at least five coffee shops, a deli and several boutiques. On top of that it's also on the East London Line on the overground. All of this has pushed rents up by over 50%.
Aspiring to own is as much a part of our national DNA as tea, obsessing about the weather or losing on penalties. It's ingrained in our cultural psyche as a right rather than a hope but, with such a massive portion of the population renting and ownership in decline, isn't it time we learned to think differently?