Citizens Advice have recently come out saying tenants should not have to pay any fees. I see why this is a popular bandwagon to jump on: Generation Rent are the poor victims paying off wealthy landlords’ mortgages then having to pay for the privilege of taking the property… fair enough.
But what about the landlord in this situation. For too long, a landlord has been seen as a fat cat who has plenty of money at his or her disposal, feeding at the teat of the rental market, sapping renters of their hard earned cash. But what happens when landlords don’t want to do it anymore? Given around 1/5th of households in the UK are owned by landlords, if all were flung on the housing market, we would most certainly see a crash of the likes we probably have not seen before. All those who have bought at these current sky high prices would be well and truly left high and dry, others would have tens (or potentially hundreds) of thousands of pounds wiped off their net worth.RENTAL PRICES WOULD SOAR!
So maybe this is all sounding a bit doomsday-esque but the point i’m trying to make is this: With our housing market, it is the better the devil you know. The housing market is the foundation our economy has been built on (for better or worse) and so rather than try and decimate 20% of it, encourage growth in other areas. What about those who will never own their own home? I’m not talking about those who are aspire to do so but rather the masses who don’t want to burdened with a mortgage for the majority of their life. They need landlords as much as the UK housing market does!
So what alternatives are their? There are plenty across the political spectrum from a national mortgage fund direct from the government (Left) to majorly overhauling the regulatory system to allow for more innovation in the mortgage sector and ultimately more flexibility (Right) – and that’s not mentioning ACTUALLY increase the housing supply! All of this may increase the number landlords at the same time (most likely holding the proportion the same though) but, as i said, its a bedrock of the UK economy so why tinker with it? It works!