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Lack of focus on housing will see many people ‘resigned to the rental sector’

Monday’s Queen's Speech opened a new session of parliament, setting out policies on crime, health, the environment, and Brexit. 

But while the Queen’s Speech covered 26 bills, there was somewhat surprisingly a complete lack of focus on housing. 

“It really is quite astonishing that despite the consistent doom and gloom that has surrounded the UK property market for some time now, yet another blind eye has been turned to the issues plaguing our property market,” said Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves. 


He added: “The government’s monumental failure to build enough homes has resulted in a national housing crisis and this isn’t something we can shy away from and hope it goes away.

“While previous initiatives have stoked the fires of buyer demand and caused an even greater thirst for property, the actual delivery of housing stock to meet this demand has been woeful and perhaps this latest neglect of the issue is the government admitting defeat?”


Tom Gatzen, the co-founder of roomshare platform, ideal flatmate, is also disappointed to see that the state of the UK property market failed to make the cut for the speech.

He commented: “We’ve seen the high cost of property prices and a distinct lack of housebuilding result in many of us remaining resigned to the UK rental sector, while more and more us are forced to rely on shared accommodation to put a roof over our heads.

“Not only is this putting a huge strain on the rental space, but a lack of affordable and social rental options is also causing an increase in the number of people ending up on the streets. 

“This is a major issue in today’s society and one that should come before education, infrastructure and many of the other areas of focus announced.”

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    'Resigned to the Rental Sector' is a surprising headline, given that in many countries such as Germany, the vast majority of people are happy to rent rather than buy - freedom from large bills in terms of major repairs, ever-increasing service charges, redecoration costs, etc. The British media feed the idea that buying a property is the thing to do, a 'step on the ladder' and a great monetary investment - when actually if property prices crash spectacularly one day, there will be big money lost by property owners, negative equity, resulting increase in evictions and homeless, etc. etc. 'Resigned to the Rental Sector' is not the greatest headline.


    I don't expect landlords in Germany are looked upon as 'the devil incarnate' as they are in the UK either?


    Renters in Germany have far greater protections than those in the UK. An example of that is the very well defined criteria for which landlords may evict tenants, there is no Section 21 equivalent in Germany.
    The prospect of losing Section 21 is something UK landlords are currently losing their mind over. On that basis comparing the German and the UK rented sector isn't really helpful.

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    • 21 October 2019 09:39 AM

    Yeah Germany tenants have to bring their own kitchen and bathroom etc.
    Totally different rental proposition and cannot be compared.
    As for a supposed housebuilding crisis........twaddle.
    It is an immigration crisis.
    It is impossible to build to meet the requirements of mass uncontrolled immigration.
    Stop that and build about 250000 properties per year then in 20 years the housing shortage will have been addressed.
    There are by the way over a million empty properties available but because they aren't in the SE nobody wants to live in them.
    There are streets of empty houses in Northern towns.
    Govt could solve the Social housing crisis by offering full market price to LL where there are HB tenants.
    LL would sell up millions of properties to Govt.
    Social Housing problem solved.
    Of course then they have the problem of ensuring they are kept in good order.
    But at least they won't be paying out so much in HB if they charge social rents.
    I'm willing to sell all my flats to Govt.
    £330000 a pop thank you very much and then I'm an ex-LL and very relieved to be so.
    Come on dopey Govt just buy up existing properties.
    After all you sold off 2 million that were council properties.

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    • 21 October 2019 09:47 AM

    Not only that, in Germany, when the tenant leaves a house or flat, they have to pay for a complete renovation of all rooms to the satisfaction of the Landlord.

    If it is not done properly and by professionals, they get charged by the landlord.

    • 21 October 2019 10:03 AM

    That is always the problem when comparing rental markets in different countries.
    Believe me with S24 in Germany that would upset their rental market.
    Your usual Shelter; GR etc don't identify the significant differences in rental markets around the world.


    The German system is completely different. And not just in the interaction between LL and tenant.

    German pensions are much higher which means retirees continue to be able to afford market rents in their old age. This makes renting for life a viable option.

    Not so in Britain. If you do not own your house, have a council house or a large private pension when you retire, you probably won't be able to afford market rents. Until that changes, renting can only ever be a temporary housing solution. Unless this is addressed we are going to see big social problems when generation rent hits retirement. Luckily, I'll most likely be dead by then :-)

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    • 23 October 2019 10:39 AM

    @m Goe
    The point you make is extremely pertinent especially for those who can't or won't qualify for social housing.
    As you suggest without a property with the mortgage paid off they are at the mercy of market rents.
    Very few of the retired will be able to afford market rents on the usual small pension in the location they desire.
    Those qualifying for social housing will effectively have more net income and facilities than those who have a SMALL private pension.

    Perhaps more should be made of what so pertinently point out so that buying a home is seen as a way of being able to afford to reside where you wish without being at the mercy of PRS rents.
    Yes you may not have much income but you can get by but at least you have no mortgage or rent to pay.
    It is precisely for that reason that I consider mortgage free homeownership vital and is entirely the reason that motivates me to have an ultimately unencumbered Residential property.
    I don't believe these GR snowflakes have any thoughts about this..
    I started planning to address the issues you have highlighted when I was 13.
    Had I not done so I would not have been able to afford my first property.
    It may not seem much but by participating in a Govt initiative for FTB I eventually received a grant of £110 and an Interest free loan of £600 for 5 years.
    Back in 1983 that made all the difference!!
    But I started thinking about what you have mentioned at 13 years old.
    Unlike snowflake GR I was able to easily consider what my circumstances might be 45 years later and I planned accordingly!!
    Such thought processes are I believe above the comprehension of your average GR snowflake.
    Of course being a bloke meant for me very little chance of marrying into property which is what must women rely on to achieve homeownership.
    It is a fact that only 10% of women ever buy in their own name on their own.
    So it is us chaps that end up providing the free nest for the female of the species!!!
    Being mindful of all that motivates me to achieve mortgage free homeownership.


    The snowflake GR live for today, they have no interest in what tomorrow may bring, some may be lucky enough to be given a property when our generation die off, but most will fall flat on their faces in later life, their problem not mine.


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