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Government considers giving more tenants the Right To Buy

The government is reported to be considering extending the Right To Buy from just council tenants in England to housing association renters as well - and a former Housing Secretary says he wants it to include all tenants, including private sector ones.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Boris Johnson wants to extend Right To Buy - first introduced for council tenants only by Margaret Thatcher four decades ago - to the 2.5m households, adding up to 5.1m people, who rent properties from housing associations in England.

A connected idea being pursued by officials is for the tens of billions of pounds paid by the government in housing benefit to be used to help recipients secure mortgages.


The idea is considered to appeal particularly to non-traditional Conservative voters who in the last General Election may have voted Tory for the first time, especially in the Midlands and the north of England.

Riobert Jenrick - no longer in government but considered a staunch ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson - says he would like to see the idea extended across the rental sector to private tenants.

In the past 24 hours Generation Rent’s deputy director has gone to Twitter to say that he would “love it - love it - if [Jenrick] was in favour of right to buy in the private sector.”

Back in 2019 Labour’s then-Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the Financial Times he would like to see private tenants receiving a discount; while he told the BBC that his party would ensure there was a “fair price assessment” of any buy to let property which a tenant may want to purchase. 

"I don't expect anyone to lose out” McDonnell said at the time.


Some 1.6m council homes have been sold off under Right To Buy and while his policy helped owner-occupation rise from 55 per cent in 1979 to 72 per cent in 2004 (since when it has generally dipped) the policy has also led to a sharp decline in social housing availability. Scotland and Wales have scrapped Right To Buy in recent years.

On a related housing issue, Boris Johnson’s plans for reform of the planning system were ditched late last year after revolts by some Tory back benchers fearful of new housing developments in their constituencies.

The reforms would have given councils mandatory targets for the number of houses that would need to be built in each area. Local authorities would then have been required to divide areas into three categories – protected, renewal and growth. 

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    • 03 May 2022 06:42 AM

    Why can't the parasites buy like anyone else?...Look on Rightmove and then get a mortgage.

    The government does let all these criminals, terrorists, fake asylum seekers and corporate thieves get away with everything. Might aswell let the vermin abuse landlords aswell.


    You sound like a fruitcake mate. Less than 8% of council properties ever built have been sold. The people buying them are normal people, who work and pay their way just as much as you. Not everyone had the same start in life mate. Vermin can't afford to buy anything, let alone go to the bank and get a mortgage.

    As for abusing landlords, the only time landlords even come into this story is via the political babblings of socialist clowns telling us about their political wishlist. You clearly don't have a very clear understanding of what the article is even talking about.

    James B

    I don’t agree with tenants right to buy from landlords either but that kind of unnecessary language towards tenants is what gives landlords a bad name. They are people like us trying to progress in life many with families.

     G romit

    @Max Boyce where did the 8% figure come from? if 8% equates to 1.6m homes then that would imply 20m Council houses.

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    I don't know where you're getting your figures from, but home occupancy has never been lower than 63% since the war.

    Housing association tenants have always had the right to 'acquire' rather than buy. The main difference is the size of discount, but for all intents and purposes, the option to buy has been there for decades.

    As for the 'sharp decline' in social housing availability, less than 8% of all council houses ever built have ended up in the private sector. It's not RTB that's causing a housing crisis, it's the fact that since 1979, there are an extra 20 million people living in the UK.

    Of course none of it would make a difference to REAL social housing availability anyway, because of the very obvious fact that if no-one was allowed to buy their council houses, they would still be living in them as tenants. So the properties would STILL be unavailable to new applicants.

    And for people like McDonnell, and organisations like GR, I have one question; if Thatcher's RTB was such a bad idea, that has caused so much suffering, why the hell do you want to extend it to the private sector??

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    As said above, a non story as they have had the right to buy for years. This is Boris in another attempt to cling onto power before the local elections are held, and as for Jenrick !!! What he wants is known in the real world as theft.

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    Typical of the thieving leftist morons in charge to be proud of themselves for even suggesting this though. How can they say this with a straight face? We know it would be very difficult to implement, but the fact they’re willing to reveal this thinking, even as a consideration, tells you everything you need to know about the people in charge. Utter anti-tories the lot of ‘em.

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    The Right to Buy social housing is great for a very limited number of social tenants. The majority wouldn't be able to get a mortgage. Either their income or their age would make it impossible. Some wouldn't want the financial responsibility of property maintenance and some are in houses that are too small for the number of children they have.

    If the government really wanted to enable more people to be homeowners they would treat mortgage interest the same as rent for Housing Benefit purposes. Only the interest and only up to certain limits, so it couldn't be argued the tax payer was buying people's houses for them. It would give the banks more confidence to lend to a wider range of people. People would still need to repay the capital and maintain the house so there would be no incentive to just sit back on Benefit for a prolonged period. It would just provide enough of a safety net for both lender and home buyer.

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    Right to buy is nothing more thsn a bribe..

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Exactly, @Edwin
    ' Social ' Housing is owned by Private companies and not within the control or gift of Govt to sell at discount ( partially give away as a bribe for votes )

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    Yes,possession friend, a very expensive bribe from the taxpayer, further Johnson is exploring the idea of funding it with the tenants benefits!

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    The erosion of property rights (I.el the government forcing landlords to sell their property at a discount) is not what conservative parties stand for. Proof if you need it, that we no longer have a Conservative party, just different coloured socialists.

    If I am forced to sell, I assume I would be having my conveyancing paid for along with a refund for the conveyancing and fees associated with originally purchasing the property. Also I’d expect a refund of the enhanced SDLT that I paid. All index linked to inflation of course.

    By calling it right to buy - it implies we wouldn’t have a right to keep our property. Why not have a voluntary scheme in which landlords are incentivised to sell in a way that both parties are happy and nobody is forced to do anything. This is something that already exists in the private sector called “rent to buy” in which a purchase price is agreed and a period of around 5 years in which renters pay a higher rent which effectively builds up their deposit towards the purchase. The landlord is happy because they get guaranteed rent and can be confident the renters will look after the property, and the renter eventually gets on the property Ladder. Every time the government tries to do something like this, they always manage to make a hash of it because they don’t know what they are doing.

  • John  Adams

    Can yousee the likes of The Duke of Westminster and The Duchy of Cornwall playing along ?

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    And more importantly they are removing Landlords’s right to sell your property vacant, you must jump through hoops dreamt up those who’s property its not, so their view is more important than the owner.
    What ever happened to the term Private Freehold Property.

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    Duchy of Lancaster as well. ie the Queen. Big part of Dorset is privately owned. National trust.

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    When we are suffering from a shortage of rental properties what sane person would suggest selling more of them off?


    No sane person would. Draw your own conclusions concerning the sanity of government ministers.

  • John Cart

    Communists with blue ties, no wonder the opposition are doing nothing, these clowns are implementing communism for them.

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    Selling ofo the ministry of defence housing stock has been a complete disaster.


    Complete disaster for the taxpayer but not for the purchasers.

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    David Pearce, that's the point that we are trying to make. That's the problem with the economy, it's been asset stripped and is unable to support the people, so the politicians are targeting landlords to provide wanted assets.

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    Exactly as Edwin Morris says, we have sold all the family silver and are now down to the pots and pans.....i have been against the RTB since it came in, how can it make any sense to sell a property in London at a 70% discount and then with the minimal money received do nothing with in other than put it into the general taxation pot !!! To go on all manner of nonsense that this (and other govts) seem to love funding. The land value n London to build a replacement for this 'sold' property can never be purchased by the council, so we are in effect clearing the capital of the working class and the poor.

    As a tax payer i am being fleeced and robbed by the govt yet again, we are never going to fix the housing crisis if we sell off the very properties which can help to solve the problem, it is beyond dim-witted.


    True, and remember Mr Brown, he sold the family gold on the cheap as well


    And now which two countries are amassing gold as a reserve asset?


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