London Council Proposals Could Further Boost Rental Market

Hammersmith and Fulham council has announced proposals to "[rip] up the social housing rulebook" in 2013, proposals which, if passed could send hundreds more people onto the already overcrowded private rental sector...

The unprecedented boom in the UK rental market could be about to hit a new all time high if one London borough council gets its way.

Hammersmith and Fulham council has announced proposals to "[rip] up the social housing rulebook" in 2013, proposals which, if passed could send hundreds more people onto the already overcrowded private rental sector

Under the proposals, which will be debated next week, couples earning over £40,000 per year between them will not be able to live in a council house. Thus all these (mostly young couples) will be pushed onto the private rental market.

But it doesn't stop there the council also wants to "end the notion of a council house for life" replacing this with 5 year fixed-term tenancies, and 2 year tenancies for 18-25 year olds. Children will also be prevented from inheriting their parents' council house under the changes which were granted by ministers under the Localism Act - thus potentially pushing more people out into the rental market.

"We believe that the notion of a tenancy for life is outdated and that it's wrong to expect to inherit a welfare benefit in the form of a subsidised house irrespective of housing need. Instead, we want to give honest, hard-working, local residents on low to middle incomes, who make a positive contribution to their local communities, the opportunity to access social housing," says Andrew Johnson, the council's cabinet member for housing.

You can see this pushing more people onto the already competitive rental market, which is of course more good news for landlords. But it could also be good for another reason, with more social housing for low income families, so less of them will be forced to rent at the lower end of the private sector, to perhaps accept sub-standard accommodation, fall into arrears and face eviction or worse, be priced out of the market altogether. Of course less arrears is also good news for landlords.

- Wednesday 03 October 2012

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