Lynsey Hanley Lets The Mask Slip…

I belong to a household that is one of the million reported to be “excluded from home ownership” by a combination of low housing supply and the impossibility of raising a deposit for the smallest house in a country that boasts the smallest houses in Europe.

Me too, Lynsey – I’m ‘excluded’ from yacht and Ferrari ownership.

It’s so unfair! *stamps foot*

Renting has worked for us in the sense that it enabled us to move quickly when my husband found a job in London. Even so, it was a choice facilitated only by a large overdraft to pay the initial deposit of six weeks’ rent on top of one month’s rent in advance, inventory, credit check and wildly overpriced “administration charge”.

Ahh, yes, when ‘wildly overpriced’ = ‘I think it’s too high but I’ve got no knowledge of what’s involved’.

Yes, I too find Ferraris and yachts ‘wildly overpriced’…

For private renting to become a viable form of tenure in Britain – one of choice, not necessity – two things need to happen. First, more homes need to be built.

Do they? Why? Is our population expanding?

Not enough new housing is being built in relation to the number of households being created or enlarged through the combined forces of divorce, ageing and the post-slump baby boom.

Hmmm. Something missing there, surely?

Some….elephant in the room, perhaps?

Second, renting needs to be easier and more comfortable.

For the landlord and the tenant?

Or…perhaps you’d not bother with the landlord’s ease and comfort, eh?

It could just as well suit growing families to rent homes for, say, five or seven years at a time as to buy and sell at the same rate – but only if a tenancy can be secured for longer periods without sudden rent rises or arbitrary charges designed to claw back “lost” profits in a time of low supply (it’s the landlord’s problem, not the tenant’s, if demand increases midway through a tenancy).

Yes, as I suspected. You want rent-control, and to cripple the owner’s ability to raise his costs to recoup losses, so effectively, you want subsidised rent. Paid for my the supplier.

Tell me, Lynsey, would you accept such appalling restrictions if you were a landlord? I suspect the answers ‘No’…

There is nothing wrong with long-term renting per se: it’s the norm in most European countries, where the law tends to favour tenants. And so it should: a tenant’s need for secure shelter takes moral precedence over a landlord’s right to safeguard his income.

And that’s the moment you finally let the mask slip, and reveal yourself for the socialist thief that we all figured you were anyway when we saw who you were writing for…

8 comments for “Lynsey Hanley Lets The Mask Slip…

  1. john in cheshire
    June 16, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I think Landlords should be able to determine the political bent of potential tenants. It’s possible all the lefties would then be sleeping in cardboard boxes, where they belong.

    • Loki
      June 16, 2012 at 11:49 am

      🙂 😀

  2. Uncle Badger
    June 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    The ‘impossibility of raising a deposit’? Well yes, dear, if you had your heart set on Cheyne Walk, that might well be the case.

    More whining from the entitled generation.

    • June 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Spot on!

  3. June 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    As a small scale landlord, who had non-paying tenants who finally skipped owing six months rent, I have little sympathy.

    Yep, I got the CCJ. Nice wallpaper, little else.

  4. johnnyrvf
    June 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    As a landlord in France the law is very much stacked in the favour of the tenant, I made the mistake of giving a chance to a young couple who decided not to pay sweet F.A. after the 1st month, it turns out they have spent the last 3 years screwing landlords and the system, however unlike the U.K. the govt. departments that have lent them money, e.g. the deposit ( it is a complicated system ) are chasing them and they will end up in front of a judge who will make them pay what is owed back, unlike the U.K. where county court judges have wished me good luck such is the pathetic enforcement of their rulings. Believe me small holding landlords have proportionally greater costs than big landlords, it is all down to economies of scale but at least over here I know the legal system although overly complicated, gets results.

    • June 17, 2012 at 6:51 am

      “…however unlike the U.K. the govt. departments that have lent them money, e.g. the deposit ( it is a complicated system ) are chasing them and they will end up in front of a judge who will make them pay what is owed back, unlike the U.K.”

      Excellent news, but too late for most landlords, I suspect.

  5. Furor Teutonicus
    June 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    XX Yes, as I suspected. You want rent-control, and to cripple the owner’s ability to raise his costs to recoup losses,XX

    I agree, Julia, basically. But when you see things happen as happened to our place, then….

    The “landlord” (As usual here, a housing association), decided that it would be a jolly good jape to cover the house in these foam lego brick things, to “keep the heat in, save energy, and stop drowning those bastard polar bears” (Me? NUKE the fuckin Polar bears for all I care!).

    No one was asked. We just got informed that, due to these improvements, we will now be paying 15% more rent! (Aa a result, four people, pensioners who have lived here from when the house was built in 1923, now have to move out, because they can not afford the extra)

    THAT kind of landlord trick needs QUICKLY kicking in the nuts.

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