Right to Buy & Buy to Let

In October, the Scottish National Party decided to scrap the Right to Buy for Social Housing tenants. I’m wondering if the rest of the UK should follow suit.

According to Shelter, a recent report showed that “there were fewer social homes for rent than at any time since 1959 and alleged that “much of that decline has been as a result of right to buy”.

But is scrapping RTB the answer? Councils cannot build new homes, which leaves other Social Landlords to fill the gap. People do want to own their own home and roughly 720,000 homes have been bought this way since Margaret Thatcher enabled the scheme in 1980. Deciding whether to continue with the policy or scrap it is a tough decision to make – either way.

[ad#Google 200×200 right]There is no doubt that there is a huge shortfall in social housing and selling properties off is not helping the matter …… but 720,000 isn’t that many properties in nearly 30 years. Is it? I don’t really know. It works out at about 24,000 homes a year being sold under RTB. But how many are being built?

There are also some grumblings about what some are terming as mis-use of the RTB policy. It appears that some tenants are buying their home under the RTB scheme and then letting the property out. So what? I personally, can see nothing wrong with that – providing that same tenant isn’t then returning to their landlord claiming homelessness etc. I think what someone does with a property after purchase is entirely up to them.

Going back to the original question – should the rest of the UK follow Scotland and scrap the RTB scheme?

What do you think?

As always we welcome your comments on this article.

Author: CCHE Deb