More than four in ten (42%) homes in London sold by local
authorities under the Right to Buy scheme are now owned by private landlords,
according to a report by Tom Copley, a Labour London Assembly Member.
Tenants living in these Right to Buy homes now pay more than
twice as much in rent as when local authorities owned the properties, the study
Ever since Margaret Thatcher declared her belief in a “property-owning
democracy” and introduced the Right to Buy scheme in 1980, the UK changed into
a country that saw homes as something to make money from, not just to live in.
This was illustrated by the buy-to-let boom of recent years, which has fed the
stereotype that Britons are obsessed with property.
However, very few people expected so many Right to Buy homes
to be owned by private landlords, especially in the capital.
Copley stresses: “Something has gone very wrong when tens of thousands of homes
built to be let at social rents for the public good are now being rented out at
market rates for private profit, sometimes back to the very councils that were
forced to sell them.
Right to Buy is failing London and should be abolished.”
report also found that 466 individuals or companies have the lease for at least
five Right to Buy homes each.
Government’s commitment to build a replacement for every social rental home
sold through Right to Buy is currently unfulfilled; Copley argues that it
shouldn’t be, if they are simply going to be sold off.
called on the Government to exempt new build council homes from Right to Buy
and create legislation that prevents Right to Buy homes being let on the
private rental market.
He says: “Many
councils are building new council homes again for the first time in a
generation. But we risk treading water or even going backwards if we continue
to lose precious existing homes to Right to Buy.
time when the need for homes at social rent level far outweighs the numbers
being built, it’s reckless to continue to force the discounted sale of council