Right to Buy was set in motion to help renters become homeowners, transferring property from the state to the people who had been living there. A controversial move at the time it was instigated in 1980, Right to Buy has been blamed for vastly reducing the amount of social housing. Figures show this may be even worse than first thought, as 40 per cent of these homes have been found to now belong to private landlords.
Two in five council flats which have been sold off in the last 35 years are now thought to be rented out privately, according to the responses from 91 councils under a freedom of information request by magazine Inside Housing.
127,762 flats and maisonettes have been sold by these councils since 1980, and approximately 48,000 of these leaseholders are registered as living away from the property. The indication here is that they are renting them out. This is 38 per cent of the total amount sold through the Right to Buy scheme.
Of course, some of those acting as landlords may have moved out and consequently rented the space out, but the data seems to indicate that a lot of private landlords bought them up quickly off the new owners.
With huge discounts available through the Right to Buy scheme, it gives a lot of leeway for people to make a big profit by selling the property on and moving out.
One of the major problems with this is that people trying to move into their own properties, whether by buying or renting, are facing incredibly high prices. With much less social housing left, and supply for new houses low, property value is soaring and people just can’t move out of their parents’ homes.