Category Archives: Housing

Half of renters fear they won’t be able to pay rent next year due to increases in the cost-of-living crisis

According to another article, “Just 250 people control wealth of £710.723bn, but 16.65 million people live in poverty”.

That could be the reason for the following:

Half of tenants are worried that they won’t be able to afford their rent next year, as 58 per cent have seen it rise this year amid the cost of living crisis.

Research from specialist lender Market Financial Solutions found that 49 per cent of renters were worried they would not be able to pay their rent in 2023.

At the same time, 48 per cent of landlords said they had increased rents on their properties due to rising interest rates and higher mortgage repayments.

In fairness, 56 per cent of landlords said they would allow their tenants some degree of flexibility when it came to making payments. Shame on the other 44 per cent!

The reason for the increases is higher interest rates from the Bank of England, meaning mortgage repayments have increased as well.

Economists have, of course, criticised the Bank for hiking the rates, because the ostensible reason – cutting inflation – is nonsense.

So why do it?

Why push up the level of anxiety in the UK when it is already critically high?

Is it some sort of co-ordinated effort to bankrupt the people of the nation and overload our already-under-resourced mental health services?

Source: Half of tenants are worried they won’t be able to pay rent next year, as 58% have seen rents increase amid the cost-of-living crisis

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Interest rate rise will affect YOU. Read this to understand how

The bank of England has just imposed the biggest interest rate rise in a generation – increasing the base rate to three per cent.

There’s no reason for it. The inflation we’re facing isn’t caused by any reasons that an interest rate rise can combat – and energy prices are falling back to normal levels. The hike in interest rates will not affect the cost-of-living crisis in any way.

Instead, it will prolong the recession that the Bank of England has already said will be the worst in many years – if not the worst ever:

And this will affect you – as Martin Lewis explained on Good Morning Britain:

Buckle up, buttercup! It’s going to be a long, hard winter – because the bankers (who, by the way, have had their ability to give themselves unlimited bonuses restored by the Tories) want you to suffer.

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Caught in a lie: so much for Sunak’s claim of integrity

PMQs: this might even be the moment, on October 26, when Rishi Sunak uttered the lie.

Rishi Sunak lied to Parliament during his very first Prime Minister’s Questions, according to the verification organisation Full Fact.

Here’s what researchers there have discovered:

Sunak’s words were clear, and implied clearly that he had seen information showing that a record number of dwellings had been built.

But no such information exists – or it would have been handed to Full Fact.

He lied.

Deliberately misleading Parliament in such a way is a serious breach of the Ministerial Code.

Boris Johnson is currently facing an investigation of claims that he lied to Parliament, that could lead to him being stripped of his job as an MP.

Sunak’s transgression is not quite as bad – but it is clear that he should be recalled to the Commons to set the record straight and apologise for trying to mislead us all.

And his claims of honesty and integrity now lie in tatters.

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Does Therese Coffey really know nothing – apart from how to take donor cash?

Therese Coffey: not the best person to ask for a crackdown on smoking?

Therese Coffey proved her worthlessness as deputy prime minister in an interview with Kay Burley of Sky News.

Asked if the government was abandoning its target for building affordable homes, she said she didn’t know anything about it.

Burley then reminded her that, as deputy PM, she should:

Meanwhile, the Guardian has claimed that Coffey, as Health Secretary, is ending plans for a campaign to crack down on smoking.

Could this be because she herself smokes and has accepted hospitality from the tobacco industry?

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Martin Lewis on why government must act BEFORE CHRISTMAS on mortgages

The ‘Money Saving Expert’, Martin Lewis, spoke up on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to urge the government to act on mortgage costs, saying a plan is needed before Christmas:

He highlighted three core issues: interest rates, the affordability test and correction in the house price market:

Mr Lewis also spoke about the government’s decision not to run an information campaign on how to save money on energy bills – and how it is lunacy to suggest such a campaign is too expensive when it could save millions from what the government is expecting to pay to energy firms when subsidising our bills:

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Are you ready to lose your home to Tory economic stupidity?

The rise in interest rates means people with mortgages are having to pay more to keep their homes than at any time since the late 1980s.

Many of them won’t be able to sustain the payments at a time when the cost of living is rising across the board. That means people are going to lose their homes.

Here’s a video to explain it:

The issue was also discussed on the BBC’s Any Questions – with politicians predictably disagreeing wildly about the solution (I’ve had to split the audio file into three for upload purposes:

So we can have cheap, new housing – but it will be built on our valuable Green Belt land.

Or we can have cheap, new housing – but in unregulated zones created by the Tory government, and therefore probably won’t be worth having.

Whatever housing is offered to us, it probably won’t have the social infrastructure surrounding it that people actually need in order to live there.

Let’s be honest: This Writer can’t see any of the above as being a solution.

This Tory-created nightmare is just creating problem after problem.

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Liz’s legacy: crashing pound and pensions, housing crisis, inflation, unemployment. What’s to be done?

Liz Truss: “Duh… what did I do?”

Economist Richard Murphy has given his verdict on the result of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s new economic direction for the UK – and it is damning.

But he has also done something far more important; he has suggested ways forward for the UK. Principal among those is making sure the Conservative Party is never allowed into power on its own again, so it can never again ruin the finances of millions of people for the benefit of a few spoilt rich kids.

It’s the first positive series of suggestions This Writer has seen.

See what you think – and be sure to send those thoughts in via the comments section:

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Under-30s are paying unaffordable rent – are the Tories ruining their own future?

Hot on the heels of the energy prices crisis comes the revelation that a growing number of people aged below 30 are being forced to pay unaffordable amounts in rent.

40 per cent of them are now paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent – a five-year high, according to figures by property market consultancy Dataloft.

The data suggests under-30s are now paying more of their earnings on rent than any other working-age groups.

It seems rents are increasing because fewer houses are on the market after landlords decided to sell properties because of rising taxes, charges and maintenance costs.

As a result, people are offering more than the asking price to landlords, just to secure a property.

The government reckons it has taken action via a £37 billion support package to help households with rising costs.

It also says plans announced in June would ban landlords from evicting tenants in England without giving them a reason, and give renters more power to challenge unjustified rent increases and poor conditions, providing renters with a “fairer deal”.

But you’ll notice there’s no effort to provide more rented housing to lower the costs.

And this leads us to a vital question: are the Tories poisoning their own future?

I was listening to the A World To Win podcast in which author Phil Burton-Cartledge suggested that the Tories are in decline because they rely on older people voting for them – but this isn’t a consequence of age but of the social circumstances surrounding age.

Older people vote Tory because they have accumulated property – but property acquisition is starting to break down: “If you can’t get younger people onto the housing ladder, then the Conservatising effects of property will not have the same consequences.”

Host Grace Blakeley added: “The housing crisis, combined with issues around employment, progression and wages, the cost of childcare, have forcibly extended a lot of people’s youth such that, whilst you can say there’s always going to be plenty of old people, actually a lot of Gen Xers and Millennials will be young in attitudes as well as in living standards for much longer.”

And here, it seems, younger people can’t even think of buying a home because they can’t even afford to rent.

How are the Tories ever going to get these people to vote for them, when the Tories have taken away all their hopes of social status?

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DWP threatens court action against man who owes just 2p

We’ve heard the expression, “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”, but this is ridiculous.

It seems that a man whose sole contact with the benefit system was a week on Housing Benefit has been contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions about an overpayment – of just 2p.

The letter, which cost more than the alleged overpayment, threatens court action that would be even more expensive if Damien Dove, of West Rainton in Sunderland, fails to pay up.

It states – in all seriousness: “If you cannot pay this amount in full we can discuss terms for repayment… We recommend that payments are made by Direct Debit.”

Mr Dove, 53, has said he will pay but questioned whether the DWP was “having a laugh”.

The Department itself has pointed out that the debt is actually owed to local government, which administers Housing Benefit.

Apparently the DWP is required to collect such debts when requested, and the process is automated, meaning no human being was involved in the notification process.

That seems feasible – but it still isn’t good enough. If collection of a debt costs more than the debt itself, then it clearly isn’t worth the effort.

There is no reason this cannot be written into any automated debt collection process and it staggers the imagination that it was not anticipated before such a process was implemented.

What’s even more astonishing is that nobody has mentioned making these changes now.

Source: Department of Work and Pensions demands man repay 2p | Metro News

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Renters ‘Refund’ Bill: there has to be a catch. Can anybody see what it is?

Rent: are the Tories really going to reverse the hated changes imposed by Margaret Thatcher, that made tenants practically powerless to stop landlords walking all over them?

The instant This Writer saw that the Conservative government is planning to allow tenants to reclaim their rent from “dodgy” landlords, I questioned it.

There has to be a catch, right? This is the Tory Party – the party that puts landlords over tenants and would return us to Rackmanism and rack-renting at the flip of a coin.

Maybe Michael Gove is trying to make himself look good ahead of the now-inevitable Conservative leadership contest…

Whatever the reasons, I remain staggered to be able to relay to you a decent policy from the Conservative government:

Tenants will be given new powers to claim refunds on their rent from landlords if their homes fall below standard in the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector since the 1990s.

The Government published it’s long-awaited ‘Fairer Private Rented Sector’ White Paper with reforms which are set to be brought into law under the Renters Reform Bill.

If they become law, experts say the White Paper’s proposals will directly improve the lives of millions of people and become the most radical thing to happen to the private rented sector since Thatcher’s deregulation and the introduction of Buy to Let mortgages in the early 1990s.

Measures include:

Abolishing “no fault” Section 21 evictions: S.21 allows a landlord to evict their tenant with just two months’ notice without having to give them a reason. In recent years this sort of eviction has become a leading cause of homelessness and there have been reports of renters being evicted when they ask for basic repairs.

Overhauling tenancy agreements: The Government is proposing a shift from assured shorthold tenancy agreements (ASTs) that generally run for six or 12 months to open-ended tenancies.

No more rent hike clauses: The Government wants to end arbitrary rent review clauses which allow landlords to hike up rents without justifying them.

Improving basic standards of rented homes: According to the government, 21 per cent of private renters are living in “unfit” homes which means they are damp, mouldy and contain electrical hazards. The White paper proposes to make the Decent Homes standard law in the private rented sector, which means homes must be free from serious health and safety hazards, and landlords must keep homes in a good state of repair, so renters have clean, appropriate and useable facilities. But how will cash-strapped local authorities enforce this?

New housing ombudsman to make landlords accountable: the aim is to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be settled quickly, at low cost, and without going to court, with powers to compel landlords to issue an apology, take remedial action, and/or pay compensation of up to £25,000 in the form of refunds on rent.

Ban on landlords refusing to rent to benefit claimants: Landlords are not supposed to discriminate against people receiving benefits (known as No DSS) or families but they do. The white paper promises to make it illegal for landlords or agents to have blanket bans on renting to these people.

The right to keep pets: Private renters the right to have a pet and say that landlords cannot “unreasonably deny” them this.

The big irony of all these reforms is that landlords (or alleged landlords) like Philip Davies and Christopher Chope have filibustered (talked out) attempts at rent reform in Private Members’ Bills – but will probably support this.

Source: Renters Reform Bill: Tenants’ rent to be refunded by dodgy landlords as Michael Gove reverses Thatcher reforms

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