The British conservative government trumpets the importance of home ownership. It is so important that charitable housing associations are to be forced to sell their properties at a discount to existing tenants. Well, let us reflect:
If property ownership merits such high priority, why does the government not grant a “right to buy” against those who have “bought to let” a second property?
After all, thousands of people have bought second properties purely as investments to secure rental income and capital growth. Private tenants have little security of tenure, little control over rent increases and have no share of the property value.
Therefore, if we must think in terms of property ownership as being so important, then if anyone deserves the right to buy at a discount, it is those tenants — or at the very least they deserve the right to a share in the property’s increase in value.
What is, dare I say, sauce for the social tenant goose should also be sauce for the private tenant gander.