I just heard on the radio that “Housing shouldn’t be for profit, housing is a basic human right” during a debate about the pros and cons of the government’s initiative to create some support among renting voters by announcing the results of their latest panic-think-tank session. There’ll be a consultation, apparently, on the abolition of the ‘no fault’ eviction currently available to landlords under Section 21 of the housing act .
In a carefully orchestrated jamboree of non-jounalism I was struck by the similarity – i.e. exact replication – of the stories posted on the BBC news website and the i (sic) newspaper describing the plight of a couple who’d been thrown onto the streets because they wanted some repairs done. Knowing this would at least divert some of the attention away from the Brexit fiasco, the cynicism of the government’s spin is almost as amateurish as the latest round of Theresa’s negotiations.
Now there are undoubtedly rogue landlords who take advantage of Section 21 to get ‘difficult’ tenants out of their property and replace them with more reliable contributors to a quiet life on whichever Costa is favoured at the moment and I’m all for making sure that tenants don’t get screwed by them. But the vast majority of landlords are trusted, caring people who want a a win-win partnership with their tenants. In fact, they’ve invested in their tenants’ future, and I’m sure that most of them would agree that some sort of change is needed, especially if it is balanced by a review of the Section 8 ‘eviction-for-not-paying-the-rent’ provisions.
I listen to the ‘Housing shouldn’t be for profit, housing is a human right’ argument in bewilderment that our education system has turned out supposedly intelligent people who can put forward this point of view . I look forward to the time when all these people can get together, throw in no money, no skills, no labour and no risk in order to provide housing to other people. Everyone involved will surely be happy as Larry to to make no profit from their commitment so they can go home to their no-cost house and not feed their kids.