Crass idiocy is still crass idiocy, ya kno?

For some time, it has been government policy to privilege the interests of private landlords over other homeowners. This process began in the mid-1990s when banks introduced buy-to-let mortgages, which assessed buyers’ creditworthiness on the rental yield from the property, rather than their existing income. Easy finance gave landlords an advantage over first-time buyers.

Banks were not directed to do this. They found out that it made sense to do this. This is a market, not government, response.

Buy-to-let landlords have also enjoyed tax relief: mortgage interest relief, and a wear-and-tear allowance.

Just like every other business in the country – the cost of providing the good or service is deducted from the revenues from doing so before tax on the profits is applied.

David Renton is a campaigner and barrister.

We must therefore conclude that David Renton is an idiot.

There are solutions. Take the idea of long-term renters in the private market establishing a right to buy the home in which they live. How is the policy likely to look to older homeowners? If it was directed at the single homeowner who split a two-storey house in half and rented out one floor of it, many other homeowners would find the idea objectionable.

But imagine if it was targeted at landlords owning a minimum of five properties (there are enough landlords in that position for it to make a difference). When someone is hoarding five homes, why shouldn’t they be forced to allow others to have a chance of owning their own homes, not to seek profit but to simply live there?

Politicians need to be brave enough to explain to voters that the hoarding of properties by commercial landlords doesn’t just hurt young renters but many homeowners too. A Labour party that forges a cross-generational alliance on this basis could reap serious rewards.

Yep, a mindgarglingly stupid man.

Because you’ve just banned pensions and insurance companies from providing developments of rental homes – even, rentals at affordable rents, as quite a number of them are doing.

In fact, taken as it is, this proposal bans housing associations……

19 thoughts on “Crass idiocy is still crass idiocy, ya kno?”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    When someone is hoarding five homes

    Like a dragon, on her pile of rubies and gold with whisps of flame and sulpherous smoke emanating from her evil snout.

    by commercial landlords

    Bother! Image ruined: just a classic class enemy from central guardian casting.

  2. ’ When someone is hoarding five homes…’

    When someone is hoarding five cars…

    When someone is hoarding five pairs of shoes…

    When someone is hoarding five necklaces…

    Socialists are deeply unhappy people, aren’t they?

  3. Interesting to consider what effect the effective banning of the building of homes for rent would have.

    Everyone sleeping on the street perhaps?

  4. Hoarding is good. Mammals got this far by hoarding fat in their own bodies for winter and childbirth or hibernating with a stash of nuts and worms. But if someone can find a way of hoarding electricity that’s cheaper than the current fashionable nonsense, then that would be marvellous.

  5. Barristers in certain areas of law (eg discrimination, human rights, social housing, immmigration) should more accurately be called para-legal PR consultants to reflect the real nature of their work, viz

    Cherie Booth
    Amal Clooney
    David Renton

  6. @ Boganboy
    No, in caves.
    The Town Planners would block anyone trying the bronze age habit of building your own home with wood gathered from the forest.

  7. What’s the rationale for interest to not be tax-deductible for individuals – anyone know?

    In fact, why is interest tax-deductible at all? Understand it’s an expense, and we aim to tax profits. But not all expenses are deemed taxable.

  8. Surely BTL letters can still deduce interest from tax like any other companies, they just need to form a company.
    If I borrow money to buy shares I can’t deduct the interest from this loan against my dividends and other income – why should houses be different for me?

  9. And the Scottish “government,” (hawk, spit) by banning sales of council houses, is hoarding how many homes?

  10. @John77 If we ever fall that far, Town Planners wouldn’t be an issue…

    If I’m forced back into stone age living, I will apply stone age solutions to busybodies who try to tell me what to do… With gusto and a complete lack of remorse.

  11. Believe me, there isn’t interest relief on mortgages anymore. For the past few years, the tax system has been changed to discourage BTL properties.

    Also, the proposed new environmental rules will make lettings even less attractive.

    ‘establishing a right to buy the home in which they live’- they can FO right there.

    No doubt the goal is to make us all tenants of the state.

  12. Please, please this article is all about turning renters, who usually vote Labour, into residential property speculators who usually vote Conservative or (New) New Labour. The problem for Conservatives and (New) New Labour is that the percentage of residential property speculators is falling and the percentage of renters is increasing, and the stock of public housing to sell at a big discount to renters to turn them into Conservative or (New) New Labour voters has been used up.

    The idea then is that BTLers who have more than 5 properties give just one vote to the Conservatives or (New) New Labour, so if their properties are sold to their renters, that means more voters for the Conservatives and New Labour. Just like local Conservative voting business owners and professionals were sacrificed during Thatcher’s and Blair’s harrowing of the north to destroy industries “infected” with trade unionism, a few losses for the greater good of “investors”, and the idea for big BTLers here is the same.

  13. “ Banks were not directed to do this. They found out that it made sense to do this. This is a market, not government, response”

    But you just know the author of this article is someone who wants to ban everything, ergo if there’s something the Government hasn’t banned then by definition it must be their policy to encourage it.

  14. For decades I’ve been campaigning to get landlords to let out the property above their shops as residential units. This will just destroy that, they will all go back to storage for the shops, or left empty. At the same time as the government and the market is killing off shops and reuse of of upstairs retail storage as residential accommodation is the most sane progression.

  15. ” why shouldn’t they be forced to allow others to have a chance of owning their own homes,”

    And just out of interest, who will be fixing the price? If it is to be a market price, why shouldn’t the renter/buyer just find a house that is on sale to buy? If it is to be below market, what will prevent the lucky tenant from selling it on at a profit?

  16. Again all the petty rentiers bellowing here don’t get the electoral politics: a landlord with 10 properties means 10 votes for Labour and 1 vote for New Labour or the Conservatives, and is therefore against the interests of big business. Same for housing associations and insurance etc. companies providing rentals, it is not different from council housing. Renting creates Labour tenant votes, owning creates (but only as long as prices rise fast) New Labour and Conservative rentier voters:
    «There were even prophetic council house sales by local Tories in the drive to create voters with a Conservative political mentality. As a Tory councillor in Leeds defiantly told Labour opponents in 1926, ‘it is a good thing for people to buy their own houses. They turn Tory directly. We shall go on making Tories and you will be wiped out.’ There is much of the Party history of the twentieth century in that remark.»
    «Is it true that when Clegg suggested there needed to be more social housing, Cameron told him it only turned people away from the Tories? “It would have been in a Quad meeting [the committee of Cameron, George Osborne, Clegg and Danny Alexander], so either Cameron or Osborne. One of them – I honestly can’t remember whom – looked genuinely nonplussed and said, ‘I don’t understand why you keep going on about the need for more social housing – it just creates Labour voters.’ They genuinely saw housing as a Petri dish for voters. It was unbelievable.”»
    «His Chancellor and chief political strategist, George Osborne, is constantly looking for new ways to create Tory voters.»

  17. “Buy-to-let landlords have also enjoyed tax relief: mortgage interest relief, and a wear-and-tear allowance”

    “Have enjoyed tax relief”? What does that even mean?

    “Mortgage interest relief”. It’s an expense. A cost. So yes, you get e deduction. Although not so much since reforms starting in 2016-17 which can create the absurd situation of you making a loss and still paying tax.

    “Wear and tear allowance” was abolished on 6th April 2026.

  18. If long term tenants acquire the right to buy the property that they are renting, surely that will mean that no landlord will be willing to have long term tenants, and will evict them in good time to avoid them acquiring extra rights.

    And, of course, if it only applies to landlords who own five properties, anyone who owns four would acquire another by forming a company to do so rather than buying it personally.

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