I’m battling with feeling peeved that it took some media outlets years to wake up to the fact that renting is frequently horrific. I’m pleased for the publicity, feeling vindicated, but equally certain that so much of this new outrage stems from publicity surrounding the vile ,self-satisfied, smug, greedy, pompous, self-entitled, self-justified Wilsons and their ‘…but we have to raise the rents.’
I often wonder, why must rents rise. Is it necessity? Is it the expense of running and managing property? No. It’s done because of high demand, which is blatant profiteering. But you can’t get away with it everywhere.
Rents rose fastest on an annual basis in London, where they increased by 4.4%, followed by the south-west (3.4%) and the south-east (3.2%). Rents fell by 5.5%, or an average of £42, in eastern England, 2.8% in the West Midlands, and 2% in the north-east, Yorkshire and the Humber. Most of Scotland is falling in real terms, too – except Edinburgh
They’re not rocketing up where unemployment is high, is the basic fact here. So here’s the issue, the mammoth in the room - rent control.
Rent control is what we need. Labour are against it, as are Shelter. But rent control is essential, to stop rentiers thumbing their noses at reason, and indulging their rapacious acquisitive natures. The odious Wilson’s insist it is their feudal right to charge as much as they see fit, not because of their own costs or any justifiable need, but because they want more money. Rents rise because of a degenerate, over-arching desire for profit, not because of the need to cover necessary prices involved in letting homes – not even interest rates, and rises outstrip inflation.
Before the usual suspects whine that renting was stagnating in the 80’s, that was because of the large amount of owners and the reasonable price of home-owning – more owner-occupiers means less tenants, so lower rents. Buying the first of several homes cost just 2.5 of the average income, and wages were higher with bills much lower in comparison.
But here’s the point. These buildings are homes. Vital, essential, necessary homes for people to live in, not holiday cottages, or your pied-a-terre in the city. It’s a home.
When people can’t afford a home, or worse- nobody will let to them, then where will they live? The streets, that’s where, and homelessness, actual rough sleeping is on the rise.
Certain property ‘professionals’ are delighted by the rise in rents. They forget that increasing rents because of demand is profiteering. When house-building gets under way the likes of the Wilsons will get their richly deserved come-uppance. They lord it over people’s lives, masters of their security, peace and fate. Worse still dubious, flaky wealth-on-paper has made them judgemental. They don’t understand that they benefited from state ‘hand-outs’ – the Wilsons are the scroungers, not their benighted tenants.
Meanwhile note to the odious, rent profiteering Wilsons – local housing allowance is paid one month in arrears, even before Universal Credit/Cockup is introduced.
But then, those Wilsons resemble Edward and Tubbs from The League of Gentleman, which keeps me smiling. I take my fun where I can at times like this.