Did you know that over a quarter of all housing in Brighton is in the private rental sector? That’s almost double the national average.
Did you also know that Brighton is now chasing hot on the heels of London for the dubious accolade of the most expensive place to rent property in the UK? A recent report claims that renters in Brighton are now spending over half their salary on rent before they’ve even paid their bills.
And, finally, did you know that 21% of private renters in England claim that housing is an important issue in deciding how they will vote in the forthcoming general election. That’s compared to just 8% of homeowners.
Why has Brighton rent become a political issue?
It’s easy to see why some politicians are putting rent and tenancy at the top of their list of priorities. But calls for a rent cap seem to make one and one somehow equal three.
Locally Caroline Lucas of the Greens has firmly supported such a proposal: “I am campaigning for caps like they have in France and Germany where rent can’t rise faster than inflation.”
Whilst no other party has placed its weight behind the proposal it does raise a serious question for landlords: what would a rent cap mean.
History tells us it is likely to decimate the private rented sector which shrunk during its last tenancy from 55% in 1939 to just 8% in the 1980s.
Will it solve the problems it seeks to address? Probably not: the answer to these is more likely to lie in the exorbitant cost of housing itself, and this issue affects all potential homebuyers, including landlords.
Will it happen? Again, probably not. But landlords should look out for tighter regulation, more restrictions and the likelihood of a three year tenancy.
I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime landlords looking for more security in these turbulent times do have the option of choosing Khalil’s Guaranteed Rent scheme which offers three to five years continuous rent at an agreed level, regardless of whether your property has tenants or a rent cap is introduced.