Will the right to buy be extended for private tenants?

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The pro-market think tank Civitas has published a book that promotes the idea of extending the right to buy scheme to private tenants.

Currently local authority tenants have the right to buy their home at a discount price after a number of years renting. The government is extending the right to buy scheme to tenants of housing associations.

A Civitas book by Peter Saunders, titled Restoring a Nation of Home Owners, proposes that the right to buy scheme should be further extended to tenants of private landlords.

According to this report, UK house ownership has fallen from 70 per cent of the population in 2000 to less than 65 per cent today. The book analyses the reasons for this and suggests ways to make it easier for more people to become home owners.

Saunders proposes that tenants in properties over 25 years old in which they have lived for several years, should be able to buy their home at up to 35% discount. Saunders is aware that landlords need to be able to make a profit so that they are not deterred in investing in the buy-to-let market. This would involve a reduction or abolishment of capital gains tax for these transactions.

The book also wants to see the Bank of England’s role extended to regulating house prices so that they are more affordable for first time buyers.

Any strategy that is used to increase home ownership will also boost the mortgage lending and mortgage protection insurance market.

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