Main image credit: Getty DEBATE: Is there any merit to Labour’s idea of a ‘right to buy’ policy for private renters? Tuesday 3 September 2019 4:14 am by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTotal PastJohn Wick Stuntman Reveals The Truth About Keanu ReevesTotal PastManly BandsWe Put The Band in HusbandManly BandsMilitary BudThis Picture Shows Who Prince Harry’s Father Really IsMilitary BudBridesBlushThis Is Why The Royal Family Kept Quiet About Prince Harry’s Sister BridesBlushNext RefinanceThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryNext RefinanceArticlesmansionPrincess Diana’s Butler Speaks Out About Harry and Meghan Markle’s MarriageArticlesmansionYahoo! SearchResearch & Get Unlimited 5G Talk Text Data PlanYahoo! SearchWorld LifestyleBorn Into Billions: Kevin Bacon’s Wife Is One Of The Richest Heiresses In AmericaWorld LifestyleMaternity WeekThis Was Found Hiding In An Oil Painting – Take A Closer LookMaternity Week Britain’s opposition Labour party’s shadow Chancellor John McDonnell attends an event to set out his party’s approach to the Government’s Spending Review, in central London on August 29, 2019. – Britain’s new finance minister Sajid Javid on Wednesday firmed government plans to boost spending on schools, hospitals and police as the country prepares for life outside the European Union. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images) Eamonn Ives, a researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies, says NO. James Meadway, an economist and former adviser to John McDonnell, says YES. Opinion Meanwhile, landlords have enjoyed a win-win: rising property prices mean their wealth goes up at the same time as they can charge higher rents. Priced out of the market, unable – despite government schemes – to get a mortgage, people are pushed into renting privately, left at the mercy of their landlord. Sometimes they’re decent; too often (in our poorly regulated rental market) they’re not. Nobody should have to forfeit their property at the government’s behest, other than in the most urgent circumstances, like for the sake of national infrastructure. Applying this to private landlords is state-sanctioned theft, and will leave many wondering what the point of ownership is if the government can just seize property whenever it likes. It’s only fair to look at ways to reduce the injustice. After decades of failure, bold action like Labour’s rental right to buy is needed. By rebating the capital gains tax they’d pay in the process, with some going to themselves and some to the tenant to help with a deposit, everyone can win, without the state having to expropriate anything. While younger people still aspire to own a home of their own, there is a whole generation for whom this is a nigh-on impossible dream. Some 65 per cent of middle earners aged 25-35 owned their own homes in 1994; two decades later, it’s 27 per cent. More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.com Instead of pitting tenants and landlords against each other, we could turn renters into owners by incentivising landlords to sell up, should they wish to. Labour looking into a right to buy for private tenants could be a godsend for those tens of thousands of private renters who find themselves on the wrong side of Britain’s failed housing market. Share Is there any merit to Labour’s idea of a ‘right to buy’ policy for private renters? City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M. whatsapp James MeadwayJames Meadway is an economist and former adviser to shadow chancellor John McDonnell. and Eamonn IvesEamonn Ives is a researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies. He tweets @EamonnIves. whatsapp While it is heartening to hear that John McDonnell wants to widen home ownership, his medicine is worse than the disease. Forcing landlords to sell their properties to tenants at a price ambiguously deemed “reasonable” by a future Labour government should set alarms bells ringing.