Sadiq Khan urges landlords to sell properties to councils



London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged landlords who own former council homes to sell them back to councils, rather than to other private landlords.

Last year Khan unveiled his Right to Buy-back scheme, which aims to increase the stock of council houses – effectively undoing the effects of the Tory policy, Right to Buy.

Khan said: “For more than 40 years, London’s precious council homes have been disappearing into the private sector, often never to be replaced.

“I am proud that, thanks to my interventions, we have brought council homebuilding back up to levels not seen since the 1970s and I’m hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm I see from boroughs across London for building new council homes and using my Right to Buy-back scheme to return homes to public ownership.

“These homes were built for the public good and it has been painful to watch them disappear into private portfolios.”

So far, the Right to Buy-back scheme has seen 14 London boroughs spend £152 million to buy 1,577 former council homes, which are then being used as homes for social rent or to homeless households.

Indeed, two London boroughs have used 39 homes to house Afghan refugees.

A total of 1,756 council homes in London were sold through Right to Buy in 2021, while this continues an ongoing trend.

Indeed, since 1980 more than 300,000 council homes in London have been sold under the Right to Buy scheme.

Boris Johnson announced the government would expand Right to Buy in June so that housing association tenants could buy their homes at a discounted cost, while people on housing benefits payments could put these towards buying a home.

Khan said he would make £1million in funding available to help boost uptake of the programme, as well as a further £4m fund to help boroughs unlock land for council homes.

Comments 2

  1. So we have a landlord bashing politician urging landlords to sell ex council properties back to councils. If you have been anti landlord threatening to introduce rent control and all other nasty anti landlord rubbish and then you want to urge landlords to sell ex council properties back to those who have screwed up your business? These landlord bashing clowns must think that we like be punished – perhaps he would like them all to be sold back at a massive discount that the original purchasing tenants would have benefited. He then make it sound as if the current investment landlords benefited from the discount (which the original council tenant benefited) which will not be the case, in most instances. These people do not seem to understand working with landlords would have been far more productive. Why would any landlord love Sadiq Khan enough to want to deal with him or his mates? Any sensible landlord will want to sell to the open market at the best price. That does not need “urging” just the bigest bank balance.

  2. About 40% of houses sold under right to buy end up in the private rented sector after a few years. The reason for this is not clear. Perhaps the ex tenant sells up when they are allowed to and makes a good profit and moves into the PRS or back into the social sector. Or maybe they were fronting the purchase for somebody else and got a cut when the house was sold on The house, if still surrounded by councils houses may be less attractive to owner occupiers but will attract BTL landlords. Especially as traditionally Council houses were robust and built to last.

    Some of my rental properties are ex council and the neighbours who are still with the Council marvel at how quickly repairs get done, while they wait months for the Council to act. We know that a lot of social housing while cheaper than PRS housing is in a poorer state. As an example, social housing is currently exempt from EICR checks. Why? Because at least 25% would not pass.

    Would I consider selling them back? The way things are looking for the PRS, the answer would probably be yes, but only at current market price.

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