The Tories may want to shrink the state back to levels last seen in the 1940s, but the private rental sector, as exemplified by the New Era situation, is ripe for state intervention. How much longer can governments allow the exploitation of millions of tenants in this country? Forcing them to sign "contracts increasing rents by 25%" will not be a practice restricted to one housing estate!
Not only is it morally wrong to allow profiteering by "predatory landlords" to flourish at the expense of innocent victims of poverty and austerity, it is economically ill-advised, when so much money could be better spent rejuvenating local economies, than fattening already bulging bank accounts. Furthermore, with months to a general election apparently "too close to call", shouldn`t political parties be vying with each other to attract the votes of "Generation Rent"? Admittedly, Labour has proposed increased regulation, but nothing that will actually reduce exhorbitant rents, making renting more affordable.
With numbers living in rented accommodation unlikely to fall in the immediate future, would it not be sensible for government to develop an Ofsted-type inspection body, to check all rented properties, and band them according to size, condition, safety and situation? Rents could then be set according to the band, and increases, annually, determined by the government. If landlords didn`t like having their profit margins reduced from the double figure levels as at present, they could always sell to councils or housing associations, thereby increasing the much needed social housing numbers, and decreasing the amount of tax avoided!