Ok, a slight turn of phrase there on the classic, an Englishman’s home is his castle but when it comes to the UK the Brit’s are still a nation of homeowners.
It is interesting to note that up until the mid to late 1960’s, more people rented their home (albeit mostly from the local council) than owned their own. In fact, I was surprised to read that in 1921, over 75 % of homes in England and Wales were privately rented with the remaining 25 % being owner occupied.
It was only after the Second World War, when the Beatles were rocking, that people started to buy instead of rent .. but instead of owning our property outright, we borrowed money from banks and building society’s to buy them. The roots of the growth of the private rental sector can be drawn back to the late 1970’s early 1980’s, when the council houses began to be sold off under the right to buy scheme. Even though 15,010 households in Melton were owner occupied, in 2001 and that number had increased to 15,498 households by 2011, the percentage of homeowner properties in Melton dropped drastically from 76.5 % to 72.1 %. This was because whilst an additional 1,875 properties were built in Melton between 2001 and 2011, a lot of them were bought as buy to let investments, thus more than doubling the number of private rental properties in Melton. In fact, the number of properties in Melton, that were privately rented jumped from 1,567 in 2001 to 3,054 in 2011!
With stagnation in the number of people who own their home in Melton and no more council houses being built, this is increasing the number of people looking to renting. With the Melton Borough Council house waiting lists being in the 5 to 10 year range for a decent property in a decent location, it shouldn't be forgotten that it is Melton landlords who house tenants waiting for a council house. Melton landlords do not receive any subsidies from HMRC and income tax is paid on rent paid by the tenant combined these reduce the cost on the tax payer.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom in Melton, as we have noticed more and more of the younger generation are renting because they can‘t afford to buy (raising a deposit being the sticking point for most), and a high percentage of the expansion in private renting actually from those who need and want temporary accommodation. There are even a few landlords who rent their own Melton property out for the short term, for ease, and not necessarily purely for profit.