The Daily Mirror’ reports;
“We told yesterday how Charles Gow, the son of Margaret Thatcher’s Housing Minister, owns 40 out of 120 ex-council flats on one estate. Landlords who benefited from the Tories’ right-to-buy policy are charging several times council rents – and the taxpayer is plugging the difference with benefits.
We told yesterday how Charles Gow, the son of Margaret Thatcher’s Housing Minister Ian Gow, owns 40 out of 120 ex-council flats on one estate in Roehampton, South West London.
Reader Claire Newton said: “I live in one of these properties.
“If it was still council, the rent would be approx £360 per month, which we could easily afford. Unfortunately it was sold and now it costs £800 per month. Sadly, we cannot afford that and we have to rely on housing benefit to help cover the excess. This is not something I am proud of but we have no other options.”
Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of Westminster City Council, said:
“Thousands of Council flats are now in the hands of buy-to-let landlords who are making a small fortune by letting these flats at rents three or four times higher than Council rents. Many residents on low or middle incomes simply cannot afford these huge rents.
“At the same time, the council is paying out thousands of pounds in housing benefit to buy to let landlords to house families in housing need in former council flats. This is a crazy way to spend public money. Council tenants are now in a minority on many council estates in Westminster.”
Tony Belton, Labour ¬councillor for Wandsworth, South West London, said:
“I am shocked that it is on the scale exposed by the GMB and the Mirror. The Council could have bought back these right-to-buy properties when the owners moved on and provided more affordable housing for those in need.
“But instead rich speculators, often closely linked to the Tory party, have made millions out of exploiting public assets. Frankly it stinks.”
We used Freedom of Information Act requests to discover that 32% of ex-council properties in 13 local authorities around England are rented out to tenants.”http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ex-council-housing-racket-private-landlords-1745460