Property campaigner and zero deposit pioneer Ajay Jagota has responded to today’s Budget.
The head of the #ditchthedeposit campaign and founder of leading zero deposit renting firm Dlighted said:
“This was a budget billed as being targeted on housing, but by focusing on house building the Chancellor virtually ignored the 20% of people who live in privately rented homes.
“It’s all very well building more houses, but are renters going to be able to afford to buy them? A quarter of tenants have rented for at least 10 years, and almost half expect never to be able to buy. They can afford to pay mortgages as in most cases they’re paying a landlord’s mortgage! What they can’t afford is a deposit – and until they can save for that there’s no point cutting stamp duty.
“Banning tenancy deposits and encouraging landlords and letting agents to turn to deposit replacement insurance would allow the average renter to save close to £1000 towards a deposit. It would also allow the £4.1bn currently held in deposits to be transformed into Help to Buy ISAs.
“Housing in the UK needs fixing, but that doesn’t have to mean expensive gestures which we will be waiting a long-time to see the benefit from.
“As we’ve said in response to plans to regulate the lettings industry this week, the government doesn’t need to build an entire new regulatory infrastructure to better regulate lettings. It just needs to amend the Housing Act to require letting agents to receive rent in arrears, allowing the Financial Conduct Authority to become the de facto regulator of renting.
“Simple changes like this and reforming our out-dated, expensive and ineffectual deposit system would have an immediate impact on renting in the UK – at no cost to the Chancellor.”
Stamp duty to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000
To help those in London and other expensive areas, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 purchase by all first-time buyers will be exempt from stamp duty, with the remaining £200,000 incurring 5%.
Housing measures announed in Chancellor Phillip Hammond’ speech include:
- £44bn of government support for 300,000 new homes a year
- Councils to be given powers to charge 100% council tax premium on empty properties
- Compulsory purchase of land banked by developers for financial reasons
- A £400m fund to regenerate housing estates and £1.1bn to unlock strategic sites for development
- A review into delays in developments given planning permission but not begun
- The creation of a new homelessness task force
Ajay Jagota heads the #ditchdepositsnow campaign, which seeks to persuade the government to add an additional deposit free renting option to the three government licensed deposit protection schemes – mydeposits, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the Deposit Protection Scheme.
Dlighted is a zero deposit renting solution which uses deposit replacement insurance to allowing properties to be rented deposit free while providing landlords over £600,000 of protection against legal fees and property damage and a rent guarantee.