Figures reveal nearly half houses sold under 'Right to Buy' are rented out by private landlords

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Figures have revealed that nearly half of council properties sold in the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme are now owned by private landlords.

And statistics collected by London Assembly Member Tom Copley show that Enfield Borough Council is losing money through the scheme.

The government policy allows people in council houses to buy their own property.

However, the figures show that 2,264 out of 4,539 properties sold by the council through the scheme are now owned and rented out by private landlords.

There is also a £150.01 difference in the average weekly rents of council homes, at £86.30, and private homes, at £236.31, in the borough

On average, £70.78 more is being paid out in housing benefit to those in private rented accommodation, including former Right to Buy properties, compared to those in social rented accommodation.

Edmonton MP Andy Love said: “This report shows that the Right to Buy scheme is completely broken.  Not only have local authorities lost a significant amount of their housing stock for far less than the market value, but, in many cases, they now have to subsidise higher private rents via Housing Benefit on the very properties that used to be theirs.

“It is completely unacceptable that, instead of helping people into home ownership, under-regulated private landlords’ pockets are being lined while struggling families are left without affordable accommodation.  It is not surprising then that housing is one of the biggest challenges London faces.

Councillor Ahmet Oykener, cabinet member for housing admitted that this is a “problem” and has called on the Government to act.

He said: “The Government needs to lift the borrowing to the housing revenue account. This is not just an Enfield problem but a London-wide problem in that there is a shortage of housing.

“We cannot expect to replace one council house for another one when we are losing money on each house and that creates a lot of pressure on our budget.”

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