Why We Should All Love a Council House

Why we should all love a council house!

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I’ll begin…

Back in the misty depths of time, not quite as far back as ancient Babylon, but a few decades back to that awesome period known as the 1980s…

In this era there lived in mythical beast: Margaret Thatcher.

Love or hate her, this Iron Lady was responsible for passing a scheme in the Housing Act in 1980, meaning that tenants of council houses now had the Right to Buy the home they rented from their local housing association.

By some strange twist of fate another mythical beast/legend occurred in this same year: me!

It is therefore a beautiful coincidence that those ex-local authority properties we find in council housing estates are my favourite type of property to buy – and I’ll tell you why:

  • Since 1980’s Right to Buy policy was introduced, 6.5 million council houses became tenant-owned in the UK. As a result ,nowadays there is plenty of this stock type to go at as more and more of them come on the market for re-sale
  • Ex-council houses are generally very large and roomy – just what an ideal tenant family would like to rent!
  • They generally have gardens with them, often large ones at that. We know that outdoor space is desirable for those looking to rent, especially those with kiddies who need somewhere to run around and burn off steam
  • Ex-council houses are generally in good nick, as before sale it was down to the council to manage the upkeep and maintenance of them. You might find them a little outdated, but not very often will you find that they are dangerous.
  • They are well-constructed, but beware: some types are made of prefabricated concrete, but a lot of the time these beauties are made of my favourite traditional red brick which has lasted decades. Strong and sturdy, that’s what we like!
  • They are very good value for money, typically much cheaper than your other local residential estates.

“But who would I rent such a house to?” I hear you say. 

Just normal families, from the local area!

And if you’ve got some pre-conceived stereotypical idea that all people who live on council estates are scruffy scumbags with a range of issues and problems, who would find himself at home on the Jeremy Kyle show… then you couldn’t be further from the truth.

What if I told you that I was brought up in council housing?

What’s going on here?
A well-dressed, clean, polite, well-cared, happy child tenant from a council estate dwelling?
Anathema, surely?!?!

When I mention this fact to people, occasionally, with select, narrow minded people, a look of disdain spreads across their face, as if I am going to mug them or stab them.

They give the impression that somehow I should feel ashamed of my past – which I don’t, and have no reason to. Where you’ve come from is no correlation to where you choose you’re going.

The last time I checked I definitely didn’t have 15 kids, a pending jail sentence and a drug addiction!

Those of you that have met me in real life will also know that I wouldn’t be seen dead in a chavvy tracksuit, and I am pleased to report that I have all my own teeth. The stereotype simply isn’t applicable to everyone.


…along with 17% OF ALL HOUSEHOLDS IN THE UK…

…the following successful celebrities all lived on council estates in their life?


My single mother brought me up in a very nice Council house, which she kept IMMACULATE. 

And hey ho, being settled in a nice house meant that I was able to progress in life, and escape the socioeconomic issues that were placed on us.

In my first childhood home. Loads of space in the garden to play; look how happy I am!

Being poor is not a crime.

But discriminating someone for it is.

And part of “My Why” is that because I personally benefitted by living rented council housing, I feel a moral obligation to assist with providing houses to kids that were just like me. Families that need a solid footing in life to enable them to improve their situation and their future.

Let me be clear on this: if you’ve had a tenant in the past who has caused you problems, it is not because they were a council tenant, or on benefits – it is because they were a wretch. 

Good people exist even in the lower demographics of society, and I think, as successful business owners, it is our duty help those that want to help themselves.

Many residents of council estates are proud people who want to better themselves – and Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme meant that those who worked hard could get on the housing ladder, and thus fulfil that great British Dream of owning your own house.

But isn’t there a shortage of housing?

Buying all the council houses means there’s less houses for those in need surely?

Not quite.

The ones we’re buying have already been bought at least once before. They’ll never get to go back and be council properties again. And yes, that has caused a massive strain on the availability of rental housing, but we as property investors haven’t caused that. If anything, we’re doing the councils a favour by bringing rental accommodation back into use, especially if you choose to house families on benefits.

What about rental demand for an ex-council house?

Here in Leeds there are 24,000 households on the housing register and yet they can only let around 5,000 properties a year. People are on a waiting list to bid for properties as they become available, and a quick glance on the Leeds Homes website tells me the wait to be able to bid for a two-bedroomed house can be anywhere from 3 months – right up to 58 months.

And so, we know why ex-local authority houses make excellent properties, we know there is strong demand to fill them, we know we can rent them to nice normal families, and you know why I personally think we should be helping.

Go out and buy some ex-council houses and help those families thrive!

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