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When Corbyn speaks of 'rogue landlords' is he too gutless to address the main problem, estate agents?   Share:  
Thrust of argument: Shelter claims that about 30% of private rented accommodation in Britain is of an unacceptable standard. Direction of resistance / implied resistance: Recently I have asked numerous estate agents to show me properties both for me to rent and for me to buy - with almost no exceptions they had damp problems, bad smells - even the ones whose interior had been beautifully done up.

Agents constantly assumed that it was for buy to let, and they are very keen on selling to buy to let buyers - buy to let buyers often aren't fussy about things like smells - because they aren't going to live in it themselves. Agents love this and encourage that kind of buying - particularly with one bedroom flats. The result is that because agents prefer to sell to people who aren't that concerned with how well you can live inside such a flat, the quality of flats just goes down and down and down.


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Removal of resistance: Corbyn needs to address this head on and take on these agencies, these middle men. Unification: In such an environment it is very hard for any buyer at all to get anything decent at a fair price - because anything decent is necessarily more expensive than the bulk of properties - so that ultimately only richer buyers can afford non-shit purchases or non-shit rentals.

One agent I spoke to rang me to say he had two flats matching my requirements - I put it to him that I'd seen too many flats which smell bad and so I'd rather not see any unless they definitely are clean and 100% ideal to live in on the inside. He sheepishly admitted that out of the 2 he had to show me 0 of the 2 matched this particular characteristic.

A society where estate agents routinely show you flats to rent or buy which have bad smells on the inside is a society in trouble, ethically and progressively - evolutionarily moving backwards.

One of them showed me a place yesterday without mentioning until we got there that the huge communal rubbish area was right in front of the flat, right in front of it, in front of its 'private' terrace with tables and chairs.

Later the agent 'reassured' me that the rubbish is collected every tuesday. "There are no delays" he said. I told him that of course there are delays if it's wednesday, thursday, friday, etc. The way such sales people rape the English language is very sad. What's worse is that 99/100 estate agents will do this to you. Corbyn is being a complete idiot if he makes this about anyone but the agencies - they are the ones who set this status quo in stone. We need most agencies dealt with by state mechanisms - so that they can only sell decent properties - so that if something has damp smells or other flaws which technically make it a lower standard of living, it is not legal to rent or sell it until it has been resolved. Corbyn need do nothing more. By picking phrases like 'rogue landlords' he is appealing to certain underclasses with class hatred - he is effectively demonising property owners - without saying a single word about the agencies who actually cause all this grief, who perpetuate it and whom few small landlords have any power to control.
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