I would welcome the regulation of the buy-to-let market in terms of bringing loans under the treating customers fairly rules. Arrears in the buy-to-let sector are rising, particularly as a result of tenants failing to pay their rent, and with buy-to-let lending not currently regulated by the FSA, landlords run the risk of being treated unfairly with lenders repossessing in undue haste.
But the motivation behind the proposed regulation seems to be to penalise landlords; tightly control house price growth; and constrict the growth of the private rented sector. With very tight regulation, lenders will turn away from the sector and even fewer buy-to-let products will be available. To make property an unattractive investment option would be irresponsible, to say the least. A growing number of young people are disillusioned with the prospect of owning property, and the rest are unable to get on the ladder. With only a negligible social sector to pick up the slack, this begs the question, ‘where are people going to live?’