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The landlady has offered £50 less per month as the lowest she can go. She is remortgaging, so using money from where we live to buy herself a house. Which you might say ‘fair enough’ to, but we’re also cursing.

We’ve had replies back from two local councillors as I’d emailed them asking what their policy would be for people like us who privately rent. Oh, and I also asked they don’t slag off any other party, as this election has got terribly boring with them all doing that.

The LibDems and the Tories are both in agreement more houses need building to bring overall rents down. While I would agree with that, I’m not exactly sure where more houses *could* be built in Carshalton unless we start building on parks which is never going to happen. There is a new development up the road, apartments for families they call it – five four bedroomed houses (luxury apartments it says) – over half a million each. There is another house on the road adjacent to ours. EXCEPT THESE PRICES ARE RIDICULOUS!!!! The chances of a first time buyer buying a two bedroomed cottage around here these days are non-existent. Instead we pay £1400 a month in rent. Two bed too small? Three bedroomed ones are now over half a million. Insane. It doesn’t help that the pictures all look like something from The Sims, but there’s no cheat to give you a few million extra pounds in real life.

So actually, I’d say more affordable housing needs to exist. Oh, and Tories, stop selling off old council houses as you’re not helping much at all, and never have. Tory man was helpful, but said ultimately that he doesn’t agree with rent controls because “they never work well” and “often result in unscrupulous landlords breaking the rules, and they also dissuade legitimate developers and investors building more properties because they fear they won’t be able to get their hoped-for return”

Mr LibDem said things which feel more appropriate to us. We’re in a marginal seat and he needs us to vote for him. He does confirm that successive governments have shunned the idea of rent capping, preferring to see a competitive private rented sector, and that governments have avoided rent caps as countries who have it had the amount of rented accommodation decreased. He agrees the long term solution is to build more affordable homes, of which the Lib Dem’s have a plan to – building 300,000 every year. I’m not entirely sure where they would be built in Carshalton, but that’s just a minor issue. Right?

Ms Labour has not yet replied, and I feel like their policies may be the ones which speak to us the clearest. I really want Ms Labour to reply and she really needs my vote. She also needs a better website. But she doesn’t want to close the local Children’s Centres whereas Mr Lib Dem does.

Right now, in Carshalton the rents are sky-high. As 40-something renters we’re already having our chances of a mortgage being put in jeopardy (according to a headline in the Metro which says 40-somethings can’t get them any more), but with the rents being so high we can’t save to buy.

There’s only one option left – a part buy, part let house of our own. Two came into my inbox this morning. One may be being built on a section of land where buildings were destroyed in the riots in Croydon, the other in a more residential area (yes I will be spending the night in Google Maps). The latter looks appealing. If we could get a mortgage for £100,000 (age permitting) we could get a share in a two bedroomed flat – losing outside space, but gaining ownership of something.

I really hate London.


** edited to add – I’ve done a few ‘who should I vote for’ polls of late, and everything says my views are Green with Labour coming a close second. So I feel in the interests of fairness I need to send an email to our local Green councillor.