As I once said before,
I think that this could be accomplished by repealing section 1(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925 which provides,All rent paid on land will buy a beneficial interest as will any investment in the property. The renter will immediately become a beneficiary and will then have all the settled equitable rights and benefits that are already in place.
which would leave section 1(1)(a) of the same Act which states,The only estates in land which are capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law are— ...
(b) A term of years absolute.
If it wasn't possible to rent, what would happen?The only estates in land which are capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law are—
(a) An estate in fee simple absolute in possession;....
By making the suggested change it would only be possible to have legal ownership until you decided to sell the property, if you wanted to
rentthe property you would only be capable of slowly selling portions of it. The money that passed to the landlord as rent would make the renter a beneficial owner, he would own a proportion of the property in direct proportion to the amount of money that he had paid as
rent. In other words, his
rental paymentswould buy equity.
When the tenant wanted to move on he could rely on trust law to ensure that his beneficial interest was secure. Overnight the country would become a property owning democracy. (Recall that the Thatcher government did something similar with council houses when they instigated their right to buy scheme. The amount that a tenant had paid in rent was taken into account when the tenant applied to buy the property).
Before dismissing the idea consider rentcharges. If you've never heard the expression rentcharge imagine that you own some property which you want to sell, perhaps to a builder. As part of the sale you negotiate that the owner of the land pays you money forever just because you once owned the land. The purchaser (builder) buys the land and pays you an annual income; if he's a builder, when he sells the property the rentcharge is passed on to whoever buys the property. Further, these rentcharges could go back hundreds of years. They aren't consider to be fair and are being phased out.
For more background on rentcharges consider, Report on Rentcharges (Report)  EWLC 68 (pdf).
If we're prepared to scrap rentcharges: why not scrap rent? Aren't the reasons for scrapping rentcharges the same reasons for scrapping rent?