The Financial Times series on extreme renting across Europe hit home for many of our readers and generated a heated debate in the comments below the articles.

Almost 2,000 readers posted their thoughts in the weeks following the publication of the articles — telling us about their own experiences of renting, their concerns about the affordability of the market, and their hopes for the future.

From high mortgage rates putting extra pressure on the market, to Airbnb havens impacting supply for local people, readers told us about the issues impacting renters.

A range of these comments are published below. Join the conversation by sharing your views in the comment section.

Housing should belong to nationals

No mention is made of the bulk buying of urban housing by asset management companies including pension funds. No mention is made of the non-resident tax domiciled foreigners purchasing housing.

Residential housing should be owned by nationals of the country and any corporate body that is ‘offshore’ for tax purposes should be barred from investing in residential real estate.

The ‘shortage’ is as much an artefact of unregulated tax dodging as it is of population growth etc. The worst situation is the UK. — Cesira

Treat housing as a social issue

Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark all have low rents, low increases and low numbers of people living with parents. All these countries treat housing as a social issue, invest in public goods and have grown-up governments.

In too many other countries across Europe, eg Ireland, property is treated as an investment. Supply is restricted so there are lots of winners. But there are lots of losers too — mainly the young and poor. — border exile

Sweden is not untroubled by rental issues

In Sweden, the housing market doesn’t work. You have to ‘know someone’ to get a rent-controlled apartment. This means that only rich people end up in these flats, subsidised by the poor. For most people the only option is to buy a wardrobe to live in next to the freeway somewhere. — Lalle

Homeowners wait for value to return

A large part of the problem is simply that the asking price of property for sale has not yet fallen sufficiently in response to the normalising of interest rates. This has created a situation where would-be owner occupiers would prefer to wait until they can get better value for money rather than risk overpaying now.

Meanwhile, would-be landlords are not buying because they can get a better yield from the bank. Both these factors lead to a shortage of supply in the rental market. Once asking prices fall significantly then rents will do too. — Industrialist

I feel sorry for my kids

This could go on for years.

Unless there is a massive recession with lots of jobs lost — rents could keep going up at 5 per cent to 10 per cent for a long time. We are not able to build our way out of this.

I feel sorry for my kids (and my retirement fund). — Alex Malibu

A decline in social housing

Well who would have thought that selling social housing at a discount and not replacing these properties would create a shortage of social housing . . . It is not even complicated logic. — The world is unfair

Move to Vienna!

I lived in London for four years and moved to Vienna last year (together with my American wife and our two dogs). Our rent is now half what we used to pay, our flat is much nicer and has a garden, our household income increased slightly (my wife’s salary is a bit lower but mine is substantially higher) and our quality of life is a lot better! — FTreader1122

London’s rocketing rents

Maths and logic don’t seem to affect London property prices — it is an abnormal market. — Ben84

Consider emigration

I moved to Dubai a year ago, got a reasonable job — not stellar pay for Dubai, but the hours are excellent and the organisation trustworthy. I’ll be able to buy my own home within two to three years, having left London with minimal savings. If you’re in your late 20s-30s, and still living in a flat share in London, seriously consider emigration. There is hope, and better opportunities, elsewhere. — Luminara17

Singapore gets it right

Singapore is a huge success story in terms of renting. The government is constantly, and I mean constantly, building public housing. — Cambridge bar

Airbnb is to blame

Airbnb depends on a business model that makes housing unaffordable to locals. Ban it or tax it to the point where it is not economically viable. — Italo007

I can’t afford my rent and I’m a teacher

I live in Manchester — I am a teacher, I live in a shared property because I cannot afford a flat plus bills on my own. You’re right, this crisis is happening across Europe. I could go work in China and be better off financially. — Riinarinrin

Restore a healthy balance in Greece

Instead of quotas and bans, why not just let the local communities tax short-term rentals and hotels at a higher rate? It seems the flourishing tourism industry and real estate owners in places like Santorini would easily be able to absorb this. Not only can the proceeds be used to subsidise and invest in public housing, but also increase teachers’ and public workers’ salaries. It would also marginally decrease the ratio of short vs long-term rentals. This can’t be a new idea, right? — Jco40

Rent control is not as good as it seems

Rent control sounds great to anybody who’s never lived in a city with rent control before. The reality is if you don’t have somewhere good to live, it’s a nightmare. This won’t stop populist politicians from supporting it even though it’s terrible economics. There’s only two ways to lower market prices. Reduce demand or increase supply. In the whole of economic history price controls have never worked. Build more homes! — 109

Europe can’t build to meet demand

It’s nuts that Europe can’t build to meet the demand. It’s not rocket science. Do what Dubai does and you can have a whole new district within two years. There just needs to be the will to do it. — HA0403

Build on the UK’s greenbelt

It’s time to start building on the green belts in England. These are not areas of ‘stunning beauty’ but are just buffers to prop up the house prices of the middle class. Trim them all by 50 per cent and use the funds from this to help expand local infrastructure as well as building affordable housing. — WAfiu

Landlords are not all bad

I know there are bad landlords but you never read about the vast majority who provide a good service and work hard. Thirty-four years of being a landlord and I’ve never been taken to court by a tenant. I’ve even been given thank you gifts from around half the tenants who rented my properties. I respond and act immediately, unlike many public bodies. Good landlords just get on with it. — World Traveller

‘I treat landlords as nicely as they treat me’

As a tenant, I treat my landlords as nicely as they treat me. I’ve appreciated ones who didn’t raise the rent when they could have and responded quickly to issues I’ve raised.

On the other hand, I’ve made it a point to be a real pain to landlords who are awful, who treat me as a cash cow (raise the rent every year by the maximum just because they can) or don’t appreciate that I never ask for anything and pay my rent on time.

I’ve been lucky to have more of the first kind. I think landlords need to realise this is the tenant’s home and it’s not just like any other business transaction. — Markel

London isn’t fit to live

London is truly a grim place to survive. Leeches suck up the incomes of hardworking individuals in exorbitant rents. It’s simply not fair and anyone with any sense would live elsewhere! — Spinning_Top

Comments have been edited for length and style

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