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Election 2019 – what will it mean for landlords and tenants?

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In the last week before Britain goes to the polls, we look at the pledges in the three main parties’ manifestos regarding the private rented sector – and the reaction from the industry.

Election 2019 - what will it mean for landlords and tenants?

Since the government announced plans to end Section 21 no-fault evictions, landlords’ groups have campaigned against the proposed change. The manifestos aren’t good news for anyone hoping that MPs were listening.

 

What do the Conservatives say?

For the Conservatives, Boris Johnson says he wants to ‘empower’ renters by offering them ‘greater peace of mind’ and creating a ‘fairer rental market’. A majority Conservative government would therefore follow through on the pledge to end no-fault evictions. They have, however, pledged to offer greater rights of possession to good landlords.

The manifesto contains plans for new ‘lifetime deposits’ which would allow tenants to transfer their deposit money from one property to another.

The party would also maintain its commitment to Right to Buy for council and housing association tenants.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), said: “To say that we are disappointed that the Conservatives have pledged to continue with their plan to abolish Section 21 is an understatement. Despite a robust lobbying campaign on behalf of the two million landlords in the UK, the Conservatives seem hell-bent on continuing to punish hardworking and law-abiding landlords.”

 

What does Labour say?

If elected, one of Labour’s flagship policies is an unprecedented £75 billion housebuilding programme, which would see 150,000 council or housing association homes a year.

Labour would create a new department for housing and introduce rent controls, capped by inflation, with cities given their own powers to cap rents further.

The party would end no-fault evictions, creating open-ended tenancies. They would also introduce a national licensing scheme to improve standards, with tough sanctions for landlords who break the rules.

In addition, the party has pledged an end to right to rent immigration checks and will give councils powers to regulate Airbnb-style short-term lets.

According to Richard Lambert: “Currently, what Labour proposes will force landlords to be more selective about the tenants they take on and will drive many from the market altogether.”

 

What do the Liberal Democrats say?

The Liberal Democrats also want to introduce mandatory licensing for landlords, aimed at protecting tenants from rogue operators.

They too would promote longer tenancies – of three or more years – and require rent increases to be linked to inflation.

They would also help young people struggling to afford a rental home with a new Help to Rent scheme. This would provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for first-time renters under 30.

David Smith, policy director at the RLA, gave a mixed response to the party’s plans. He said: “We welcome the Liberal Democrats’ plans to support younger tenants in accessing rented housing with a deposit loan scheme. This is a policy we have long been calling for and believe it could considerably improve prospects for younger people.”

But on proposals for more stringent licensing, he said: “The crooks will simply not come forward, leaving the good landlords to pick up the tab for what would be a costly waste of time.”

 

Read more about the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat pledges on the Landlord Today website.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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