Things are hotting up with the election with the manifestos being published now by the various parties. We don’t have space here in Newsround to look at them in detail (we may do that in separate posts later) but here is a very brief overview:
The Labour Party
You can read it here. Housing policies include:
- A £1 billion fire safety fund
- A new Department for Housing
- Upgrade homes to make them energy efficient (it’s unclear how this will affect rented property)
- Build more council homes (the Guardian seems to think their proposals are achievable) and
- End the right to buy
- Change the definition of ‘affordable’
- Give councils funding to ‘buy back homes from private landlords’ – presumably those who have bought ex-council homes
- Abolish unfair leasehold fees and conditions (which will help landlords who own these properties)
- “… take urgent action to protect private renters through rent controls, open-ended tenancies, and new, binding minimum standards” – landlords will mostly be hostile to these policies
- “new open-ended tenancies to stop unfair, ‘no-fault’ evictions” – hopefully, this will be accompanied with changes in the eviction process so landlords are not stuck with tenants who don’t pay rent and/or anti-social tenants
- “…make sure every property is up to scratch with new minimum standards, enforced through nationwide licensing and tougher sanctions for landlords who flout the rules”
- “fund new renters’ unions in every part of the country”
- Get rid of ‘right to rent’ checking
- Prohibit ‘no DSS’, and
- “… give councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies such as Airbnb”
Tenants will be pretty pleased with all that. Landlords less so. Some of you may be panicking.
However, landlords, it may not be as bad as you think. Quite a lot of those policies will be good for landlords – in particular, the end to ‘right to rent’ checks, regulation of Airbnb style letting will hopefully help with the problem of illegal subletting and hopefully rented properties will receive funding for green upgrades.
Also, if the party are successful in boosting the economy and providing more jobs, tenants will be better able to afford rents anyway.
The RLA says though that the proposed reforms will leave tenants worse off.
The Lib Dems
You can read their manifesto here.
Housing-related policies seem thin on the ground but I have found the following:
- An emergency programme to insulate all Britain’s homes by 2030, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.
- Increase minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties and remove the cost cap on improvements.
- Investing £6 billion per year to make the benefits system work for people who need it and reducing the wait for the first benefits payment from five weeks to five days.
- Introducing a principle of universal access to basic services: starting by building 100,000 social homes a year, ending rough sleeping and bringing in a new legal right to food.
- Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
- Improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing.
There may be others. I have only done a very quick skim read. Find out more in the RLA post here where they conclude that their message on housing is confused.
The Green Party
Skipping through the easy read version, I can’t find much about private renting but I was interested to see that they will introduce a basic income instead of benefits.
The RLA has found more proposals (including rent controls and the abolition of section 21) which you can read here.
Although the greens are unlikely to form a government it is possible (particularly if they have more than one MP), they could be influential if we have a hung Parliament.
The Conservative party
At the time of writing this post, they have not released their manifesto. However, they have said that they
- Will introduce a lifetime deposit scheme for renters (welcomed by the RLA although the workability of such a scheme is questioned here)
- Will end no-fault evictions, but
- Will not impose rent controls
You may also be interested to look at
- The ARLA Manifesto
- The Renter Manifesto
- The Landlords Alliance Manifesto
- The RLA Manifesto can be downloaded from this page
Apologies if there are others I have missed. Let me know in the comments.
Changes to Holding Deposit rules in Wales
A very important piece of news for Welsh landlords and agents – on 13 December new rules will be introduced with the coming into force of new regulations which will require extra information to be provided to tenants before a holding deposit is paid.
We have a post on this which will be published next week and I will also be doing new forms for Welsh landlords on my Landlord Law service.
- Nottingham City Council is criticised for doing nothing to find and root out bad landlords
- The Chancellor of the High Court says blockchain-based or ‘smart’ contracts are now enforceable under English and Welsh law
- The first banning order of a rogue lettings operator has been made in London
- Law Society unveils manifesto wishlist
- Flats being valued at £0 by valuers after official fire safety guidance
Newsround will be back next week.