General Election Update

With the General Election fast approaching on 12th December 2019, what do the manifestos of the 3 main political parties say about housing and particularly private rented housing? 

The Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrat Parties have now all published their manifestos and we have reviewed the various ‘housing’ pledges and commitments.  

Whilst not at the top of the political agenda, housing remains an important political issue.  All 3 parties recognise that there is a current significant imbalance between the supply and demand for housing across the tenures; and all are looking to achieve a step change to increase the of supply of new housing.

 

The Private Rented Sector:

 

Liberal Democrats...

Describe the private rented sector as ‘…. expensive and insecure….’ and ‘…pledge to reform the sector…’, they aim to:

 

Labour…

See that issues relating the quality and affordability of the growing private rented sector is an area requiring the need for what is described as ‘…..urgent action….’.

Their focus will be to protect private renters through the introduction of: 

 

Conservatives...

Have the least number of pledges for reforms to the private rented sector.

Their focus is on:

  

Reality Check on the proposals: 

Aside from the headlines, for all 3 manifestos there is limited detail on the proposals and particularly the timescales that might be applied to introducing new legislation to enact the various pledges within the next Parliament, whatever the outcome of the vote on the 12th December. 

Rent Controls:

Probably the issue that most concerns landlords and agents. The introduction of Rent Controls has been helpful for existing tenants in areas with particularly fast-rising rent, but it can be at the expense of new renters. In some places, it has also led to a shortage of supply. While the arguments for rent control are not overwhelming, it is possible that a well-designed policy combined with significant new homebuilding could be effective.

 

Links to the three main manifestos:

 

 

Note: This blog has been prepared on the basis of a non-party politically review of the manifestos and in the main the narrative used has been taken direct from the manifestos. It is not a detailed analysis of the proposals or the impacts on the sector, rather the aim is to give landlords a flavour of what the main parties are ‘offering’ to the electorate in relation to the private rented sector.

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