What does the election mean for landlords & tenants?

6th December 2019

With the election now less than a week away, the three main parties have been talking up their housing policies – and all of them propose measures which will have a direct effect on landlords and tenants in York. The National Landlords Association has compared the three main parties’ manifesto commitments to highlight the key issues.

Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have all pledged to abolish Section 21, the “no-fault” eviction process which enables landlords to terminate Assured Shorthold Tenancies on or after the end of a fixed term by giving at least two months’ written notice. The policy has been opposed by landlords and many agents because it will push all evictions into the courts, making it harder and more expensive to eject tenants who default on their rent.

Among the other relevant manifesto commitments, by party, are:

Conservatives

  • Strengthen landlords’ rights of possession.
  • No rise in rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT during the next parliament.
  • Raise NI threshold to £9.5k in 2020, with aim to increase it to £12.5k.
  • Improve access to housing for disabled people.
  • Build 300,000 houses per year by mid-2020s.
  • Maintain Right to Buy for council tenants and voluntary scheme for housing associations.
  • Continue reforms to leasehold, including introduction of redress for leaseholders.
  • Long-term fixed rate mortgages with 5% deposit for first time buyers.
  • Discount new build homes in perpetuity by a third for local first time buyers.
  • Stamp duty surcharge on non-UK resident buyers (to fund rough sleeping initiatives).

Labour

  • Cap rents to inflation and give cities powers to cap rents further.
  • Fund renters’ unions across the country.
  • End Right to Rent checks.
  • Nationwide licensing in the private rented sector.
  • Income tax increases – 45% rate above 80k and 50% rate above £125k.
  • Give councils powers and funding to buy back homes from private landlords (thought to relate to former council houses).
  • Upgrade almost all 27m homes in the UK to the highest energy efficiency standards.
  • Prevent landlords from ‘excluding people’ in receipt of housing benefits.
  • By the end of the next parliament, be building 150,000 council and social homes annually, with 100,000 of these built by councils for social rent.
  • End the sale of new leasehold properties, abolish unfair fees and conditions, and give leaseholders the right to buy their freehold at a price they can afford, and introduce equivalent rights for freeholders on privately owned estates.

Liberal Democrats

  • Legislate for longer term tenancies of three years or more.
  • Cap rent increases during a tenancy, linking them to inflation.
  • End of ‘hostile environment’ – and potentially Right to Rent checks.
  • Mandatory licensing in the private rented sector.
  • 1p income tax rise across bands to fund the NHS.
  • Increase minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector (currently properties must meet an E rating in England and Wales).
  • Reform Universal Credit.
  • Increase Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in the area.
  • Build at least 100,000 homes for social rent each year.
  • Help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.

For the NLA’s full comparison of the three parties’ election manifestos, click here.