Labour Plan To Trigger Compulsory Purchases Through Amended Right To Buy

Whilst the Government’s silence in regards to property sector changes has created a lethargic property market, Labour’s plans to force landlords to sell their homes to tenants in an updated Right to Buy scheme is causing outrage in the privately rented sector (PRS).

Earlier this week, Shadow Chancellor, John McDonell, released plans to resurrect the ‘burgeoning buy-to-let market’ by updating the Right to Buy system.

The shadow chancellor claimed that if labour was elected, they would update legislation allowing tenants to purchase their home for a ‘reasonable price’.

However, many organisations defending landlords have warned that the ambiguity of the wording around what would constitute a fair price intertwined with the compulsory purchase model, would break the buy-to-let sector and encourage the majority of landlords to leave.

This could have a devastating impact on tenants unable to buy their property and would lead to greater increases in rent as demand outstrips the supply.

Shadow Chancellor, Shadow Chancellor, said:

“You’d want to establish what is a reasonable price, you can establish that and then that becomes the right to buy.

“You (the government) set the criteria. I don’t think it’s complicated.”   

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA said:

“Labour’s proposal would effectively kill off a large part of the private rented sector denying a home to many thousands of people.

“If there was to be any chance of this becoming law, there would be a mass sell-off of properties in advance.

“The RLA is all in favour of landlords selling to sitting tenants but it must be entirely voluntary. Anything else amounts to a form of compulsory purchase.”

Is this an ill thought out statement or opportunity to ensure more people are able to buy a home of their own?


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    I am old enough to have worked on the “municipalisation” programme of the early 1970s and can remember how grateful many homeowners were for the way that it revived the local market

    My work as a conveyancer has never been so appreciated since

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    Anything other than full market value would be theft! A deal giving the landlord some form of CGT relief in full compensation for anything less than the full market value might be palatable but I doubt that is in their plans – it is not just about providing housing is it?

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    Hansard reports that on 15th January 1980 Douglas Jay asked Michael Heseltine during the debate on the introduction of the RTB

    “If there are all these arguments for home ownership, why is the right hon. Gentleman treating the tenant of the private landlord as a second-rate citizen and denying him the similar right to buy his own home?”

    Now you report “The shadow chancellor claimed that if labour was elected, they would update legislation allowing tenants to purchase their home for a ‘reasonable price.”

    Nothing if not consistent.

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