No Fault Evictions Becomes Manifesto Staple
Privately rental tenants, who make up over a fifth of the property market, have been targeted as a key demographic in this political campaign with all parties pledging appealing improvements and protections for tenants.
The Labour Party has promised to cap rent increases at the national rate of inflations if they are elected into Government on 12th December.
Labour claim the policy measures involving the private rental sector will improve conditions for tenants whilst providing a more transparent system for landlords.
21% of the UK’s housing stock is occupied by private tenants, many of which live in sub-standard conditions and pay in excess of £10 billion per year in rent.
The ‘Private Renters Charter’ would seek to introduce an annual rental home ‘property MOT’ which would aim to provide a minimum standard and quality for each home a landlord rents out.
Labour will enforce non-compliance with repayments of rent if tenants are forced to live in homes failing to comply with minimum standards and fines of up to £100,000.
Tenants will also be offered greater security through open-ended tenancies which aim to reduce ‘no-fault’ evictions.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives are set to plough on with their scrapping of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions that were started under Theresa May’s leadership.
Labour have also pledged to offer greater certainty for those in the greatest housing need that rely on social housing by producing more council homes.
Labour’s Angela Reyner claims the culture shift to producing more council owned homes could be a welcome policy for:
“Many families in sub-standard accommodation, paying huge amounts of money for it.”
She further claimed the policies will allow the state to take “more direct control” of house building by completing 50,000 affordable homes per year, priced according to local incomes.
The Liberal Democrats have promised a new rent to own model in social housing which will offer tenants the opportunity to own their property within 30 years whilst younger people struggling to rent will be given additional help by a Lib Dem Government through government -backed tenancy deposit loans for first-time renters under the age of 30.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association:
On the Labour manifesto:
“While the NLA supports any policies that crack down on criminals operating in the private rented sector (PRS), the Labour manifesto is too extreme, as well as unrealistic and will be hugely damaging to housing supply in the UK.
“It begs so many questions: from rent-caps to open ended tenancies, how does Labour intend to make these policies work? How will Labour ensure landlords who are already compliant don’t take the full brunt of these changes? Will they give housing enforcement the priority and the resources it desperately needs? Does Labour intend to reform the courts so that if a landlord needs to end a tenancy, it can be done quickly and efficiently to?
“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. We cannot stress enough that punishing law-abiding landlords who live and work in the PRS will be something the Labour party will come to regret.”
On the Conservative manifesto:
“The Conservatives claim that the changes announced in the manifesto will ‘create a fairer rental market’, but fairer for whom? 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.
“We will reserve judgment on the so-called “lifetime deposit”. The Conservatives has yet to confirm what this will look like or how this will work in practice.
“The NLA cannot get behind a manifesto that so badly cripples landlords’ ability to run a functioning letting business.”
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of housing charity Shelter, said:
“For decades renters have had to live with the fear of being evicted from their home for no reason, with damaging consequences particularly for families with children and the elderly.
“This election marks a major step forward in the battle to secure basic protections for those who rent, as Labour and the Conservatives have made clear that they will scrap this outrageous practice and give renters the security and stability they deserve.”
Could policy changes to the private rented sector have an adverse effect on private landlords? Will these measure lead to further investors leaving the sector?