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Party Manifestos

What are they promising for the PRS?

WHAT CAN I DO NEXT?

WHAT ARE THE MANIFESTOS SAYING?

 

 

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VISION FOR THE PRS

The Conservative and Unionist Party manifesto makes some pledges regarding the PRS;

  • Introduce a stamp duty surcharge on non-UK residents.
  • Continue the roll-out of Universal Credit and bring an end to the benefit freeze.
  • Invest £9.2 billion in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
  • Lifetime rental deposits will be introduced. Instead of having to save up a second deposit, the tenant will produce a certificate to show the new landlord before they move in. This will confirm their deposit will be transferred to them once the other landlord has made any deductions necessary. 
  • Section 21 will be removed with possession grounds strengthened.

HOW DOES IT COMPARE WITH THE RLA'S POSITIVE FUTURE FOR THE PRS?

The RLA has argued in the past that deposits should be transferable but more details need to be shared about lifetime rental deposits if landlords and tenants are to have confidence the system will work.

Similarly, if section 21 must be removed, then there must be significant improvements to grounds-based possession and the introduction of a specialist housing court. Without significant reforms to allow landlords to regain possession of their property where they have a legitimate reason to do so, landlords may choose to leave the sector, reducing the supply of rental properties.

VISION FOR THE PRS

The Labour Party manfesto pledges:

  • removing section 21 notices
  • mandating open-ended tenancies
  • funding local authorities so they can buy back properties from private landlords
  • introducing a nationwide licensing scheme enforcing minimum national standards for properties
  • implementing rent controls capped at inflation with cities given powers to reduce this further
  • halting court closures
  • planning to scrap Universal Credit in the long term and replacing it with a new system. Emergency measures will be introduced to provide initial payments of Universal Credit faster.
  • increasing in Local Housing Allowance rates to reduce incidences of rent arrears
  • scrapping right to rent

HOW DOES IT COMPARE WITH THE RLA'S POSITIVE FUTURE FOR THE PRS?

The Labour Party plan a number of significant reforms to the PRS.

Supporting vulnerable tenants

Improving the timescales for Universal Credit are welcome as is increasing the Local Housing Allowance rate.

The creation of a replacement system may improve on Universal Credit. However, it must improve the options to pay directly to landlords if it is to improve landlord confidence in renting to vulnerable tenants.

An end to 'right to rent'

The RLA has fought to end the unfair right to rent system and we are glad to see Labour propose an end to this.

Effective enforcement

Nationwide licensing schemes are unlikely to improve standards against rogue landlords as they would simply not come forward. Targeted, properly funded enforcement would be a better use of funds.

Rent controls

Rent controls are paradoxically likely to force landlords to increase rent where they would not normally do so. 65% of landlords have not increased the rent in the last 12 months. If rent is capped at inflation, landlords will feel compelled to increase the rent every year.

Justice reform

An end to the court closures is welcome as landlords already face significant wait times for their properties due to lack of funding and court availability.

Possession reform

The introduction of open-ended tenancies and the removal of section 21 must be accompanied by safeguards for landlords if they are to remain in the sector. There must be significant improvements to grounds-based possession and the introduction of a specialist housing court to allow landlords to regain possession of their property where they have a legitimate reason to do so. Without it, landlords may choose to leave the sector, reducing the supply of rental properties.

 

VISION FOR THE PRS

The Liberal Democrats propose:

  • allowing local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500 per cent where homes are being bought as second homes with a stamp duty surcharge on overseas residents purchasing such properties.
  • helping 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.
  • promoting longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
  • improving protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing.
  • reducing the wait time for the first payment of Universal Credit from five weeks to five days.
  • increasing Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in an area.
  • increasing minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties and removing the cost cap on improvements.
  • ending the hostile environment policy for immigration (which would include the right to rent).

HOW DOES IT COMPARE WITH THE RLA'S POSITIVE FUTURE FOR THE PRS?

There are a number of manifesto pledges that the RLA welcomes in the Liberal Democrat proposals. 

Supporting vulnerable tenants

The RLA has previously advocated a government-backed deposit loan scheme for first time renters. Similarly, we have pushed for improvements in Universal Credit payments as well as linking Local Housing Allowance to average rents.

An end to 'right to rent'

The end of the unfair right to rent scheme is also one that we have fought for in the courts and we are glad to see the party proposing an end to this.

Effective Enforcement

Mandatory licensing for landlords would not catch the small criminal element. Better enforcement by local authorities would be a more effective way to rid the sector of the small number of criminal landlords.

Rent controls

The long term tenancies proposal would also likely lead to faster rising rents. 65% of landlords have not increased the rent on sitting tenants in the last 12 months and the current average rent increases are below inflation. Including a mandatory rent increase linked to inflation in the tenancy agreement will lead to tenants having to pay more rent than a landlord would normally choose.

 

VISION FOR THE PRS

The Green Party manifesto includes:

  • proposals to introduce rent controls based on local income
  • remove section 21 notices
  • scrapping the unfair right to rent legislation
  • changing the planning system to incentivise renovation, extension and improvement of existing buildings instead of new builds
  • introducing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a replacement for Universal Credit
  • funding local authorities to insulate 10 million homes with a priority on low income residents
  • building 100,000 social housing properties a year

HOW DOES IT COMPARE WITH THE RLA'S POSITIVE FUTURE FOR THE PRS?

The Green Party agrees with the RLA that the right to rent legislation is unfair and needs to be ended.

However, they also plan to introduce rent controls and remove section 21 notices.

VISION FOR THE PRS

The Brexit Party manifesto contains no pledges regarding the PRS.

It does suggest reviewing the Universal Credit system and guaranteeing Universal Credit payment times of 5 weeks for anyone who has 'paid into the system'.

 

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