Law News

General Election manifestos: Comments on Conservative and Labour plans

Em Morley - November 26, 2019

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has commented on the Conservative and Labour manifesto plans announced last week:

Labour plans would devastate the rented housing market 

Plans by the Labour Party would threaten to close down the private rental sector, according to the leading landlords’ organisation.

The development of annual ‘Property MOT’s’, a Charter of Renters’ rights, open-ended tenancies and rent controls all combined would drive thousands of landlords out of the sector. This would lead to a massive shortage of properties driving rents up and increasing homelessness.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, said: “These proposals have not been thought through. We have been at the forefront of wanting to drive criminal landlords out of the market, but to place such ill-thought-out burdens on the majority of good landlords would lead to a serious rental housing crisis, which would only hurt tenants as they struggle to find a place to live. 

“The sector does not need new obligations, but better enforcement of those that already exist. We hope that should Labour come to power they will work with us to bring in proposals that would better protect tenants against criminal landlords whilst still encouraging good landlords to invest in the supply that is needed to meet demand.”

Landlords give cautious welcome to Tory plans 

Landlords have welcomed the proposals in the Conservative manifesto to strengthen the possession rights of good landlords whilst accepting there is a need to protect tenants from unfair evictions.

David Smith said: “We agree that the system for repossessing properties is in need of reform and support the Conservatives’ proposals to strength the possession rights of good landlords.

“It is vital that the reforms are got right. At present, it can take over five months for a landlord to repossess a property through the courts in legitimate circumstances. We will be keen to work with Ministers to establish a new system of repossession rights and the establishment of a dedicated housing court to ensure good landlords and tenants can secure justice swiftly in the minority of cases where something goes wrong.

“It is disappointing that there is no mention of reversing some of the tax changes hitting landlords which have resulted in a drop in investment in the market making it more difficult for tenants to find the housing they want. Longer tenancies for tenants will be meaningless without landlords entering and staying in the market long term.”