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General election : Landlords who to choose ?

It may have escaped your notice that there is a General Election looming and one of the contentio...

It may have escaped your notice that there is a General Election looming and one of the contentious issues is Housing and how the various parties have "set out their stall" in relation to this hot topic.

If, as many you are an undecided voter , it may be this issue that sways you one way or another.

What follows is some basic information which details where each of the major parties stand on this matter.

 Who will you choose?

It may have escaped your notice that there is a General Election looming and one of the contentious issues is Housing and how the various parties have "set out their stall" in relation to this hot topic.

If, as many you are an undecided voter , it may be this issue that sways you one way or another.

What follows is some basic information which details where each of the major parties stand on this matter.

 

At a glance :

(taken from Letting Update journal April 2015, Paul Ives some manifestos are not finalised/published  at the time of writing this article) 

Conservatives

  • Extend discounts under RTB to 70%
  • Extend housing association tenants An end to mortgage subsidies ( Help to buy scheme)
  • And cheap money policies that suppress interest rates and push up prices focus on 1st time buyers : building 200,000 starter homes.
  • 1st time buyers under 40 would be able to buy a house at 20% below the market rate Planning authorities can require sale of homes in new developments only to be sold to people who intend to live in them
  • New Help to Buy ISA for first time buyers

Labour

  • introduce standard 3 year contracts, legislating for rights to longer term lets
  • caps to rent increases for those longer term contracts
  • ban letting agents fees ban
  • buy to let investors from purchasing new homes
  • give greater powers to councils to reduce the number of empty homes
  • introduce a "mansion tax" for properties for over £2m in value
  • no plans to discontinue RTB build 200,000 new homes by 2020

Liberal Democrats

  • discontinue plans to introduce a "mansion tax" for properties over £2m value (propose to reform council tax bands instead)
  • housebuilding , build 300,000 houses a year with at least four new garden cities in Cams, Beds. Bucks and Oxfordshire.
  • they have also called for LA to have full control over RTB including the ability to suspend the scheme

UKIP

  • take pressure off current housing shortage by limiting immigration
  • give priority to local people for social immigrants should not be entitled to housing benefit and similar financial benefits for 5 years
  • protect greenbelt land by incentivising the building of affordable homes on brownfield sites
  • establish a UK brownfield agency to hand out grants, tax breaks and low interest loans
  • major planning decisions to be ratified by local referendum

Greens

  • Abolish RTB give councils the power to borrow money to build houses or buy them on the open market
  • introduce a rent cap to prevent exploitation by private landlords
  • set up a living rent commission, to work out how to bring rents back in line with income
  • homeowners unable to meet mortgage payments or under threat of repossession would get the right to transfer ownership to the council, at less than market value, and pay rent as council tenants
  • build 500,000 social rented homes by 2020.

SNP

  • Oppose the removal of Spare Room subsidy
  • New tax rates for residential property transaction, Land and Buildings Transaction
  • Provide financial support from the Scottish Government to assist the building of new homes
  • Support the abolition of RTB - the move will "safeguard social housing stock for future generations"

 Plaid Cymru 

  • oppose the removal of Spare room subsidy introduce
  • stricter rent controls for private sector tenancies
  • require mandatory written tenancy agreements

So what do ARLA  and NAEA make of it?

they launched their Housing Manifesto 23 Feb, encouraging politicians to " take the politics out of housing" and recommended

  • politicians should create stability and take long term views
  • make regulations less onerous
  • rethink planning policy
  • avoid compulsory 3 year leases
  • make client money protection compulsory
  • introduce a strict licensing code for the rented sector
  • further regulation for letting agents
  • continue to allow agents fees

And the RLA ?

  • new incentives to stimulate buy to let investment
  • changes to planning laws
  • more rented properties are sold to first time buyers
  • more stringent use of enforcement powers against rogue landlords
  • tenants should have the right to renew a tenancy for up to 5 years

As a landlord a difficult decision has to be made in relation to how "whoever" gets into power will affect your investments. What we want is a government who understands the property market, and doesn't just throw vote winning policies in there to sway the electorate. Good luck and see you on the other side.

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