With a general election taking place on Thursday and the political parties’ manifestos now doing the rounds, how might the parties most likely to be in power on Friday affect private landlords?
Labour plans to impose a limit on rent rises so they stay in line with inflation – a move that landlords might not welcome. Likewise, the party also wishes to give local councils the power, and the cash, to buy properties back from private landlords. It also wishes to introduce “open-ended” tenancies in the interests of those renting, which may help both landlords and tenants to feel more secure.
While tenants might welcome such proposals, critics, such as David Smith of the Residential Landlords Association, say that such plans do not encourage good landlords to remain within the lettings market.
All Wirral constituencies are currently Labour-led with the exception of Birkenhead MP Frank Field, who is now independent.
The incumbent Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has pledged that his party will maintain its ‘Right to Buy’ scheme until at least 2023, although this directly affects housing associations rather than private landlords.
The party will also offer first-time buyer discounts, longer term fixed-rate mortgages, reforms to leasehold law and various benefits for tenants, such as “lifetime deposits” that can move home with the tenant.
Critics, like Labour’s John Healey, the Shadow Housing Secretary, say this leaves housing exactly as it is now. On a positive note, landlords and tenants could benefit from leasehold reform, but the fact that it may be easier to buy property could adversely affect the lettings market.