Housing: What do the manifestos say?

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Manifesto logo All of the main political parties have now launched their manifestos for Election 2015 on May 7th, and all have something to say on housing.

So to give you a snapshot we have pulled out the key points the parties have made on housing.

Conservative

The Conservative Party manifesto can be found at https://www.conservatives.com/manifesto.aspx

Its proposals for housing include:

  • Implementing the requirement for all landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants.
  • Offer 10,000 new homes to rent at below market rates
  • Extend the Right to Buy to tenants in Housing Associations to enable more people to buy a home of their own - “It is unfair that they should miss out on a right enjoyed by tenants in local authority homes.”
  • Fund the replacement of properties sold under the extended Right to Buy by requiring local authorities to sell off and replace the most expensive properties as they fall vacant.
  • Continuing the roll out of Universal Credit

Labour

Entitled “Britain can be better” the party has outlined a series of commitments (to be found in the manifesto here http://www.labour.org.uk/manifesto) for housing which include: 

  • In the private rented sector, Labour will legislate to make three-year tenancies the norm, with a ceiling on excessive rent rises.
  • Labour will ban unfair letting agent fees and create a national register of private landlords.
  • Labour “support the principles behind Universal Credit” but believe that it must be “affordable and fit for purpose” so will pause and review the programme.
  • Labour will build 200,000 homes a year by 2020 by implementing the recommendations of the Lyons review.
  • They will give local communities new powers to provide the homes they need, including the power to give priority to first time buyers on new homes in areas of housing growth and power to reduce the number of empty homes, including higher council tax on long term empty properties.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrat manifesto is entitled: “Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone.”  which can be accessed at: http://www.libdems.org.uk/read-full-manifesto

 Its proposals include:

  • Improving protections against rogue landlords and encouraging a new multi-year tenancy with an agreed inflation-linked annual rent increase built in.
  • Enabling Local Authorities to operate licensing schemes for rental properties in areas where they believe it is needed.
  • Banning letting agent fees to tenants if the transparency requirements introduced are not successful in bringing fees down to an affordable level by the end of 2016.
  • Extending the use of Rent Repayment Orders to allow tenants to have their rent refunded when a property is found to contain serious risks to health, and withhold rent from landlords who have not carried out court-ordered improvements within a reasonable period of time.
  • A Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.

UKIP

Nigel Farage has launched the UKIP manifesto, entitled “Believe in Britain” >> http://www.ukip.org/manifesto2015.

Its proposals include:

  • Giving tenants the right to request Housing Benefit is paid direct to their landlords.
  • Remove stamp duty on the first £250,000 for new homes built on brownfield sites.
  • Continue to pay Housing Benefit to young people under the age of 25
  • All local authorities, social landlords and housing associations will be required to register the nationality of their tenants.

Green Party

The Green Party manifesto is entitled “For the Common Good”. They believe that the private rented sector needs to be “well regulated”, and have pledged to:

  • Reform the private rented sector by introducing a ‘living rent’ tenancy, including five-year fixed tenancy agreements.
  • Introduce smart rent control that caps annual rent increases linked to the Consumer Price Index
  • Introduce security of tenancy and local not-for-profit letting agencies
  • Abolish letting agents’ fees and insurance-based deposit schemes.
  • Set up a Living Rent Commission to explore whether controls could bring rents more in line with local average incomes.
  • Introduce a mandatory licensing scheme for landlords.
  • Abolish landlord perks, such as tax reductions against a variety of expenditures, including mortgage interest relief.
  • Increase the supply of small lets by raising the tax-free amount under the Rent a Room Scheme to £7,250 a year.
  • Abolish the ‘bedroom tax’.
  • Bring Housing Benefit for all age groups back in line with average market rents.
  • Subject the Shared Accommodation Rate to a comprehensive review to ensure it reflects the real cost of renting shared properties.
  • Change the definition of affordable rented housing to depend on local median incomes and not on local market rents.”

 

 

 


Posted by Chris Kendall on 17 April 2015

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