Reactions to Labour Party manifesto from NRLA, Generation Rent and Shelter

Reactions to Labour Party manifesto from NRLA, Generation Rent and Shelter

0:04 AM, 14th June 2024, About a month ago 12

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The Labour Party has launched its manifesto, with promises to help “protect renters from arbitrary evictions.”

Manifesto pledges include abolishing Section 21 and setting energy efficiency targets.

The NRLA says they “stand ready to work” with a Labour government while Shelter says rental reforms are needed now more than ever.

Fair to renters and landlords

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, says Labour plans to end Section 21 must work for renters and landlords.

He said: “All main parties are committed to ending section 21. What matters is ensuring the replacement system works, and is fair, to both renters and responsible landlords.

“Given this, we agree with the Shadow Housing Minister who has argued that ‘landlords need robust grounds for possessions in legitimate circumstances, and they need the system to operate quickly when they do.’

“We stand ready to work constructively with a potential Labour Government to achieve this and ensure a smooth transition to the new system. This needs to include giving the sector time to properly prepare for it.”

Rental reform is welcome

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy chief executive of Generation Rent, welcomed the news of ending no-fault evictions.

He said: “The Labour party’s commitment to rental reform is welcome, and this means that all major parties are now committed to abolishing the outdated and draconian Section 21 evictions that have become the bane of renters’ lives.

“Abolishing no-fault evictions was a promise at the 2019 election, and renters cannot wait any longer for this protection, so we’re pleased Labour has committed to doing this immediately.”

Tenants forced out of homes

Mr Craw adds “many tenants are forced out of their homes by landlords who raise rents faster than tenants’ wages.”

He said: “It is good that the manifesto recognises the various other ways renting isn’t working, including discrimination, exploitation, poor standards and rent increases, but we have little detail of what action the party would take.

“Too many tenants are forced out of their home by unaffordable rent rises so any new protections must help tenants stay put, rather than continue to allow landlords to push rents up faster than tenants’ wages. Rent rises should be limited to the lower of wage growth or inflation.”

Standard must be EPC C

Generation Rent also welcomed Labour’s commitment to introducing Awaab’s Law and energy efficiency targets.

Mr Craw said:“Introducing Awaab’s Law to the private rented sector, equalising our protections with those of social tenants, would represent the righting of another wrong from the last parliament.

“The commitment to ‘ensure homes in the private rented sector meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030’ need to be robust enough to combat the challenges of fuel poverty that renters face – the standard must be EPC Band C.

Strong mandate to rapidly reform renting

Shelter also welcomed Labour’s commitment to ending no-fault eviction and says rental reform is needed more than ever.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “To fuel the economy, people need the foundation of a decent home. Labour’s commitment to the biggest increase in social housing in a generation is bold and desperately needed – to deliver real change we need 90,000 genuinely affordable social homes a year.

“If Labour wants to hit its target of 1.5 million homes by 2029, the only way to do this is to put social housing at the heart of their plans. Investment in new social homes would pay for itself in just three years and return an impressive £37.8bn to the economy, including through jobs, savings to the NHS and benefits bill.

“And, with Labour and every major party committed to ending no-fault evictions, the next government now has a strong mandate to rapidly reform renting – making it safer, secure, and more affordable – no ifs, no buts.”

Costs of renting too high

Gary Wright, chief executive officer of deposit alternative specialists, flatfair, says the housing crisis could get worse.

He said: “We hope a Labour government would deliver on their promises around house-building and offering a fair deal for tenants.

“We all know the costs of renting have become far too high and without more landlords and more properties to grow the Private Rented Sector, this is only going to get worse – whoever is in government.”

Devil will be in the detail

Danny Belton, head of lending, Mortgage Advice Bureau welcomed the news to help first-time buyers.

He said: “Both main political parties are set on finding ways to open up the housing market to more first-time buyers. Labour’s pledge to introduce a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme would be welcome support for FTBs and the Conservative party has nodded towards the reintroduction of Help to Buy, alongside policies that make it more attractive for landlords to sell their properties to tenants.

“A novel approach which does rely on landlords’ appetite to actually sell up and at the right price.

“But there are many other factors at play that will come together to make home ownership a reality for more people in the coming years, from innovation in the mortgage market to the supply of homes.”

“As with all policy pledges, there can sometimes be a detour from what’s promised to what’s actioned. The devil really is in the detail and that’s what we’ll find out after 4th July.”

Labour pledges to build 1.5 million homes

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance, at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Labour says it would help people get onto the property ladder by building more houses. It has pledged to build 1.5 million homes during the next parliament, it would bring back housing targets, and reform the planning system.

“It would strengthen rules requiring more affordable homes to be built and ensure first-time-buyers could buy properties on new developments before they were sold overseas. It would also bring in a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme for those with smaller deposits.

“Elsewhere on housing, it has also pledged to end leasehold properties – which it dubs fleecehold – and tackle ground rents. It would end no-fault evictions for renters and allow renters to challenge unreasonable rent increases and raise standards.”

Reforming the court system

Neil Cobbold, managing director of PayProp, says the court system must be reformed before abolishing Section 21.

He said: “On the private rented sector, it is no surprise to see continued support for the abolition of Section 21 in the Labour manifesto.

“However, as we’ve argued before, immediately abolishing it without first reforming the court systems and creating new grounds under Section 8 will trouble landlords, which may further escalate prices as stock is withdrawn.

“We look forward to seeing details around Labour’s plans to ensure private rented sector properties meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030 – including what financing will be available.

“Proposals to extend ‘Awaab’s Law’ to the private rented sector should be welcomed, as no property professional wants to see renters live in substandard homes. Detailed record keeping of any maintenance requests and repairs will be critical for agents supporting landlords once this is enacted.”

Pledge to end no-fault evictions

Matt Downie, chief executive of charity Crisis says many renters will be relieved to see a pledge to abolish Section 21.

He said : “It is hugely welcoming to see the Labour Party recognising the desperate need for a cross-government strategy to end homelessness. The situation across Britain is stark. Homelessness is rising and with it comes damaging consequences that can last for generations.

“This level of aspiration to rebuild our depleted housing stock, with a priority on social housing, and bring down homelessness by drawing on the expertise of local communities is a game changer in our mission to tackle one of the greatest injustices of our time.

“Anxious renters will also be relieved to see a pledge to end ‘no-fault’ evictions. This will bring hope for thousands of people stuck in limbo facing the prospect of being without a safe, secure home.

“We have said time and time again that homelessness is not inevitable. With the right commitment and political will, we can truly build a future free from homelessness.”

Many decent landlords

Isobel Thomson, chief executive of safeagent, the UK’s largest not-for-profit accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents, says: “Any legislation that raises standards is welcome and we look forward to seeing the detail of how the Section 21 abolition will work in practice should Labour win the general election.

“The enforcement required to underpin this legislation will need to be properly funded so we assume that an increased budget for local authorities to accommodate this has been factored in.

“We don’t like the ‘tenants as victims’ rhetoric that is circulating as there are many decent landlords ably supported by professional agents out there trying to do a good job.

“Ultimately, a fully-functioning PRS needs to work for landlords and tenants alike with one not gaining at the expense of the other.”

Challenges faced by landlords

Mark Bailey, partner at Landwood Group: “The announcement of Labour’s pledge to ‘immediately’ abolish Section 21 is intended to benefit renters, but fails to recognise the significant challenges faced by landlords.

“Regardless of this, removing the ability of a landlord to obtain possession if and when required, is likely to reduce the amount of private housing available to rent as private landlords exit the market.

“With more than a third of the UK population renting, it is crucial to consider the impact on private rental housing stock and the sustainability of those providing these homes.

“Landlords, already grappling with skyrocketing interest rates and escalating costs that have rendered their buy-to-let investments unprofitable, now face an even tougher challenge with this new reform. It will further limit their ability to improve their property portfolios and likely drive more landlords out of the market altogether. As a result, the quality of housing for renters in need may decline even further.”

He adds: “Looking ahead, landlords may implement stricter tenant vetting to avoid complex evictions and prioritise secure, long-term leases. This could make it harder for new renters to find homes and potentially drive up rents, as landlords seek to mitigate these new risks.

“As we reform the rental market, we must strike a balance that protects renters’ rights while also ensuring the sustainability and availability of private rental stock. The best way to deliver more rental stock and affordable rents is to build more houses. Which is, unsurprisingly, the same answer to the question of how to make home ownership more affordable.”


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Reluctant Landlord

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10:44 AM, 14th June 2024, About a month ago

“Too many tenants are forced out of their home by unaffordable rent rises so any new protections must help tenants stay put, rather than continue to allow landlords to push rents up faster than tenants’ wages. Rent rises should be limited to the lower of wage growth or inflation.”
NO!
No one is FORCED out of a home.

Rent increase negotiations with LL are possible, but if agreement is not reached there is due process via a tribunal that can be taken BY THE TENANT.
There are NO NO NO instances where ' new protections' must help tenants to stay put especially if it is clear they cannot afford the justified rent increase. That's State mandated theft!

Stella

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12:45 PM, 14th June 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 14/06/2024 - 10:44
The Lunatics are taking over the asylum!

Cider Drinker

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13:21 PM, 14th June 2024, About a month ago

I’m sure tenants would just love to live in a property when the landlord doesn't want them there.

Cider Drinker

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13:25 PM, 14th June 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 14/06/2024 - 10:44
New protections cost money. Rents will rise, standards will fall.

Ask Labour how much a landlord should charge to rent a property costing £200k. A simple spreadsheet helps to do the sums. Don’t forget the impact of Section 24 and the risks of a non-paying tenant, a tenant that wilfully damages the property and the inevitable voids at tenant changeover etc.,

Rob Crawford

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16:09 PM, 14th June 2024, About a month ago

An idea ref the estimated time it will take for Labour to "immediately" abolish Section 21 ? Unless a Bill is rushed through as emergency legislation (pretty sure this doesn't qualify), it could take several months! Am I right?

GlanACC

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12:19 PM, 16th June 2024, About a month ago

To be hones, just like Brexit, its time to accept the removal of S21 as it WILL be removed. So time to stop moaning about its removal as nothing we can do there. HOWEVER, we need to concentrate on the replacement S8 and make sure ground 1 (property needed for occupation by the landlord or too sell) is NOT removed and is a mandatory ground.

Stella

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12:46 PM, 16th June 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 16/06/2024 - 12:19
I agree
However what really worried me even with the recent RRB agreed under the Conservatives was the ground for moving back in or selling with vacant possession WAS NOT A MANDATORY GROUND so it was a good thing that it ran out of time.
We have to be vigalent and fight our corner on this and in MHO forget about reform and concentrate on getting rid of Labour because I have no doubt a Labour Government will go further and we will be back in the days of sitting tenants, unable to sell with vacant possession and if we sell with sitting tenants have to sell with up to a 50% loss.
Labour are not answering questions on CGT and we can look forward to that increasing to 45% under a Labour Government.

PH

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15:21 PM, 16th June 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by GlanACC at 16/06/2024 - 12:19
Absolutely! This is now my main concern.

PH

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15:26 PM, 16th June 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Stella at 16/06/2024 - 12:46
I'm sure Starmer has now said ( under duress) that there won't be CGT rises however I've no doubt the CGT allowance will be withdrawn all together.
If selling up isn't made a mandatory ground I will definitely be selling. No one on earth should dictate what you do with your own property.

Stella

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17:50 PM, 16th June 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by PH at 16/06/2024 - 15:26
Yes I have heard Wes Streeting and Starmer both when pushed say that there would be no CGT on our own homes

However no one from the Labour party has yet ruled out CGT on second homes, rented property or investments so I am expecting the worst.

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