The Green Party yesterday launched their 2015 election manifesto which singles out private landlords and the National Landlords Association (NLA) says contains “what can only be described as a one-sided view of the private rented sector (PRS)”.
In what the Greens describe as “Making renting normal and not a rip off “, the NLA say many would see this as an ‘attack on landlords’.
The main proposals for the PRS in the Green Party’s manifesto include:
- A ‘living rent’ tenancy (including five-year fixed tenancy agreements)
- Smart rent control that caps annual rent increases linked to the Consumer Price Index
- Security of tenancy and local not-for-profit letting agencies
- Abolishing letting agents’ fees and insurance-based deposit schemes
- Setting up a Living Rent Commission to explore whether controls could bring rents more in line with local average incomes.
- Introducing a mandatory licensing scheme for landlords.
- Abolishing tax deductions against a variety of expenditures, including mortgage interest relief
- Increasing the supply of small lets by raising the tax-free amount under the Rent a Room Scheme to £7,250 a year.
The NLA View:
“This manifesto does not appear to take a balanced view of the PRS. The Green Party appear to want people to rent however does not take into account the demands on landlords to provide safe and decent housing for those families.
“Rent Controls have been proven not to work and many landlords will just sell up and leave the sector if they are introduced.
“Five year tenancies will reduce the flexibility within the PRS that suits landlords and tenants alike, and this policy does not take into account the fact that tenants can ask for longer tenancies already under the current system.
“The NLA question the figures quoted regarding tax deductions and highlight the fact that for many landlords these are not perks, but essential if their businesses are to remain viable. Approximately 20% of NLA members recently surveyed only just recouped their costs last year and over 10% made a loss.
“We await with interest the details of how a mandatory licensing scheme would work in practice.”
In contrast, the Conservative Party has little to say on the PRS, concentration on Help-to-Buy and Right-to-Buy housing association properties by their tenants.
But Labour in a similar but in a somewhat less extreme vein to the Greens have said they want a form of rent control, compulsory 3-year tenancies, a ban on letting agents’ fees for tenants and a compulsory national landlord licensing scheme.
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) April 15, 2015