Please Note: This Article is 6 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

With a landslide victory seeing Jeremy Corbyn MP elected as Labour leader, and along with Deputy Tom Watson, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, though many think otherwise, he could become our next Prime Minister. What would that mean for the private landlord?

Mr Corbyn has said that right to buy, which means council tenants can buy the home they’re living in at a discounted rate, should be extended to people renting from private landlords.

He sees housing as a priority and it’s an issue that’s definitely in his “cross-hairs” for reform judging by views set out in a recently released document on the subject by the Islington North MP – “Tackling the Housing Crisis” – see below.  In it he sets out his plans for the future of housing in Britain.

Corbyn says a house should be “a source of security” but that for too many, it is “a cause of anxiety.” He cites statistics from the National Housing Federation, which claim first time buyers need ten times the deposit they needed back in the 1980s. He is also critical of the current government, and the past New Labour administrations’, house building performances.

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Here are his main points in the report relating to the PRS:

Private rented sector:

Basically, Mr Corbyn is intent on taking renting back to pre-assured shorthold tenancy territory with rent controls and secure tenancies, something most landlords thought had been left behind 30 years ago as a lesson learned and never to be repeated.

“Alongside building the thousands of new homes we need, we also need to get rents down in the private rented sector and ensure secure tenures. We could have national minimum standards of longer tenancies and limits on rent rises.

“We need to bring rents down to make sure they take up a lower proportion of people’s income, and given that many people are likely to renting for longer and longer, we need to make sure tenants have the right to a longer tenancy. “

“Private landlords should be nationally registered and locally licensed, including a ‘fit and proper’ persons’ test, making sure that tenants’ rights are respected and ensuring that decent homes standards are adhered to in the private rental sector. Licensing and registration should be administered and enforced by the relevant local authority.”

On home ownership he is suggesting “a range of measures” available to bring down house prices, “including building more housing overall, restricting subsidies to buy to let landlords, and regulating rental value.

“One of the biggest pressures first-time buyers face is to save a deposit, particularly in high-value areas where house prices are rising fast and people are trapped having to pay fast-rising rents. We could help people caught in this trap, with an approach that incorporates some of the principles applied in schemes like rent-to-own or shared equity.”

A purge on empty homes and “buy-to-let” deals for new build properties would, Corbyn argues release more housing for those that need it.

“Too many new homes built for sale end up as buy-to-let investments, or even worse as speculative assets that sit there empty for much of the year. Many other cities around the world have taken steps to ensure homes go to people who live and work in the city rather than to people who see the homes as assets for financial peculation.

“Local authorities could be given the option of levying higher council tax rates or a new tax on properties left empty. Additionally we could look at banning the ownership of property by non-UK based entities or by companies and offshore trusts altogether.”

On empty houses in the country, he suggests working with local authorities to bring them back into use: “According to the LGA, there are 709,426 empty properties in England. About one third of these have been lying empty for six months or more. With home ownership becoming increasingly unattainable for so many, rents spiralling out of control and levels homelessness rapidly increasing, more should be done.”

Mr Corbyn is in favour of “Right to Buy” schemes for private tenants:

“Instead of extending the Right to Buy we should be reducing the harm it causes to our affordable housing stock. Local authorities in areas of high housing stress should be given the power to suspend right to buy in order protect depleting social housing assets.

“We should also look at how to help private renters, since they are often paying much higher rents with less security and a less responsive landlord than housing association tenants. We could re-direct some of the £14 billion of tax reliefs received by private landlords to help struggling private tenants; this would of course include building new council homes and helping private tenants to overcome the deposit problem.

“We could also investigate whether some of this money could be used to fund a form of right-to-buy shared equity scheme to private tenants in cases when they are renting from large-scale landlords.”

On improving environment standards Mr Corbyn has the following suggestions:

On environmental standards, he states: “Over 3.5 million people in Britain live in fuel poverty. Excess winter deaths are 23% higher than in Sweden, despite our milder winters. Retrofitting homes will reduce this toll of ill-health, unnecessary deaths and avoidable carbon emissions. There is no excuse for Britain setting lower standards of new housing than elsewhere in Europe. Zero carbon homes should become the norm.

“Local authorities must also be given greater freedoms to drive this change, underpinned by a shift in tax advantages/allowances in favour of energy efficient homes rather than subsidies to poor and unoccupied properties.”

On social issues relating to housing he states that the reforms to welfare policies are “causing the social cleansing of many cities,” Mr Corbyn also attacks other social policies of the Conservative government: “The bedroom tax and the benefit cap should be scrapped. They penalise the tenant for the failure of government to build sufficient housing and to regulate rents.

“By capping rent levels, we will also save on housing benefit costs. Our cities need to be affordable for all, with mixed communities, reflecting the fact every part of the country needs cleaners, bus drivers, teachers and nurses.”

See Jeremy Corbyn’s Policy on Housing “Tackling The Housing Crisis” in full here

Please Note: This Article is 6 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I applaud his sentiments and wish to help people, but I think he is a bit out of touch with the real world. Tenants have more rights than landlords already.

    Many properties are empty for 6 months because that\’s how long it now takes to sell one – that\’s why many people end up as landlords.

    I\’d like to see objective evidence that private landlords are less responsive than Housing Associations. Not evidence just from Shelter and the like from non-paying tenants.

    Would longer tenancies mean easier eviction of those who don\’t pay their rent or damage the property? What about those tenants who receive benefit to pay the rent and then spend the money on other things? Will they be prosecuted for fraud?

    He doesn\’t want any property owned by companies. Does that mean that he wants to take Housing Associations back into the public sector – as they are companies with huge advantages (subsidies) over private companies.

    I understand that his version of Right to Buy discount would be funded one third by the landlord, one third by the mortgage lender and one third by the government, instead of totally by the government as it is now. That would mean that most landlords would be forced to sell at a loss even if they aren\’t highly leveraged.

    It\’s home ownership that drives up house prices (according to the ONC and other studies), not renting – there\’s nothing wrong with renting and tenants are secure as long as they pay their rent (as home owners are secure as long as their pay their mortgages). However, any whiff of a possible Labour victory will results in massiveevistions as landlords sell. We should have a general idea of how likely this is by 2018.

  2. LL will be watching very carefully what the polls are saying
    If the idiot Corbyn is still the Labour leader then LL will be selling en-masse before a GE
    If Corbyn got in there would be massCorbyn LL bankruptcies and banks would be destroyed

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