With a remarkable surprise result, defying all the pollsters, a Tory government means that most landlords and agents who operate their businesses in the private residential sector (PRS) will be breathing a huge sigh of relief this morning.
Primarily for them it means that, at lease for the foreseeable future, a swing to anti-landlord legislation, rent controls, compulsory long-term tenancies etc., unlike the situation in Scotland and Wales, will be avoided.
In the Conservative manifesto, in stark contrast to those of many of the other parties, there were little or no proposed changes to the PRS.
Of course some changes were already in train, in particular the Lib Dem inspired “revenge eviction” measures incorporated into the Deregulation Bill 2015, due to be effective from 1 October 2015. These measures in themselves are likely to present a challenge to landlords, but they pale into insignificance when compared to what could have been.
Conservative policy on the PRS has been one of largely voluntary improvements and codes of practice, rather than adding to the 100 pieces of legislation and 400 regulations already in place which can and should be used to enforce rules against the bad landlords.
The Conservatives are strongly supporting all house-building including social, owner occupation and private renting. They are also actively supporting institutional investment into the PRS, which is without doubt a threat to the small buy-to-let and student landlord wherever these large schemes are built.
As a reminder of the Conservative manifesto commitments:
Little mention of the PRS per se, as their approach, with the exception perhaps of the measures recently passed in the Deregulation Bill 2015, is largely voluntary improvements and codes of practice.
They are supporting all house-building including social, owner occupation and private renting.
Post-election the Conservatives intend to:
Build 100,000 new homes
A 20% discount for first time buyers under 40, which must be repaid if the home is sold within five years.
Extend the equity loan part of Help to Buy until 2020 in relation to new-build homes
A new Help to Buy ISA to help first-time buyers build their deposit by 25% up to a maximum Government contribution of £3,000
Benefit cap to be cut to £23,000
No housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds
Right to Rent immigration checks rolled out nationally
Universal Credit rolled out nationally, combining 6 benefits into one monthly payment direct to tenants.
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) May 8, 2015