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Must Know Housing Policies Ahead of the General Election; Delightful or Devastating?

Updated: Dec 9, 2019


The UK, especially London, has already seen the side effects Brexit is having on the housing market. The winner of the General Election on December 12, 2019, will have an impact on the housing market in some shape or form.


Here’s a quick overview on what you can expect from all parties based on their proposals.


Purchasing Property or Land


Labour Party:

  • Reform ‘Help to Buy’ to focus it on first-time buyers on ordinary incomes

  • Build 50,000 affordable homes a year through Housing Associations

  • Terminate ‘Right to Buy’ and give councils funding and power to buy back former council homes


Liberal Democrats Party:

  • Build 200,000 new homes a year by 2024

  • Allow local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500% where homes are being bought as second homes


Conservative Party:

  • Introduce a 3% stamp duty surcharge for non-UK tax residents which would apply to companies as well as individuals

  • Build a million homes in the next five years, aiming for 300,000 new houses a year by the mid-2020s

  • Establish a new mortgage with long-term fixed rates only requiring a 5% deposit to help renters buy their first homes

  • Exterminate "no fault" evictions and introduce a single 'lifetime' deposit which moves with the tenant

  • Further extension of the Help to Buy scheme from 2021 to 2023


Green Party:

  • Remove the 'Help to Buy' and 'Right to buy' programmes that subsidise demand and so increase prices

  • Abolish national and local tax breaks for Buy-to-Let investors and landlord

  • Enforce council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties




Private Rental Market


Labour Party:

  • Cap rent increases and stop 'no fault' evictions

  • Invest £75 bn for 100,000 new council homes a year by 2024

  • Require all regeneration projects to gain consent from their local residents in order to prevent social cleansing

  • Provide councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies such as Airbnb

  • Fund new 'renters' unions' to allow tenants to organise and defend their rights


Liberal Democrat Party:

  • Build 100,000 homes for social rent

  • Help young people get into rental market with government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30

  • Introduce a new 'Rent to Own' model for social housing where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years



Green Party:

  • Review the tax treatment of private landlords to incentivise repairs, better management and longer tenancy

  • Remove ASTs and replaced with a new 'Stable Rental Tenancy', which would recognise the principle that the property is the home of the tenant first, and an asset of the landlord second


Housing Standards


Labour Party:

  • Upgrade almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards by 2030.

  • Fund a new Decent Homes programme to bring all council and housing association homes up to a good standard.


Green Party:

  • Nationwide insulation programme, covering every UK home that needs it by 2030, with 10 million homes to reach the top energy rating within 10 years

  • 100,000 new zero-carbon homes for social rent each year


Conservative Party:

  • £6.3 bn for environmental upgrades to homes, such as grants for improving boilers and insulation by 2021


Liberal Democrat Party:

  • Invest £15 bn over 5 years to retrofit insulation in 26 million homes

  • Require all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard


Homelessness


Labour Party:

  • End rough sleeping within five years by making 8,000 homes available and upgrade hostels

  • Provisioning an additional £1 bn a year for councils’ homelessness services


Liberal Democrats:

  • End rough sleeping within five years

  • Scrap the Vagrancy Act, so that rough sleeping is no longer criminalised

  • Introduce a ‘somewhere safe to stay’ legal duty to ensure that everyone who is at risk of sleeping rough is provided with emergency accommodation and an assessment of their needs


Conservative Party:

  • End rough sleeping within 5 years expanding programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First


Green Party

  • Seek to end rough sleeping within their first time of office (5 years)


With a pinch of salt


A key thing to consider is that with change comes opportunity and in some cases you may be able to use these policies to your benefit.


It is safe to assume whomever comes into power, we will likely see increased taxations on foreign investors; increased ‘rights’ for tenants; increased environmental standards on housing; a strong pledge to end rough sleeping and more support for first-time buyers.


On the other hand, the reality is that these are only proposals at this stage and things can change very quickly once the dust has settled!

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Normette Homes specialise in providing guaranteed rent and free management services.

Email: info@normettehomes.co.uk

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