As the election campaign gathers pace the main political parties have published their election manifestos ahead of the polls on 07th May 2015.
At a glance what the main parties would do for housing and the Private Rented Sector (PRS) if elected to Government.
Key Points from the Manifestos on the PRS include –
• Will implement the requirement for all landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants nationally.
• Will encourage longer-term tenancies.
• No housing benefit for 18 – 21 year olds
• Introduce a National register for Landlords
• Legislate to make three-year tenancies the norm, with a ceiling on rent rises.
• Ban letting agent fees.
• Labour will pause and review the Universal Credit programme
• Enable Local Authorities to operate licensing schemes for rental properties in areas where they believe it is needed.
• Encourage a new multi-year tenancy with an agreed inflation-linked annual rent increase built in.
• Establish a voluntary register of rented property where either the landlord or the tenant can register the property,
• A new Rent to Own model where monthly payments steadily accrue the tenant a percentage stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years.
• Introduce a mandatory licensing scheme for landlords.
• Bring Housing Benefit for all age groups back in line with average market rents.
• Make ‘buy to let’ less attractive, reducing pressures on house prices, removing tax incentives, including the deduction of mortgage interest as an expense, and reforming the ‘wear and tear’ allowance.
• Reduce VAT on housing renovation and repair work (including insulation) to 5%, costing £1.6 billion a year.
• Set up a Living Rent Commission to explore whether controls could bring rents more in line with local average incomes.
• Give tenants the right to request Housing Benefit is paid direct to their landlords, whatever benefit scheme they are on.
• Commitment to bringing empty properties back into use within their broader housing and planning strategies.
• National guidelines for licensing.