21st November 2019

Residential Landlords to Suffer Under Labour

The Labour manifesto has been published today, with swingeing plans for the Private Rented Sector (PRS).  Landlords now have to prepare themselves (in the event of a Labour victory) for rent controls, open ended tenancies and binding minimum standards.

Perhaps these proposals are not unexpected and, at least, there is no reference to giving private tenants the Right to Buy.  Nevertheless those in the sector will be concerned by these attempts to further reduce the number of landlords. 

Tenants are to be permitted to organise and defend their rights with new renters’ unions in every part of the country.  On the positive side, there is a proposal to end Right to Rent checks.

In our view the PRS will only diminish as a result of these changes as private landlords sell up.  We do not believe that all houses sold will end up in the hands of those currently renting, due to the pent up demand across most parts of the country.  This will just serve to put further pressure on tenants as the lack of supply is not addressed.

The UK PRS is largely served by individuals and families with small portfolios.  They may rightly feel short changed if their years of investment become subject to more prescriptive legislation.  Perhaps now is a good time to end tenancies and bring property to the market for sale?

Graham Bowcock

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