A Department for Housing would be created by a new Labour government, with rent caps, three year tenancies and yet more regulation all part of its plans for the PRS.
Labour’s election manifesto includes a raft of housing policies which could have disastrous impacts on the PRS.
The document pledges to:
- Make three year tenancies in the private rented sector standard across the sector, with rent caps linked to inflation;
- Give the Mayor of London new powers to provide additional security for tenants in the capital given the unique pressures tenants here face;
- Introduce new legal minimum standards to ensure private rented homes are fit for human habitation with new measures to empower tenants to take action where their properties are not up to scratch;
- Scrap the so called ‘bedroom tax’;
- Reverse the decision to cut housing benefit payments for those aged 18 to 21;
- Establish a new Department for Housing;
- Insulate more homes with a consultation also on preventing ‘rabbit hutch’ homes;
- Implement new minimum space standards for new housing developments; and
- Draft a new national plan to address the problem of homelessness.
RLA Chairman Alan Ward said: “While we have long argued for housing to have a higher profile on the political agenda, a number of these policies could have a catastrophic effect on the PRS, which is still coming to terms with tax changes that have forced some landlords out of the market altogether.
“Rent controls do not work and only serve reduce the supply and quality of homes to let. There is little evidence of demand for long tenancies and the PRS is already subject to strict regulations and standards – albeit ones that are not uniformly enforced.
“By introducing these policies Labour is in very real danger of crashing the sector – which will do nothing to help the families and vulnerable people renting homes that the party wants to support and protect.”
The draft proposals will be submitted to a meeting today of members of Labour’s National Executive Committee and representatives of organisations, such as the unions, affiliated to the Labour Party for consideration and agreement.