General Election: How is the General Election likely to impact rent prices?

Average rents had risen by an average of 0.8% in the years following the 2017 and 2019 elections, compared to a rise of 2.7% in the previous 3 elections.

Related topics:  Finance,  Rent,  General Election 2024
Property | Reporter
28th June 2024
Rent Up 551
"Although most parties have similar priorities when it comes to renting, such as abolishing section 21 ‘no-fault evictions’, the specifics of the policies for each party will be different"
- Dave Sayce - Compare My Move

With the General Election on July 4th, each party has published their manifestos and detailed what they plan to do if elected into parliament.

Housing is a big part of any manifesto, with the mortgage base rate stagnating at 5.25% many people cannot afford to buy at the moment and are looking to the new government to help either alleviate housing prices or make it easier to rent.

A new report by Compare My Move has looked at how renting is going to be affected after the election, depending on what party gets into government, and what has happened to average rental prices after previous general elections.

The report explores how the new parliament and the 2024 General Election will affect both tenants and landlords alike, and what each can do to prepare for the new parliament.

Here is an overview of the key points found from rental prices over the previous general elections:

• Rent prices tend to rise in the 12 months immediately after a general election, by an average of 1.96%

• On average, rent prices rise by 0.9% more under a Labour government than a Conservative government

• House prices rose the most (3.4%) 12 months after the 2015 General Election, in which the Conservatives and David Cameron won a majority

• House prices rise an average of 2.3% when the general election ends in a majority, compared to only 1.4% when ending in a hung parliament

On average the rent prices will rise by almost 2% in the year after a general election and have risen after every general election in the past 20 years, however, this has been to varying degrees. As you can see, the average rent price rose a lot more after the pre-2017 elections compared to the 2017 and 2019 elections.

Average rent had risen an average of 0.8% in the years following the 2017 and 2019 elections, compared to a rise of 2.7% in the previous 3 elections.

Dave Sayce, Compare My Move founder and Managing Director comments: “Rents have seen a significant rise over the past few years, with an increase in the average rent price of almost 9% in the 12 months up to February 2024, therefore they go into the election at an all-time high.

"However, many parties have focused on helping renters in their manifestos, and therefore I don’t think the rise will continue at this rate, and will become more gradual in the 12 months after the election.”

What Manifestos Say About Renting

Each party has a section where they talk about what they will do surrounding renting if elected. For most parties, this involves improving renters' rights and making it easier and safer to rent properties as a tenant.

However, there are policies in some manifestos that aid landlords and make it easier to rent out properties, all of these properties differ from manifesto to manifesto, so we have broken down the key policies for each of the main UK-wide parties that surround renting.

Labour

Much like many other parties, Labour has promised to abolish Section 21 if they win the 2024 General Election in their attempts to overhaul the regulations in the private renting sector. Abolishing Section 21 will stop ‘no fault’ evictions, which will increase security for renters in the private sector. They will also extend ‘Awaab’s Law’ to the private sector, increasing the standards landlords need to keep to rent out properties.

Conservatives

The Conservatives also continue on a promise to introduce a renters reform bill and abolish section 21 and ‘no fault evictions’, however, they state that they will do so while introducing a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy which will allow social housing landlords to evict tenants that are disrupting the local community.

They also state that they will “strengthen other grounds for landlords to evict their private tenants guilty of anti-social behaviour” to soften the blow of the abolishing of section 21, but do not state what these other grounds are.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats will also be abolishing no-fault evictions and go further to aid renters by making three-year tenancies the default in an attempt to lower the reliance on short-term lets, this issue will also be devolved more so local authorities can have more control over short-term lets.

They will also establish a national register of licensed landlords in England, which will allow tenants to know more about their landlord's history before they start renting with them, as well as require landlords to submit all of their checks and certifications. As well as the national register, the Liberal Democrats will fully recognise tenant panels and give renters a voice in landlord governance.

Reform UK

The Reform UK manifesto is a lot more brief on property than other manifestos, but what it says about renting is also a lot more favourable to landlords than other manifestos. Reform UK promise to scrap section 24 for landlords, meaning landlords will be able to deduct finance and mortgage interest costs from their tax on rental income and give landlords more take-home pay.

Reform UK will also abolish the current renter's reform bill that the conservatives put in place as an attempt to give renters a helping hand when dealing with landlords’ bad practices. Reform UK mentions that instead, they will “boost the monitoring, appeals and enforcement process for renters” but do not delve into specifics.

Green Party

The Green Party Manifesto is also brief when it comes to renting and housing in general. In the housing section of their manifesto, they do focus on making the rental market fairer for renters and will push for rent controls, meaning that local authorities can lower rents if the rental market becomes unaffordable for local people.

Much like many other parties, the Green Party will bring an end to no-fault evictions and aim to make rental tenancies more stable for renters. They will also introduce a private residential tenancy board, which will be an informal, cheap, and quick way to resolve any tenancy disputes before they reach a tribunal.

Should I Wait Until After the Election to Rent?

Both landlords and tenants will be affected by the outcome of the General Election, no matter which party wins on July 4th.

David comments on whether he believes landlords and tenants should wait until after the General Election to either rent out their property as a landlord or rent a property as a tenant:

“It’s a good idea to wait until after the election before making any major decisions surrounding either renting as a tenant or a landlord. Although most parties have similar priorities when it comes to renting, such as abolishing section 21 ‘no-fault evictions’, the specifics of the policies for each party will be different.

"Right now, Labour is winning in the opinion polls, but I suggest taking a look at every manifesto surrounding housing and making sure you are prepared for any scenario.”

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