Here's what landlords need to know ahead of tomorrow's election

Potential policies being floated by the major parties include tax relief for selling to existing tenants, an extension of ‘Awaab’s Law’, and stricter EPC demands.

Related topics:  Landlords,  General Election 2024
Property | Reporter
3rd July 2024
To Let 855
"Now that general election pledges have been put on the table, it’s disappointing to see that nobody is offering anything substantial in the way of recultivating buy-to-let investment."
- Sián Hemming-Metcalfe - Inventory Base

Property is, as always, front and centre of campaigning ahead of Thursday’s election, and landlords in particular are being simultaneously courted and put on notice by each major party. To cut through the noise, Inventory Base has provided an easy-to-follow guide on what each party has planned for the UK’s landlords.

No-Fault Evictions

Among the leading three parties - Conservatives, Labour, and Liberal Democrats - there is some common ground in landlord-facing policy, the most high profile of which is a ban on no-fault evictions.

The abolition of Section 21 evictions was due to be passed by the current government as part of the Renters Reform Bill, but this was sidelined when the PM called a snap election. Landlords should expect it to be the first major housing policy to be implemented after the election, with all parties calling for its ‘immediate’ scrapping.

Landlord protection measures

The Tories are the only party to announce an explicitly pro-landlord policy in the form of giving them firmer ground to walk on when trying to evict tenants for anti-social behaviour.

Tenant protection measures

While the Conservatives look to impress landlords, Labour and the Lib Dems are focussing on protecting tenants.

Labour wants to prevent private renters from being exploited by landlords by ‘empowering’ them to challenge unreasonable rent increases. This could impact the long-term profitability of being a landlord.

Labour also promises to extend ‘Awaab’s Law’, currently applied to just the social housing sector, to the private sector, thus requiring landlords to fix reported health hazards within strict, specified timeframes.

The Lib Dems have proposed a ‘Landlord Register’ to increase transparency around which landlords are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ - a move that will likely increase the administrative burden on landlords but could also help mend their tarnished reputation among tenants

Capital Gains Tax

Only the Conservatives are talking about Capital Gains Tax. The party wants to introduce a two-year temporary Capital Gains Tax relief for landlords who sell to existing tenants. It is hoped that this will encourage the conversion of rental properties to owned homes, while also benefiting landlords who want to sell.

What else is each party promising?

The Labour manifesto is lighter on landlord-facing policies than those of the other two parties as Keir Starmer looks to focus more on public services and the economy.

However, the Tories and Lib Dems have offered a smattering of additional policies that will impact landlords.

The Conservatives have pledged to provide more powers to councils to manage the ‘uncontrolled growth’ of holiday lets, which will impact the profitability of short-term lets, but also free up more stock for traditional buy-to-let landlords in popular tourist locations.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have given strong focus to the sustainability burden of landlords, including new incentives for installing solar panels, and an insistence that landlords increase their EPC rating to C or above by 2028. It is estimated that increasing a rating to C will cost landlords between £5,485 (increasing from D) and £10,873 (increasing from F).

Sián Hemming-Metcalfe at Inventory Base, comments: “Over the past few years, the government has actively penalised landlords with legislative changes designed to make buy-to-let investment less profitable. Now that general election pledges have been put on the table, it’s disappointing to see that nobody is offering anything substantial in the way of recultivating buy-to-let investment.

“The Conservatives and their Capital Gains Tax pledges provide a little positivity, increasing the potential returns of property investment, but if anything, a tax relief of this sort is more likely to drive landlords to leave the sector rather than encouraging growth.

"What I would like to see from whoever is elected on the 4th of July, is more decisive action around issues such as the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) and offering more support to the industry to deliver better and safer homes for tenants.”

"Whatever the outcome of the election on Thursday, we are hoping for a new era of leadership that understands the way to address a housing crisis is not to suppress the entrepreneurial landlord.

"We need leadership that avoids the easy PR of diverting blame and demonising landlords and instead pushes for proper, long-term solutions to our nation’s housing problem that understands a good mix of tenants and owner-occupiers is essential.”

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