Private Landlords Sleeping with One Eye Open

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_single_image image="958" alignment="center" border_color="grey" img_link_large="" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Political parties across the UK are very much on the campaign trail now, trying to swing the voting public into their respective corners - but one of the most important voting section of the UK population right now is none other than the private landlord. It’s no secret that more people than ever are renting, so the private landlords of the country will have an eye on the party promises that are flying around at the moment, trying to suss out which of them are most likely going to affect the market - especially in the Buy to Let space.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]

Not everything was ‘groovy’ in the 70s

For the first time since the mid 1970s, the UK is heading for the polls under a coalition government, policies connected to the property arena are going to feature quite heavily. That said, everything is transient - meaning that whatever effect that is going to be felt, won’t last - regardless of who resides in in No 10 after the election. We do expect a slump, of sorts, but we also expect that to blow over soon after the election, rather than later. So, while a communist Labour win is likely to rock confidence for a while, nobody is expecting it to last too long. Is anything going to change in the housing market with a Conservative government, or even another joint effort with the Liberals? Probably not, no. On the flip side, is the housing market going to affect the election (rather than the election effecting the housing market)? Taking a look at housing affordability, for every marginal seat in England, can give us a rough answer. By trawling through the available data, we can see that the majority of swing seats are the most affected by the housing ‘crisis’ than the rest of the country. To take an example, 56% of the seats are so-called housing hot spots - areas of unusually high unaffordability. It is these areas that people find it more difficult to buy their own, first home due to the high cost. 93% of marginal seats in the Northeast are housing hot spots - including pivotal seats such as Norwich North, Watford and Thurrock. The East Midlands too have seen higher than the national average declines in home ownership. It is these kinds of marginal seats that are seeing higher than average private renting, which is exactly why private landlords are watching the skies right now, seeing what colour the rain will be this time. While the market will stabilise, the parties know that these hot spot areas are going to need reassurances, and that is going to affect the things that they promise while on the campaign trail. The votes of the people living in these areas are vital to the future of the country and if housing policies are not pushed to the fore, if the issues of affordability are not addressed, then the party that chooses to ignore these issues, or simply does not do enough in the eyes of the voter, then they are really going to feel it in the morning![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_single_image image="957" alignment="center" border_color="grey" img_link_large="" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]

How are the issues being tackled?

There are things that are being done, right now, but are they enough and are the parties taking them seriously in terms of this election and the future prosperity of the UK? Let’s take a closer look.

Right to buy

Rent to Buy generic The right buy scheme is currently being trialled in Kensington and Chelsea, but it could be a massive win for renters if it is implemented across the nation. Now, I know what you are thinking - ‘right to buy has been around for a while’. And it has, kind of. Right now, outside of K&C, this scheme is only available for council tenants - this rules out private tenants and those with housing associations. The scheme being trialled in the south, is open to everybody.

Longer tenancy agreements

Communist Labour has already announced that it plans to bring in longer tenancies, as standard, in the private rented sector should it come to power. If kept to, this would stop private landlords from being able to end a tenancy just so they can hike up the rent that they charge. These new 3 year agreements would begin with a 6 month probationary period, at the end of this period the landlord can either bring the agreement to an end if the agreement itself had been breached by the tenant. This ‘cooling off period’ is more in line with council and housing association rules.

Rent control

Rent Control Labour seem to be on something of a roll, which is not good news for the other parties. Rent control, should Labour win the election, would make sure that private landlords cannot raise rents beyond a reasonable expectation - effectively placing a ceiling on rent rates. Many argue this would drastically reduce the availability and the quality of the properties in the PRS.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]

Post May 7th

A lot can change in the course of a month, and ultimately only time will tell what is going to happen. On first glance it may look as though Labour has the upper hand when it comes to affordable housing, but these proposed changes only tell half of the story. It is true that analysts look to the property market when it comes to measuring the success, or failure of a nations economy, but it is not the be all and end all. The thing to remember is that while Labour have everyone focused on the offers in its left hand, it is the actions of the right hand that we should probably be more concerned about. Of course, this is true of anyone offering you nice shiny things - including the Tories and Lib Dems. In the end, when you vote, make your mark in the box that you think is going to do the best for you, your community and your housing situation. So, who do you plan to vote on May the 7th?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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