Now that we are in the middle of an election private rented sector news appears to have quietened down save for the parties’ manifestos. PainSmith is not endorsing any one party however it is important that the sector is aware of what a party may plan if it forms the next government. As such this is the first of two posts looking at the policies for the private rented sector of the Conservative and Labour parties.
A new scheme will be introduced to allow tenants to transfer their tenancy deposits between tenancies. When moving from one property to another some tenants find it difficult to raise a further deposit for their new property while waiting for their old landlord to reimburse it. The Conservatives have therefore addressed this issue with what they refer to as a ‘Lifetime Deposit Scheme.’ Under this scheme when a tenant moves the deposit will be transferred from the old property to the new without delay and without causing the tenants any financial hardship. There is no information on how this will work with joint tenancies.
We have previously written about the government’s consultation on abolishing section 21 notices. Our previous post can be read here.
The Conservatives, including in comments by the Prime Minister, have reaffirmed their commitment to abolishing section 21 notices despite concerns that some landlords are likely to exit the sector if they go ahead with this proposal. The manifesto suggests that abolishing section 21 notices will protect tenants from revenge evictions and rogue landlords. The manifesto also states that for the majority of good landlords their rights to recover possession will be strengthened. We are unclear on how abolishing the s21 notice strengthens a landlord’s position and there is no information on other rights that might provide this increased strength.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
A 3% surcharge is proposed on non-UK resident property buyers. This will affect individuals who do not have resident status in the UK. One of the quirks of the UK immigration system is that it is possible to hold a British passport without having the right to reside here.
It is hoped that the surcharge will help fund new housing programmes and reducing homelessness initiatives.
In our next post we will look at the main private rental sector proposals in the Labour manifesto.
The contents of this blog post is not legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only. If legal advice is needed readers should contact a solicitor. No responsibility for any information contained within this post is accepted and PainSmith solicitors accepts no liability in respect of the contents or for action taken based on this post.
Published 26 November 2019