LETTINGS NEWS: Labour promises reform of private rented sector
Labour has pledged to introduce far-reaching reforms to the private rented sector should it come into power in next May’s election. These include a requirement for “longer tenancies, greater security, more predictable rents, better regulation and proper enforcement of safety and decency standards” all backed up by compulsory licensing of all lettings agents.
Landlords, meanwhile, would have to be registered in an unspecified self-financing scheme, from which they would be excluded if they were ‘found guilty of illegal evictions, harassment, theft of deposits or serious disrepair’. Labour also wants a Decent Homes Standard to be introduced for private renting.
In landlords’ favour, the party would review tax to encourage investment and offer equity-share loans to help landlords bring their properties up to standard. However, buy to let mortgages for existing homes would be ‘discouraged’ with priority given to new-builds only. Commonhold tenures – successfully introduced by the last Labour government – would become the norm, replacing leasehold.