Who’s looking out for letting agents this election?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The manifestos are out, well the traditional big three at least, and we have a (slightly) clearer view of what the election will mean for letting agents.

Here goes…..

Conservative

Tax

  • There is no indication that a renewed Conservative Government will relent on the “Tenant Tax”/Section 24 restrictions to mortgage interest relief.
  • Corporation tax will be reduced to 17% by 2020 as planned.
  • The threshold for higher rate income tax will be pushed up to £50,000 by 2020 as planned.

Private Rented Sector

  • Will look at how security for good tenants is increased and how landlords can be encouraged to offer longer tenancies as standard.
  • Renewed commitment to banning letting fees for tenants.
  • Equalities law will be strengthened so that private landlords who deny people a service on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender are properly investigated and prosecuted.
  • Commitment to upgrading all fuel poor homes to EPC band C by 2030.

“Fair Debt”

  • A fair debt policy – creating a “Breathing Space” for those in serious problem debt, allowing them to apply for legal protection from further interest, charges and enforcement action for a period of up to six weeks.

 

Labour

Tax

  • Unsurprisingly, Labour have not mentioned reviewing or reversing the “Tenant Tax”/Section 24 restriction on mortgage interest relief.
  • Conservative plans to reduce corporation tax to 17% by 2020 will be scrapped, and instead will be raised as follows:
    • To 21% from 2018-19,
    • To 24% from 2019-20, and
    • To 26% from 2020-2021
  • The lower small-business rate of corporation tax (below £300,000) will be reintroduced and raised as follows:
    • To 20% from 2018-19, and
    • To 21% from 2020-21.
  • Labour will also exclude small businesses (turnover under £85,000) from the Government’s Making Tax Digital scheme, which will mandate digital quarterly reporting.
  • Labour will reintroduce the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA), which has been a key ask of the NLA, in order to incentivise landlords to make energy efficiency improvements in their properties by offsetting the cost against income tax (up to a certain, as yet undefined amount).

Private Rented Sector

  • “Improve” upon existing energy efficiency regulations which will already prohibit landlords granting a new or renewed tenancy for properties below an EPC rating of E from April 2018.
  • Labour will seek to make three-year tenancies “the norm”, with an inflation cap on rent rises.
  • The Mayor of London will be granted extra powers to give London renters additional security.
  • Labour will legislate to ban letting agency fees for tenants.
  • Labour will “empower tenants” by giving renters new consumer rights:
    • Minimum standards – A new legal minimum standard to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation.
    • Empower tenants to take action if their rented homes are sub-standard.

 

Libdem

Tax

  • Unsurprisingly, the manifesto makes no mention of reversing or reviewing the “Tenant Tax”/Section 24 restriction on mortgage interest relief.
  • Reverse a number of the Conservatives’ tax cuts, including:
    • –  The cutting of Corporation Tax from 20% to 17%.
    • –  Capital Gains Tax cuts.
    • –  Capital Gains Tax extended relief.
  • “Reform” dividend tax relief (although does not go into detail on how it will be reformed).
  • “Reform” Corporation Tax, shifting it away from a profits-based tax to one that takes account of a wider range of economic activity indicators, such as sales and turnover.
  • Consider the implementation of Land Value Taxation.

Private Rented Sector

  • Introduce a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years.
  • Ban lettings fees for tenants, capping upfront deposits and increasing minimum standards in rented homes.
  • Establish a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
  • Give tenants first refusal to buy the home they are renting from a landlord who decides to sell during the tenancy at the market rate according to an independent valuation.
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
  • Improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing and allow access for tenants to the database of rogue landlords and property agents.

Energy Efficiency

  • Pass a new Green Buildings Act to set new energy-efficiency targets, including a long-term ambition for every home in England to reach at least an energy rating of Band C by 2035.
  • Ensure that at least four million homes are made highly energy efficient (Band C) by 2022, with priority given to fuel-poor households.

 

 

This entry was posted in Blog, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Who’s looking out for letting agents this election?

  1. Rob Senior says:

    The ideas of people with no idea about the PRS. None of these take account of none professional Landlords, tenants who need to rent for shorter term work commitments or people who live and work in small rural communities. More stupid policies that try to make the PRS a vehicle for what should be social housing … that these idiots sold off cheap! More legislation, but what about enforcement so that those of us paying out and jumping through hoops can at least work on a level playing field. Licencing is likely to be just another revenue raiser.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s