In the third of our series looking at housing, the economy and politics we thought we’d put together an article covering what landlords might expect under a Labour government.

With a reputation of being ‘anti-landlord’, the point to think about is how a government could attack the sector any more than the existing government has done over the past few years and there is now a very real likelihood that Labour will gain power next month.

Those of you who are keen readers will know that around half of landlords are undecided on who to vote for, with a survey from Landbay showing how around a third saying they will vote Conservative and 12% Labour.

Polls currently show Labour having a 20-point lead, with the current polling showing how:

  • Labour is on 45%
  • Conservatives on 25%
  • Reform on 11%
  • Lib Dems on 8%
  • The Greens on 6%

Let’s pause to gaze into the crystal ball and see what we could expect.

Rent controls

Before looking at the rental reform bill, we want to tackle the sticky issue of rent controls, as various Labour politicians have been bouncing this idea around for quite some time with very mixed messages being sent.

Labour seem unable to make their mind up on this, with their recent report (published in May) recommending that rent rises should be limited to consumer price inflation or local wage growth – whichever is lower.

Kier Starmer has been quoted saying that rent controls do not work:

“While we do believe action needs to be taken to protect renters and rebalance power, rent controls are not Labour party policy as we remain mindful of the risk they could pose to the availability of rental properties and the harmful impacts any reduction in supply would have on renters.”

As we know anything could happen so this is one to keep a keen eye on as it could only but increase the woes for landlords and tenants.

Abolition of section 21

After all the work put in, this has now been thrown away as parliament was dissolved, but we do know that labour remains committed to abolishing section 21.

Angela Raynor, deputy Leader of the Labour party and shadow housing secretary has recently commented on how Labour will abolish this on their first day in office.

In addition, Labour have promised to “close loopholes that disreputable landlords might use to exploit tenants” once section 21 has been abolished.

Whilst the rental reform bill was thrown away with the dissolution of parliament, what we can be sure is that this is coming fast down the track!

Decent Homes Standard 2.0

Labour has, for a long time, promised to deliver stronger, legally binding, change than the Rental Reform Bill did for the PRS and appears committed to what can also be known as the decent homes standard 2.0.

We will have to see what this includes if (and when) it comes to the surface.

House building and new towns

Labour promises to “get Britain building again” and promises to build 1.5 million homes within their first term by reforming planning laws, building new towns and using ‘grey belt’ land.

This is a bold commitment and we have read that the Conservatives have delivered around 1m homes since 2019, so Labour’s goal is to deliver 50% more than this. You’ll see from the below how house building has been largely falling over the past 45 years.
Warm homes plan

The last point is Labour’s warm homes plan which is an interesting one as we have read conflicting articles about this one but we would not be surprised if we see a resurrection of the pledge to make all homes EPC C with a deadline of 2034.

We’ll have to keep a close eye on this one, as Starmer recently backed down on his green pledges, but we all know that policy can change as soon as a new government takes the seat!

A new renter’s charter.

With the death of the rental reform bill, Labour pledges to introduce a new renters charter and here are a couple of things we would not be surprised to see:

  • A plan to end “automatic evictions for rental arrears”
  • Introduction of a four month notice period that landlords need to give
  • The right for renters to have pets
  • The right for renters to make “reasonable” alterations to a property
  • A proposal to make tenancy deposits portable

We will undoubtedly see numerous headlines flashing before us over the next month as we approach July 4th and we know landlords will be showing a particularly keen interest.

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