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General election 2019: Housing should be top ‘priority’

Boris Johnson’s call for a snap general election on December 12 to try to settle the issue of Brexit took very few people by surprise. But many buy-to-let landlords and letting agents will be hoping that the poll will prove positive for the private rented sector, as it presents the main political parties with an opportunity to address voters’ concerns about housing, and not just focus on attempts to exit the EU. 

Research shows that many landlords have been affected by the introduction of tougher tax treatments and tighter bank lending criteria, with many buy-to-let landlords actively selling and reducing their property holdings as a consequence. 

The latest study by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) shows that there has been a further increase in the number of landlords exiting the buy-to-let market in recent months, at a time when demand for private rented property is increasing. 


According to the research, over the next 12 months 31% of landlords plan to sell at least one property with just 13% saying they plan to buy at least one.

A shortage of private rented housing together with strong demand from tenants has led to rising rents across most parts of Great Britain, and this is something that politicians must address. 

Some parties will propose rent controls, but there is plenty of evidence to show that this could risk hurting tenants as well as landlords by further damping investment in the PRS and in some cases pushing up rents. 



With successive governments failing to build enough housing - particularly social housing - the UK is in the grip of a worsening crisis, with homelessness on the rise. 

So ahead of the general election, all political parties must make housing a primary political issue and set out clear strategies on how they would tackle the shortage of residential properties across the UK, including in the PRS. 

Nick Leeming, chairman at Jackson-Stops, said: “All markets abhor uncertainty and the housing market is no exception. The priority now must be for politicians to provide reassurance by forming a government, once elected, as quickly as possible.

"Regardless of how the government is formed, it is clear that each of the main political parties’ manifestos need to have housing as a priority and so a clear strategy must be put in place.”

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Poll: Do you think housing is currently a top issue for voters?


  • John Cart

    This election will be about Brexit and nothing else but Brexit, however, having watched the performances of the 650 idiots in Parliament do we really need housing to be on the agenda this time to be pontificated over by people who know b***** all about b***** all. They'd be best advised to keep their noses out for the next decade or so. What's next from them.....rent controls??? … because that worked SO well the last time it was tried, didn't it.

  • David Lester

    At present there are plenty of articles relating the problems in the Housing and PRS sectors, predicting gloom and despondency all with excellent arguments, however the message is not getting across to the politicians. On the other side of the argument, i.e. Shelter and Generation Rent seem to get media coverage and achieve to get their message across.
    As this election will be a once in a possible 5 years to get the PRS point of view, we need to rally support, I personally have written to my MP on several occasion. Can I suggest that Landlord associations get together produce a communication that all Landlords can personalise to send to their MP’s

     G romit

    Shleter/GenRent do seem to have the ear of the Government wheras the NLa/RLA do not. They back up their advances to the Government will media stories on the hardship of particular families (often actors) to make politician think they can win votes by being seen to support policies that would combat such situations. Hats off to Shelter/GenRent they have a good formula that seems to work for them.

    I too have written and met my local MP (Con.) but all I ever get back is the Government line, he isn't going to rock the boat and jeopardise his chances of climbing the greasy pole.

  • Neil  Hayward

    I think landlords will continue to get blamed and kicked regardless of the outcome of the GE ... and Labour's election promise of allowing tenants to purchase rental properties at a price set by Government is nothing but theft .. with the abolishment of section 21 I'm not prepared to take the risk on my investment so the first section 21 issued and sale agreed 3 weeks after putting it on the market .... I will see what happens next before the next financial year ... no other business gets this level of abuse by Government and by the vile propaganda that comes from Shelter .

    • 31 October 2019 17:50 PM

    Yep selling off as well one property per tax year.
    Eventually 14 homeless tenants.
    Hope they find somewhere.


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