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Labour manifesto: Right to Rent, Section 21, rent controls, licensing

Labour has launched its general election manifesto, promising to “transform” the UK with what some commentators view as the most ambitious - and most costly - pledges ever made. 

The manifesto sets out plans for the private rented sector, which includes the introduction of open-ended tenancies, the scrapping of Section 21 and new rent controls, designed to restrict rent increases to inflation.

The party has also proposed the introduction of nationwide licensing as well as new minimum standards for the PRS. 


Although not all the proposals will be welcomed by landlords, Labour’s pledge to support landlords who let to tenants in receipt of benefits by ending the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and realigning LHA to the 30th percentile of local rents is likely to prove popular. 


Landlords will also be pleased to see Labour promise to pay the housing element of Universal Credit directly to landlords, as well as end Right to Rent checks.

Looking at Labour’s wider housing policy, the party will aim to build 150,000 council and social homes annually, end the Right to Buy of council homes, launch a £1bn Fire Safety Fund to fit sprinklers in all high-rise council and housing association tower blocks. 

Labour will also introduce mandatory building standards and guidance, overseen by Fire and Rescue Service fire safety officers, end homelessness within five years, support restrictions on short-lets, tax properties used as holiday homes, and do more to support leaseholders.

David Alexander, managing director of Apropos by DJ Alexander Ltd, commented: “Everyone involved in the housing sector will welcome the Labour party’s plans to build more social housing. There is a growing need for social housing due to the rising population, the increase in the number of smaller households, and the ageing population so more homes are urgently required.”

“However, hostility to the private rented sector (PRS) is implicit in the Labour party leader’s policies.”

Alexander added: “The Labour manifesto seeks to vilify the private rented sector and blame landlords for all of the woes of the housing sector. The truth is that the PRS has stepped in and resolved a property shortage caused by successive governments lack of investment in social housing. Punishing this sector is not the way forward.

“The manifesto mentions rent controls, which generally don’t work and result in newer tenants paying more than their predecessors as initial rents are set higher to cover the fixed rents of the earlier tenants. Policies that aim to punish the PRS could result in large numbers exiting the market and if that happens, then Labour will have to build a lot more than one million homes in ten years.”

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Poll: Will you vote for Labour at the general election?


  • icon

    I think all landlords should sell up,then see the mess !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • phil dillon

    This is Bojos opportunity
    1) Scrap S24
    2) Leave S21as is.
    3) Reduce CGT to standard rates

  • icon

    “The Labour manifesto seeks to vilify the private rented sector and blame landlords for all of the woes of the housing sector"

    Yet at least one person on the poll above has said they will still vote for Labour!


    they are called the labour trolls

  • icon

    Presumably some tenants read this too? If so, hopefully the experience of some Scottish Landlords enjoying 30% greater rental incomes since the SNP "reformed" the Scottish PRS in December 2017 might make them think again. I really believe those English landlords with the courage and the means to stick it out will reap rewards no matter what any colour of government throws at them. The losers will be the most vulnerable, whether landlords or tenants.

    • 22 November 2019 12:54 PM

    So if Labour get in HOW will LL enjoy higher rents with the Labour rent control policy!?
    The last thing we need is anything like the Scottish PRS have had imposed on them.

  • phil dillon

    In Section 19 of the LM they also say that Councils will be encouraged to buy propertie from PLL and these will be then managed as Council Houses. Well Im up for it but I have a few provisos ; 1) They buy at Market Value 2) Any properties sold to Councils (Thus increasing Social Housing numbers at a stroke) should attract no more than 5% CGT.


    You are hoping?
    They are not going to help the PRS in any way, they will just hammer us with new regulations and taxes.
    'The devil will be in the detail' and they haven't mentioned the 'garden tax' yet?
    I am sure that they will bring this in when they are unable to get any more tax from the billionaires and entrepreneurs, who have probably already made provision to flee the country or hide the money in an offshore account.
    Mark my words, if Labour get in, it will be people like us who will be penalised the most.

  • icon
    • 22 November 2019 14:00 PM

    Yep the Labour 'garden tax' etc everyone seems to have forgotten that little gem.
    All masquerading on the basis of Council Tax Re-evaluation.
    This would mean CT bills massively increasing.
    They also want to include views etc as part of the CT valuation.
    CT bills could easily triple!

  • icon

    Tenants will be disappointed to see an end section 21, it has being their sure track way of getting Council to House them. I know many colluded with LL's to be evicted & even filled out the forms for LL to sign as if he had any other choice because he knew he had trouble if he didn't. The alternative was also a very good way of getting Council to house them, stop paying the Rent blame everything and get 7 / 8 months free renting while LL goes through Hell & procedures to get the property back, then they were off to Council armed with County Court Order to get Housed. I have used it genuinely about 10 years ago when I was owed a years rent. I got the judgement for vacant possession & order to have my rent paid + % unfortunately I never received a penny, good system isn't it.


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