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BTL landord voters could be a crucial force at the general election

Which party will win the landlord vote? 

Given that the mainstream parties all have policies that appear to work against BTL landlords, the answer, it would appear is by no means clear-cut.

The latest polls show Labour has narrowed the gap against the Conservatives.

The Tories still have a nine-point lead with just over a week to go until the general election on 12 December.

If you support the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats you probably want the election to be all about Brexit; if you’re backing Labour, probably anything but. 

But either way, the underlying tactical battles of this election for many landlords will be a crucial issue: housing, and in particular the PRS. 

New reseracah by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) suggests that the votes of private landlords could be pivotal in deciding the outcome in more than  100 constituencies.

Fresh analysis of data obtained by The Times from HMRC has found that in 124 constituencies across the UK, the number of people declaring income from property in 2017/18 was the same as or larger than the overall majorities of those candidates elected in 2017.

The figures reveal that of these seats, 55 were won by Conservatives, including those of the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland in South Swindon, the former Conservative Party Leader, Iain-Duncan Smith in Chingford and Woodford Green and the Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers in Chipping Barnet.

Some 39 of the seats identified were won by the Labour Party in 2017, including in Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald’s seat in Middlesbrough, Shadow Scottish Secretary, Lesley Laird’s seat in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and in Labour’s most marginal seat of Kensington.

Among the seven seats won by the Liberal Democrats in 2017 in which the landlord vote could be decisive are the seats of Westmorland and Lonsdale, held by the party’s former leader, Tim Farron, and Kingston and Surbiton, won at the last election by the party’s Deputy Leader, Ed Davey.

The statistics show that of those constituencies in which the landlord vote is the same as or larger than the majorities won in 2017, 14 are in London, 12 are in the South East, 11 are in the East Midlands, 11 are in the North West, 10 are in Yorkshire and The Humber, 9 are in the South West, 8 are in the East of England, 6 are in the West Midlands and 3 are in the North East.

In Scotland, 25 seats could see landlords decide the final results. The same is true for 9 seats in Wales and 6 in Northern Ireland.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Private landlords could be decisive in who ends up in Downing Street following the election.

“For those unable to afford a home of their own or unable to access social housing the rental market is their only hope of having somewhere to live. With that in mind, we call on all political parties to do more to support good landlords to provide the homes to rent we need. 

“That is why all parties need to do more to enforce the wide range of powers already available to root out criminal landlords rather than introduce new obligations which have no hope of being properly enforced by hard-pressed councils.”

Poll: Do you agree that private landlords could be decisive in who ends up in Downing Street following the election?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    The logic here is flawed. It assumes no landlords have previously voted for the party who won these seats last election and all will vote for the runner up party with no other voters changing their votes.

    Even if this happened, 55 Conservative seats would change and 39 Labour seats would also change hands, along with 30 others so the overall effect would be pretty inconclusive, just like this article!

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    While the numbers of landlords in certain constituencies might be enough to swing a vote, that assumes every landlord votes for the same party, it won't happen. On top of that, none of the political parties are shouting about making things easier for landlords but instead making things better for tenants. That basically makes whether you're a landlord or not a fairly minor consideration in deciding how you're going to vote.

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    Regardless of how critical the Landlord vote is if you look at the manifestos of the various political parties not one seems to be trying to attract the Landlord vote.

    I spoke to my MP recently, who happens to be conservative, who tells me “we haven't made any announcement around Section 21 as we are still going through the comments on the consultation” they go on to say that they are “strengthening the rights of possession for good landlords”.

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    None of the parties is particularly on the side of the landlord, so it is the case of voting for the least worst of them, which I believe is the Tories.
    The worst by a long stretch has got to be Labour under Corbyn, who is all set to crucify landlords if he gets in.

     
  • Paul Barrett

    Even the least worst is still going to make the PRS unviable
    Still worthwhile getting out.
    Convert to a residential house and take in lodgers.
    About the same net income but NO S24 tax or CGT
    No more than 4 bedrooms occupied means NO HMO Licence required.
    Very few 5 bed properties could comply with Mandatory HMO licence regulations so why bother buying a 5 bed unless you can buy it for the price of a 4 bed!?

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