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Labour pledges “immediate” scrapping of Section 21

Labour’s manifesto, just released, makes a pledge to enact the “immediate” abolition of Section 21 eviction powers, along with other private rental sector reforms.

In a section titled ‘Break Down Barriers To Opportunity’ it says:

“Security … means having a secure roof over your head. That is not the case for too many renting their homes privately. Labour will legislate where the Conservatives have failed, overhauling the regulation of the private rented sector. We will immediately abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, prevent private renters being exploited and discriminated against, empower them to challenge unreasonable rent increases, and take steps to decisively raise standards, including extending ‘Awaab’s Law’ to the private sector.”

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And in a section titled ‘Strong Foundations’ it sets out its broader housing commitments:

“The dream of homeownership is now out of reach for too many young people. The Conservatives have failed to act even though the housing crisis is well known to be one of the country’s biggest barriers to growth. Labour will get Britain building again, creating jobs across England, with 1.5 million new homes over the next parliament.

“We will immediately update the National Policy Planning Framework to undo damaging Conservative changes, including restoring mandatory housing targets. We will take tough action to ensure that planning authorities have up-to-date Local Plans and reform and strengthen the presumption in favour of sustainable development. 

“Labour will support local authorities by funding additional planning officers, through increasing the rate of the stamp duty surcharge paid by non-UK residents. We will ensure local communities continue to shape housebuilding in their area, but where necessary Labour will not be afraid to make full use of intervention powers to build the houses we need.

“Labour will take a brownfield first approach, prioritising the development of previously used land wherever possible, and fast-tracking approval of urban brownfield sites. But brownfield development alone will not be enough to meet our housing need.

“Labour is committed to preserving the green belt which has served England’s towns and cities well over many decades. Under the Conservatives, greenbelt land is regularly released for development but haphazardly and often for speculative housebuilding. Without changing its purpose or general extent, Labour will take a more strategic approach to greenbelt land designation and release to build more homes in the right places. The release of lower quality ‘grey belt’ land will be prioritised and we will introduce ‘golden rules’ to ensure development benefits communities and nature.

“In partnership with local leaders and communities, a Labour government will build a new generation of new towns, inspired by the proud legacy of the 1945 Labour government. Alongside urban extensions and regeneration projects, these will form part of a series of large-scale new communities across England.

“Housing need in England cannot be met without planning for growth on a larger than local scale so we will introduce effective new mechanisms for cross-boundary strategic planning. Labour will require all Combined and Mayoral Authorities to strategically plan for housing growth in their areas. We will give Combined Authorities new planning powers along with new freedoms and flexibilities to make better use of grant funding.

“Labour will further reform compulsory purchase compensation rules to improve land assembly, speed up site delivery, and deliver housing, infrastructure, amenity, and transport benefits in the public interest. We will take steps to ensure that for specific types of development schemes, landowners are awarded fair compensation rather than inflated prices based on the prospect of planning permission.

“Labour will deliver the biggest increase in social and affordable housebuilding in a generation. We will strengthen planning obligations to ensure new developments provide more affordable homes; make changes to the Affordable Homes Programme to ensure that it delivers more homes from existing funding; and support councils and housing associations to build their capacity and make a greater contribution to affordable housing supply. 

“Labour will prioritise the building of new social rented homes and better protect our existing stock by reviewing the increased right to buy discounts introduced in 2012 and increasing protections on newly-built social housing.

“Labour wants exemplary development to be the norm not the exception. We will take steps to ensure we are building more high-quality, well-designed, and sustainable homes and creating places that increase climate resilience and promote nature recovery. We will implement solutions to unlock the building of homes affected by nutrient neutrality without weakening environmental protections.

“Labour will work with local authorities to give first-time buyers the first chance to buy homes and end the farce of entire developments being sold off to international investors before houses are even built. And we will introduce a permanent, comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme, to support first-time buyers who struggle to save for a large deposit, with lower mortgage costs.”

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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 11:59 AM

    The nail has just been hammered further in to the PRS coffin. Not much longer before the nail head is flush to the surface.

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    The manifesto also states:

    "The last Labour government made huge strides in ending homelessness. Under the Conservatives, that progress has been undone, with rough sleepers an all-too-common sight in our towns and cities, and a sharp rise in hidden homelessness. Building on the lessons of our past, Labour will develop a new cross-government strategy, working with Mayors and Councils across the country, to put Britain back on track to ending homelessness."

    We don't have details about what their legislation will include. We do know that if they give Mayors and councils more powers that short lets will probably require planning permission - which will be unlikely to be granted. There could also be rent controls.

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    NOT There could also be rent controls, BUT There WOULD also be rent controls.

     
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    You are probably right.

     
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    Try living in Scotland with this mob! We have all that already.
    6% stamp duty up here too!

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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 12:22 PM

    Repeat the same thing and expect a different outcome - that's the definition of madness isn't it? Welcome to the UK under Labour!

     
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    100%. It's sh*t being a landlord in Scotland now

     
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    Does this mean Labour have to pass a Bill or is Section 21 gone on day 1 of a labour government?

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    I would have thought that there will be an immediate eviction ban with a similar procedure as occured due to Covid.

    The manifesto actually states:

    We will IMMEDIATELY abolish Section 21 EVICTIONS.

     
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    Having ploughed through the Labour manifesto it looks like Section 21 will be abolished day one. They will then bring in legislation later.

     
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    Hopefully there would be a Bill including provisions for selling a property but I'm not optimistic.

     
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    Assuming a labour majority. It will require legislation, and I don't think they will be able to fast track it by arguing it's a national emergency, like covid was at the time. So there should be a few weeks at least.

     
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    Issuing my one today

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    Not sure that will work as they can immediately ban Section 21’s in progress.

     
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    They could stop the eviction, but would an eviction ban be indefinite?

    If not, then perhaps if you had issued a Section 21 notice, there would be a later window when you could use it. However, don't Section 21 notices expire after six months?

     
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    I suggest you put it on the market then, should they try to ban the Section 21, you could argue it breaches your Human Rights - that wonderful legislation introduced by Lady Blair.

     
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    • C P
    • 13 June 2024 12:23 PM

    Here we go the socialist party has finally shown their colours, everyone who want to make a decent living for their family has to pay the ones who sit on the free loading "Republic of United Kingdom"

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    CP - Keir Starmer just a front for a far left socialist party. After the election Corbyn will be readmitted into the fold!
    I happened to come across a copy of Country Life the other day and was amazed at the number of large homes with land up for sale. The rich are already planning their exodus from the UK. Note Labour are changing compulsory purchase rules for land purchases too.
    If I was younger I would definitely move abroad.

     
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    Wait till Darth Rayner does a Boris on Sir Kneel.

     
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    Surely they have to pass legislation on any changes??

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    North Korea 🇰🇵 doesn’t have too 🫣 We are being modelled on it 🤔

     
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    The Coronavirus legislation took four Parliamentary sitting days to pass.

     
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    Who knows what shenanigans they will get up to with NO opposition to challenge them. Really who are all these people who tell pollsters that are voting labour? Are they unable to imagine the consequences?

     
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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 12:27 PM

    To be fair, Angela Rayner has been telling anyone who would listen that they would do this one day 1. So it really isn't a surprise. We have rebalanced our portfolio, selling where necessary and changing one to short term lets only. If there's a hint that short term lets will get hammered, that will go also.

    We are in for a 5 year rollercoaster ride. I have no doubt there will be a huge opportunity for the PRS in 5 years time, when the next Government after Labour has to tempt us back with all sorts of sweeteners. Invest your cash wisely for 5 years and keep it liquid in Year4-5 would be my advice.

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    There is a hint that short lets will go, I think from this:

    "Building on the lessons of our past, Labour will develop a new cross-government strategy, working with Mayors and Councils across the country, to put Britain back on track to ending homelessness"

    Existing short lets were going to automatically receive a new planning category, but Councils were opposed to that, so I think they will block that if given the right to do so under Labour.

     
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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 12:47 PM

    Yes Ellie, no doubt it's on their radar but it might take them a couple of years to legislate to pass those powers to councils. Will keep a close eye out and if the direction of travel speeds up, so will our decision to sell.

     
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    I am in the same boat as you, AS,

    I feel uneasy about the short let situation. The legislative situation seems to be rather unclear at the moment.

    Also will fixed term student tenancies be allowed? It would not be safe to give a shorthold assured tenancy to students now with the knowledge that Section 21 will be gone in a couple of weeks. Can you give students licence agreements? Will licence agreements be abolished under Labour? If so, when?

    The manifesto doesn't give us detailed information.

    I can't see a safe way forward if you want to keep control of your properties.

     
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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 14:04 PM

    Ellie - letting to first or second year students is probably still safe (most won't want to pay for 3 months in the summer when they're not there, so will vacate). Be careful letting to final year students who may potentially want to stay on.

    As with most things, pick and choose your student carefully (the rich type who will likely move to a banking job in London would be a safe bet, whereas a scruffy treehugger type who is graduating in a David Beckham studies degree is best avoided.

     
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    Thanks for your advice AS.

    And do you think give them a licence agreement, not a tenancy? By that I mean provide a regular cleaning service.

    I think the legal framework of the contract is so important - but more important, is to be on the same page as the tenant/licensee. If they are here for a fixed term then they would want a fixed term agreement.

     
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    AS - I am changing to student market rather than young professionals and I will go for ones who are likely to move on into banking etc. However I may still still sell up as flats become empty.

     
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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 15:59 PM

    Ellie – I’m no expert on the student lets sector. Questions around Licence Agreement might be can you take a deposit (you don’t for Airbnb etc), if you can take a deposit do the same deposit protection rules apply, can you have a guarantor for each student etc….. Without a guarantor, the whole business model changes. If you provide a cleaning service, you are probably also paying the bills, broadband, council tax etc. and rolling it into the rent charged. The cost model changes, so becomes not as attractive for the lower end of the market.

    The more likely outcome is that the student lets sector will lobby Labour to ease up on their sector, so it can function relatively straightforwardly. I guess if there was someone with some power, who has a vested interest in the student lets sector, able to negotiate the favourable terms, then it will happen. Know anyone who might fit the bill? Suddenly the dots would become all joined up.....

     
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    Thank you for that AS.

    I don't have a problem with including the bills, as there is a reasonable unlimited deal that you can get with Huddle so that the students have unlimited gas, electricity and water. I think the students still are exempt from the council tax if they have a licence agreement. Huddle will also provide broadband.

    I don't see any reason for not being able to get a guarantor, although I noticed that UCL won't act as the guarantor unless you give them a shorthold assured tenancy, but they are not going to exist in a couple of weeks if Labour wins.

    I can live without a deposit, I think - or only take a little one, so that if there were a problem with it not being protected, the penalty would be small.

    The Universities need to speak to Labour.

    There was a House of Lords amendment prior to the calling of the general election to allow fixed term lets for students providing the landlord was accredited.

    What we really need is for Labour to give us much more detail about what they want to allow, but I don't think that that is going to happen. Having said that, Angela Rayner is quite outspoken and might give more information.

     
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    We need to know exactly when Section 21 abolished. Extending Awaabs Law is going to be a nightmare too.

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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 12:45 PM

    Sounds like they can put an immediate ban in place. With legislation to follow (and with a stonking majority, the legislation is a foregone conclusion).

    Sensible landlords have 3 weeks to get their Sections 21's crossed and dotted!

     
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    The Hawks 🦅 will be circling and licking their lips …… this will mean more selling up.

     
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    Amazing how Awaab died because of Social Housing, yet the PRS is being attacked because of that.

     
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    All the Homelessness was caused by the totally unnecessary Renters Reform Bill and the threat of Removing Section 21, just add the introduction of Section 24, higher interest rates and licensing Schemes, now you know it didn’t just happen it was caused, now you morons.
    Please think of another catch phrase other than S.21 must go, is that your limit.

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    This is the end 🫣☠️. So if the ban comes in…. What if a landlord wants to sell in say August ? What legislation does he or she use ?

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    I have the same question! Are they going to change section 8 as well to add the clause if a landlord needs to sell the property ?

     
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    Wanting to sell the property could be classed as a "back door no-fault eviction".

    The Labour commissioned Cowan report states:

    "tenants must have security. No-fault evictions must go, including the back door no-fault evictions introduced by the Conservatives’ renters (reform) bill.”

     
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    Simon - Under Labour landlords won’t be allowed to sell unless with sitting tenants and the property value will be reduced by fifty per cent. Your likely buyer will be a Council getting the property on the cheap!

     
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    Landlord Me - I recall Labour saying they were going to remove the Conservatives’ loophole of a landlord wanting to sell or move a family member in.

     
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    That will be a nightmare not being able to sell the property! I think this will prompt huge sellout by the private landlords in coming days. I am bit worried about my properties now.

     
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    Unlikely they can stop people selling or force a sale below market value. This would contravene other laws. Compulsory purchase has to be at full market rate. Also they will crash the mortgage sector as no lender will accept this situation, and they can hardly apply it only to people with no mortgage.

     
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    Will the Corporate Build to Rent guys be exempt?

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    Would it depend on if they had given the occupants licence agreements, rather than tenancy agreements?

     
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    • A S
    • 13 June 2024 14:11 PM

    Whatever your views on covid, the reality is that period saw a mass transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the elites.

    This squeeze on landlords, restrictions on selling, rent caps, plummeting values for PRS properties, bargains being picked up by the state (or no doubt their B2R chums) will no doubt lead to even more wealth transfer from the middle classes to the elite asset owning class. It's all very deliberate. And we allow it happen. The dumbing down of education is to blame, if only we had a better/higher educated population who had been taught how to think!!!

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    Spot On AS. Only the Corporates will be left.

     
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    The two main parties are incompetent, but Liebour with the Marxist in a suit, Sir Kneeler, will finish this once great country. R.I.P. third-world U.K.
    Glad I sold all my properties, and invested in Florida.

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    We need clarification on this, and quick 🫣🫣 we all could be about to lose control of our whole portfolios.

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    Will the NRLA be able to provide information?

     
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    Ellie,
    you have missed your true role as a comedian.

     
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    Ha Ha AL. The NRLA has published something on their website - naturally they agree with the Labour Party policies:

    "Labour said it will ‘overhaul’ regulation of the private rented sector if it is successful at the polls on 4 July, during its manifesto launch today.

    Section 21 repossessions will be abolished ‘immediately’ by a Labour Government, according to the document, which also announces the party’s intention ‘to prevent private renters being exploited and discriminated against, empower them to challenge unreasonable rent increases, and take steps to decisively raise standards, including extending ‘Awaab’s Law’ to the private sector.’

    NRLA Chief Executive Ben Beadle said it is vital the sector has a reasonable time-frame in which to adapt to any changes.

    He said: “All of the main parties are committed to ending section 21. What matters is ensuring the replacement system works, and is fair, to both renters and responsible landlords.

    “Given this, we agree with the Shadow Housing Minister who has argued that ‘landlords need robust grounds for possessions in legitimate circumstances, and they need the system to operate quickly when they do.’

    “We stand ready to work constructively with a potential Labour Government to achieve this and ensure a smooth transition to the new system. This needs to include giving the sector time to properly prepare for it.”"

     
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    Ellie
    Bungling Boy Beadle has assumed the position ready to be shafted.

     
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    Also there could be a potential Conservative-Reform Government if those parties made a pact, AL.

    The combined Conservative-Reform vote could exceed the Labour vote.

    Some polls have put Labour on only 38%. Conservatives have been as high as 27% and Reform as high as 17%.

    The Conservatives and Reform just need to get their acts together. Jacob Rees-Mogg has been doing his best, apparently, to sort something out.

     
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    Ellie,
    the problem with that is that UKIP did a deal over Brexit and the Tories renaged on it. there is now a great deal of mis-trust from REFORM. that said, and arrangement where the Conservative & Unionist are made to stick to Conservative principles could work, especially with Gove, sunak and Hunt out of the picture.

     
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    I don't think Sunak and Hunt will be out of the picture, but Gove has gone.

    However, I think we were better off with Gove than with the Labour Party.

     
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    Hunt has said he is 1500 votes from losing his seat and really, would anyone vote for Sunak? Never mind stabbing two PMs in the back but leaving the D-Day celebrations was, surely, the final straw. As if that wasn't bad enough he apologised for being late because Macron spent too much time talking to other leaders.

     
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    They are in control at the moment of what happens prior to the election.

     
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    Ellie - I believe Nigel Farage is waiting for the Tories to crash at the election so they will merge with Reform and he becomes party leader. Actually this could be a good thing as he is not afraid to speak up. We could then end up with a proper Tory party.

     
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    I think you are right Margaret, but five years of Labour is a long time. We really need a proper Tory party right now while there is still time.

     
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    Margaret, goodness me it’s hardly a loop hole wanting to sell your own property.
    What they should be concerned about is we won’t be buying any property, what are they going to complain about then, we will be sitting on the fence with them and no one do anything.👍

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    Remember Sir Kneel, for all his mealy mouthed words, is far-left and to them, all property is theft.

     
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    I'm glad I just put rents up as I'm pretty sure rent freezes will come in. Even if a section 21 was issued this week Labour wouldnt let it go through once they get in. I'd sell but pretty sure a LL will only be able to sell to another LL or the tenant. Bad days ahead.

  • George Dawes

    Labour isn’t working ..

    It was true then and even truer now

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    Not true, George, they are working very hard at destroying the PRS.

     
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    And doing a very good job of that.

     
    Rob NorthWest-Landlord

    To be honest the current Gov have done a pretty good job of convincing everyone to vote Labour.

     
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    Legislation would need to be introduced, this will take some time. S21 cannot be abolished on Day 1, as Angela Rainer says. The Labour has the audacity to say everyone needs to have a roof over their head. However, they do not state that everyone has to pay for the right to stay in their homes, whether bought it outright, mortgaged or through payment of rent. By abolishing the S21, they will give rights to tenants to stop paying rent as they will not be given notice to leave but only a S8, which will take ages to get to court and then a bailiff to physically remove them. This is possible in the next 5 years for the landlords to get out of PRS. Court will be adviced to be very hard on the landlords and tenants may remain in the landlord's property for 12 to 36 months without paying rent.
    Any non-student homes will be sold off as soon as I get a chance to do so. Some have left (so empty) and others will be given notice to leave very soon. It is not going to be easy for some tenants to leave. One of them has stated that thye wish to stay for another 4 to 5 years. The rents will increased each year, if this happens. Rent control may be introduced. However, they have to allow rent increase based on inflation.

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    I have been quite relaxed about rent increases in the past and my rents below market value until the tenant left. In future I shall be doing yearly increases up to the max I am allowed to! Having said that I shall sell up most likely when a tenant leaves. The bad news is that Labour intend increasing CGT so Catch 22!

     
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    • G W
    • 13 June 2024 16:13 PM

    Labours housing review did include that they wanted to control the PRS. Removing section 21 is a smokescreen to get us all worked up when what they’re really planning is total control of our properties without paying a penny….. you can’t sell unless to another landlord and if you do they’ll cripple you on CGT so it’s win, win from their perspective

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    The governemnt needs to have social housing very quickly and they can buy from the landlords at market price, no need to ahve new builds, as they would be just quick, temporary fabriaction housing. The need to ahve some sense and buy them quickly and not harrass the landlords in renting free properties.

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    Alternatively, as the council are not very good at running social housing, all they need to do is pay the tenants a housing allowance and then it's up to the tenants to find a rental property. Keeping it simple for the council.

     
  • John Wathen

    R.I.P Private Rental Sector, it will soon be known as Starmer’s Rental Sector. Sell up folks, the party is over!

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    I think it’s already too late for that 🫣 we have hit the iceberg 🚢

     
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    Labour are going to make a real F up of things. We Us landlords better watch out. It WILL get absolutely Dia.

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    George Osborne started all this back in 2015 with Section 24, the Tories have done enough damage to the PRS and they are supposed to be on our side. Labour will finish the job if they get an outright majority in next to no time. Fingers crossed they don't , hopefully Reform can get enough votes with the conservatives to form a majority government.

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    Gideon did a lot of damage. No chancellor since has rectified it and have even made it worse.

     
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    Matt Matheou, I think it started long before that with Deputy Premier Mr John Prescott 2004 Act, I was one of the first to be hit with the Mandatory licensing Scheme in 2006, it was 9 years later before George Osborne hit us in 2015,

  • David Hollands

    Renters Reform Bill is the cause of all the recent problem.
    Its destroyed the the private landlords and as a result the there are no quality private rentals left to rent, and as a result of this the rents have gone up dramatically.
    The Renters Reform Bill has had a devastating effect on renters which is the opposite effect it was designed to do.

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