The established parties are coming out with policies thick and fast as the clock ticks down to a tight and unpredictable UK election on May 7th
These include; building more houses & new towns, extending social housing and the right to own, increasing affordable housing, greater local authority housing planning, improving tenant rights, changes to housing benefits, starting a national landlord register, and the following.
Imposing a CPI-linked cap on rents could deter much needed investment in the housing sector, the property industry has warned.
The Labour party yesterday pledged to cap rents so they cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation (CPI) during secure three-year tenancies.
The British Property Federation (BPF), which represents those who invest in and develop property, said that an overly-prescriptive approach to rent increases could deter much-needed investment in the housing sector.
The organisation also highlighted how the policy could lead to uneven rent rises for tenants who live in a property for several years, when the rent returns to market after three years.
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: "Ultimately what will help tenants best is more investment in housing.
"Pension funds and other institutions have billions to invest in this market – developing places that would provide a new generation of high-quality homes that offer greater choice to renters, including the option to sign longer tenancies."This additional investment will be vital to tackle the housing crisis, and we would urge the next government to do all it can to encourage it, rather than chase it away with an overly-proscriptive approach to rent setting. "In places like London, tenants will find this policy on rents may make their budgeting harder, rather than easier. Their rent will tick along at CPI for a couple of years and then they will face a potential sharp rise in year three when the rent returns to market."
Create a national register of private landlords. Ban unfair letting agent fees. Introduce three-year tenancy agreements, starting with a six-month probationary period allowing landlords to evict a tenant if they are in breach of their contract, with a ceiling on excessive rent rises. Strengthen standards to improve the energy efficiency of properties. Deliver a million interest-free loans for energy home improvements. Make energy efficiency improvements to 200,000 low income households. Stop immigrants from claiming benefits for at least two years. Cap structural social security spending so that it is properly planned and controlled. Pause and review Universal Credit.
No household will receive more than £23,000 in benefits, exempting those receiving Disability Living Allowance or the Personal Independence Payment. 18-21 year olds will no longer have automatic entitlement to housing benefit. Freeze most working age benefits for two years from April 2016.
New help to rent, tenancy deposit loans to help young people get into their first place. Target for all social and private rented homes to reach EPC Band C by 2027 (and by 2035 for all houses).
All low-income homes to be Band C by 2027. A new Feed Out Tariff for investment in solid wall insulation. Reform the Green Deal into a new Green Homes Loan Scheme, funding renewable heat and electricity alongside energy efficiency. Ban landlords from letting out homes tenants cannot reasonably afford to heat. Introduce a Council Tax discount for significant improvements in energy efficiency in homes, and a statutory target to bring the homes of all fuel-poor households to Band C by 2027.
The Association has and will continue to lobby local MP's on behalf of members, they are eager to win votes so please take this opportunity to get your voice heard.