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Labour shelves tenants’ right to buy plans

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Last week saw the publication of the Labour Party’s election manifesto.

The National Landlords’ Association (NLA) for one was very pleased to see that it made no mention of previously-aired plans to give tenants the right to buy their rented property at a cut-price rate, according to a report in Landlord Today on the 19th of November.

The Labour Party had considered such a move as a way of reining in what it considered to be a burgeoning buy to let market. The state of the market provided landlords insufficient incentive for making adequate expenditure on maintaining or improving their let properties.

The NLA – along with other critics – had previously pointed out the unworkable nature of the proposals and the disincentive it would give anyone intending to invest in buy to let property, describing it as ‘ludicrous’. 

Of course, any landlord would need to purchase any such property at its full market value yet face the possibility of any tenant being able to purchase it at a discounted price. Faced with the prospect of taking such a financial loss, landlords would simply refuse to invest in buy to let property in the first place.

The NLA disagrees strongly with the premise that the majority of landlords fail to invest sufficiently in the properties they own.

Political parties that are serious about addressing the current housing shortage and the widening gap between the demand for and supply of private rented accommodation would do better to encourage the government to stimulate the building of more social housing, says the NLA.