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Labour wants more controls on private rental sectorLabour's onslaught on the private rental sector continues, with the party now setting out how it will implement its rent controls and other reforms.

It says in a future Labour government's first Queen's speech (which could be as soon as next month) it will:

- cap rents so they cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation during secure three-year tenancies;

- require landlords and letting agents to disclose the rent levels charged to previous tenants so that householders can negotiate the best possible deal at the start of their contract;

- penalise rogue landlords by reducing buy-to-let tax relief for those who own properties which do not meet basic standards;

- restrict tax relief - the so-called wear and tear allowance - available to such landlords. This currently allows landlords to offset 10 per cent of annual rental income - sometimes worth thousands of pounds - on the basis of capital depreciation of furniture and appliances. It can be claimed even when they have not incurred any real costs.

These new announcements follow previous measures which Labour has already set out for the sector which include:

- secure three-year tenancies for all people who want them so landlords will no longer be able to terminate rental agreements simply to put rents up;

- a ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants, which Labour claims will save the average renting household £625 over the next parliament;

- setting up a national register of landlords which will enable rogue landlords to be identified and judge whether their proper meet basic standards.

Labour describes the private rental market as operating in a way which, currently, is making the dream of home ownership increasingly unaffordable with numbers of people owning their own house falling to their lowest level for 30 years.

The party says there are now 11m people - including 1.5m families with children - renting privatelt with many forced to rent for the long term but stuck in a short term private rental market with the default tenancy agreement lasting just six to 12 months.

In particular, Labour claims that almost 50 per cent of private rented households are over the age of 35 and many of this group want the same security and stability they would have if they owned a home.

It says its own private polling shows that 66 per cent of private renters would like the option of staying in their tenancy longer and 79 per cent would like more predictable rents.

Comments

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    There are two likely scenarios if Millipede gets in.

    The first being landlords selling up in their thousands and therefore making it more difficult for tenants to find somewhere to live.

    The second is that landlords will increase the rent to cover the additional costs being inflicted on them.

    Neither will help tenants. It is quite obvious that he sees votes in the private rented sector an thinks this is will win him more seats. He quite clearly has no idea what the implications are with these ill thought out plans.

    If you are a landlord or a letting agent it is quite what to do on May 7th.

    Do not vote for Labour, Green or Lib Dem!

    • 27 April 2015 10:02 AM
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    So does this mean if the idiots win the election I will be forced to increase the rents on 15 properties in Yorkshire, which have remained the same for the last 4 years. I'm sure the tenants will be very disgruntled.

    • 27 April 2015 09:44 AM
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    As usual Minibrain and his cohorts open their mouths without engaging their brains.
    Tenants generally prefer the six month term since that gives them flexibility to move should their circumstances change. I have had tenants initially sign for a six month term and stay for over seven years and NO RENT INCREASE.

    Landlords generally do not increase rents "just because". It is normal to wait for tenants to move out before increasing rents. Do the maths. Increase the rent by say 50 a month equates to 1.64 per day. If the existing tenants move because of the increase and a refurbishment and finding new tenants then takes a month, that is the 50 plus the original rent LOST. Shock news for Minibrain: Good Landlords prefer long-term tenants and do not usually increase rents unless there is a good reason.

    Finally Buy-to-Let mortgage companies prohibit tenancies over two years. Minibrain claims these will be exempt from the three year minimum. Since the majority of rentals are probably Buy-to-Let there is little point to this part of his proposal.

    • 27 April 2015 09:14 AM
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