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Labour’s buy to let sell-off could lose landlords over £18,000 each

More details have emerged about Labour’s controversial proposal to allow private rental tenants that right to buy their landlord’s property, at a discount - even if the owner does not want to sell.

On the BBC One Marr Show yesterday, the architect of the policy - Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell - said that his party would ensure there was a “fair price assessment” of any buy to let property which a tenant may want to purchase. 

"I don't expect anyone to lose out” he told Marr; the BBC journalist did not probe McDonnell further on the issue, but that could mean no buy to let owner getting below their purchase price: that could, of course, mean the sale would still be at a below-market price as it would not have to take into account capital appreciation since the investor bought the property.


Last week the Financial Times broke the story of McDonnell’s surprise attack on buy to let. Then he told the newspaper how he would set about allowing tenants to buy their landlord’s property.

“You’d want to establish what is a reasonable price, you can establish that and then that becomes the right to buy … You (the government) set the criteria. I don’t think it’s complicated.”

Landlords failed to reinvest in properties and had made a “fast buck” at the cost of the community and their tenants, McDonnell argued.

“We’ve got a large number of landlords who are not maintaining these properties and are causing overcrowding and these problems. In my street now, a third of the houses are right-to-buy, badly maintained, overcrowded; it’s horrendous” he insisted.


Meanwhile The Times has calculated that Labour’s proposal could cost Britain’s 2.6m landlords no less than £50 billion in lost income and appreciation, depending on the conditions applied to the policy in the event of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.

The newspaper says this would be an average of £18,400 lost to landlords.

  • Simon Shinerock

    It would be far far worse. Imagine you have spent years growing your portfolio by remortgaging and reinvesting. On paper you may have equity but in reality your position is precarious. Imagine a tenant in your first house insists on buying and the valuation come in at £200K when you paid £100K unfortunately for you your mortgage is now £180K based on the full market value and you don’t actually possess the cash to pay the CGT! It’s not really a serious plan aimed at wealth redistribution, it’s a plan aimed at the destabilisation of society as a prelude to Marshall law and the permanent imposition of an autocratic centralised state

  • James B

    Quite unbelievable. These incompetent people are the biggest threat to the U.K. economy in decades ... then there is ‘2+2=5 Abbott’ in the background waiting to cause havoc

  • icon

    Don't dorget the white Diane Abbott, Emily Thornbury.

    These people are insane. Literally insane.

  • Julian Arundel

    It’s scary Labour on the horizon again. Anyone know if it will be possible to add a clause to each AST to elude the scope of the Act if they get that far ?
    Maybe state no sale at less than say 120% of open market valuation

  • icon

    Since when was leagalising theft part of a democracy?

  • S l
    • S l
    • 09 September 2019 11:32 AM

    So the government cant afford to manage the economy to assist tenants to buy their own property, so they are aiming at private properties using buy to right? What a load of baloney.

  • icon

    no one will make me sell if I do not want to thats for sure !
    Labour can go to hell

  • S l
    • S l
    • 09 September 2019 12:17 PM

    arent nla rla going to do anything about this ?

  • Mark Wilson

    I am confused, can someone explain how/why its ok, expected and supported by Property Mark and this publication, for starters, that laws should be changed so that Tenants of long leases can extend their leases or buy their buildings at a discounted price compared to the price they would pay today, yet Labour's housing proposal is abhorrent. I am not saying i support either, i just don't understand the inconsistency.

  • icon
    • 09 September 2019 12:38 PM

    I'm sure that such a Labour RTB proposition would be subject to a JR.
    I would imagine that such a JR would be rather well funded!!!!

  • icon
    • 09 September 2019 12:46 PM

    The WHOLE point of being a LL is 'TO MAKE A FAST BUCK'
    But we LL wish to carry on making fast bucks for many years.
    Of course we LL understand that we need to be compliant with all Regulatory requirements.
    That goes with the territory of being a LL.
    But making fast bucks is what it is all about.
    We use our property assets to make as much profit as we can ensuring that we are compliant with all REGULATIONS!
    That is how a market economy works!!
    It is not the LL fault if they are able to make a fast buck.
    LL are fully entitled to exploit market opportunities.
    The way to reduce the amount of fast bucks that LL are able to make is to stop immigration for about 5 years.
    Then build about 3 million Social Homes and start a buyback programme of about 2 million homes for the Social Housing market on the open market.
    That would considerably reduce market demand for private rental accommodation.


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