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Labour and Tory anti-landlord policies slammed by agency chief

A franchise network boss has sharply criticised both Labour and the Tories for their pro-tenant policies.

Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth, says both major parties are now trying to occupy the same ground, competing for the votes of the first time buyer and tenants.

He says: “The dangers are already here and it now depends whether a Labour government will exacerbate them.  


“Support for first time buyers is a positive step, but without actual action on supply and planning reform, this will be a one hit wonder - with future first time buyers facing an even steeper challenge. 

“The Conservatives have clearly defeated themselves by missing their housing targets. Labour have spotted this opportunity and are pushing their commitment to build new houses and council houses, which one can only hope they deliver if they come to power.   

"The big concern is the private rental sector where private landlords are starting to not see a future with rising costs of finance and tax changes meaning they pay tax on income they do not receive and their investments are underwater.  

“The issue is if they do sell off, then rents will rise further and competition will increase.  The answer to this is not rent caps. 

“We have seen in Scotland how this will disincentivise investment in the sector by institutions or private landlords, affecting the availability for people who want to live near their workplaces. 

“This is undermining the appeal of our cities as places to move for career reasons. In the case of London as a global business centre, international workers coming to the capital for work can't find accommodation.”

Agace says a healthy private rental sector is required to ensure that young people can live in cities, and not force them all into larger rental schemes without offering the choice of more central location.

He continues: “The other threat for prime markets is a stated intent to increase tax on overseas investors. We have seen in recent years that tax changes and economic credibility do affect buyer demand in prime markets. 

“London needs to continue to be open and welcoming to overseas investors to continue to thrive. If Labour pushes them too far, international investors will choose other cities to the detriment of the economy in London and UK as a whole."


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