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Propertymark launches a manifesto for housing

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 11th November 2019
Propertymark has published its own ‘manifesto’ calling on the new Government to regulate and reform the housing sector.
Propertymark launches a manifesto for housing
As the political parties set out their stalls ahead of the general election on 12 December, Propertymark has produced a manifesto of its own. The umbrella organisation for the sector’s professional bodies is calling on the parties to make housing reform part of their plans for a new government.

The manifesto contains a list of asks, namely to:

Reform stamp duty

Propertymark is calling on the government to remove the 3% stamp duty levy on second homes and buy-to-lets, which, it believes, has restricted the supply of property for rent.

Incentivise downsizing

The manifesto wants to see more homes aimed at the over 65s along with bonds for downsizers, in an effort to free up family homes. It also wants people downsizing to be exempt from stamp duty altogether.

Make the RoPA recommendations law

Propertymark wants a future government to act on the recommendations made by the regulation of property agents (RoPA) working group, chaired by Lord Best. They include a code of practice, licensing and qualifications aimed at increasing the professional status of the sector.

Open up the database on rogue operators

Tenants, agents and regulators should be given access to a database of rogue landlords and agents. There should also be action to prevent rogue operators moving from lettings into sales.

Tackle issues for new-build leaseholders

While the government has pledged to ensure that all new houses are sold on a freehold basis, Propertymark wants additional legislation requiring developers to amend leasehold agreements with onerous clauses.

Introduce property MOTs for rented homes

Propertymark wants the current discretionary licensing system replaced with compulsory annual MOTs for all rented homes.

Create a new housing court

Before the ending of Section 21 no-fault evictions, Propertymark wants a dedicated specialist property court to handle eviction cases and speed up the process.

Introduce digital logbooks

The manifesto calls for a digital logbook for every property bought and sold to reduce the number of failed transactions.

Other measures called for include improvements to Universal Credit, a review of landlord taxes, new regulations for short-term lets and help to improve energy efficiency in rented homes.

Read more about this story on the NAEA Propertymark website and in The Negotiator.

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