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If elected, the Conservatives will follow through on their pledge to end Section 21 no-fault evictio

What will the election mean for the property sector?

By Fraser Gregory  //  Fri 6th December 2019
Both the Lib Dems and the Conservatives would increase stamp duty for non-UK residents

Whether you’re an aspiring homeowner, buy-to-let investor or a tenant, the general election manifestos have plenty of pledges that could affect you. As 12 December’s polling day gets ever closer, we dig down into some of the detail. 

On the private rented sector

If elected, the Conservatives will follow through on their pledge to end Section 21 no-fault evictions. The party also wants to introduce a ‘lifetime deposit’, which would enable tenants to transfer their deposit from one property to another, rather than waiting for a refund.

The Liberal Democrats want to introduce mandatory licensing for landlords, aimed at protecting tenants from rogue operators. They would promote longer tenancies, of 3+ years, and require rent increases to be linked to inflation. They would also introduce a Help to Rent scheme, providing government-backed tenancy deposit loans for first-time renters under 30.

Labour wants to introduce rent controls, capped by inflation. It would also end no fault evictions by creating open-ended tenancies and would launch its own national licensing scheme.

In addition, the party has pledged to get rid of right to rent immigration checks and give councils powers to regulate short-term lets, through the likes of Airbnb.

On homebuyers

Labour wants to reform the Help to Buy scheme, increasing its focus on first-time buyers with moderate incomes.

The Conservatives will introduce ‘lifetime’ fixed-rate mortgages for renters with a 5% deposit.

Labour and the Conservatives want to ban the sale of new leasehold homes. Labour would allow existing leaseholders to buy their freehold ‘at a price they can afford’.

On second homes

Labour would tax second properties used as holiday homes to help deal with homelessness. The Lib Dems would give local authorities powers to increase council taxes by up to 500%, on second homes, in an effort to free-up vacant properties.

Both the Lib Dems and the Conservatives would increase stamp duty for non-UK residents. Boris Johnson has pledged a stamp duty surcharge of 3%. The revenue would go to rough sleeper initiatives. Labour would add a 20% surcharge for overseas companies buying UK property.

Read a quick guide to each party’s pledges in the Guardian.

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