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The 2015 General Election and the Housing Sector

Posted by on May 6, 2015


The housing sector is one of the key talking points in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

This could be due to the fact, on average, Britain needs to build 240,000 homes a year to stay aligned with the increasing population, when last year less than half of this figure were built.

Thus becoming a Housing Crisis.

Labour and Liberal Democrats are two of the larger political parties that have proposed changes to private renting in the UK. The Lib Dem’s wish to end the practise of ‘retaliatory evictions’ whereas Labour are fighting for longer­term tenancies, upper limit on rent increases and to make it illegal for letting agents to charge tenant fees.

The debate has created widespread concerns for industry professionals regarding whether the policies will be detrimental to the rental market

The figures often quoted by Shelter, Generation Rent and other politically motivated groups are simply wrong, and do not reflect the true cost of letting fees.

The average earnings of tenants referenced is now £27,000.00, and fees are often quoted at £100 ­ £200 meaning a vast majority of tenants do not have a problem with this, especially when being provided with a top quality service. Still, yet another Labour MP described letting fees’ as “outrageous” and “hated”. They fail to comprehend how this type of negativity towards the PRS will mean landlords are to invest in alternative assets, and with successive governments failing to provide the homes which our country needs, it will have a substantial negative impact on the number of homes available to people who simply cannot afford to buy their own home.

The effect of PRS Legislation has already been detrimental to Scotland as many tenants take up occupancy of rental property without appropriate referencing being carried out by the landlord in a bid to cut costs. This results in less professional service to landlords and tenants, rapidly increasing the risk exposure, all the while rent is increasing.

The vast majority of Letting Agents in the UK are professional, and provide a first class service and deal daily with the complexities of Landlord and Tenant needs.

If a Labour Government were to focus on recommending the high quality and value letting agents, rather than discrediting the whole industry the results would be beneficial to us all.

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