Chris Norris, Director of Policy and Practice at the NLA

It’s official. It’s November and a general election campaign is underway.

The 12 December election is the first time in almost a century that the UK electorate has been asked to turnout during the festive season. The World has moved on somewhat since Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay McDonald faced off across the despatch box, but some circumstances seem eerily reminiscent.

The December 1923 election saw a recently appointed Conservative leader call an election not technically due for a number of years in order to renew his mandate, against a national mood depicted by contemporary commentators as ‘gloomy’. 

That poll saw the Conservative Party win the most seats (258) but ultimately lose out to a Labour/Liberal coalition in the following hung parliament resulting in the UK’s first Labour-led administration.

Of course, history recalls that this Government lasted only 10 months, and the October 1924 election saw the Tories returned with a substantial 209 seat majority.

Whatever your politics, I think we can all agree that one election is more than enough to plan for at the moment – but let’s wait and see how much history is about to repeat itself and what additional turmoil we may have instore.

That being said, elections are a prime opportunity for us as landlords to remind our future representatives how important we are to the local economy and community.

Unlike the rest of the electoral cycle, during the next five weeks candidates will be available and visible to local voters. They will be holding hustings, visible in local media, and knocking on doors meaning that we have the chance to make the case that landlords need more support and recognition from government.

At this stage we don’t know exactly what the parties have in store for private landlords, but we do know that housing is likely to be a hotly contested topic.

Consequently, it is the perfect opening to:

  • Ask your local candidate if they know how many households in the constituency rely on a private landlord for their home
  • Point out that removing section 21 (in England) could lead to 960,000 properties leaving the market
  • Remind them that George Osborne’s removal of finance cost relief is forcing one in four landlords to sell at least one property to keep their businesses afloat; and crucial
  • Ask what they plan to do to help private landlords keep providing the quality rental homes their future constituents desperately need in return for your vote

For more support and information about how to lobby your local MPs or candidates on changes to s21 or anything else visit: https://landlords.org.uk/support-advice/april-2019-changes-to-section-21

 

7 November 2019 - 4:23pm
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