Today (18th May), the Conservative Party launched their 2017 general election manifesto. With all the opinion polls pointing to Theresa May’s Government being returned on 8th June, landlords should take heed of this plan for the next 5 years.
Below is a quick summary of the headline policies that will impact upon landlords, their businesses and the wider private rented sector.
Compared to the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos, the Conservative offering has fewer policy pledges aimed at the private rented sector. This could be good or bad, depending on your trust for the Government to stick to the manifesto and not make it up as it goes along.
- There is no indication that a renewed Conservative Government will relent on the “Tenant Tax”/Section 24 restrictions to mortgage interest relief.
- Corporation tax will be reduced to 17% by 2020 as planned.
- The threshold for higher rate income tax will be pushed up to £50,000 by 2020 as planned.
Private Rented Sector
- Will look at how security for good tenants is increased and how landlords can be encouraged to offer longer tenancies as standard.
- Renewed commitment to banning letting fees for tenants.
- Equalities law will be strengthened so that private landlords who deny people a service on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender are properly investigated and prosecuted.
- Commitment to upgrading all fuel poor homes to EPC band C by 2030.
- A fair debt policy – creating a “Breathing Space” for those in serious problem debt, allowing them to apply for legal protection from further interest, charges and enforcement action for a period of up to six weeks.