Labour’s right to buy idea for private tenants is ludicrous, says NLA

Article Posted -
02 Sep 2019

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has slammed the Labour Party’s suggestion that private tenants could be given the chance to buy their homes at a discounted rate from their landlords.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said he hoped the policy would be a solution to the “burgeoning buy-to-let” market. The policy replicates the right to buy scheme that was introduced by the Thatcher Government, allowing social housing tenants to buy their homes at a fraction of the market price.

Under the Labour proposal, the Government would set the criteria for what is a reasonable price for the property, which would then become right to buy. Mr McDonnell said he didn’t “think it’s complicated.”

The NLA, however, believes the proposal is yet another demonstration of Labour’s misunderstanding of the housing market.

Chris Norris, Director of Policy and Practice at the NLA, says:

“To suggest that private landlords should be selling their properties to their tenants at a below market rate arbitrarily set by politicians is ludicrous. Landlords had to pay market rates themselves. It’s only right that, if and when they decide to sell it, they can do so at market rates.

“If Labour does indeed wish to fix the housing crisis, they should focus on encouraging the Government to build more social housing, which is what the housing sector is lacking.

“John McDonnell’s assertions that landlords are looking for a quick buck and don’t maintain their properties shows a serious lack of knowledge about how the vast majority of landlords run their businesses. These good landlords should not be punished for the sins of the few who fail in their obligations to provide tenants with a decent home.”

Comments

Submitted by 161090 on 13 September 2019 - 3:40pm

Given that the Lib Dems, Greens and Labour are likely to work together tactically to not stand against each other to keep the Conservatives out, votes for all three parties are threat to landlords' property.

In reply to by 152945

Submitted by smuth on 13 September 2019 - 10:00am

Alongside this press release, we have been contacted by various news outlets to discuss the potential implications of a Labour government. These articles are likely to be published over the coming weeks in the lead up to the Labour Party Conference. We will continue to point out any and all ill-advised proposals regardless of who makes them.

- NLA PR Team

Submitted by 004280 on 3 September 2019 - 2:23pm

Sorry if this is submitting twice (see above)- no idea why.

Having looked in more detail at this proposal, one of the major problems is that it will adversely affect landlords who have long term tenants (presumably tenants who are therefore happy with the arrangement i.e. tenants of the good landlords). The property of landlords who are slow to repair, charge high rents etc are going to be the ones with the greatest 'churn'. Since there is a discussion that any 'discount' will be based on length of residency, then the worst landords will least affected. I am actually not opposed to giving first refusal to the tenant (I actually did this recently and we discounted the sale price by the cost of the agent's fee and based the sale price on Net House prices). The tenant got a good deal and everyone was happy. However, the choice to buy and sell must be mutual. Could NLA also explore whether this would be a breach of Article 1 of the first protocol of EHRC? It looks to me as though it could be if compensation were at anything less than fair value.

Submitted by 004280 on 3 September 2019 - 11:04am

Two comments
a) 2.6 million voters (the number of landlords) who won't be voting Labour.
b) John McDonnell needs to get his facts straight. The most recent government Housing Survey showed that satisfaction on the part of tenants in the private sector was HIGHER than the social sector - particularly so for repairs.

Submitted by 004280 on 3 September 2019 - 11:04am

Two comments
a) 2.6 million voters (the number of landlords) who won't be voting Labour.
b) John McDonnell needs to get his facts straight. The most recent government Housing Survey showed that satisfaction on the part of tenants in the private sector was HIGHER than the social sector - particularly so for repairs.

Submitted by 152945 on 2 September 2019 - 4:09pm

So the cabinet is meeting this afternoon to discuss a possible general election and given their (and particularly the PM's) record of "good" judgement, we could be landed with this left-wing chancellor and PM with dizzying speed.
As this looks like the most serious threat to our investments yet (not to mention the biggest disincentive to make any further investment in maintaining our existing properties, highlighting the absurdity of the Shadow Chancellor's rationale for this proposal), what is the NLA planning in the way of national press releases, campaigns, etc. to inform the electorate about their voting options and the consequences of their choices?

Join the NLA

The NLA is the UK's leading association providing support for private residential landlords, serving over 40,000 members nationwide. New landlords join the NLA for advice, information and guidance and to keep up-to-date with fast changing laws and regulations.

Join today and receive instant access to a wide range of key landlord services, award-winning resources and exclusive supplier discounts.

Become a member