Tories propose house buying reforms in election manifesto

The Conservatives have this morning announced a reform of the house buying process in the party’s manifesto for the June 8 General Election.

Pledges are low on detail but under the section called ‘Fair Markets for Consumers’ the manifesto says:

– “A Conservative government will reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly”;

– “We will crack down on unfair practices in leasehold, such as escalating ground rents”;

– “We will also improve protections for those who rent, including by looking at how we increase security for good tenants and encouraging landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard”.

Under a ‘Homes For All’ section, the Tories promise:

– “We will meet our 2105 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022”.

In the 88-page document there is one reference to the proposed ban on letting agents’ fees levied on tenants in England – confirming it will go ahead.

Elsewhere the manifesto pledges that 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. There is also a commitment to upgrading all fuel poor homes to EPC band C by 2030.

Additionally, the party says it will support local authorities and housing associations to build “a new generation of fixed term, high quality council homes linked to a new right to buy [scheme] for social tenants.”

Under the deals, the Conservartives would give councils and housing associations funding via the Homes and Communities Agency. Using reformed compulsory purchase orders, they could assemble sites but social homes built on them would be sold after 10 to 15 years, “allowing increases in land and housing value to be reinvested in new social housing over time.”

The tenant would receive the first right to buy on the property at the point of sale.


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