Plans announced by the Labour Party which could see it bring in a radical right to buy scheme if it gains power at the next general election would “kill off the private rented sector”, David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association has warned.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is promoting the idea as a way to make it easier for tenants to buy the homes they live in. And the move could see millions of private tenants in the UK to buy their rented homes at what the Shadow Chancellor called a “reasonable price”.
However it is unclear what this reasonable price would be. “You’d want to establish what is a reasonable price, you can establish that and then that becomes the right to buy,” McDonnell told the Financial Times. “You (the government) set the criteria. I don’t think it’s complicated.”
However Smith slammed the plans. He said: “Labour’s proposal would effectively kill off a large part of the private rented sector denying a home to many thousands of people. If there was to be any chance of this becoming law, there would be a mass sell-off of properties in advance.
“The RLA is all in favour of landlords selling to sitting tenants but it must be entirely voluntary. Anything else amounts to a form of compulsory purchase.”
London-based property developer Keshava Raghubeer of Sixteen South West added: “If you wanted another reason not to vote Labour this is it. All this would create is a mass exodus of landlords before the date of implementation.
“You’d think at a time of national crisis the Labour Party would have bigger things to focus on.”