The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has welcomed plans by the Conservatives to strengthen the possession rights of landlords.
In its manifesto, the Tories have set out plans to end ‘no-fault evictions’, introduce Lifetime Rental Deposits which can be transferred from one property to another and to deliver 300,000 new houses a year by the mid-2020s.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) states on the Conservative website: “The Conservatives have always been the party of homeownership, but under a Conservative majority government in 2020 we can and will do even more to ensure everyone can get on and realise their dream of owning their home.
“At the moment renting a property can also be an uncertain and unsettling business, and the costs of deposits make it harder to move.
“We are going to fix that.
“A Conservative majority government will empower renters and give them greater peace of mind.
“We will end no fault evictions, so that landlords can’t remove tenants without good reason, and introduce Lifetime Rental Deposits so renters don’t have to save up for a new deposit while their money is tied up in an old one.
“It’s because we will get Brexit done that we can focus on helping people get on the property ladder or move up it, whereas Labour’s plans for two chaotic referendums would hold this country back.”
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, added: “We agree that the system for repossessing properties is in need of reform and support the Conservatives’ proposals to strengthen the possession rights of good landlords.
“It is vital that the reforms are got right. At present it can take over five months for a landlord to repossess a property through the courts in legitimate circumstances.
“We will be keen to work with ministers to establish a new system of repossession rights and the establishment of a dedicated housing court to ensure good landlords and tenants can secure justice swiftly in the minority of cases where something goes wrong.
“It is disappointing that there is no mention of reversing some of the tax changes hitting landlords which have resulted in a drop-in investment in the market making it more difficult for tenants to find the housing they want.
“Longer tenancies for tenants will be meaningless without landlords entering and staying in the market long-term.”
The party has also proposed long-term fixed rate mortgages at 95% LTV to help renters buy and a First Homes scheme where homes will be sold at a 30% discount to local first-time buyers.
Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, also stated on the party website: “A Conservative majority government will make sure we have the homes we need in every part of the country.
“We delivered one million homes in the last five years and we’ll deliver at least another million in the next five years.
“We’ll help renters make the leap onto the housing ladder and we’ll provide discounts for first time buyers in their local areas.”
Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, was also pleased with the party’s plans.
Daniels added: “The trap that had offered itself to the Conservatives was to enter a game of one-upmanship with Labour over house building targets and push them ever further into the atmosphere.
“Boris Johnson and his team have resisted that temptation, instead focusing on an achievable and credible number.
“This is a good indication that they have got to grips with the detail and challenges of what is needed to deliver homes.
“The concern continues to be that funding availability and land options could precipitate the next contraction in house building activity but the party’s proposal to focus on improving the planning process will be a key ingredient in attempts to prevent that from happening.
“Supply-side solutions like this are essential to balance out the continued need for demand-side financial assistance such as Help To Buy, which has been extended.
“The fact that Modern Methods of Construction get a mention is no accident.
“Mainstream interest in MMC is established and policymakers now regard offsite construction as the lifeboat that brings a target of 300,000 new homes a year into achievable focus.”