Labour and Conservative Parties’ Key Property Proposals

by Amanda Hodgson

Even though there has been speculation that Boris Johnson planned on overhauling the whole stamp duty system, neither the labour or conservative party manifestos appear to have addressed stamp duty reform. This is quite surprising, bearing in mind the current state of the property market.

The only evidence of any changes to stamp duty appears in the Conservative party's manifesto where they state that they plan on introducing a 3% surcharge on non-UK residents purchasing UK residential property. This will mean that non-UK buyers will face a charge of up to 18% when purchasing UK residential property and this is expected to raise £120,000,000 in revenue.

The Conservative party have outlined several property related proposals as follows:

  • Assisting young people to get on the property ladder by encouraging a new market in long term fixed rate mortgages, which will apparently slash the cost of deposits and open a new secure path to home ownership for first time buyers.
  • Reform shared ownership by making it fairer and more transparent by simplifying shared ownership products in order to set a single standard for all Housing Associations.
  • Banning the sale of new leasehold homes, with a restriction on spiralling ground rents to be reduced to a peppercorn rent.
  • Reforming the rental market by abolishing 'no fault' evictions and introducing a provision that tenants will only be required to pay one life time deposit.
  • Promising to maintain the right to buy for all council tenants and to maintain the voluntary Right to Buy Scheme agreed with Housing Associations.
  • Bringing an end to problems with rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament by expanding successful pilots and programmes such as Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First.
  • Increasing home building to a target of 300,000 homes by the mid-2020s.
  • Simplifying the planning system for the public and small builders and supporting modern methods of construction.

 

The Labour party's manifesto follows the stance of the Conservatives, by not introducing any new proposals in relation to stamp duty, instead, focusing on the following property related matters:

  • Building at least 150,000 council and social homes annually by funding with backing from national government.
  • Abolishing what Labour claim as the Conservatives bogus definition of 'affordable' housing and replacing it with a definition linked to local incomes.
  • Reforming private renters by capping rents and providing private renters with more security by introducing new open-ended tenancies in order to stop no fault evictions.
  • Scrapping discriminatory rules which require landlords to check people's immigration status or allow them to exclude people on housing benefit.
  • Ending rough sleeping within five years and expanding and upgrading hostels, turning them into places where people can turn their lives around and making 8,000 additional homes available for people who already have a history of rough sleeping.
  • Introducing a new national levy on second homes used as holiday homes which will supposedly help to deal with the homelessness crisis.
  • Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, labour plan on introducing a £1bn fire safety fund to allow sprinklers and other fire safety measure to be fitted in all high-rise council and housing association tower blocks.

It is surprising that despite the earlier speculation, both of the parties have avoided any form of Stamp Duty reform, apart from introducing the levy on overseas buyers

Although both parties also aim to improve the rental market, many landlords are likely to have concerns renting properties which could potentially lead to difficulties in getting those properties back.

 

Should you have any queries relating to this article or any other property related matters, please contact Amanda Hodgson.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

6 December, 2019
Related Insights

Articles & Media

Property Deposits and Engagement Rings

11 December, 2020

Articles & Media

Easing out of lockdown and what it means for the property sector

19 June, 2020

Fletcher Day's excellent practice provides good quality, realistic and sensible advice, with particular expertise in the casual dining and retail sectors. - The Legal 500, 2019