Labour Slammed For Discounted Rental Home Buying Plan
Plans by the Labour Party that could see tenants being offered the opportunity of buying their rented home at a discount have been slammed by landlord organisations.
The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says that a tenant should be able to buy their rented home from their landlord which will tackle the ‘growing buy to let sector’ and reverse the availability of affordable housing.
Speaking to one national newspaper, Mr McDonnell said: "We have a large number of landlords not maintaining properties and are causing problems and overcrowding.
"In my street, a third of the homes are right to buy and are overcrowded and badly maintained. It's horrendous."
‘Reasonable price to pay’ for a rental property
He said that the government will set the criteria to establish a ‘reasonable price to pay’ for a rental property and added: "I don't think it's complicated".
In response, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said: "The manoeuvre will decimate the UK's rental market and create a shortage of homes to rent."
Other critics also say that the plans for buying discounted rental homes could see housebuilding collapse and create chaos in the private rental market.
The Residential Landlords' Association (RLA) says that Labour's plan will 'kill off the private rental sector'.
‘Will be a mass sell-off of properties’
The RLA's policy director, David Smith, added: "Labour's proposal will deny thousands of people a home and if there was a chance of this becoming law, there would be a mass sell-off of properties."
He added that the RLA is in favour of a landlord selling to a sitting tenant, but this must be voluntary and he said that anything else amounts to a 'compulsory purchase'.
The National Landlords' Association said that Labour's plan is 'ludicrous' with their director of policy, Chris Norris, saying: "Suggesting that landlords sell their property to a tenant at below a market rate that is set arbitrarily by a politician is ludicrous.
"Landlords have to pay market rates and if they decide to sell, they can do so at the market rate.
"If Labour wants to fix the housing crisis, they should encourage the building of more social housing which is what the sector is lacking."
He added: "John McDonnell's assertion that landlords do not maintain their properties and are looking to make a quick buck shows a lack of knowledge about how most landlords run their business."