UK general election 2017: the manifestos summarised for buy-to-let landlords

With the 2017 general election looming, we’ve combed through the manifestos of the three major parties and summarised the positions and policies that could impact the rental market.

It’s worth noting that none of the main parties are pledging to roll back any of the buy-to-let changes that have been introduced recently, including the unpopular change to mortgage interest tax relief and the stamp duty hike on second homes.


Housing stock

  • The Conservatives promise to meet their 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020, and half a million more by the end of 2022.
  • They want to reform the house building market, freeing up more land for new homes, encouraging modern methods of construction, and giving councils the power to intervene if developers don’t act on their planning permissions.
  • The Conservatives want to crack down on unfair leasehold practices, such as escalating ground rent.

The rental market

  • They say they will strengthen the enforcement of equalities law, so that private landlords (and businesses) who deny people a service on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or gender will be properly investigated and prosecuted.
  • They want to improve protections for renters, trying to increase security for good tenants and encouraging landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard.

Self Assessment tax

  • The Conservatives promise to ‘simplify the tax system’ for those who pay tax via the Self Assessment process.

Read the Conservative party’s manifesto.


Housing stock

  • Labour want to make the building of new homes a priority, aiming to build over a million houses.
  • They say they’d try to protect leasehold owners by stopping rip-off ground rents and ending the routine use of leasehold in new developments.

The rental market

  • Labour pledge to make tenancies more secure, making three year tenancies the norm, and putting an inflation cap on rent rises.
  • They want to look at giving the London Mayor power to give renters in the capital city additional security.
  • They also want to empower tenants to “call time on bad landlords” by giving renters new consumer rights.
  • They say they’d introduce new legal minimum standards to ensure rental properties are fit for human habitation and empower tenants to take action if their homes are substandard.

Self Assessment tax

  • Labour wouldn’t require those with a turnover of less than £85k to submit quarterly tax returns, which is part of the incoming Making Tax Digital plans.

Read the Labour party’s manifesto.

Liberal Democrats

Housing stock

  • The Lib Dems promise to spend directly on house building, aiming to build 300,000 homes a year by 2022 through a government commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rental.
  • They want to create 10 new ‘garden cities’, providing zero carbon homes with gardens and shared green spaces.
  • They also say they will set up a new housing and infrastructure development bank, which will provide long-term capital and help attract finance for house building projects.

The rental market

  • The Lib Dems want to introduce a ‘rent to own’ model, so that rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in a property, until they own it outright after 30 years.
  • They want to cap upfront deposits and increase minimum standards in rented homes.
  • To help young people into the rental market, they plan to set up a new ‘help to rent’ scheme, providing government-backed tenancy deposit loans for first-time renters under 30.
  • If a landlord decides to sell a rental property, the Lib Dems want to give the occupying tenant first refusal on the property, at the market rate according to an independent valuation.
  • They also want to promote tenancies of three years or more, with inflation-linked annual rent increases to limit rent hikes.
  • They plan to improve protections against rogue landlords, by introducing mandatory licensing, and giving tenants access to the rogue landlord database.

Read the Liberal Democrat party’s manifesto.

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