Labour has a plan to get hundreds of thousands of new homes built, 200,00 a year by 2020, and to give priority for those homes to local young people; and a plan for tenants comprising new, longer-term tenancies which prevent rip-off rent rises. We will include legislation in our first Queen’s Speech to ban letting agent fees charged to tenants, saving Generation Rent more than £2.5 billion over the Parliament – or on average £625 for each family.
This will help to tackle the cost-of-living crisis with more homes, fairer rents, and help for first-time buyers. It will also tackle the huge bill for Housing Benefit by helping to bring down rents.
- Start construction on 1 million new homes by 2020, to deliver our promise of getting 200,000 homes built a year
- Ensure that developers build on land rather than hoarding it by granting “use or lose it” powers for councils, who will be given the right to levy Council Tax on sites which remains undeveloped
- Build a series of new garden cities
- Shake up the housing market by backing SME builders through Help to Build
- A greater number of affordable homes will be built year-on-year by strengthening affordable housing obligations (greatly diluted by the coalition) on developers, by prioritising capital investment, and by allowing Labour’s £5 billion Future Homes Fund to invest in housing associations developing affordable homes
- Help with a first home: Labour will reduce Stamp Duty to zero for first-time buyers of homes worth up to £300,000 – a saving of as much as £5,000 for people seeking to get on the property ladder
- Give to first-time buyers, who have lived in an area for more than three years, the “first call” on up to half of homes built in their area
- Stop foreign buyers buying up properties before local buyers get a look in, by ensuring homes are advertised in local areas, and by increasing taxes paid by foreign buyers, and by increasing Council Tax for empty homes
- Introduce secure three-year tenancies for all people who want them, so landlords will no longer be able to terminate rental agreements simply to put rents up
- Cap rents, so they cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation (CPI) during those secure three-year tenancies
- Require landlords and letting agents to disclose the rent levels charged to previous tenants, so that householders can negotiate the best possible deal at the start of their contract
- Create a national register of landlords, which will enable rogue landlords to be identified and judge whether their property meet basic standards
- Penalise rogue landlords by reducing buy-to-let tax relief for those who own properties which do not meet basic standards
- Ban letting agent fees charged to tenants, saving the average tenant-household £625 over the next Parliament