In the run up to the general 2015 election, everyone's trying to get their head around where each party stand on key issues, what they promise and what is likely to come to fruition. Housing is now thought to be one of the most central issues in the election debate and has been afforded a number of large pledges from different parties. See a summary of these pledges in the infographic below.
Ambitious house building targets have been set by parties such as Labour and UKIP each targeting 200,000 homes, and the Liberal Democrats aiming for 300,00. Other parties which set no such figure such as the conservatives and Greens who suggest that housing targets should be determined by local authorities. They do however specify targets for affordable homes; 275,000 (Conservatives) and 500,000 (Greens) by 2020. The development of Garden Cities has also become a popular action due to the national housing shortage.
Help to Buy
Many politicians and economists insist that this scheme needs review. Under a Labour government, Ed Miliband says that savings from the help to buy ISA introduced in the budget last month would be used to fund house building. By harnessing £5bn from the ISA, Miliband expects 125,000 new homes to be built over the next five years. The conservatives still plan to contribute up to £3000 from the government for first time buyers under the scheme (£50 top up per £200 invested in the ISAs).
Rent and Tax
Rent caps are sought by both Labour and the Green Party. Labour want market rent followed by ceiling on rent increases over 3 year tenancies. The Greens ask for rent to be initially capped to inflation and for a Living Rent Commission to examine more stringent proposals. The party also calls A “Mansion Tax” is also supported by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.
Whilst the conservatives plan to continue with their current policies to reduce the number of empty homes, Labour ask to double the council tax charges for properties which have been empty for over a year. UKIP also want to double the council tax on empty homes but only after 5 years of inoccupation, and for a council tax waver for landlords who bring empty homes back into use.
The Next Government
As the polls are running the closest they have ever been in decades, no one cannot predict with any certainty who will become Prime Minister in May. Perhaps despite who comes into power the UK housing market will improve. With pledges to build hundreds of thousands of new homes by 2020, the house-building market looks set to continue improving on huge drops of 2008/9. Improving housing accessibility and schemes for first time buyers may also improve the housing market itself, but with the risk of increased prices if the demand becomes ever higher than the supply.
Immigration Act revised 2016 should a landlord or letting agent fail to ensure ALL tenants/occupiers have a righto reside for the duration of the tenancy then they may be fined £3000 for each breach. The Secretary of State may instruct the landlord to remove such persons without the need of a court order by way of reasonable force
Labour market enforcement - restriction on illegal migrants to work. A labour market enforcement undertaking (an “LME undertaking”) is an undertaking by the person giving it (the “subject”) to comply with any prohibitions, restrictions and requirements set out in the undertaking
Under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 it is possible for the Court to transfer a matter from the County Court to the High Court for enforcement but leave (permission) of the Court is required first. The transfer time varies from court to court and can take up to 28 days, but normally takes far less. An application to seek permission can be made either at the time of making the possession claim or after possession has been ordered.