Labour Party Housing Policy

September 2018

Today the Labour party has released some information on their housing policy. A speech by the shadow housing minister John Healey will perhaps fill in some of the details during the party’s conference.

The bullet points are:

  • An end to no fault evictions,
  • Reversing cuts to legal aid for housing cases,
  • Introducing 3 year tenancies,
  • Banning letting agent fees,
  • Minimum fitness for human habitation standard for rented properties.,
  • Giving cities the power to introduce rent controls,
  • Support for renters’ unions.

This is clearly aimed largely at assisting private sector renters who have suffered disproportionately in recent years relative to property owners and social housing tenants.

The phrase “an end to no fault evictions” is easy to say but unless this means “An end to no fault evictions for 3 years” it is hard to see what it could mean other than an end to the assured shorthold tenancy system because the idea of a no fault eviction is the core idea behind this type of tenancy.

The 3 year tenancies and fitness for human habitation terms seems like ideas that have been around gathering momentum for a while. One could imagine a Conservative Government bringing these proposals in were it not for the many buy to let landlords who are also Conservative MPS. The very same people who just a few years ago filibustered a private members bill attempting to introduce the fitness term as an implied term in all tenancies.

Rent controls would be a radical idea in this country and one that - somewhat controversially- Shelter is opposed to.

There is absolutely no detail at the moment so let’s see what Mr Healey has to say later this week.