It’s just six days since the country woke up to the Hung Parliament in which the Conservatives were the largest party. Convention dictates that in order for a new government to be formed, the party in power must be able to create a working government through alliances or coalition. Pundits are already saying there will be another election before the end of the year. Whether this Parliament lasts five years of five months, there are some tough housing issues ahead.
The State of the Hung Parliament
Before the election, every party made a commitment to improving the housing situation. What they differed on was how much housebuilding was necessary and what could be done now to help people immediately. Some economists have predicted more turmoil in the housing market for both renters and buyers. Prices had been dropping in the run-up to the election based on the increased prediction of a hung parliament. Both buyers and sellers are likely to put their plans on hold for the time being. One thing that will go ahead with cross-party support is the programme of vital house-building.
Both the LibDems and Labour proposed it, but the Tories didn’t cover it in their manifesto. Corbyn and Farron felt that 6-month and 12-month tenancies were too short and wanted to make three-year tenancies the standard. Landlords of students who make up the bulk of our readers protested this the most due to the short-term nature of student tenancies. Labour could push the minority Conservative government on this but they will have other priorities.
The End of Tenant Fees
This was originally a Labour manifesto pledge from 2015 but the country was shocked in The Autumn Statement in 2016 when Philip Hammond announced plans to ban them during the next Parliament. This could become a matter of priority as all the main parties now agree that these should end – or at least challenge unnecessary and ridiculously high fees from some landlords and their agents. This could mean higher rents for some tenants working through agencies.
On Student Tenants
Not directly a housing issue, but the government’s proposed tightening of restrictions on the free movement of people when leaving the EU is now likely to be loosened. Groups across the board and from all industries were outraged when the last Parliament declared that students would be included in the net migration figures they were looking to reduce into this parliament. With no overall majority and all parties having different views on how to tackle the immigration issue, the concerns of landlords of student tenants have been alleviated for now. More news will develop over the coming months; reducing or eliminating all best the best foreign students could have created a student housing surplus, forcing many to sell their homes or rent to the general population.