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Property investors: who are you voting for in the general election?

Housing policy forms a big part of the major political parties’ manifestos for the 12th December general election. We give you a rundown of some of the main points in each manifesto.

While the upcoming general election has come about primarily as a result of failed Brexit negotiations, the outcome will have a major effect on more than just the UK’s position in the EU. The major political parties have now released their manifestos and policy promises, and the housing market could see some big changes depending on who comes out top in December.

Below, we give you a brief rundown of what the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green Party have said about the housing sector in their election manifestos, with a focus towards private property, rental property and investment.


Boris Johnson could end up being the shortest serving Prime Minister in UK history if the vote doesn’t go his way on 12th December, although many polls indicate he still has a relatively strong position. Here’s what he’s put in his manifesto about the UK property market…

  • Ensure new GP and school places are available ahead of people moving into new housing developments
  • Encourage long-term fixed rate mortgages that cut the cost of deposits, to aid homeownership
  • Allow councils to use developers’ contributions to discount homes by a third for local people who can’t afford to buy, potentially prioritising police, nurses and teachers
  • Maintain the Right to Buy scheme for council tenants
  • Extend the Help to Buy scheme from 2021 to 2023
  • Reform shared ownership by setting a single standard for all housing associations
  • Reform leaseholds, with a ban on the sale of new-build leasehold houses, and restrict ground rents to a peppercorn
  • Abolish ‘no-fault’ (Section 21) evictions, and allow a ‘lifetime’ deposit that moves with the tenant
  • Allow residents to decide on the style and design of development in an area, while encouraging environmentally friendly homes and self-building and supporting modern methods of construction
  • Bring in a stamp duty surcharge for non-UK resident buyers
  • Build at least a million more homes over the next Parliamentary session


Jeremy Corbyn has been one of the Labour party’s most divisive leaders, and his manifesto has been met with mixed reactions across the UK. Labour’s standout housing plans involve introducing controversial rent controls and charging overseas companies for buying houses in the UK.

  • For tenants in receipt of benefits, arrange for the housing element to be paid directly to private landlords
  • Scrap bedroom tax and increase the Local Housing Allowance
  • Set up a new English Sovereign Land Trust to enable land to be bought more cheaply for low-cost housing
  • “Use it or lose it” taxes for developers on stalled housing developments
  • Prioritise brownfield sites for development while protecting the green belt
  • Kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution by investing to make housing energy-efficient – create a new zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes, while upgrading millions of existing homes to increase energy efficiency
  • Build more low-cost homes for first-time buyers, with discount homes with prices linked to local incomes
  • Introduce a levy on overseas companies buying housing, giving local people first dibs on new-builds
  • End the sale of new-build leasehold houses, abolish fees and conditions, and give leaseholders the right to buy the freehold at an affordable price
  • Introduce rent controls for private tenants, open-ended tenancies and binding minimum standards
  • New national levy on second homes used as holiday homes

Liberal Democrats

Led by Jo Swinson since earlier this year, the Lib Dems are one of the most openly anti-Brexit parties. Their most radical housing plans include helping young people with their tenancy deposits and recalculating stamp duty.

  • Pilot a new subsidised Energy-Saving Homes scheme, graduating stamp duty by the energy rating of a property and reducing VAT on home insulation
  • Help councils to deliver housing energy efficiency improvements to cut costs
  • Require all new homes to be built to zero carbon standard by 2021, rising to Passivhaus standard by 2025
  • Increase minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector and remove the cost cap on improvements
  • Phased installation of heat pumps in homes and businesses off the gas grid
  • Allow local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500% for second homes
  • Introduce a stamp duty surcharge on overseas residents purchasing second homes in the UK
  • Increase Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in an area
  • Ensure total housebuilding reaches 300,000 a year by 2024, with 100,000 social rented houses
  • Establish a Help to Rent scheme to provide a government-backed tenancy deposit loan for all first-time renters under 30
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with inflation-linked annual rent increases built in
  • Improve protection against rogue landlords with mandatory licensing

Green Party

While the Greens are highly unlikely to outright win the general election in December, they have risen through the ranks of popularity in recent years. The co-leaders, Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley, have set out their environmentally driven housing ideas in their manifesto.

  • The provision of better insulation for all homes that need it, with heating upgrades for a million homes a year by 2030 – prioritising people on low incomes first
  • Empower local councils to bring empty homes back into use
  • Create of 100,000 energy efficient council homes a year, built to Passivhaus or equivalent standard to use 90% less energy
  • Ensure new housing developments are designed so residents don’t need cars 
  • Roll out solar panels and other forms of renewable domestic energy generation
  • Replace boilers with renewable heat from other sources such as heat pumps, solar thermal and stored heat technologies
  • Ensure eight million rented homes are rated A or higher for energy efficiency by 2030
  • Give councils the power to set their own housing targets, while extending powers to prevent land banking by charging developers who sit on land or through compulsory purchase powers
  • Lift the Local Housing Allowance in line with average area rents
  • Introduce rent controls on private tenancies to reflect average local income rates
  • End no-fault evictions (Section 21), and enable renters in HMOs (houses of multiple occupation) to buy and run their home as a housing co-op
  • Replace council tax and business rates with Land Value Tax to redistribute wealth, shifting the onus from land users, including renters, to land owners. LVT would also absorb taxes like stamp duty on land, capital gains on land and inheritance tax on land

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