Labour tones down tenant Right to Buy plan

Labour tones down tenant Right to Buy plan

Labour's John McDonnell has toned down the proposal to give tenants the right to but their properties from their landlords.

Two months ago the Shadow Chancellor told the Financial Times that under a future Labour government discounts could be made available to tenants - just like the old Thatcher Right To Buy policy for council house renters.

That would allow purchases by private tenants to be made at below market value; the policy, at that time, was proposed to apply to all private tenants and landlords.

Now McDonnell has told The Times that he has re-thought the original proposal and it should apply only to the wealthiest landlords and not those who only own "one or two" rental properties.

He said:"There's a large number of individuals or families who have bought another property as their asset for the future and we wouldn't want to endanger that".

However, even this slightly watered down version presents dangers to the private rental sector and the country's overall stock according to David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos by DJ Alexander, a lettings platform.

He says: "The Labour Party appears to have shifted its original idea to allow all tenants the right to buy from their landlords to apply only to those with more than two properties. The shift appears to be aimed at placating individuals and families with smaller property investments and focusing on large scale investors".

"However, the policy of buying anyone's property at a price decided by government rather than market value would instantly destabilise the whole housing market. Equally it is unclear how the government could guarantee that any tenant would be able to gain a mortgage on a property whose value has been decided arbitrarily. What would the real value of any property be if the government can intervene and price it on a whim?"


« Back to Index