RLA says Labour’s Right To Buy plans would ‘kill off’ private-sector renting

Landlords fear creeping compulsory purchase inherent in policy proposal outlined by Shadow Chancellor.

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The RLA has accused Labour of trying to “kill off” a large part of the private-rented sector with radical plans to reform Right To Buy (RTB).

But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says the proposed manifesto pledge would instead curb property profiteering as an abuse of Buy To Let.

Under the policy, landlords would have to sell homes to tenants at “reasonable” prices – opening up the potential for paying less than market rate.

The RLA, however, warns of creeping compulsory purchase, with policy director David Smith saying the proposal would effectively kill off a large part of the private-rented sector.

“If there was to be any chance of this becoming law, there would be a mass sell-off of properties in advance,” said Smith.

“The RLA is all in favour of landlords selling to sitting tenants, but it must be entirely voluntary – anything else amounts to a form of compulsory purchase.”

Loose guidelines for such a scheme were first suggested by Jeremy Corbyn during his 2015 party leadership bid.

McDonnell said the plan would be a way of redressing problems such as landlords refusing to invest in their properties while making a “fast buck” at the cost of their tenants and the community – with the government setting the criteria.

“You’d want to establish what is a reasonable price – you can establish that and then that becomes the Right To Buy,” he said.

McDonnell also said the plan would be a way of redressing problems such as landlords refusing to invest in their properties while making a “fast buck” at the cost of their tenants and the community.

“We’ve got a large number of landlords who are not maintaining these properties and are causing overcrowding and [other] problems,” he said.

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