Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Labour proposes a two-year first-time buyer Stamp Duty holiday but would press ahead with tenant fee ban

By Marc Shoffman

First-time buyers would get a two-year Stamp Duty holiday under a Labour government.

The Labour Party released a housing manifesto yesterday, pledging to cut Stamp Duty to zero for first-time buyers for properties worth up to £300,000.

A Labour Government would also introduce a FirstBuy Homes scheme that would provide 100,000 new-builds, with housing costs for new-build homes benchmarked at a third of local average incomes.

The Help to Buy scheme would also be extended to 2027 but only for first-time buyers and not for households earning more than £100,000 a year, according to the manifesto.

The document also proposes a cap on ground rent charges and a review into the use of leaseholds.

Labour would also press ahead with a tenant fee ban and would encourage councils to set up local lettings agencies.

The party would introduce legal minimum standards to ensure that private rented homes are free from serious faults such as unsafe wiring and appliances, problem damp and vermin.

Rogue landlords would also be named and shamed, with fines of up to £100,000 for those who fail to meet minimum standards.

Additionally, rents would not be able to rise above inflation and three-year tenancies would be the norm, although renters would have the option to end the tenancy with two months’ notice.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “A Labour Government will start on fixing the housing crisis immediately. High prices, excessive rents and the chronic lack of affordable housing are ruining the lives of young people, families and aspiring home owners.

“This will transform the housing market and put the needs of younger house buyers and local workers first.

“Labour will usher in a new era in council house building to build more council homes than at any time for over 30 years so that the broken market is fixed to provide homes for the many, not investment opportunities for a wealthy few.”

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