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Labour’s proposed mansion tax on properties over £2 million is less likely. Instead, the family home will be taken out of Inheritance Tax for all but the richest by raising the threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1 million.
Private landlords will be relieved to hear that Labour's proposals to regulate the industry by introducing 3 year tenancies with rent control are not an immediate concern.
The Conservatives propose to extend the scheme to:
The scheme will be funded by requiring councils to sell off their most valuable housing stock as it becomes vacant and replace it with cheaper property.
The proposals are somewhat controversial and have been criticized by housing associations and industry bodies alike. There are a number of major issues which will need to be surmounted if such proposals are to go ahead, including:
Historically, a number of barriers have led to significantly fewer homes being self-built in the UK versus the rest of Europe. Such barriers have included:
The Conservatives have pledged to double the number of custom-built and self-built homes by 2020.
At the moment there is no obligation on local authorities to make plots available for custom/self-build homes. The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (SCHA 2015) which came into effect in March 2015 requires local authorities to keep registers of those interested in custom building their homes. The aim is for local authorities to build up a picture of demand for custom/self-built homes in their area. Applicants will probably need to show a connection with the local area to be eligible (eg period of residence).
Further regulation and guidance can be expected setting out the detailed operation of the local registers early in this Parliament. Regulations will be informed by the consultation responses and the practical experience of the 11 test local councils see: Consultation response.
The Government's ultimate aim - following such consultations and trials - is to reach a point where it can legislate for local authorities to be subject to a legal obligation to allocate land to local people for the purpose of building or commissioning their own homes under the Right to Build Scheme.
Custom/self-build homes are also exempt from the community infrastructure levy and the government is looking at a range of planning reforms for self-builders and reducing other costs through changes to s 106 affordable housing contributions.
The Homes and Communities Agency is supporting a number of developments providing plots for custom build in Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Basildon, Telford and Basingstoke. See further: HCA Custom Build.
The Human Rights Act is in the firing line with the Conservative pledge to scrap it and introduce a British Bill of Rights which they claim will:
"[restore] common sense to the application of human rights in the UK…. Which will protect…..the right to a fair trial…... But it will reverse the mission creep that has meant human rights law being used for more and more purposes…..”.
For followers of the development of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in the context of possession claims in Manchester City Council v Pinnock  UKSC 45,  All ER (D) 42 (Nov) and more recently Lawal and another v Circle 33 Housing Trust  EWCA Civ 1514,  All ER (D) 266 (Nov)...watch this space.
(LexisPSL subscribers can read more here:https://www.lexisnexis.com/uk/lexispsl/property/document/412012/5DRY-J241-DYW7-W49P-00000-00/Life%20after%20Pinnock%E2%80%94human%20rights%20and%20social%20landlords
If you advise Housing Associations:
If you advise local authorities / builders / developers:
Consider advising clients and developing package documentation for financial and legal agreements in:
See further http://www.selfbuildportal.org.uk.
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Melissa Moore is a dual qualified in England and Wales and South African lawyer and has 14 years’ experience in property practice in England. She has worked in local government and been a partner at a regional law firm and most recently an associate director at Berwin Leighton Paisner which she joined in 2005. Melissa has wide experience in all areas of property law and specializes in commercial real estate development. She has experience in a number of sectors including hotel, leisure, offices, investment, industrial, motorway service stations and funding. She has worked on large scale strategic developments and government funding initiatives, town centre regeneration schemes and private mixed use developments both for public sector and private developers and investment funds. In 2013 she was ranked by Legal 500 as recommended for local government work.
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