Peter Norman

party: Apolitical Democrats
constituency: Newbury

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The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

Absolutely, and this should not just ensure that properties are compliant with the latest building regulations for safe electricity and gas supply but should be properly insulated. There should also be a minimum square footage per tenant to prevent overcrowding although I don't know what this should be set at.

Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

Local Authorities should be given the powers necessary to build energy efficient affordable housing on brownfield, old industrial, sites that are close to a town's amenities and transport links. As such I think the social housebuilding grant becomes a little irrelevant.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

House prices are too high and are a result of our obsession with owning property as an investment as opposed to a place to live, aided and abetted by countless incentives and gimmicks of which this election has quite a few. It is taking a disproportionate share of our national wealth and the whole property market needs a drastic overhaul ending all government subsidies to the sector including those the political parties want to introduce. See my paper on this very subject http://wp.me/p6544M-47

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

I want to see an overhaul of the property market that would bring down rental returns of landlords through competition and an end to all property subsidies, some of the savings on this could be re-invested in new housing but I think a priority should be re-balancing the economy as your aim here can be accomplished by other means

Would you support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain’s drug laws?

organisation: CISTA

Have we not had Royal Commissions on this before? We need to get on and licence drugs that way we can then control the quality of and the way they are sold and get a lot of unnecessary and unpleasant crime off the streets. It then means rather than feeding the criminal classes and criminalising people who frankly should not be we can teach sensible use and get income from the sector.

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

I am very nervous of rent controls that in the 1970s resulted in a massive underinvestment in existing housing stock. More important is to have regulations that ensure rented accommodation meets a minimum standard, remove the subsidies that make Buy to Let such an attractive market in which to invest and increase housing supply by resuming Local Authority housebuilding. With these measures in place I think the market will find a level where rents are far more affordable and as such rent controls are unnecessary. That said I think there is merit in extending Shorthold tenancies so that where appropriate they can be offered for a longer period of time at a capped rent but that the Landlord still has the option at the end of the tenancy to remove the tenant with suitable notice (a month for every year lived in up to a maximum of six months).