Liberal Democrats propose major changes to make renting affordable

Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Vince Cable will call for real action on the housing crisis, in a speech he will deliver to The Royal Institute of British Architects today.

Cable will call for:

  • Increase from 200% council tax on empty homes to 500%
  • Stamp duty surcharge for overseas residents
  • Loans of up to £2,000 for upfront cost of deposits

Cable will also announce new plans to generate the level of housing necessary whilst protecting green spaces in urban areas. He will also outline how government could create a new body to increase housing stock.

Commenting on Sir Vince’s keynote speech, Lee Dargue, representing the Lib Dems in Birmingham Ladywood, said:

“For too long, politicians have scrabbled around trying to best each other on the number of houses they want to build, ignoring affordability. The Liberal Democrats believe that we need to do more to allow people to afford buying or renting and, importantly – to afford to stay in their home.

“In government, the Lib Dems outlawed landlords kicking out tenants for simply reporting safety issues. We would go further by implementing a public database of rogue landlords. We also would ensure a sitting tenant gets a right of first refusal if their landlord wants to sell.

“Affordability is key, so loans of up to £2,000 would be made available for people renting – a vital breather to afford security deposits to secure their rented property. We would also cap the deposits and promote longer tenancies, with rent costs linked to wages.

“For too long we have, as a country, just talked and talked about ‘generation rent’ with little practical help. The Liberal Democrats are seeking to fix this, by putting forward practical policies to help people afford to find somewhere to live and be able to stay there.”