Caroline Pidgeon today announced details offering a fairer deal for private renters that will be debated at the party’s conference in York on March 11th.
At the conference Caroline will be proposing measures to safeguard people renting homes in London and England.
The plans call for a mandatory licencing scheme for landlords in the private sector and the scrapping of lettings fees for tenants. There would also be a requirement for tenants to be given first refusal to buy the home they are renting should the landlord decide to sell it during a tenancy. Plans to make moving home cheaper for renters through the Help to Rent tenancy deposit scheme will also be debated.
For people wanting to rent, the Liberal Democrats are calling for more Government support for councils to develop, own and manage private sector rented homes outside of housing revenue accounts to improve the quality of homes in the private sector with the freedom to offer long term tenancies.
Caroline Pidgeon said:
“On the campaign trail in London the number one topic that voters raise with me is housing. Whether it is people priced out of the rental market, living in sub-standard accommodation or trying to get a foot on the housing ladder, every day I hear tales of people struggling to cope.”
“Along with my plan to build 200,000 new homes in London, including 50,000 new council homes by 2020, we are able to show that the Liberal Democrats have an affordable and deliverable plan to help renters. For far too long many people renting privately in London have had to cope with paying high rents for homes that often fall below a decent standard. It’s time to end this scandal.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The motion to be debated at the Liberal Democrat’s Spring conference in York is as follows.
A Fairer Deal for Private Renters
i) Private sector rents have become untenably high in many parts of Britain, and many renters are now paying more than half their income in rent.
ii) Rented homes often fall below a decent standard and there is a continuing problem with rogue landlords.
iii) Moving from one rented home to another can be very expensive, with high letting fees and large deposit requirements.
iv) Many renters who wish to buy a home are priced out of the market, with average property prices rising much faster than wages and an historic lack of building new homes to meet demand.
v) The main cause of homelessness is now the ending of tenancies in the private rented sector.
a) New legislation coming into force to protect tenants from revenge evictions, initiated by Sarah Teather during the Coalition.
b) Plans to introduce a rogue landlords database and banning orders with financial penalties of up to £30k.
c) Liberal Democrat commitments to create new opportunities for buying a home including Rent to Own, where monthly rental payments stack towards a deposit, and a huge increase in supply to 300,000 new homes a year, including 50,000 new council homes in London by 2020.
d) Liberal Democrat plans to make moving home cheaper for renters through the Help to Rent tenancy deposit scheme.
Conference calls for:
1. The letting of homes in the private rented sector to be professionalised through the mandatory licensing of landlords.
2. The scrapping of letting fees for tenants.
3. A financial boost for local authorities to ensure they are able to support tenants by providing sufficient housing and legal advice.
4. A requirement to give tenants first refusal to buy the home they are renting from the landlord if they decide to sell it during the tenancy, at market rate according to an independent valuation.
5. A ban on advertising new homes overseas before they are advertised in the UK.
6. A review by the Secretary of State of the legislation applying to the private rented sector, as the first step towards a comprehensive private rented sector strategy.
7. Support and encouragement from Government for councils to develop, own and manage private sector rented homes outside of housing revenue accounts to improve the quality of homes in the sector with the freedom to offer long-term tenancies.