The Liberal Democrats have today (May 17th) launched their manifesto for the 2017 general election, taking place on 8th June.
Below is a quick summary of the key pledges that would impact upon landlords’ businesses and the wider private rented sector.
- Unsurprisingly, the manifesto makes no mention of reversing or reviewing the “Tenant Tax”/Section 24 restriction on mortgage interest relief.
- Reverse a number of the Conservatives’ tax cuts, including:
- - The cutting of Corporation Tax from 20% to 17%.
- - Capital Gains Tax cuts.
- - Capital Gains Tax extended relief.
- “Reform” dividend tax relief (although does not go into detail on how it will be reformed).
- “Reform” Corporation Tax, shifting it away from a profits-based tax to one that takes account of a wider range of economic activity indicators, such as sales and turnover.
- Consider the implementation of Land Value Taxation.
Private Rented Sector
- Introduce a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years.
- Ban lettings fees for tenants, capping upfront deposits and increasing minimum standards in rented homes.
- Establish a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
- Give tenants first refusal to buy the home they are renting from a landlord who decides to sell during the tenancy at the market rate according to an independent valuation.
- Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
- Improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing and allow access for tenants to the database of rogue landlords and property agents.
- Pass a new Green Buildings Act to set new energy-efficiency targets, including a long-term ambition for every home in England to reach at least an energy rating of Band C by 2035.
- Ensure that at least four million homes are made highly energy efficient (Band C) by 2022, with priority given to fuel-poor households.