LibDems announce Help to Rent pledge

The Liberal Democrats have unveiled a new campaign pledge to help young working adults rent their own homes with government-backed loans.

People will be able to borrow up to £1,500, or £2,000 in London, to put towards a tenancy deposit in England. Borrowers must be between 18 and 30, in paid employment and not be homeowners or seeking social housing tenancy.

Loans will be repayable over 12 or 24 months and interest will be linked to the cost of government borrowing, currently 2.5 per cent.

Any outstanding debt could be transferred between properties but tenants will be eligible only for a single loan.

Deposits would be paid directly into a protection scheme once a tenant has identified a property to rent, with borrowers beginning repayment in their first month.

Deputy prime minister and LibDem leader Nick Clegg says: “Increasingly, we see young people stuck in the family home as they can’t afford the upfront costs of a deposit to rent a property despite having a paid job.

“It’s simply unfair that thousands of hard-working young people still have to live in the same bedroom they lived in when children.

“When you get your own job, you want to stand on your own two feet, have your own space and not have to rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad.

“Our Help to Rent scheme removes this barrier to young people’s independence… so that they can fly the nest and rent their own space.”

The proposal comes after the LibDems announced plans for a Rent to Own scheme.