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Franchise agency heads attack Labour lettings plansThe father and son chairman and chief executive of Winkworth have attacked Labour's plans to control rents, if elected, which are cuasing concern in the market.

Yesterday we reported on Labour's manifesto plans for three-year tenancies, controls on letting agent fees and a so-called ceiling on excessive rent rises.

Now Winkworth chairman Simon Agace has told the London Evening Standard that the rent controls policy reminded him of an era when rent controls discouraged the building of new homes as well as investment by landlords in their properties.

I started my career in the property world as a chartered surveyor in the late 1960s when I witnessed the ending of rental controls, which healed the damage done on the provision of homes and improved the quality of property in London. I therefore note the current climate with a certain degree of anxiety for the homebuying public he says.

The rental market has changed for the better as a result of some excellent regulation, but there is a delicate balance between regulation and altering the relationship between tenant and landlord. Intervention on rents and security of tenure has in the past damaged both market liquidity and good business values.

His son Dominic, Winkworth's chief executive, says the sales market is also being hit by Labour proposals.

The mansion tax is something in particular. There is not enough clarity out there on what that actually means. There's certainly some concern he says.

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