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Graham Awards


Widespread criticism of Labour rental policies

There has been widespread criticism of Labour's proposals for the private rental sector.

The policies will “backfire” according to the National Landlords’ Association. 

"We understand Labour wants to assure tenants they have their concerns at heart, but this policy will backfire because they don't understand the economics of supplying private housing to rent” says Richard Lambert, chief exectuve officer of the NLA. 


"NLA research has found that around two-thirds of landlords don't increase rents during a tenancy. Capping annual price rises to inflation sounds like a great consumer protection initiative, but wherever these formulas have been introduced, it’s proved to be counterproductive because it leads to a culture and expectation of regular increases by whatever is allowed” he says.

"Restricting tax reliefs for landlords who don't keep their properties up to standard is a good headline, but it leaves many questions unanswered.  Who decides that the restriction will bite and how would it be assessed?" asks Lambert.

Conservative housing minister Brandon Lewis issued a statement saying: “Rent controls never work - they force up rents and destroy investment in housing, leading to fewer homes to rent and poorer quality accommodation. The only way to have affordable rents is to continue to build more homes.”

Alex Hilton of pressure group Generation Rent says: “Stopping landlords from making inflation-busting rent increases would make private renters more secure than they are in today’s wild west lettings market. But the proposals are still riddled with loopholes.

“Landlords can still kick out tenants after six months, they can still evict tenants by claiming they need to sell, and because there are no controls on rents between tenancies, that gives them an incentive to use those loopholes.”

Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson told Marr: “If you went ahead with the drivel we have seen on the front of the papers this morning and imposed a three-year cap on rents, all that would happen is first of all you would discourage people from getting into the rental market.

“You would discourage the creation of new housing. All that would happen is that at the end of the three years, those that remained renting out their properties would jack up the rents even higher” he says.

Liberal Democrat spokesman Lord Paddick said: “Labour’s plans are ill-thought through and will make things even worse for tenants. Labour’s plans will lead to huge rent hikes every three years, higher rents overall and fewer available rental properties.”


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