London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been told by a lettings industry body that he’ll lose votes if he introduces rent controls - and they won’t work anyway.
The National Landlords Association has made the claim in response to the Mayor’s new blueprint for private renting, which is likely to become part of Labour’s manifesto for the 2020 Mayoral elections in the capital.
The blueprint calls for Khan to be given the power to introduce rent controls in the capital through a London Private Rent Commission and a register of landlords.
Research by the NLA, conducted amongst 1,700 of its landlord members, shows that 89 per cent of them would be likely to vote against any party that proposed rent controls and 85 per cent would vote against parties proposing to remove section 21.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, says: “The Mayor’s strategy is at best contradictory and at worst deluded. Either he hasn’t researched how landlords’ businesses work, or he didn’t understand what he found. Or perhaps he did, and he just doesn’t care."
Lambert continues: “There’s nothing beyond a few warm words about ‘incentivising continued investment’ to explain how he expects landlords to sustain their businesses in the face of an arbitrary political decision to reduce rents. Capping and reducing rents in the way suggested in this manifesto would destroy any prospect landlords have of covering their costs or making a profit.
“If Sadiq Khan is serious about this, he needs to tell us why rent control won’t reduce the number of private rental homes available to Londoners, as it did before, and as it has done everywhere else it has been introduced.
“The Mayor’s blueprint won’t solve London’s housing crisis; it will add to it. It’s just as well he doesn’t have the power to implement it.”