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Rent Controls: Agents join protest against Labour proposals

Letting agents body ARLA Propertymark has joined the criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan who wants to be given the power to impose rent controls.

“Rent controls are not the answer when seeking ways to stand up for renters in London” explains ARLA’s Tim Douglas.

“Increasing the supply of properties, rather than capping rents will ensure rents fall and landlords stay in the market. A greater focus on speeding up planning within councils and building on land under the Mayor’s responsibility will ultimately allow more properties to be built and help make renting in London more affordable.”

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The comments from Douglas echo last week’s criticism of Khan’s proposals by the National Residential Landlords Association.

Its chief executive Ben Beadle says: “Rent controls would be a disaster for London as the last Labour government made crystal clear. They would mean tenants actually paying higher rents than leaving them to market forces.

“The story of rent controls wherever they have been introduced is that they exacerbate an already serious shortage of available homes.

“Rather than calling for things he cannot deliver, the Mayor should focus on using the powers he already has to boost the supply of available housing, including for private rent.”

As part of his manifesto for next month’s London Mayor election, Khan - the Labour candidate - wants the UK government to give him the power to control rents in the private sector.

He also wants the authority to approve requests from local authorities who wish to drive up standards in the private rental sector by bringing in a landlord licensing scheme.

  • Theodor Cable

    Quite correct........

  • Theodor Cable

    I actually have a few other more choice words than that!!!!!!

  • Yonnette  Roberts

    Housing is the most important thing in a person life and leaving it in the hands of the market is not smart. There are a lot of countries that have rent control and more private rent than the uk. We want long term tenants with stability and sustainability. With good eviction processes. None of which we have currently. We are building in the same places crowding overcrowded areas. Housing association which has mostly not created what it came in to do. A system that encourages both bad landlords and bad tenants. A balance between private and social yes but a stop to so call market rent which is 2/3 of someone income. The answer is not easy. Building more sounds good but have you seen any new built that really offers low income properties. In London around £450,000 and outside London is catching up as people migrate out. 38 years in this industry and no one has the correct answer or one that works. It’s not a house it’s someone’s home. A lot of portfolio landlords made a good living out of the old rent act properties. So let’s look at the options.

  • Matthew Payne

    It always becomes too emotive or a simply a game of political upmanship to win votes without anyone looking at the facts. Rents in London in the 5 years since Mr Khan has been elected have dropped in real terms by 9.6%. IF (and its a big if) tenants understood the market better and realised this, they wouldn't be a single one of them supporting this policy, nor others who get sucked into the fake news about London rents spiralling out of control all of the time. In established markets, in real terms, London rents are no higher than they were 10 years ago, a one bed in Wimbledon is still the same £1250pcm it was then. If you cap increases at RPI, every landlord will insist on an RPI increase every year., whereas now a great many do not and let the market dictate the level.

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