By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Rent Control momentum building rapidly across UK

Politicians across the UK appear to be growing more vocal in their support for rent controls.

The Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru has put down a motion in a bid to get the Welsh Government to implement rent controls across that country.

The idea is already enshrined in a policy agreement between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru.


Carolyn Thomas, a member of the Welsh Parliament - known as the Sennedd - has written in The National newspaper: “I have long supported rent controls and I will back any move which seeks to address the poverty caused by unreasonable rent increases.

“The UK housing market is out of control – houses are viewed as financial investments and assets, instead of a home which puts a roof over somebody’s head. The rapid and unsustainable growth of a class of buy to let landlords since the 1980s has undone much of the progress in the conditions of tenants, as well as driving an explosion in house prices.”

She continues: “People who, 40 years ago, would have either bought a home or lived in a secure and affordable council house, are forced into a private sector that works for profiteers, not ordinary people.

“In turn, tenants are increasingly forced into poverty because of the proportion of their income that goes on soaring rents, sometimes for houses that are barely fit for human habitation.”

Meanwhile the mayor of Labour-controlled Bristol council is teaming up with local activists to look at how to introduce rent controls in the city.

At a so-called ‘summit’ on March 2, Mayor Marvin Rees will set out his goals to have more powers over landlords. 

He says: “The national housing crisis poses big challenges for our city and tackling it remains one of the council’s top priorities.

“As well as accelerating the building of affordable housing across Bristol, we are currently strengthening our powers to tackle rogue landlords, and we have invested £42m in improving the energy efficiency of our council homes.

“I made a manifesto commitment to campaign for the power to introduce rent controls to make Bristol an affordable living city, and we are calling on government to give us the power to regulate rents.

“Piloting rent control in Bristol will allow us to take a step towards tackling our local renting crisis and will help us develop learnings and that can inform wider positive change for the rest of the city.”

A statement from the council claims that the summit aims to start a conversation with the community about what rent control for Bristol could look like, reviewing examples of how it has proven to be effective in other countries.

Councillor Tom Renhard, the authority’s housing chief, adds: “Our city is facing a rent crisis. We have ever-increasing rents, no-fault evictions still in effect and demand exceeding supply. There are some homes that are not even fit for habitation in a private rented sector where tenants can struggle to enforce the few rights they have.

“Bristol rents are out of control and the renting system is not fair, stable or safe. Unaffordable private rents are deepening inequality, as people on lower incomes are at growing risk of homelessness and many are being forced out of the city.

“It’s time for a reset in the relationship and for the national government to give us the powers we need locally to properly regulate privately rented housing. We are asking renters across the city to join us to share their experiences, shape the discussion on enforcement and hear about different models of what a living rent for Bristol could look like if we had the power to introduce rent controls.”


And in London - where Labour mayor Sadiq Khan has long been an advocate of rent controls - Khan has called for stronger punishment for rogue landlords.

In the Big Issue magazine he is quoted as saying: “I want to see tougher penalties for rogue operators and this action can only come from the government. Poor housing conditions and exploitative rents have an awful impact on both the physical and mental health of tenants and these actions need to have consequences.”

  • Simon Shinerock

    These arguments are purely political and shameful, deliberately avoiding the pitfalls of rent controls in pursuit of power


    I fail to see why comments about people being housed in poorly maintained housing in the private sector is shameful. Renting housing is a serious and important business and no fault eviction is shameful.

  • icon

    Well that is one way to lose landlords. Do these idiots and imbeciles not learn from history? As for Jo Jo and his/her/its accusation that no fault NOTICE is shameful, well my dear, when you OWN the property, it is your right to sell it or decide who lives in it. Please learn the difference between a landlord giving notice and a bailiff evicting before spouting your lefty rhetoric.

  • Carlo Rappa

    Do they even know what are they talking about?

    It is based on supply and demand, and costs are considered too.

    If you pay mortgage, various insurances, agency fees if you use one and extortionate service charges if you have a flat..... what do i need to have the govt to control rent for???

    Reduce all costs at prior and you see rent reduces too

  • Mark Wilson

    Exit via the gift shop, its surprising how long its taken.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Rent Controls don't operate how tenants/campaigners think- if they look at Germany they will see how this negatively impacted rents increasing the average rent paid. The government cant go rogue on this- or they will decimate lending-the financial sector being one of the UK's prime assets!

  • Matthew Payne

    I bet most landlords cant wait to start putting up rents every 12 months in line with rpi, kerching kerching, as opposed to more often that not letting the prevailing status quo continue, and telling tenants in doing so, they are simply following the guidelines introduced by our wise and learned leaders.

  • Theodor Cable

    Long may it last!!!!!!!


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up