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


Labour MP calls for rent controls to help combat cost of living crisis

A Labour MP says the government should introduce emergency rent controls as part of a package of measures to combat the cost of living crisis.

Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley has written to Tory leadership hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak saying that without such a measure “a moral and economic catastrophe” will unfold. 

In the letter he sets out demands of the MPs and the government, including one titled Price Controls, which says: “In recognition of the severity of the current crisis and the dire forecasts being projected by the Bank of England, a comprehensive system of prices controls one basic essential including food and rent should be introduced.”


His other demands include increasing the national minimum wage to £15 an hour “across the board”, uprating benefits, imposing an Excess Profits Tax, and radical reform of the energy market. 

His lengthy letter concludes: “I know that some will consider me naive for writing to put forward proposals that could not be more out of tune with prevailing throughout within your party. I also know that in the context of the current Conservative leadership contest, the experiences of my constituents count for little when compared to the views of your party’s members in some of the wealthiest parts of the country.

“But when confronted by the immediacy of the crisis and the government’s continued refusal to recall Parliament, I am left with no other recourse but to issue you both with this heartfelt appeal.”

Activists in Generation Rent are also calling for an immediate rent freeze.

On social media, and in relation to the predicted energy price increases, the activist group says: “The scale of economic hardship that is going to be facing renters over the coming months is immense. It's important that they don't face unaffordable rent hikes on top of everything else.”

On the 38 Degrees website its petition is from Emma Johnson, described by the group as a supporter, and it says she was evicted via Section 21 and given two months notice, in which time it was “impossible [to find alternative accommodation] so I was made homeless by my landlady’s decision.”

The petition - which contains a tick box asking if people want to be contacted by Generation Rent about its campaigns - continues: “Right now, landlords can raise the rent by hundreds of pounds per month, and the tenant has little option but to accept it. If the tenant tries to negotiate, the landlord can serve a Section 21 which can’t be challenged. If the tenant can’t pay the rent and gets into two months’ arrears or more, the landlord can serve a Section 8 notice which, again, can’t be challenged.”

The petition goes on: “The government needs to act now to tackle the cost of living crisis and protect renters who are being forced to choose between staying on top of rent and putting food on the table. To choose between living and merely existing. Only if the government freezes rents and stops these types of evictions will millions of renters finally begin to get some sense of security during this cost of living crisis.”

  • Simon Shinerock

    Without these landlord freedoms history tells us there will be no landlords, a typical case of the ‘cure’ being worse than the disease. As things stand existing unfair policies are squeezing small landlords out of the market, reducing supply still further. What we need is a balanced fair level playing field, a field of dreams I’m afraid

    Barry X

    The government mismanages the economy, creates high inflation... then blames everyone but themselves while expecting landlords to pay for an important chunk of it!

  • Lisa Williamson

    Totally agree Simon! Is Mick Whitely going to demand a cap on interest rate rises too for homeowners struggling with the cost of living crisis as well?!

  • icon

    Typical politician. Trying to make him self look glorious at someone else’s expense. I loathe being dictated to by those on an unlimited expense account and a salary in the 80s about how much money I can earn.

  • icon

    How dare a landlord issue a Section 8 notice after two months of rent arrears. What an outrageous thing to do! That poor tenant should be told not to worry, the landlord will find the money for his mortgage somehow.

    Yes, that was sarcasm. Emma Johnson is a dreamer like many young people who demand rights but accept no responsibilities.

  • icon

    Should he be calling for a freeze on utilities and fuel instead?
    Why is he focused on landlords? Easy target I would suspect, another economically illiterate MP

  • icon

    In essence a freeze on energy bills was imposed (energy price cap) and it has cost the government a fortune bailing out an energy company, which was too big to jail, too big to fail !


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up