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Propertymark wants Labour to come clean on rent controls

Propertymark wants Labour to come clean on its rent control policy, as the party repeatedly flip-flops on the issue.

The agents’ body is confused - as are many industry and political insiders - as to where the party actually stands.

A recent report commissioned by the former shadow housing secretary, Lisa Nandy - and called the Private Rented Sector Commission’s Independent Review into the Private Rented Sector in England - has just reported and argues for a system of rent ‘stabilisation’, which would mean annual rent increases, and stopping private rental sector landlords from moving their own properties to other sectors such as the short-term and holiday lets sections.   


Yet the official Labour policy is not to back rent controls, and instead push for increased protections for private tenants, plus turbo-charging the construction of affordable homes for rent and purchase.

However, even more recently shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves went on the record saying there could be locally-determined rent controls, perhaps exercised by mayors - only for the party nationally to contradict her and reiterate a “no rent control” policy.

Now Timothy Douglas, policy and campaigns chief at Propertymark, comments: “The Private Rented Sector Commission’s Independent Review into the Private Rented Sector in England sheds light on much needed areas of reform including around increasing standards and improving affordability. Having provided input into the Commission’s work, Propertymark is pleased to see a focus on professionalising the sector and equalising tax across long and short-term letting.  

“However, mandatory qualifications and licensing of letting agents is key rather than minimum training requirements and the Review places too much emphasis on rent control or rent stabilisation measures without understanding the impact of rent cap measures we have seen in Scotland. Essentially, the way to bring down the cost of renting is to increase the supply of homes to rent.  

“There is also little reference to having a written tenancy agreement, compulsory inventory checks to prevent disputes and investment in local authorities to carry out inspections and enforcement – these are some of the fundamentals that all policy makers should be focusing on if they want standards to increase across the board.”

Meanwhile, Labour has in recent days given six key policy pledges for its first period in office, should it win this year’s General Election - and housing didn’t feature at all.

  • icon

    Meanwhile from the NRLA, tumbleweeds. 💤💤💤


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