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Mayor pushes for rent controls

Thursday 24 January 2019

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, yesterday announced that he will develop a new blueprint for stabilising private rents in the capital.

Khan has long argued that national Government should radically overhaul the laws for private renters which he believes are unfit for purpose, however the Mayor has no powers to implement rent control himself.

The Mayor has invited Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, to work with his Deputy Mayor for Housing, James Murray to develop proposals for rent stabilisation laws with the aim of making private sector rents genuinely affordable to more Londoners, whilst at the same time protecting new supply and investment.

ARLA Propertymark is currently seeking a meeting with Karen Buck MP regarding draft legislation on holiday lets and will raise this issue. We will be making the point that rent controls do not work. They hit hardest those that they are designed to help the most, and political parties advocating such systems have failed to learn the lessons of history. The last time rent controls existed in this country, the private rented sector (PRS) shrunk from 90 per cent to seven per cent.

At a time of demand for PRS homes massively outstripping supply, rent controls will cause the sector to shrink. In turn, this means professional landlords will only take the very best tenants, and the vulnerable and low-income people that rent controls are designed to help, will be forced into the hands of rogue and criminal operators, who may exploit them

The Mayor's announcement goes alongside proposals that Khan has been developing to end Section 21 and introduce a right for renters to open-ended tenancies, whilst taking steps to ensure landlords can regain possession when they have a legitimate reason.