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Housing Minister not in favour of rent controls

Friday 08 November 2019

London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has returned to his campaign to win powers which would allow him to impose rent controls despite the Housing Minister speaking out against.

The Government brought up rent controls in the A New Deal for Renting: Resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between Landlords and Tenants consultation due to concerns that landlords would use rent hikes to get rid of tenants if they lost ‘no-fault eviction’ powers.

ARLA Propertymark has long made the point political parties advocating rent control systems are failing 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.

The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “I am not in favour of rent controls. As I said, that has proven to be very negative for both landlords and tenants in the past, and I do not want to see any move in that direction.”

Khan has been an advocate of controls for some time, but currently has no authority to introduce them in the capital. 

In his published landmark report, which sets out how the private rented sector in London should be transformed, he said: “It is high time for private renting in London to be transformed - Londoners need fundamental change that is long overdue.

"Unlike other Mayors around the world, I have no powers over the private rented sector. That's why this landmark report sets out a detailed blueprint of what the Government must do to overhaul tenancy laws, and what powers City Hall needs from them to bring rents down.

"We have made important progress over the last three years by working closely with councils and renters - from 'naming and shaming' rogue landlords and banning letting agents’ fees for tenants, to being part of the successful campaign to scrap 'section 21'.

"But now we need the Government to play their part by making tenancy laws fit for purpose, and by enabling us to bring in the rent control Londoners so urgently need."

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark said: “Rent controls do not work; it hits hardest those it’s designed to help the most. 

“The last time rent controls existed in this country, the private rented sector (PRS) shrunk to the lowest levels ever recorded. 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.” 

ARLA Propertymark responded to the Government's A New Deal for Renting: Resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between Landlords and Tenants consultation stressing these issues. Read the full response below.

Consultation response