Part of Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 point plan for the country includes the old chestnut of the left – rent controls and “secure tenancies” – in the private rented sector, which, according to property experts would spell disaster for tenants, reducing the supply and the quality of homes to let.
The Residential Landlords Associate (RLA) as reacted strongly to the suggestion, claiming that introducing controlled rents would inevitably reduce the supply of rental homes, worsening the UK housing crisis.
Alan Ward, RLA chairman said the plans would be spell disaster for private renters:
“Jeremy Corbyn’s call for rent controls would be a disaster for tenants. He is ignoring all history and experience which shows that where such controls are applied they choke off the supply of homes to rent, making it more difficult for tenants to access decent and affordable housing. This has previously been acknowledged by Labour’s former Minister responsible for housing in Wales.
“Rather than playing the populist tune, Mr Corbyn would do well to consider the facts. Figures in the English Housing Survey show that private sector tenants are spending an average of 4 years in their current property, up from 3.7 five years ago. Such tenants are also more satisfied with their accommodation than those in the social rented sector according to the same survey.”
The RLA has a long standing opposition to the introduction of rent controls. It believes they will affect the quantity and quality of homes on offer and has been campaigning on this issue for a number of years.
When the UK last had rent controls, introduced as wartime measures in the 30s, and continued under Labour and conservative governments up to the 1980s, the size of the Private Rented Sector went from more than half of households – 55% – in 1939 to just 8% in the late 1980s.
“Putting a price limit on anything that is below the market rate is going to create a shortage. If rents are capped, limiting landlords’ returns, then some will inevitably leave the market – especially in light of the recent tax grab from former chancellor George Osborne,” says the RLA
“They [Rent Controls] also discourage movement, with many households in cities in the US and Germany where rent controls are in place living in unsuitable accommodation as it would be too expensive to move elsewhere.
“Rent controls would destroy investment in new housing, push up prices and make it far harder for people to find a flat or house to rent, as well as limiting the landlord’s ability to adequately finance maintenance work.
“The RLA believes that rather than penalising landlords for providing much needed rental homes the Government needs to address the issue of supply to stabilise rents in the long term.”
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) August 19, 2016