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Labour and Green MPs call for rent controls in England

A group of MPs have lodged an Early Day Motion in parliament calling for rent controls in the PRS to stem the threefold increase in rents during the last 34 years.

Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour MPs Nadia Whittome, Rachael Maskell (pictured), Grahame Morris, Mohammad Yasin, and Bell Ribeiro-Addy want the government to follow Scotland’s example and legislate for controls in response to the huge increase in private rents since tenancies were deregulated and section 21 no-fault evictions were introduced.

The motion calls for an independent Living Rent Commission as already exists in Bristol, tasked with consulting on and designing a national system of rent controls with local flexibility, able to provide powers to local councils to control rents in high rent areas.


However, the motion acknowledges that controls must be implemented gradually and fairly alongside a suite of policies to give renters security of tenure and address the housing supply crisis, including a mass programme of zero-carbon social homes.

Although the MPs recognise the challenges with accurately estimating average private rents, they point to historical data showing average rent across all private sector tenancies in 1990 was £410 per month, in 2023 prices, while ONS data indicated the average private rent in England in February 2024 was £1,276 per month.

They note that the cost of private rented accommodation in England is higher and renters’ rights weaker than in European countries which have rent controls and more secure tenancies. They are also “deeply concerned” by the homelessness crisis and the 50% rise of homelessness in one year due to no-fault evictions and report that English councils spent £1.7 billion on temporary accommodation last year.

As there is no specific time allocated to Early Day Motions, very few are debated.

Read the motion on full.


Rent controls