Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged far-reaching reforms for landlords should he win power at the next election in May 2015.
Miliband has a list of regulation and legal changes in store for landlords in a bid to capture the vote of private tenants.
Yet he seems to forget that Britain has almost as many private landlords as tenants who he has alienated as supporters in one fell swoop.
Under Labour, landlords can expect a rent-cap, longer secure tenancies and the scrapping of charges to set up tenancies by letting agents.
The Conservatives oppose the measures; citing evidence from other countries proves rent controls lead to poor property standards, fewer landlords investing in the market and ‘ultimately higher rents”.
Scotland already has tougher landlord regulation and has stricter controls on letting agent charges.
However, despite running for six years, no evidence seems to support the measures have changed the rental market.
“Nine million people are living in rented homes today – over a million families. They need a fairer deal,” said Miliband.
“Too many tenants are vulnerable to being asked to leave their properties at short notice under current rules – sometimes because a landlord wanted to put the rent up.”
Labour says rents have risen 13% since 2010, which Miliband argues requires greater protection and predictability for monthly outgoings for tenants.
The proposals call for landlords and tenants in England to agree a starting rent based on “market value” with an annual review.
Landlords could still increase rents following changes in the market, but only beneath an upper limit to stop rents rising out of step with the market.
To accomplish this, Labour wants a nationwide benchmark rent index – and claimed the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors was already working on this.
However, a RICS spokesman said the organisation did not agree with pegging rents.