Keir Starmer is set to rebuff previous calls by London mayor Sadiq Khan to bring in a rent freeze, it has been reported.
Khan has been banging his '�rent freeze' drum for months now as the cost-of-living crisis has hit many tenants' personal finances, telling the BBC in October that his policy would save renters about �3,000 each during the next two years if he was given the power to control rents.
Although his proposals have been repeatedly rejected by the current Government, he had been hoping for support from Labour's leadership - which appears to lacking.
His plans, which he promoted once again this week in a speech, include a '�rent controls commission' to bring landlords and renters together, create a register of landlords and their rents, and compel both sides to work out how current rents should be slowly reduced.
But the FT has reported that Starmer is set to reject a rent freeze in London, despite rents now being 25% higher than before Covid struck, research from Hamptons revealed over the weekend.
Rejecting rent freezes would be a U-turn by Labour. Its shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy said last year that local councils across the UK should be given rent control powers, something Starmer is reported to be also stepping back from.
Nandy said at the time: 'I'm personally very interested and attracted by the idea that local mayors and council leaders should be able to make decisions to freeze rent increases in their local areas over the winter.'�
But Starmer will be aware of the Scottish experiment in rent controls in recent months, which has seen rent rises kept to no more than 3% a year, something landlord groups have said is already putting off investors and leading them to 'divert capital elsewhere'�.