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Labour will allow 'bidding wars' but only if tenants start them

properties to rent

The Labour party has clarified that although it will seek to stop agents and landlords encouraging bidding wars, tenants will be allowed to make ‘voluntary’ higher offers above the original rental asking price.

Labour has made the clarification after, late last week, Keir Starmer said “we’ve got to stop the bidding wars” in the private rented sector.

Labour appears to have copied a policy implemented in New Zealand, which bars landlords from encouraging bidding, but permits renters to offer higher prices voluntarily.

As LandlordZONE reported today, the National Residential Landlords Association has backed this approach, saying in particular that it was ‘concerning’ that some letting agents do encourage bidding wars, but said it did not support rent controls.

The Labour proposals would see landlords and letting agents made to advertise properties for rent at ‘market rates’ and then prevented from openly encouraging tenants to bid higher than that price.


But campaign group Acorn has criticised allowing tenants to make higher bids, saying: “Labour’s proposed ban on rental bidding wars will contain a gigantic loophole to allow “voluntary” higher bids from tenants.

“A loophole of this size would render this otherwise sensible policy effectively useless. Expect pushback from the renters’ movement.”

Labour is likely to be listening. A BBC investigation this week into the power of lobby groups like Shelter and Acorn has pinpointed how the main political parties have all realised that renters are the key battleground because many are ‘undecided’ voters likely to be swayed by promises of a better private rented sector, and anti-landlord rhetoric.

How to legally increase rents to align with the market level


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