New statistics released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that rents across London rose less that inflation at an average of 0.9% in the 12 months to October 2019.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) argues that this demonstrates the folly of the Mayor of London’s calls for rent controls in the capital, which would have resulted rent increases for tenants by linking rents to inflation.

These statistics, says the RLA, mean that the Mayor’s stated policy of introducing rent controls in the capital have been “dealt a critical blow” when it is demonstratively the case that rents don’t necessarily follow a steep upward curve.

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Speaking recently to a committee of MPs the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, warned that he was “not in favour of rent controls”, arguing that they have “proven to be very negative for both landlords and tenants in the past, and I do not want to see any move in that direction.”

Research carried out by the RLA, they claim, shows that around the world rent controls have been proved not to work, leading to a lower standard of housing and less choice for tenants.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, says:

“Today’s figures show how absurd proposals for rent controls are. Rents in London are falling in real terms yet the Mayor is failing to acknowledge this.

“If he wants to make renting cheaper it would be better to work constructively with good landlords to provide the new homes to rent the capital desperately needs. Without this, supply will fall, rents will go up, and tenants will have even less choice about where they live.”

· The Office for National Statistics Index of Private Housing Rental Prices for October 2019 can be accessed here

· RICS’ most recent Residential Market Survey can be accessed here

The graphs on page 6 show that the demand for private rented housing in London is outstripping supply

· The Secretary of State was speaking to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee. The transcript can be accessed here

· The RLA’s own research on rent controls can be accessed here


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