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NRLA backs Labour's plan to stop bidding wars for rental homes

bidding wars

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has backed Labour’s proposal to stop landlords and letting agents enabling ‘bidding wars’ by requiring them to advertise a proposed rent based on market rates, with bids above that figure prohibited.

This proposal, which has emerged this week following Labour’s headline promise to stop to ‘stop bidding wars’ within its manifesto, suggests national policing of property adverts published both by letting agents and landlords.

The NRLA tells LandlordZONE that its position is that “rents should be advertised clearly in line with market conditions” and that “reports that some letting agents are encouraging payments above this are concerning”.

“We agree with the principle of measures that would mean tenants could not be actively encouraged to bid above asking rental prices,” its statement says.

“After all, this should not be needed if rents have been advertised in line with market conditions.

“This would not preclude tenants offering above advertised rents, but it would mean agents/landlords could not encourage such bids.”

Rent controls

But the NRLA is keen to underline that it is not in favour of rent controls, saying: “What Labour is proposing is not telling the market what rents should be. The NRLA remains firmly against any forms of rent control.”

Chris Norris (pictured), Policy and Campaigns Director for the NRLA, adds: “While we agree with the principle of ending ‘bidding wars’ to tackle the actions of those who do promote such practices, more detail is needed about how this would work and be enforced.

“With an average of 15 households chasing every available home to rent, the next government needs to clarify how they feel landlords and agents should decide who to rent to.”

“With such a demand and supply imbalance, the only real solution to improving access to rental housing is firm action to boost the supply of homes for private rent alongside all other tenures, and a commitment to keep housing benefit rates unfrozen for the duration of the next Parliament.”


Rent controls