Landlords have heavily criticised London mayor Sadiq Khan’s latest ‘disastrous’ plans to introduce rent controls in the capital, claiming they would leave renters worse off.

Rent controls are one of the Labour mayor’s key policy proposals as he seeks re-election for a second term.

He has based them on his oft-repeated claim that rents in London are ‘out of control’ and ‘unaffordable’ and need controlling, a point of view supported by the Labour party.

But the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) says this claim is not based in fact. Its analysis of government data shows that rents in London have fallen by 9.6% since Khan took office in April 2016.

Even when inflation is stripped out, rents have still reduced by 5.1 over the pasts five years, the NRLA says.

These reductions have been driven in part by the Covid exodus from London among its key renting demographic – young first and second jobbers – around a fifth of whom have returned to their parents’ home to ride out the pandemic.

The NRLA says Khan’s fondness for rent controls is also a significant U-turn – the Labour government he was a member of until 2010 produced a report rejecting rent controls.

It looked at their effects from 1918 to 1988 (when they were abolished), revealing how they led to lower investment by landlords in properties and ‘inner city decay’.

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Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, says: “Rent controls would be a disaster for London as the last Labour Government made crystal clear.

“They would mean tenants actually paying higher rents than leaving them to market forces.

“The story of rent controls wherever they have been introduced is that they exacerbate an already serious shortage of available homes.

“Rather than calling for things he cannot deliver, the Mayor should focus on using the powers he already has to boost the supply of available housing, including for private rent.”

Read more about rent controls.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Labour are obsessed with controlling others in their internal and foreign policies but they have no control of themselves.

  2. “He has based them on his oft-repeated claim that rents in London are ‘out of control’ and ‘unaffordable’ and need controlling, a point of view supported by the Labour party.”

    Sadiq needs to learn some basic economics. It’s all about supply and demand. Supply and demand dictates the price of goods and services. If rents were really ‘out of control’ and ‘unaffordable’ landlords would go out of business if they didn’t reduce their rents. Oh! Hang on a minute – rents are, apparently, falling in London. The laws of supply and demand have kicked in. No need for rent control. The market controls the rent without Sadiq’s intervention.

  3. I am getting pretty sick of Sadiq Khant. There’s an almost limitless scope to the things he khant do. He khant control the ludicrous Crossrail project. He khant control his spending of council tax and ratepayers’ money and he certainly khant deal with London’s housing crisis. Does that bloody fool really think that bungling inefficient local authorities should be allowed to control rents? The sooner he’s ejected from office and goes back to driving a bus the better.

  4. They print billions of pounds, ruin local businesses, no one’s got stock of anything when needed for repairs, referbs etc, ban evictions and encourage tentants to plead poverty, sky rocketing housing market, esp new builds, THEN tell LLs they’re charging too much. But the sick thing is, Khan or not, this nonsense is coming in one way or another.

  5. If Sadiq Khan does n’t want rents to go, they need to stop all the pointless regulation coming in every few months.

    Every London Council is looking at landlord Licensing schemes. Not only is the cost involved, but the paperwork and bureaucracy. Some agents are charging £400 in fees, just in application fees on top of council fees which are starting at £700. Whilst tenants have had tenant fees banned, but the same cannot be same for ridiculous fees set up by Councils.

    On top of this every council is introducing parking restrictions causing landlords / tradesmen difficulties getting parking permits. Some street parking are limited to 2 or 4 hours.

    On top of the Government forced London councils to introduce new LTN (Low Traffic Neighborhoods), which ban cars from certain streets (except for registered residents). As Landlords and tradesmen are not residents, it creates a problem trying to carry out repairs. Each council has its down little scheme. All it did was create congestion as people avoid. There are cameras which fine drivers, which only adds to the cost.

    Council will charge landlord for collecting away old furniture, which is free or available at low cost to home owners. Tenants rents are subsidising home owners. A private firms waste firms have to be used.

    Landlords have to pay double in council tax when properties are vacant and undergoing repairs.

    Instead of rent control, may be they need to look at controlling the number of people coming into London, so as not to cause a spike in demand.

    Housing Benefit has been largely frozen.

    Taxes have gone up for Landlords.

    Landlords were left hanging when trying to evict non-paying landlords during Covid.

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