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'Time for bold action with rent controls has come' says mayor hopeful

rent controls green zoe garbett

The Green Party’s mayoral candidate in London has said she will bring in rent controls saying the time for ‘bold action’ has come.

Zoe Garbett says she would push for a two-year rent freeze in the capital, although attempts by the current major Sadiq Khan to gain such powers have come to nothing, and the Labour party has said to date that it would not give the next Mayor of London the ability to introduce rent controls.

She rejected concerns that such a move could reduce the supply of new homes in the private rented sector, insisting that it would be possible to “make sure the market doesn’t collapse” by involving landlords in the process. This would be difficult given the party has previously accused private landlords of 'lining their pockets'.

Garbett’s comments came as she launched her ‘renters charter’ ahead of this week’s mayoral elections in London, saying she would also set up a commission to set rents and also fund more environmental health officers for the city’s council’s to increase enforcement of the current regulations and drive out rogue landlords.

She also criticised Khan’s Rogue Landlords and Letting Agents Database for “hiding too much information from public scrutiny and therefore not holding landlords to account”, she said.

Speaking during the launch of the charter, Garbett added: “The private rented sector across London is out of control.

The private rented sector across London is out of control.

“For many, housing is completely unaffordable. This includes teachers, nurses, hospitality workers, and many of the people who keep the city going.

“The situation here really is that bad. We need to be bold with this. We have to be talking about rent control. At the moment, tenants find themselves in bidding wars over expensive homes that, in many cases, aren’t even fit to live in.”

The Greens say Garbett has a reasonable chance of becoming mayor because many Londoners are disillusioned with Khan and unlikely to vote for the Conservative candidate, Susan Hall.

However their claims don’t pass scrutiny – the most recent voting intentions poll published yesterday shows the race tightening between Khan and Hall, with Garbett at best likely to come in third.


Rent controls
London rents