Responding to calls by Labour Leadership contender, Jeremy Corbyn MP today, for rent controls and “secure tenancies” in the private rented sector, Alan Ward, Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association said:
“Jeremy Corbyn’s call for rent controls would be a disaster for tenants. He is ignoring all history and experience which show that where such controls are applied they choke off the supply of homes to rent, making it more difficult for tenants to access decent and affordable housing. This has previously been acknowledged by Labour’s former Minister responsible for housing in Wales.
“Rather than playing the populist tune, Mr Corbyn would do well to consider the facts. Figures in the English Housing Survey show that private sector tenants are spending an average of 4 years in their current property, up from 3.7 five years ago. Such tenants are also more satisfied with their accommodation than those in the social rented sector according to the same survey.”
The English Housing Survey Report for 2014-15 on the private rented sector can be found here. It finds that 82% of private sector tenants are satisfied with their accommodation, compared to 80% of social sector tenants.
On the 10th February 2015, Lesley Griffiths AM (Labour), then the Welsh Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty made a statement to the Welsh Assembly introducing the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill. The transcript is here. As part of this, Plaid Cymru’s Housing Spokesperson at the time, Jocelyn Davies asked Ms Griffiths:
“Minister, I wonder if you’ll tell us if you’ve considered rent control methods in the lead up to this Bill and, if so, why it doesn’t appear to be included.”
The Minister replied:
“Okay. I thank Jocelyn Davies for her questions. In relation to rent controls, I do recognise that rent control can look attractive initially, but I think previous experience shows that rent controls reduce the incentive for landlords to invest and can then lead to a reduction in quality housing. Those properties that are still subject to rent control under the Rent Act 1977 are often of the poorest quality, so I think such a proposal would require very careful consideration. Again, I think that could give possible unintended consequences to the supply of private rented properties.”