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NRLA: Rent controls would be disaster for London renters

16 September 2020 | General

Proposals by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for rent controls in the capital would be a “disaster” for tenants, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has argued.

The NRLA are pointing to a report published by the Treasury in 2010 under the last Labour Government, of which the Mayor was a member, which investigated the impact of rent controls before they were abolished in 1988. The report warned that they had been a major factor in the “decay of much of the inner city housing stock”.

The Mayor’s proposals challenge also of the Centre for Cities according to the NRLA, which has warned that strict rent controls “would close off London to new residents” and the Resolution Foundation which has concluded that holding down the true market price of private housing via rent controls rather than increasing housing supply is unlikely to succeed.

Professor Kath Scanlon, a housing expert at the London School of Economics, last year warned that the Mayor’s rent control proposals would result in landlords leaving the market.

Chris Norris, policy director for the NRLA, said: “Rent controls would be a disaster for anyone looking for somewhere to rent.

“As history and experience elsewhere tells us, all they would do is drive landlords out of the market exacerbating an already serious shortage of homes available.

“Rather than driving a wedge between landlords and tenants the Mayor should focus on using the powers he already has to boost the supply of available housing, including for private rent.

“Only then will he make any discernible impact on improving the affordability of housing across the capital.

“We do though support the Mayor’s calls for greater financial support for tenants struggling with rent arrears.

“In the end this would help them, and the majority of landlords who are individuals and not property tycoons, to sustain tenancies.”

This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.