Rent Control Threat – petition launched to stop private sector rent caps

28 May 2021 | Renting

Rent Control Threat - petition launched to stop private sector rent caps

An outspoken property investor has launched an online petition on the government website to oppose the threat of rent controls.

YouTube influencer Samuel Leeds says in a video he has made to support the petition that he is particularly outraged at the attempts by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to call for powers to implement private sector rent controls across the capital.

Leeds says a similar policy of rent controls across parts of New York has led to a lack of investment, poor quality housing and high levels of homelessness as a result.

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“I am not going to let this happen [in London] and I don’t think you should either” he tells viewers, adding that in addition to the New York experience, rent control policies in both Scotland and the German capital, Berlin, have been failures. 

As has been the case with previous online petitions relating to property, most spectacularly one relating to the original stamp duty holiday, 10,000 signatures will produce a guaranteed statement from the government, and 100,000 signatures will see the government at least consider holding a Parliamentary debate.

The government has for some time spoken out against rent controls, and has previously ruled out giving the London Mayor powers to introduce such caps. 

Leeds’ petition – running at around 1,900 signatures this morning – says: “Rent control has had catastrophic results for the poorest and most vulnerable. Therefore, we ask that the Government reject calls by the Mayor of London for him to be given the power to bring in rent control.

“The Mayor of London has stated that he is asking the government to give him the power to implement rent control. Economists on the left and the right agree rent control reduces the quality and quantity of housing. 

“Liberal Economist Paul Krugman says its failure is ‘among the best-understood issues in all of economics’. In New York, for example, rent control has led to rundown properties and breeding grounds for crime. Rent control doesn’t work and must be rejected in the strongest terms.”

You can see the petition here.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.