The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) says that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s proposal to introduce rent controls in the capital would be disastrous for tenants.
The Treasury published a report in 2010, when Khan was a member of the most recent Labour Government, which sought to investigate the impact of rent controls before they were abolished in 1988. It claimed that the measures were a major contributor to the “decay of much of the inner city housing stock”.
Meanwhile, the NRLA also says that the proposals have been met with disapproval by the Centre for Cities, which warns that London would effectively be closed off to new residents if subject to strict rent controls. Elsewhere, the Resolution Foundation has argued that artificially limiting the true market value of private housing as opposed to boosting the number homes available is unlikely to be a success.
Last year, Professor Kath Scanlon, a housing expert at the London School of Economics, also warned against such a move, claiming that it would simply drive landlords out of 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.”