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Shadow chancellor 'wrong' on rented housing, says RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has hit out at claims made by the new Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell.  

During his speech at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, McDonnell called for 'exorbitant rents' to be controlled and referred to cutting 'billion pound tax breaks given to buy-to-let landlords'. 

In a statement issued shortly after the speech, the RLA claims that the Shadow Chancellor failed to inform delegates that 'rental property is taxed more heavily than owner occupied property' – a comment first made by Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies. 


The RLA also draws attention to McDonnell's omission that some of Labour's own ministers in the Welsh Government have argued against rent controls - most notably Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty. 

In February this year she told the Welsh Assembly:

“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.”

Last week another industry body, the National Landlords Association, called on its members to lobby MPs over tax changes announced in the Summer Budget.

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  • icon

    Same old Labour, just a different set of clowns at the wheel....

    I may have this wrong, but I do recall all this rubbish about rent controls and taxing landlords from them at the last election. The words "rich landlords" were often reeled off. So why when it has failed previously do they want to keep banging this drum? Well in short I think they have no other ideas.

    Expect to hear a lot from them on "rich landlords" and "sub standard properties" over the course of this parliament with little in the way of evidence to back it up. They could always get shelter to release more statistics without the need to back them up with evidence I guess.

    Surely even talk of all this, along with the changes in the market place is putting off investment in this sector. I know for a fact I am "out" as they say and will only look to dispose of property, not increase the portfolio.

  • icon

    Politicians and the general public have such short memories. Rent controls will cause a major diminuation of privately owned properties available to rent. When I started work in 1964 as a trainee surveyor the estate agents that I worked for had 120+ properties for rental on their register. After Labour's new rent controls came into force , by the end of 1965 this number was reduced to only about 12!

  • Kenny Sahota

    Rent controls seemed to have been banded about recently as a way to miraculously solve housing issues, but it's not that simple.The government must be careful not to discourage landlords from investing, which could happen if these rent controls are enforced.

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