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Jeremy Corbyn pledges to introduce rent controls

Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to give cities the power to introduce rent controls under a Labour government.

Yesterday was the last day of the Labour conference in Brighton, and it saw Jeremy Corbyn deliver his speech as party leader, in which he promised that there would be “no jacking up rents.

“Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections,” Corbyn told delegates in the conference hall.

He also claimed that “tenants are not being listened to” and insisted that the existing cost of renting is simply “not sustainable”.

Corby also said that he would curb “exorbitant ground rents” and clampdown on gentrification projects, claiming that regeneration schemes had often been cover for “social cleansing”.

On Jeremy Corbyn's proposal for rent curbs, Labour's general election co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne told the BBC’s Daily Politics show that cities such as New York have rent controls “and if New York has them then London can have them”.

He said rents had “soared” under an unregulated market and action is required to bring them down, adding that the details will be fleshed out in a Green Paper in due course.

But David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said that Labour’s pledge to introduce rent controls showed that the party had not learnt the lessons of history.

He commented: “The last time rent controls existed the private rented sector went from housing 90% of the population to just 7%. Whenever and wherever rent controls are introduced, the quantity of available housing reduces significantly, and the conditions in privately rented properties deteriorate dramatically.

“Landlords, agents, and successive governments over the last 30 years have worked hard to improve the conditions of rented properties and this is like taking two steps backwards.

“Rent control is not the answer – to bring rent costs down we need a concerted housebuilding effort to increase stock in line with ever-growing demand.”

  • Andrew McCausland

    Well said, David Cox. Re-balancing the supply side of the equation is the only way to achieve what Jeremy Corbyn wants without housing standards slumping as landlords cut back on maintenance to achieve a realistic return on their investment. They will either cut back or exit the market.

    Saying that private landlords exiting the market is a good thing anyway misses the point. Someone has to pay for the investment required in our housing stock - both new build and, more importantly, to refurbish the large quantity of older properties.

    Labour have already said they are going to borrow vast sums to fund their other projects. Adding the additional costs of replacing the PRS investment in housing will place an further burden on the economy. The shadow Chancellor has already said Labour are preparing for a run on the pound should they get into power. These rent control proposals can only make this more likely. There is only so much the country can borrow before we end up an economic basket case.

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    Well, council tax is too much, parking is too expensive, daily grocery is killing my budget!
    If Corbyn can successfully control the price for a cup of coffee, then let's talk! Why can't we be more creative and imaginative to bring up more profitable investment schemes / programs to divert and attract the investors? It is TOO EASY for a politician to just talk about controlling. A successful leader will bring more cash to his people, not to take it away from them. Think, Think Hard, Corbyn!

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    xxx

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    • 12 March 2018 16:55 PM

    Live where you can afford to live. No one has any right to live beyond their means. I'd love to live in Eaton Square or some South Kensington mews but I'm not going to complain about social injustice to my MP simply because I do not have access to several millions of pounds. If you can't afford to rent in London then rent somewhere else. Jeeze.

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