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.”