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Cap rents in London: Sadiq Khan ‘has failed to learn the lessons of history’

The mayor of London has called for additional powers so he can introduce rent controls in the capital.

Sadiq Khan believes greater controls are needed to rebalance London’s private rented sector and ensure that it is “fit for purpose”.

Average monthly private rents in London have increased by 35% from £1,095 in 2011 to £1,473 in 2018, according to analysis by the Valuation Office Agency.

Private renters in the city spent 42% of their household income on rent, compared with 30% spent by those living elsewhere in England, according to the latest English Housing Survey.

“Londoners who rent privately need help with the high costs of renting,” said Khan.

But critics said his plans were a mistake and could have a negative long-term impact on the quality of housing in London’s PRS.

David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, commented: “Rent controls do not work; it hits hardest those it’s designed to help the most, and the Mayor of London has failed to learn the lessons of history.

“The last time rent controls existed in this country, the PRS shrunk to the lowest levels ever recorded.

“At a time of demand for PRS homes massively outstripping supply, rent controls will cause the sector to shrink. In turn, this means professional landlords will only take the very best tenants, and the vulnerable and low-income people that rent controls are designed to help, will be forced into the hands of rogue and criminal operators, who may exploit them.”

Also responding to the mayor of London’s proposals for reforming the PRS in London including calls for powers to implement rent controls, David Smith, the Residential Landlords Association’s policy director, said: “Rent controls are meaningless if Londoners can’t find a home to live in. Rent controls will lead to a drop in investment and increasing supply should be the Mayor’s priority.

“Localised rent controls would also have a huge impact in the surrounding areas. With demand continuing to outstrip supply, residents would have to move out of the city and rents would be pushed up further as demand increases in the commuter belt.

“Research from the Centre for Cities has found that rent controls divide renters into the privileged and outsides, with those already renting when the controls are introduced doing well but those hoping to move into the city or for more space losing out, damaging social mobility.

“London rent rises are already well below inflation increasing at just 0.9% in the year to June compared to CPI at 2%.

“We do welcome a number of the Mayor’s proposals for improving London’s rental sector including establishing a dedicated housing court and reforming the Section 8 process for landlords to regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances.”

Poll: Do rent controls work?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    A binary YES / NO questionnaire about whether rents controls work? With no other questions (e.g. what kind of rent controls?) or space for nuanced comments? Sorry, but my vote is that this questionnaire does not work. (Unless you're trying to encourage your responders to vote NO...... but Heaven forbid..........)
    A more socially responsible questionnaire would be to ask landlords for their ideas on how to make rents more affordable for potential tenants and solve the housing crisis .................... This would be an ideal time, with a new PM about to enter no. 10.

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    How to make rents more affordable? -
    1) stop land banking by companies perhaps & build more houses
    2) uncomfortable truth- stop letting everyone with a pulse in the country
    3) make two families share every dwelling

    See the point is is that rent is a market forces led figure - ALWAYS
    If interest rates are high rents are high
    If there is lots of demand for your rental cos it’s 5 mins from a station then rents are high
    If there’s lots of nice shops and quality lifestyle then rents are high
    Too many people at the moment that think it’s their divine right to be able to live in Camden, Kensington or Chelsea for £600 per month with full upkeep gardening thrown in

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    Hi David, as a landlord I am glad you asked the question how to make rents more affordable. It’s the easiest thing in the World to do, just scrap all those ridiculously, unnecessary Regulations of recent years that has made renting unaffordable & unsustainably. Huge numbers of Rogue Regulators all from outside Private Sector Housing , that don’t supply any Housing is a good place to start, now that was easy next question.

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