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Labour Mayor Khan to put rent controls at heart of election fight

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is to keep a call for rent controls in the capital as a major plank of his next election manifesto.

The poll for London Mayor is in May - a year later than scheduled because of Coronavirus - but it is already known that Labour candidate Khan will fight for the power to control private rents.

A source described as being “close to the Mayor” has told London newspaper City AM that the rent control policy will not be the centrepiece of the manifesto but that it would still feature prominently. Currently, the Mayor has no powers over private rents; however some 2.4m Londoners are in the sector.


A year ago - before the 2020 election was postponed - Khan said: “The case for rent controls is now absolutely undeniable. But Tory ministers have blocked us from introducing our plans for rent controls in London and have simply said no.

“That’s why I am making the mayoral election ... a referendum on rent controls – showing Londoners that I will stand up for renters. 



“The prime minister will have to give us the powers we need, because if he refuses to do so he will be denying the express democratic will of millions of Londoners. And as we have all heard Boris Johnson repeatedly say himself, the democratic will of the people must be respected and it is not for politicians to frustrate it.”

In 2019 Professor Kath Scanlon, a housing expert at the London School of Economics, warned that the Mayor’s rent control proposals would result in landlords simply deciding that they were no longer going to let their properties.

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  • George Dawes

    Proof if it were needed that Khan is a moron

    • 18 February 2021 07:31 AM

    How can I not totally agree with that?


    He's another Corbyn

    • 18 February 2021 09:43 AM

    Worse than Corbyn........

  • George Dawes

    ummarising the results of years of research, the think-tank came up with nine reasons London and other cities should shun rent controls:
    Waiting lists for homes are horrendous – an average wait is 11.3 years for an apartment in the capital Stockholm and up to 30 years for subsidised flats
    Controlling rents pushes up costs for tenants
    Apartments are sub-let with rents often double the price the primary tenant pays
    Rent agreements are auctioned on a black market with organised crime moving in for a share of the profits. One in five young renters confess they have bought an illegal contract, while a rash of murders related to sub-letting apartments swept the city in 2014
    The cost of renting has skewed the market, with families outpriced by single tenants who now occupy large apartments while pushing families out of town and city centres
    Companies complain they cannot recruit because rents are too high compared with wages
    Costly rents have driven a wedge between highly paid and well educated renters who can afford to live where they want, while poorer tenants on benefits must put up with unattractive homes in the suburbs
    Instead of levelling the rental market, the wealthy dominate, with any apartment in Stockholm larger than 180 square metres rented by someone in the top 1% of earners
    Rents only go up when landlords improve homes, so landlords carry out costly refurbishments that are unaffordable for average earners

  • icon

    He is a cretin a shameless man. He will say anything for uneducated votes. I personally cannot wait for rent control. It’s going to revolutionise profits. Properties will be fought over with cash in brown envelopes. Never mind having to accept dss or pet owners they will not get a look in

  • icon

    This guy does not care about renters. It is just for vote snatching.
    Last week he magically found Millions for police.
    He is no more than a wage theft and time to move on, sensible voters will see him for what he is, tick tick tick tock.

  • Mark Wilson

    I anticipate rent controls regardless of the Mayor. Anyone really surprised?


    Don't sound so disappointed Mark! History shows that landlords ALWAYS win in the end!

    EVERY anti-landlord initiative ends up hurting decent tenants but we'll still beat the rogue tenants in the end when they're shunned by every decent landlord and barred from every decent property.


    Robert, we're just like the Bookie really he always wins at the end of the day.

  • icon
    • 18 February 2021 09:38 AM

    Not if he loses the election!!!!
    Which I hope he does not win. It will desperate if he wins again...

  • James B

    Bring it on ? We never increase rents anyway and the proposal is to increase them by a percentage fixed every year .. will be a bonus for us


    Exactly, we increase rents depending on maintenance requirements of a property. If tenants look after it generally no increase, however under rent control I will follow the law but that means I will increase by the permitted amount each year

  • icon
    • 18 February 2021 09:41 AM

    Not to mention he might introduce rent control and revalue every house in London!!!!!!!!

  • icon

    Yes Mark' I am surprised I have thousands of pounds of arrears for rents that haven't gone up in years.
    Maybe I would have voted Labour last time if Corbyn didn't have the baggage of scouse John. I could never have imagined that Labor could have got away all the Anti-LL laws the Conservatives have put on us and still doing it with impunity, more on the way, its shameful and a breach of trust.

  • Algarve  Investor

    He is going to win. He's miles ahead in the polls, by more than 20 points in some cases, and that's even with no Rory Stewart to split the Tory vote or grab some wavering Labour voters.

    The Lib Dem candidate for this year's race is much less well-known than Siobhan Benita, and is likely to come in fourth place behind the Green's Sian Berry.

    I guess those who are anti-Khan need to ask themselves why the Tories have put up two such poor candidates against him. Goldsmith's electoral campaign was a total disaster and really quite nasty and dog-whistle in places, while putting up a Brexiteer in heavily Remain London was always going to be a disaster.

    London is now very much a Labour city and it was going to take an outstanding candidate to beat Khan, whose approval ratings are generally quite good. Shaun Bailey is not that candidate.

    There is even talk of him winning in the first round, without the need for second preference votes.

    That said, I don't think rent controls will be introduced in any meaningful way. He knows it's an easy vote-winner among London's many tenants, but he's been talking about it for many years and nothing has happened. He is hamstrung by the government, who as I understand it would need to sanction it, which is never going to happen.

  • icon

    abolish gla and all elected mayors and pccs and welsh nirish and scots assemblies

  • icon

    Strange how his only supporter on here is a title not a name. It’s probably Khan himself for all we know.


    Very likely or a plant from Shelter or GR.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    The combinations of the pandemic and Brexit have seen an estimated 700k-1m people leave London over the last 2 years. Add on top of that a decimated short let market and student market (both of which will recover of course as restrictions lift)- this has seen rents in London drop 15-20% in most areas- we have seen some drop by as much as 35%. A market operates naturally when left alone- tenants cant rent what they cant afford (pass referencing for) and rents are determined ultimately by supply & demand- if he ever feels rents are getting too high its because there's not enough homes being built. Ignorance and clickbait/clickvote politics with substance or footing in reality.

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    govt says popn of london=9 million

    i reckon at least twice that

  • icon

    Kristjan, I agrees with the exception of shortage of Homes in London, there is no shortage of Homes in London so why build more. Its only for big Developers to muscle in and take over existing rental market with concrete frame, tin clad high rise Flats with no private outside space plus all the Government preferential treatment bestowed on them etc. Well were were all the people living before and no shortage then either, so you say 700'000 + has left London and I agree that's another 700'000 vacant spaces to add to the glut already to fill. I suppose it will create jobs building them and more jobs knocking them down. Who is likely to be moving to London with congestion charge, ULEZ, parking problems, penalties, traffic creating schemes, 20 mph enough to drive anyone mad, high Business rates, savage c/tax & up max allowed this year 4.99%, fake news big problem.

  • Matthew Payne

    Mr Khan was given £5bn to build 120,000 extra homes by 2022, and so far has delievered only 16,000, so he wants to get his own house in order if he has a genuine interest in tackling the economic flows created by supply and demand in London.

    That aside there isn't a sound argument for rent controls in a practical sense even in good times, let alone now in a city with huge post pandemic challenges as it is, and Conservatives don't like these market controls whatever the circumstances. They would actually drive rents up for most and create a shortage in housing at a time when government and councils will need literally every single available rented property from private landlords over the next few years in the wake of the pandemic. We are way behind private construction targets, we have 800,000 tenants & 30,000 mortgage holders in arrears, 1.3m on social housing waiting lists with virtually no social housing being built, the moratorium on repossessions & evictions is about to end, furlough is ending.

    As all that unfolds is it likely, even with loony lefties politicking loudly in the press, that the most seemingly economically savvy and Conservative Chancellor we have had for some time would sign off a policy that makes it more difficult for people to find somewhere to live in the place that generates about 25% of our GDP? Can't see it.

  • icon

    It has been proven over and over again that rent controls don't work - but it makes a good headline & tenants think its good so vote accordingly. Another politician who doesn't understand the PRS!

  • icon
    • 20 February 2021 12:51 PM

    Sadiq Khan will make every effort to start up rent controls. Whether it works or not!!!!!!!

  • Fredy Jones

    Realistically the courts have a massive massive backlog and it’s going to take even longer than normal due to social distancing and restrictions.

    The eviction ban has been extended again and again ever since the first time it was extended. The word on the street is that it’s going to be extended right up to May the 4th when it will be called breathing space. This will be an indefinite eviction ban for those who qualify.

    for those LLs who do actually get to the front of the backlog, the courts are looking for anything to throw it out of court and you have to go to the back of the line. Even if everything was correct in the application.

    the real elephant in the room is the problem is what will happen to all these tenants who are losing their jobs/incomes and mental health and can’t pay rent anymore?

    where will they all go?

    there are plenty of empty properties around but the asking prices are too high for universal credit? Rents will have to fall down to meet this new normal

    the other thing is councils are telling tenants to stay in the homes until actually evicted by bailiffs and there is a backlog waiting list here too

    ​​​​​​​then the fact is that if it gets to bailiff turning up at the door all the tenant has to do is say they are shielding due to symptoms and the eviction is called off and you are back to square one

    they are not allowed to go anywhere near a suspected Covid case and no way allowed to evict them......

  • George Dawes

    Soylent Green ???


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