London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Baroness leading the Generation Rent campaign have called for powers to control rents.
Khan claims rents in the capital could increase by almost 20 per cent over the next five years, unless he is given powers to control the market.
The forecast is based on his team’s analysis of a Savills prediction that London rents could rise 19 per cent by 2025; applying this forecast to the latest Rightmove figures for new tenancies, average asking rents could rise to £2,289 a month Khan claims.
He adds that even now Londoners are paying on average 35 per cent of their income on rent.
And he claims polling undertaken last year suggests one in four of London’s private renters were struggling to pay their rent during the pandemic or expecting to do so shortly.
He’s been backed by Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, who says: “Unaffordable housing is stifling London. Over the past decade it has become impossible for many people to live close to their workplace or support networks they rely on, while others cannot afford to start a family.
“Without urgent action on rent levels, more Londoners will face these dilemmas in the 2020s and quality of life will deteriorate.”
Meanwhile Khan himself claims: “Nearly a third of Londoners are private renters, but all too often their calls for support and fairness on rents are overlooked by both landlords and the government.
“I was re-elected on a pledge to redress this balance and to stand up for London’s renters by transforming tenancy laws and wrestling back control of runaway rents. Todays’ analysis paints a stark picture of the next five years if landlords are allowed to increase prices unchecked.
“This is a matter of fairness, but also crucial to the future of our city. If we want the next generation of nurses, police officers, transport workers and key workers to train and work in the capital, we have no option but to keep a check on spiraling rents.”
In May’s election Khan argued for a London Private Rent Commission which would be responsible for designing and implementing rent controls. He wants powers to freeze private rents in the capital to protect renters from the ongoing financial impact of the pandemic.
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