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Labour chief demands rent controls and powers over landlords

The mayor of Labour-controlled Bristol council is teaming up with local anti-landlord activists to look at how to introduce local rent controls in the city.

At a so-called ‘summit’ on March 2, Mayor Marvin Rees will set out his goals to have more powers over landlords. 

He says: “The national housing crisis poses big challenges for our city and tackling it remains one of the council’s top priorities.


“As well as accelerating the building of affordable housing across Bristol, we are currently strengthening our powers to tackle rogue landlords, and we have invested £42m in improving the energy efficiency of our council homes.

“I made a manifesto commitment to campaign for the power to introduce rent controls to make Bristol an affordable living city, and we are calling on government to give us the power to regulate rents.

“Piloting rent control in Bristol will allow us to take a step towards tackling our local renting crisis and will help us develop learnings and that can inform wider positive change for the rest of the city.”

A statement from the council claims that the summit aims to start a conversation with the community about what rent control for Bristol could look like, reviewing examples of how it has proven to be effective in other countries.

Councillor Tom Renhard, the authority’s housing chief, adds: “Our city is facing a rent crisis. We have ever-increasing rents, no-fault evictions still in effect and demand exceeding supply. There are some homes that are not even fit for habitation in a private rented sector where tenants can struggle to enforce the few rights they have.

“Bristol rents are out of control and the renting system is not fair, stable or safe. Unaffordable private rents are deepening inequality, as people on lower incomes are at growing risk of homelessness and many are being forced out of the city.

“It’s time for a reset in the relationship and for the national government to give us the powers we need locally to properly regulate privately rented housing. We are asking renters across the city to join us to share their experiences, shape the discussion on enforcement and hear about different models of what a living rent for Bristol could look like if we had the power to introduce rent controls.”



The council claims that there are over 134,000 people currently renting privately in Bristol, representing almost one-third of the population. 

It says over the last decade, private rents in Bristol have increased by 52 per cent, while wages have only risen by 24 per cent, and on average Bristol residents now need to spend almost nine times their annual salary to buy a house.

The summit will take place on Wednesday 2 March between 6.30 and 8.30pm. Tickets can be booked online.

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    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Sect 24, EPC’s, Interest rates, EICR’s. This will reduce the amount of rented properties yet again as LL’s are already exiting. The Mayor should be campaigning for more social housing to be built.
    Bristol Landlords - Leave, invest elsewhere. Your efforts in saving the deposit and taking a risk are not appreciated by the tenants who didn’t buy couldn’t buy wouldn’t buy but if they did buy would still be moaning that their property doesn’t self maintain

  • icon

    How do you help tenants by destroying landlords? All any of us want is fairness for both sides but as usual in communist Britain things lean to far one way.

  • icon

    Always beware of the word ‘reset’ this is a roundabout way of telling private landlords we are after you and your property.
    Here is Wales we will be losing rights to our properties- the devil is in the details.
    Unless you are really motivated by being a residential landlord now is the time is plan an exit

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    Keep it coming ........ there will be no PRS sector remaining. They will reap the whirlwind (well the tenants will). It is classic ' deflection ', blame the LL's, because as a whole, the various govts of all colours have ignored housing as an essential and critical asset. As said above, they need to be looking at ways to build more social housing, why are we being blamed for not housing the most vulnerable members of society ? I am not a charity, the last time i looked i am not registered with the charities commission.

    Go away and look elsewhere or we will sell, and sail off into the sunset.

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    I keep telling people, but they still don't listen... there is not a chance in hell that rent controls will ever be brought in. Politicians, even left leaning ones, are not stupid, only the naive think that.

    This has nothing to do with right v left politics, it's to do with driving small landlords out of the private rental sector. Lack of housing supply and rent rises are what they want, and can always be explained away to voters by blaming landlords. This is all part of a bigger plan to corporatise the PRS (just as they have done in the building industry) and have us all renting from banks and behemoth private housing associations.

    George Dawes

    Max , you’re 100 % correct

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    I think Government should step in and sack the Mayor of London & Bristol run it from Central Government to prevent further damage to the economy and Law & Order, lady Thatcher soon put a stop to County Hall, although I wasn’t her biggest fan, she got that right and was right about the poll tax too look how unfair it is now with some carrying all the burden while other pays nothing.

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    If rent controls are brought in it would depend how they are set, that would likely be the nail in the coffin

    Theodor Cable

    But it will take years to implement.

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    What happened to common sense in our world?? Buried in the article is a recognition that demand is massively outstripping supply but some how this guy thinks that implementing initiatives that will undoubtedly reduce supply will help improve the situation??

    As has been said by many above you just couldn’t make it up! And once more we are the bad guys!

  • icon

    The sheer nonsense from this post. Not enough available accommodation and the Councils begging us PRS landlords to house people from their housing list, plus, some refugees. Lightbulb moment - let’s threaten the PRS Landlords with rent controls, on top of demanding S21, S24, EPCS, allowing pets, Right to Rent, Deposit Passports, Mandatory criteria for selecting tenants etc etc! We really seem to be the scape goat for all the hardship faced by so many.

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    • AQ
    • 16 February 2022 09:39 AM

    I've lived in Bristol. Let people build flats and houses and it won't be an issue.

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    I note in the article there iis no mention of any planned constructive dialogue with the prs or landlords as to how to address their issues. As has been said, we are the whipping boys they can lay the blame on now their various restrictive and unfair policies are coming home to roost

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    • 16 February 2022 10:33 AM

    These incompetent a$$ wipes targeting landlords once again.

  • David Saunders

    Beginners guide on how to boost homeless figures. (1) Outlaw section 21 no fault eviction (2) Bring in rent controls

  • Guy Charrison

    My late father once said to me, 'I don't mind what you do in school, but LISTEN in history'; he may have not meant it quite so literally but the message is a good one. Having been in the property profession since 1980, I am old enough to recall the days pre the 1987 Rent Acts. These unthought-out ideas of introducing rent controls will force up rents and reduce the quality of the housing stock; which has improved considerably in the last 30 years.

    David Saunders

    I too was around in those days Guy and you are Spot on. Something else worth a mention is that the government are happy to see landlords sell up and pay £thousands in CGT to boost government coffers, will likely have little concern until homeless figures go into orbit whence property owners will again be encouraged to let with assurances of regaining vacant possession of their own property when wanted/needed.

  • icon

    Bristol. The city where Criminal Damage is no longer a crime.

    I thought the SNP couldn't be out-idioted, but I suppose this guy isn't stupid enough to also think his work shy supporters could survive without Westminster handouts.

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    I suppose I have self inflicted rent controls, all my rents except one are below market Rents.
    I have a house in Ealing where the Rent hasn’t increased in 20 years fact. In this time I have had to absorb several Regulatory costs and fees, HMO License twice and all the stuff associated with it, the hike in taxes, removal of 10% wear & tear, the removal of Deposits I don’t have now as the liability is worse than no Deposit, 20 years ago I had 6 weeks Deposit. I have the Tenancy Agreements to prove it.

  • George Dawes

    Labour ?

    That’s a surprise

    Then again could be the Green Party , they’re even worse 😆

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    Can't say I like the sound of Mr Rees..


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