Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would introduce rent controls across UK cities were the party to come into power – a move the RLA described as an attack on landlords.
The announcement, made at the Labour Party Conference today, was described as ‘disappointing’ by RLA policy director David Smith.
He said: “Rent controls would be a disaster for tenants. History has proved that they stifle investment and reduce supply; making it much more difficult for tenants to find somewhere decent to live.
“This is what happened before they were lifted in the 1980s and it led to a reduction in the quality of rented housing available.
“Private sector rents are increasing by less than inflation and the call for rent controls is a diversion from the real need to increase the supply of rented housing to meet the fast rising demand.
“The private rented sector has invested in providing homes for the population, putting more homes into use than any other landlord type. Instead of attacking landlords, the private rented sector should be seen as part of the solution to the housing crisis.”
Corbyn also announced Labour plans for a review of social housing policy, promising a ‘radical programme of action’ to bring to next year’s conference and vowed to ensure every home is fit for human habitation if Labour came into power.
He also said the party would tackle undeveloped land held by developers, who would be told to ‘use it or lose it’.
Labour plans for rent controls were first announced as part of the party’s election manifesto, in May this year.