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New data shows folly of London rent controls

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Proposals by the Mayor of London to introduce rent controls have been dealt a critical blow as figures show rents across the capital falling in real terms. 

According to Office for National Statistics data published today, in the 12 months to October 2019 private sector rents in the capital increased by an average of 0.9 per cent. 

Over the same period, inflation was 1.5 per cent as measured by CPI and 2.1 per cent as measured by RPI.

The RLA has today commented that rent controls might actually have led to tenants paying more if rent levels had been linked to inflation. 

Speaking recently to a committee of MPs, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, warned he was “not in favour of rent controls”, arguing that they have “proven to be very negative for both landlords and tenants in the past, and I do not want to see any move in that direction.” 

Research by the RLA has shown that around the world rent controls have been proved not to work, leading to a lower standard of housing and less choice for tenants. 

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, said: “Today’s figures show how absurd proposals for rent controls are. Rents in London are falling in real terms, yet the Mayor is failing to acknowledge this. 

“If he wants to make renting cheaper it would be better to work constructively with good landlords to provide the new homes to rent the capital desperately needs. Without this, supply will fall, rents will go up, and tenants will have even less choice about where they live.” 

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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