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Rent Controls: Housing Secretary “not in favour of them”

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP told the Housing, Communities and Local Government select committee last week that he is ‘not in favour’ of rent controls.

Giving evidence to the select committee on the topic of possession reform, Mr Jenrick said:

“I am not in favour of rent controls. As I said, that has 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.”

The topic of rent controls arose, because it was included in the Government’s recent consultation on reforming the possession process, in which concerns were raised about rent levels if Section 21 powers were abolished.

Mr Jenrick told MPs the consultation had received more than 20,000 responses.

RLA research on rent controls

Last month, RLA research on existing research on rent controls revealed the harm they can cause.

The research found that when rent controls were introduced in Berlin, rents shot up by 10%. Previous pre-control rises had been just 1%-2%.

While in in San Francisco, the number of homes to rent fell by 15% when rent controls were introduced.

Responding to the Housing Secretary’s comments, RLA policy director David Smith told The Telegraph:

“We welcome the housing secretary’s recognition that rent controls are ultimately bad for tenants. All the evidence from around the world where they have been introduced shows that they reduce supply and drive up cost, making the situation for tenants worse.”

However, Labour’s position on rent controls is different, with the Mayor o London Sadiq Khan continuing to call for the power to introduce rent controls in the capital.

Also, in a speech to the Labour Party Conference in September 2017 Jeremy Corbyn said: “Rent controls exist in many cities across the world  and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.”

The RLA’s General Election manifesto

  • Ahead of the General Election on 12th December, the RLA is calling for all parties to reject all forms of rent controls. You can read more about this here.
  • Read the full transcript of the HCLG select committee meeting here.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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