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Rent controls will hurt London tenants

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Responding to reports that the Mayor of London is wanting to introduce forms of rent controls in the capital, David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association said: “It is curious that the Mayor is considering introducing rent controls at a time when rents in London are falling according to official data.

“The Labour Party in Wales has previously rejected rent controls arguing that they reduce incentives to invest in new property when we need more and lead to a reduction in the quality of housing. The same would be the case in London.

“All evidence around the world shows that where forms of rent control are in place, decoupling prices from the value of properties hurts both tenants and landlords.

“In the end what is needed is a relentless focus on boosting the supply of housing.”

The most recent data from the Office for National Statistics shows that in the year to October 2018, rents in London fell by 0.2%.  

-Ends-

Notes:

“Minister, I wonder if you’ll tell us if you’ve considered rent control methods in the lead up to this Bill and, if so, why it doesn’t appear to be included.”

The Minister replied:

“Okay. I thank Jocelyn Davies for her questions. In relation to rent controls, I do recognise that rent control can look attractive initially, but I think previous experience shows that rent controls reduce the incentive for landlords to invest and can then lead to a reduction in quality housing. Those properties that are still subject to rent control under the Rent Act 1977 are often of the poorest quality, so I think such a proposal would require very careful consideration. Again, I think that could give possible unintended consequences to the supply of private rented properties.”

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About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

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