Shadow Chancellor pledges to cap rents to ‘rip-off landlords’

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

John McDonnell has pledged to cap rents in his speech to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

In the speech he says a future Labour Government will “cap rents and build a million new genuinely affordable homes, so young people in particular aren’t pouring away thousands of pounds from their wages to rip-off landlords”. 

However the RLA has long warned that moves to control rents have been proved to have a detrimental effect on renters and rented housing.

The speech did not include any further detail on how this would be implemented, although earlier this month the Shadow Chancellor announced a Labour plan which would force landlords to sell homes to tenants for less than market rates.

McDonnell said that, should Labour win the next election, the party would bring in new ‘Right to Buy’ legislation – a move the RLA said could kill off the PRS.

Speaking at the conference yesterday McDonnell also said the party would restore full trade union and workplace rights, introduce a real living wage of at least £10 per hour and end the roll-out of Universal Credit should it come to power.

To read the speech in full click here.

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.


  • The problem is one of supply and demand,penalising landlords may offer some shot term popularity but the overall effect would be to choke off investment in property and reduce supply thus exacerbating the problem.Around the world the policy of capping rents has never been effective and tended to disincentivise landlords from investing, maintaining and repairing properties.It also leads to an increase in derelict property which has a significant knock on effect through crime.The most obvious example that I can think of is the Colonial District in Mexico City(Zocalan).It was for many years semi derelict and run down with very strict rent controls.They were abolished 30 years ago and now it is a vibrant well maintained area popular with locals and tourists alike.Full of flats, shops,restaurants and businesses.

  • By should a responsible government control rents. The greedy landlords in London – some already wealthy, are forcing tenants out of their homes by raising rents which far outstrips the ability for their tenants to afford are allowed to raise rents at a level that are beyond inflation rates. It’s just wrong! We should never forget that our tenants see what we call our properties, their homes. As a landlord I support the call the Opposition has discussed at their Conference.

  • I remember rent control in the UK with fair rents,and no ability to obtain possession,a requirement for repair..
    What did that lead to?
    what did that lead to
    Mr Corbyn will break the PRS again

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