Landlord News

ARLA Propertymark comments on rent control argument

Em Morley - March 5, 2020

After the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the National Landlords Association (NLA) yesterday stated their opposition to Sadiq Khan’s rent control plans, ARLA propertymark has joined them in their disagreement. 

The NLA and RLA have hit out at Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s re-election strategy, which focuses on introducing rent controls in the capital, saying that the proposals would drive landlords out of the city.

They point to research by Frank Knight, showing that demand for rental property has increased from 4.7 prospective tenants per listing in 2018, to 6.1 in 2019. 

The Centre for Cities has warned that strict rent control “would close off London to new residents” and the Resolution Foundation commented that holding down the true market price of private housing via rent controls rather than increasing housing supply is unlikely to succeed.

ARLA Propertymark has echoed the NLA and RLA’s worries. David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark categorically says: 

“Rent controls do not work; it hits hardest those its designed to help the most, and the Mayor of London has failed to learn the lessons of history. 

“The last time rent controls existed in this country, the private rented sector (PRS) shrunk to the lowest levels ever recorded. At a time of demand for PRS homes massively outstripping supply, rent controls will cause the sector to shrink. 

“In turn, this means professional landlords will only take the very best tenants, and the vulnerable and low-income people that rent controls are designed to help, will be forced into the hands of rogue and criminal operators, who may exploit them.”

However, Amina Gichinga from London Renters Union believes tenants aren’t much better off as the situation currently stands, stating rent controls were “urgently needed to help end the way that sky-high rents are driving people out from their communities and into poverty”.

It’s not just tenants who believe that rent controls aren’t a bad thing though. Robert Walker, a partner at PwC, said in July:

“Reducing the cost of housing — both renting and purchasing a house — should be a priority, and government and business should work together to improve affordability by increasing the supply of properties to put downward pressure on property price inflation,”