Law News

Rent Controls Called for by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Em Morley - July 23, 2019

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has announced a proposal for reforming the private rental sector (PRS) in London. This will include a call for powers to implement rent controls.

David Smith, Policy Director of the Residential Landlords Association, commented: “Rent controls are meaningless if Londoners can’t find a home to live in. Rent controls will lead to a drop in investment and increasing supply should be the Mayor’s priority.

“Localised rent controls would also have a huge impact in the surrounding areas. With demand continuing to outstrip supply, residents would have to move out of the city and rents would be pushed up further as demand increases in the commuter belt.

“Research from the Centre for Cities has found that rent controls divide renters into the privileged and outsides, with those already renting when the controls are introduced doing well but those hoping to move into the city or for more space losing out, damaging social mobility.

“London rent rises are already well below inflation increasing at just 0.9% in the year to June compared to CPI at 2%.

“We do welcome a number of the Mayor’s proposals for improving London’s rental sector including establishing a dedicated housing court and reforming the Section 8 process for landlords to regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances.”

David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, has also responded to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s call for rent controls to be introduced in London: “Rent controls do not work; it hits hardest those it’s 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.”