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Industry group slams Labour rent control call as disaster for tenants

Industry group slams Labour rent control call as disaster for tenants

Jeremy Corbyn's plans for rent controls and "secure tenancies" in the private rented sector would spell disaster for tenants, reducing the supply and the quality of homes to let.

That is the view of the Residential Landlords Association following the plans being revealed among 10 pledges announced by the Labour leadership contender.

Alan Ward, RLA chairman, says the plans would be spell disaster for private renters.

"Jeremy Corbyn's call for rent controls would be a disaster for tenants. He is ignoring all history and experience which shows that where such controls are applied they choke off the supply of homes to rent, making it more difficult for tenants to access decent and affordable housing. This has previously been acknowledged by Labour's former minister responsible for housing in Wales," says Ward.

"Rather than playing the populist tune, Mr Corbyn would do well to consider the facts. Figures in the English Housing Survey show that private sector tenants are spending an average of 4 years in their current property, up from 3.7 five years ago. Such tenants are also more satisfied with their accommodation than those in the social rented sector according to the same survey," adds Ward.

The association - echoing comments made last year by letting agents - says the facts speak for themselves. 

When the UK last had rent controls, the size of the private rented sector fell from more than half of households - 55% - in 1939 to just eight per cent in the late 1980s.

It says if rents are capped, limiting landlords returns then some will inevitably leave the market - especially in light of the recent tax measures from former chancellor George Osborne.

The RLA says such controls would also indirectly discourage movement, with many households in cities in the US and Germany where rent controls are in place living in unsuitable accommodation as it would be too expensive to move elsewhere.

It concludes that rent controls would destroy investment in new housing, push up prices and make it far harder for people to find a flat or house to rent, as well as limiting the landlord's ability to adequately finance maintenance work.


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