London mayor Sadiq Khan pushing for rent control in the Capital

In a bid to be re-elected, London mayor Mr Sadiq Khan is proposing rent controls, for the Capital. Mr Khan has declared that this election is a “referendum on rent controls”.

Mr Khan at a campaign launched at a housing estate in Hackney, east London said he was disappointed that he was hindered, from making private rent for Londoners more affordable. This was the reason why he was making the election a referendum on rent control.

He went on to say: “The prime minister will have to give us the powers we need because if he declines to do so, he’ll be denying the democratic will of million’s people who are crying out for help.

“And as we’ve all heard Boris Johnson repeatedly say himself, the democratic will of the people must be respected.”

“If Londoner’s re-elect me as their mayor, I want there to be no doubt that it represents a clear and compelling mandate for their introduction.

For many, this latest bid, for rent control in London is no new news. The mayor had previously requested the Government to grant him powers to cap rents in London.

Some landlords, in the Capital, are not surprised by the latest move by the mayor. One London landlord Mr Hasmite said: “There are a lot more tenants than landlords. Keep the tenants sweet and its an election winner. It is not rocket science. So I am not at all surprised by this announcement by the mayor.

The yields are going to drop if the rent control is introduced. With the new tax changes coming in this year, it may no longer be worth being a landlord. I am sure; there are other better countries to invest in”.

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark, says: “Rent controls do not work; it hits hardest those it is 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. 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.”

A London tenant Silvia Rodgers said “I am a teacher, I think my salary is reasonable; however, the rents in London are ridiculous this makes it almost impossible for me to live a reasonable distance from my place of work. To move outside the Capital means more travel expense and three hours of travel time each day. I am not prepared to spend 15 hours a week just in travel time. I think this is unreasonable, and my salary is not sufficient for this option to be viable.

Does London have rent control?

London currently does not have rent control. There has been a drive to introduce rent control for London. This seems to be gathering momentum.

What is rent control UK?

Rent regulation in England and Wales is the part of English land law that creates rights and obligations for tenants and landlords. The mechanisms for regulating rent (historically called “rent control”). Since the Housing Act 1980, rents are generally, left for landlords to fix.

What is the rent cap?

Rent cap is where in law the rent is capped.

What do rent controls do?

Rent control has a limit on rent charged by which landlords cannot exceed, and control on the frequency rent can be increased.

Mr Sajjad Ahmad, the CEO of the British Landlords Association (The BLA), said: “This debate about rent control is not going to go away. The imbalance between supply and demand needs to be addressed. Correction in rent will come in a timely manner without government intervention. Provided the Government delivers on the pledge to provide more affordable housing for the Capital. Governments failure to build sufficient affordable housing in London, for Londoners is the cause of this imbalance.

Source: British Landlords Association

Author: Mrs Helen Cartwright

Date: 4th of March 2020

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