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Landlords say no to rent controls

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Landlords have given a resounding “no” to plans by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to introduce rent controls on let property in the capital.

The plans, which are at the heart of Khan’s re-election bid on the 7th of May this year, have been branded “a disaster” for tenants looking for somewhere to rent, by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) in a news release on the 2nd of March.

It is understood that the plans involve not only controlling rents by keeping them at their present levels, but enforcing reductions in the rent landlords may charge.

Conceding that the prospect of rent controls might appear attractive to sitting tenants, the RLA said that the track record of such schemes was poor. All they had achieved elsewhere was an exodus of landlords from the private rental sector.

As we reported last October, there is a dire shortage of private rented accommodation, buy to let landlords are already under considerable pressure, and the private rented sector is in danger of shrinking still further. Rent controls, say the RLA, would hasten the decline in available rental accommodation as more and more buy to let landlords simply quit the market.

In 2019, there were 6.1 applicants for every available tenancy in the capital compared to the 4.7 hopefuls in 2018.

The RLA dismisses Mayor Khan’s proposals as a vote-catching ploy and insists that the only effective way of improving the lot of Londoners who rent – and want to rent – lies in increasing the supply of affordable housing.