Jeremy Corbyn’s confirmation that a Labour government would introduce rent controls has come under attack.
Yesterday, at the close of Labour’s party conference, Corbyn said: “We will control rents.
“Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.”
The intention of Labour to introduce rent controls is nothing new: in 2015, then leader Ed Miliband said his party would do just this, capping rents at under the rate of inflation.
Yesterday, David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “The Labour party clearly hasn’t learned the lessons of history.
“The last time rent controls existed the private rented sector went from housing 90% of the population to just 7%.
“Whenever and wherever rent controls are introduced, the quantity of available housing reduces significantly, and the conditions in privately rented properties deteriorate dramatically.
“Landlords, agents, and successive Governments over the last 30 years have worked hard to improve the conditions of rented properties and this is like taking two steps backwards.
“Rent control is not the answer – to bring rent costs down we need a concerted house building effort to increase stock in line with ever-growing demand.”
Shelter also warned against old-fashioned rent controls – with caps likely to be introduced in Scotland within months, after legislation allowing them.