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Rent controls would be disaster – NRLA

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Rent controls called for by the Mayor of London would leave tenants across the capital worse off, analysis from the National Residential Landlords Association has shown.

Private rents in London have fallen every year in real terms throughout Sadiq Khan’s tenure as mayor, said NRLA. When adjusted for inflation, they are now nearly 10 per cent lower than five years ago.

Based on Office for National Statistics and the Consumer Price Index, including housing costs, which the Government has said it plans to start using, rents fell by 5.1 per cent the five years. This means any move to control rent control linked to inflation would leave tenants worse off.

In his manifesto for re-election as Mayor, Sadiq Khan, called for the power to introduce rent controls in London. This is despite a report published by the Treasury in 2010 under the last Labour Government, in which Khan was a Minister, that warned of the devastating impact such a policy would have on inner city housing, said NRLA.

Assessing the impact of rent controls before they were abolished in 1988, the report concluded that they had been a major factor in the ‘decay of much of the inner city housing stock’, it pointed out.

‘Rent controls would be a disaster for London as the last Labour Government made crystal clear’, said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.

‘The story of rent controls, wherever they have been introduced, is that they exacerbate an already serious shortage of available homes.

‘Rather than calling for things he cannot deliver, the Mayor should focus on using the powers he already has to boost the supply of available housing, including for private rentals’