Any rent control ambition requires a roadmap - NFB
The incumbent Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has launched his mayoral election campaign.
The incumbent currently has no power to put a cap on rents but is advocating for a change to the law. Mr Khan is set to make this issue the centrepiece of his campaign and he has described this mayoral election as a ‘referendum on rent control’.
The Mayor is set to say “The case for rent controls is now absolutely undeniable. But Tory ministers have blocked us from introducing our plans for rent controls in London and have simply said no.”
“That’s why today I am making the mayoral election on 7 May a referendum on rent controls – showing Londoners that I will stand up for renters. The prime minister will have to give us the powers we need, because if he refuses to do so he will be denying the express democratic will of millions of Londoners. And as we have all heard Boris Johnson repeatedly say himself, the democratic will of the people must be respected and it is not for politicians to frustrate it.”
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes the debate but cautions the Mayor to assess what the impact of rent controls may be.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Around the world, rent controls have seen positive and negative consequences. In San Francisco, they worked for existing residents as rents stayed low when they were on long term contracts but pushed prices up for new ones in new homes, which were exempt from controls. If rent controls were introduced, we would need a huge increase in council housing to ensure that rental homes sold by landlords exiting the market, could be replaced.
A full assessment of the impact of rent controls needs to be carried out. Any rent control ambition requires a roadmap to ensure the least amount of impact on business and communities.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing for the House Builders Association (HBA) said: “If London decided to build more council homes, housebuilders would benefit as they would no doubt pick up a lot of work. However, those with projects in the pipeline could suffer, as rent caps may push down land prices, leaving many who have already purchased land, with unviable projects.”