The Generation Rent campaign group and Labour are again uniting to argue in favour of rent controls in London.
Just last week London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, made a new call to be given the power to cap private rents, claiming that rents in the capital could increase by almost 20 per cent over the next five years.
In a statement launching his latest demand for new powers, Khan was supported by Baroness Alicia Kennedy, who heads the Generation Rent pressure group.
Today Labour and Generation Rent activists are uniting again in a webinar being held this afternoon by the Society of Labour Lawyers.
A statement from the group says: “The webinar will focus on the Mayor of London’s proposals for rent control in the private rented sector, Labour’s 2019 manifesto commitment on rent control, why rent controls are necessary in today’s expensive and insecure private rented market, and how they could operate.”
Speakers at the webinar include Sem Moema – Labour London Assembly Member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest, and chair of the London Labour Housing Group – and Caitlin Wilkinson, policy and public affairs manager of Generation Rent.
ARLA Propertymark has strongly criticised this latest attempt by Labour to win additional powers in London.
Timothy Douglas, ARLA’s policy and campaigns manager, says: “Letting agents and landlords have been, and continue, supporting tenants through the pandemic, which includes agreeing to reductions in rent in order to sustain tenancies and this should be reflected in the Mayor’s approach to housing going forward.
“There is no evidence that rent controls prove to be effective and they generally lead to unintended consequences that reduce investment, drive down standards and lessen the number of properties available to rent.
“Additionally, the Tenant Fees Act introduced a cap on deposits and limits the charges that tenants face.
“High demand coupled with a shortage of supply is usually the reason for increased rents. Consequently, if the Mayor is concerned about the cost of renting he should be working with councils across London to build more affordable homes as well as freeing up land under his control for development.”