Corbyn’s rent controls ‘won’t work’ say landlord bodies

Landlord groups have hit back at Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge for rent controls.

Corbyn, who is facing a leadership challenge from Owen Smith, yesterday announced ten promises his party would deliver if he became prime minister.

He said he would build a million new homes in five years, half of them council homes, through a “public investment strategy”, if the electorate voted for him to lead a Labour government.

“We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of private tenants’ rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership,” the current leader of the opposition party stated.

But Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, believed rent controls would be a “disaster for tenants”.

He said: “Corbyn is ignoring all history and experience which show that where such controls are applied they choke off the supply of homes to rent, making it more difficult for tenants to access decent and affordable housing.

“Rather than playing the populist tune, Mr Corbyn would do well to consider the facts.”

He added that the English Housing Survey showed private sector tenants are spending an average of four years in their current property, up from 3.7 five years ago.

Richard Price, director of operations at the National Landlords Association, said the “insistence that rent controls are a genuine answer” was “tired and lazy”.

He said: “We need an opposition that will examine the economics of housing supply and come up with solutions to tackle the existing government’s housing policies, which are only set to increase the cost of letting property, and subsequently rents.”

He acknowledged the Labour leader was correct to prioritise house building but added: “Rents are rising because the cost of providing good-quality housing is increasing across the board.”

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7 Comments

  1. Will

    All political parties have been setting landlords up with their adverse publicity and landlord bashing. This has now brain-washed everyone (the young in particular) into the mind set that landlords are just plain greedy nasty people.If all landlords removed their property from the market the value of their services would be realised! The young voters in particular will not know of the previous 1970’s rent act and the impact on the market and housing. Corbyn is dangerous and re-introduction of controls as set out above would cause immense harm to all; Landlords and Tenants. The asset stripping by Labour and Conservatives since the 1970’s has now removed council housing so it could be a worse scenario than the 1970’s on the housing front. Corbyn clearly hits the spot with the young political virgins who think utopia exists and he will take them there, but they should look at housing history to understand reality.

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  2. JMK

    An excellent summary of the situation Will.  I still have hopes that May and Hammond will see the light, though I must confess the brightness of it is fading.

    Hammond has admitted that the attacks on the PRS are all about tax grabbing, unlike his devious predecessor, but the problem is that the Government is broke.  As such they are desperate to grab tax anywhere.

    The polices will do enormous damage to the young, and I believe the extent of it is far, far beyond preventing FTBs saving for a deposit.  If the taxation of the PRS isn’t curbed it will force up rents massively and by 2020 when the full extent of Osborne’s foolishness kicks in then rents will be significantly higher.  Putting a finger in the air I’d guess at about 50%.

    We then have our massive numbers of immigrant workers wondering if they can afford to live here anymore.  I suspect a lot of them will return home to enjoy a better standard of living and the Government then loses large amounts of income tax, VAT on the stuff these people buy and so on.  The older generation might well go back to B&Q for a job but they’ve done their spending so the Government will still lose out greatly.  Anyway B&Q can’t employ everyone can they?

    Our population will take a large step function increase in age and the NHS will be under even greater pressure.  Where does the money come from to fund it and all the other vital services???  From taxing those still in work – mostly the aspiring youngsters that are already struggling to get on the ladder now.  Income tax will likely have to increase significantly as will all other taxes.

    Osborne will be OK of course.

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  3. LandlordsandLetting

    I guess rent controls could be established and I assume they’d be set at ‘affordable’ levels. So, how much for a reasonable quality two bed flat in Kensington?

    Perhaps the local authority could set it at an ‘affordable’ £1200 pcm. This would possibly result in over 1000 people clamouring to rent it. So how would the landlord decide on which tenant to have? The first to call? The best looking? The sexiest? Perhaps the landlord could organise a 100 metre sprint and the winner gets the flat? Or what about a raffle?

    It really would help if the saintly Corbyn would engage his well-meaning brain before opening his mouth.

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  4. Richard Copus

    Luckily we’ve got more chance of being hit by a life extinguishing meteor than seeing a Labour government soon, but in the one in a million chance that this does happen, as soon as the first move is made towards rent control landlords throughout England and Wales will be putting their houses up for sale and leaving the market.  This will put rents up even more and the dire shortage of rented property will be a national and social disaster on an unmitigated scale.

    The answer to this problem is very simple: Build more social housing for RENT ONLY and NOW!  Call it council housing and charge sustainable rents.  Not exactly rocket science.  The increased rental stock will help to ease the housing shortage and the sustainable rents (not ridiculously low but enough to cover maintenance etc) will enable people to save a bit more to get onto the housing ladder.  We’ve been here before and it worked for a long time.  Trouble is we have a Tory government!  I’m beginning to think now is the time for revolution!

     

     

     

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    1. JMK

      Yes Richard, yes.  Building more houses is the only solution, other than another catastrophic war to vastly cull our expanding population.  The recent history of house building has been shameful and the Bullingdon Boys really have to take responsibility for this.  Let me put a simple plan forward, which whilst it is dated January, Mrs May seems to be cottoning on to herself.

      http://saynotogeorge.co.uk/how-to-solve-the-housing-crisis/

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  5. Richard Copus

    Very interesting link, JMK!  There’s quite a lot of land in green belt/countryside areas which is effectively brown land which to build on would not affect the rural fabric in any way.  And land banks  –  sitting on them is totally immoral in current circumstances.  Formez vos bataillons!

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  6. Woodentop

    Is someone missing the point. Curbing rent and controls will not increase housing. They are two separate issues.

     

    Corbyn is what we all know he is, a communist and says it all, so are we going to see a communist dictator take over this country?

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