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.”