Labour has U-turned on rent controls, shadow housing minister Lisa Nandy (main picture) has confirmed.
She made the announcement at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s conference, telling the delegates that the policy would be only a ‘short-term fixing plaster’ to solve the housing crisis and that broader policies were needed.
This puts Labour at odds with London Mayor Sadiq Khan who has said rent controls are the answer to the capital’s high rents and ‘broken’ private rented sector.
Nandy said: “As the mortgage crisis deepens – for homeowners and renters alike – it is perhaps inevitable that the debate has turned again to short term fixes.
“And when housebuilding is falling off a cliff and buy-to-let landlords are leaving the market, rent controls that cut rents for some, will almost certainly leave others homeless.”
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, welcomed Labour’s change of heart, adding that: “We agree with Labour that rent controls would do nothing to address the rental supply crisis that tenants across the country now face.
“What renters need is a proper plan to boost the supply of homes for private rent alongside all other tenures.
“Housing benefit rates should also be unfrozen without delay to support vulnerable tenants who are struggling to access the rental market.”