Labour distances itself from own report that recommends capping rents

Report due to be published today will recommend a string of measures to offer tenants facing soaring rents a lifeline including rent caps and rents to only be increased once a year.

The prospect of controls on rents being imposed by a Labour government are growing with a report originally commissioned by Lisa Nandy when she was shadow housing secretary expected to be published later today.

It will recommend the introduction of rent caps for millions of people to ‘bridge the housing divide’.

The report, leaked by the Guardian yesterday, recommends a string of measures to offer renters facing soaring rents a lifeline and is thought to have been led by Stephen Cowan, the Labour leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.


Although the report was commissioned by Nandy the party appears to have distanced itself from the findings as they do not reflect its official view.

However, as The Neg revealed in February letting agents are already expected to face more red tape if Labour wins power with the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner promising to extend the Government’s ‘Awaab’s Law’ to private as well as social landlords.

Stephen Cowan, Leader, Hammersmith and Fulham
Stephen Cowan, Leader, Hammersmith and Fulham

And last year she also vowed to ban Section 21 no-fault evictions without exception on Labour’s first day in power and a swathe of other changes are also expected to come into play too.

In this latest report Cowan proposes a ‘double lock’ across England and Wales for those renewing tenancies that would guarantee any rise is capped at either consumer price inflation or local wage growth – whichever is lower.

However, the Guardian also reveals that the report warns measures such as rent freezes or limits on rises between tenancies could make it harder to find a rental property, pushing prices up further.

Another recommendation disclosed by the newspaper would be for rents to only be increased once a year, with tenants receiving at least four months’ notice of any increase.


Cowan says in the report: “Renters have a right to know that their home will be safe and of good standard. And good landlords have a right to compete in a market where everyone plays by the same rules. These recommendations will enable those things to happen efficiently and quickly.”

The Neg reported told last month how Resolution Foundation research showed average rents could rise by 13% over the next three years and that the cost of new tenancies had grown by 18% since January 2022 with the proportion of poorer families renting almost tripling from just 11% in the mid-1990s to nearly 30% in 2021-22.

Past mistakes
greg tsuman
Greg Tsumanm Martyn Gerrard,

Greg Tsuman, ARLA Propertymark President, says: “We welcome the independent review of the private rental sector and hope that lessons have been learned from past mistakes.

“We need to encourage responsible housing providers into the market instead of driving them away through ineffective taxation, which in turn causes rents to rise.

“We want tenants to have choice and security. And this will be possible only if there is a balanced marketplace with enough rental housing to meet growing demand. We need to improve enforcement to drive bad landlords out and provide support for good responsible housing providers.” 

One Comment

  1. Rent caps have never worked, do not work and will never work. It will exacerbate the situation.

    Basic (Very basic!) O-level economics – price elasticity: Increase supply and/or decrease demand = price falls.
    Decrease supply and increase demand = price rise.

    There are two very simple choices that anyone with a modicum of intelligence could understand: You either go on a mass building campaign – building in excess of 500,000 new residential properties a year (Currently building circa 150,000 to 200,000) which has never been done……………….

    You control the demand by stopping the insane levels of unsustainable mass immigration currently running at 700,000 a year.


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