The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has poured a substantial bucket of cold water over Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s stated aim to introduce rent controls in the capital.
Its researchers have scoured the world for examples of rent control regimes and reported back, unflatteringly.
The RLA says the examples it looked at closely including schemes in the US, Germany, Italy and Sweden all if which pointed to rent controls causing harm to tenants’ chances of accessing affordable rented homes, rather than enhancing them.
This includes Berlin’s city-wide rent control system which Khan has cited on several occasions but which, the RLA claims, actually doubled the rate at which rents increased in the city after it was introduced in 2015.
The RLA research follows recent evidence given to the Greater London Assembly by a senior housing academic, who said rent controls swuld have ‘really dramatic unintended consequences’.
Winners and losers
“Rather than helping make London open to everyone, strict rent control would close off London to new residents and divide the city’s renters into winners and losers” said Kath Scanlon, an assistant professorial research fellow at the London School of Economics.
Housing lawyer and RLA Policy Director David Smith (left) says: “Rather than resorting to simplistic and populist ideas which have shown themselves to fail, the
“Mayor should instead work with the vast majority of private landlords doing a good job to see what is needed to stimulate the delivery of more homes to rent. Increasing supply is by far the most effective way of keeping rents down.”