London mayor Sadiq Khan has officially requested powers to regulate the private rented sector in the capital and issued a detailed report into its housing market.
His proposals include introducing rent controls and open-ended tenancies and increasing notice periods to four months.
Khan also wants to set up a city-wise register of landlords and rents and a new London Private Rent Commission to implement, monitor and enforce controls.
The proposals go further than many other schemes that have been tried elsewhere including not only capping rent rises but also decreasing rents between tenancies until they become affordable.
And in a somewhat contradictory move, the Mayor also says he wants to encourage investment in new and existing rental housing supply.
“Unlike other Mayors around the world, I have no powers over the private rented sector,” says Khan.
“That’s why this landmark report sets out a detailed blueprint of what the Government must do to overhaul tenancy laws, and what powers City Hall needs from them to bring rents down.”
Industry reaction so far
David Cox (left), Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, says: “Rent controls do not work; it hits hardest those it’s designed to help the most, and the Mayor of London has failed to learn the lessons of history.
“The last time rent controls existed in this country, the private rented sector (PRS) shrunk to the lowest levels ever recorded.
“At a time of demand for PRS homes massively outstripping supply, rent controls will cause the sector to shrink.
“In turn, this means professional landlords will only take the very best tenants, and the vulnerable and low-income people that rent controls are designed to help, will be forced into the hands of rogue and criminal operators, who may exploit them.”
Read the mayor’s report in full.