Sadiq Khan’s proposed rent controls would have “dramatic unintended consequences” which will stop landlords from renting their properties, a housing policy researcher has said.
Kath Scanlon, assistant professorial research fellow at the London School of Economics, told the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance committee the policy would see “a level of regulation unseen in any developed country”.
As reported by 24housing, as a cornerstone to his 2020 re-election campaign, Sadiq Khan said he intends to introduce a private rent commission to the capital – with a board that would include current renters – to enforce measures to reduce rents and keep them at lower levels, something the Mayor of London presently lacks the legal power to do.
The concept set up a clash with government, and London First fears rent control will hold back investment in house building.
There are now 2.4 million renters in the capital, and rents are rising faster than wages, according to research by City Hall.
The mayor cannot currently bring in rent controls and has called on the government to devolve the powers to London.
Khan has said that if rent control powers were devolved, he would make a register of all private landlords in the city as well as setting up a Private Renters’ Commission to gradually reduce rents.
His policy has support in the capital, with 68% of Londoners in favour of rent control or stabilisation, according to a YouGov poll.
But Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey said rent controls would drive landlords out of the market and lower standards in the city’s existing housing stock.
“Rent controls are just false hope peddled by politicians who don’t want do the hard work of building the homes we desperately need,” he said.
James Murray, deputy mayor for Housing and Residential Development, said the plans “would be carefully designed and introduced to bring down rents for Londoners whilst making sure there is investment in new and existing housing”.