ARLA says rent controls could lead to even more expense for tenants

The Association of Residential Letting Agents says rent controls would do nothing to benefit tenants.

ARLA was responding to questions from the London Assembly Housing Committee which asked ‘Which rent stabilisation measures do you think operate effectively in other countries?’ and ‘What more can the Mayor do to support the development of build-to-let and commercial landlords?’

In its responses it said it was not in favour of rent controls as similar schemes in other countries had often led to tenants being left with much larger furnishing expenses.

ARLA managing director David Cox said: “Fundamentally ARLA is not in favour of introducing rent stabilisation measures in London. In March we surveyed our members and nearly three-quarters of them said that rent control, longer tenancies and less freedom to evict tenants will not benefit tenants in reality.

“We’ve looked at Germany, which is often viewed as one of the best examples of rent stabilisation in the world, but there are large costs involved for tenants as most properties are let bare without a kitchen or bathroom.

“In addition, in Belgium they have longer minimum tenancies lasting between three and five years which simply wouldn’t work in London where the fluidity of people coming and going for short periods is a common occurrence.

“The challenge in London remains to find new, imaginative and additional ways of delivering good homes in safe and friendly neighbourhoods for prices people can afford.

“We think that the stamp duty raised from London property sales should be kept in London to invest in more housing and we would like to see the London Rental Standard become mandatory across the private rented sector.”


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  1. Will

    Politicians seem to live on a different planet or are they just stupid? Will they never learn? Rent control in the 1970’s killed the rented market and caused so many properties to fall into a state of dis-repair as landlords were forced into neglecting property as rents did not cover maintenance.  The recent raft of extra regulation and control will, I believe, deflect investment elsewhere as rogue councils like Croydon further make renting unsustainable as an investment.

  2. mat109

    Weak argument there from ARLA if you do the maths.

    I can rent a one bed apartment in central berlin for €600 = ~£450 (and that’s an expensive one). Average london – let’s say £1500.

    Over a six months let, that’s a saving of £6300. I can buy some pretty snazzy appliances for that much, and I get to take them with me afterwards.

    Yes, it’s supply and demand – but there are so many other market distortions eg. planning regs, council tax, tax breaks for landlords/owner occupiers that introducing one more is politically much easier than removing any of the others.


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