Labour abolishes pledge to introduce rent controls

Lisa Nandy

Labour has scrapped a pledge to introduce rent controls if it wins the next general election – after endorsing the policy last year.

Lisa Nandy said last September that she wanted to give local authorities the power to freeze rents, telling the party conference: “Doing nothing is not an option.”

But speaking yesterday, the shadow communities secretary described the approach as a “sticking plaster” and claimed it would increase homelessness.

“When housebuilding is falling off a cliff and buy to let landlords are leaving the market, rent controls that cut rents for some, will almost certainly leave others homeless,” she told the Chartered Institute of Housing’s 2023 gathering of industry professionals.

Abandoning the policy represents a major shift in thinking for Labour, which has promised the regulation of rents in all its manifestos since Ed Miliband was leader.

Responding to the confirmation from the shadow housing secretary that Labour has rejected calls for rent controls, which has prompted an outcry from Labour’s left, with campaign group Momentum accusing the party leadership of being “allergic to good, popular policy”, Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, welcome the announcement.

He said: “We agree with Labour that rent controls would do nothing to address the rental supply crisis that tenants across the country now face.

“What renters need is a proper plan to boost the supply of homes for private rent alongside all other tenures. Housing benefit rates should also be unfrozen without delay to support vulnerable tenants who are struggling to access the rental market.”



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  1. Will2

    Has the penny finally dropped or is she using labour member Sadiq Khan’s tactics of not putting it in the manifesto as it will clearly put some off voting labour and then to introduce it once she is in power as London Mayor Khan did with the expansion of ULEZ.  Perhaps the public should just accept that modern day politicians  can not be trusted to do what they say they will do and their prime objective is the power grab.  I wonder if others feel this way or has age made me cynical?

  2. LVW4

    Thangam Debonair has just stated on TV that rent controls have never been Labour policy. I think she was rather caught out, and said the first thing that came into her head, which is deny we ever said it.

    Sadly, I think the Tories are now in the position that it doesn’t matter what Labour did or didn’t say, because they have no viable counter arguments.

    1. Will2

      Strange that, I went to hustings a few years ago and the labour party member had rent control well and truely on their list of “will do’s”.  To try to make it sound better they kept saying it would not be like the 1977 Rent Act.  I think all this has done has confirmed very much what I said in my above comment.  If they are a politician the must not be believed!


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