Minister confirms government will not consider rent controls in England

Felicity Buchan

Private rented sector figures will no doubt welcome a commitment from housing minister Felicity Buchan that the government is not considering rent controls in England.

The mayor of London has this week reiterated calls for an immediate rent freeze in the capital as average rental prices in the city are more than double that in other UK areas, while Scotland has already frozen rents.

Sadiq Khan announced earlier this week that he would host an emergency summit over the challenges facing renters in the city, echoing previous calls for a two-year rent freeze.

The latest figures from Rightmove show that London’s average advertised rent is £2,343 a month, £1,000 more than that in the South West and £1,564 than in the North East.

Polling by YouGov shows that four in 10 renters in London are likely to struggle to make their rent payments in the next six months. But the government says that the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to rent controls.

Delivering her first speech as a housing minister to the National Residential Landlords Association’s (NRLA) annual conference, Buchan confirmed that the government does not support rent controls, warning that such a policy would lead to “disinvestment in the sector, which is not good for anyone”.

The government also appears to be looking at fresh ways in which it can use the law to tackle anti-social tenants causing misery for neighbours and fellow tenants alike.

Buchan also said that the government’s ambition was to strengthen the grounds enabling landlords to tackle anti-social behaviour when Section 21 repossessions are scrapped.

The minister accepted the NRLA’s proposal to convene a meeting of key stakeholders representing landlords, tenants, the police, local authorities and others to develop plans to ensure swift and effective action can be taken against anti-social tenants.

Ben Beadle

The MP outlined the government’s commitment to ensure its plans to reform the private rented sector work for responsible landlords as well as tenants.

Buchan made clear that the government understood concerns about the impact its plans could have on the student housing market and pledged to look at what could be done to ensure they don’t damage this part of the market. Likewise, she made clear the importance of the court system working “properly and efficiently” when Section 21 is abolished.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “We welcome the minister’s comments and agree that the government’s rental reform plans need to enjoy the confidence of both responsible landlords and tenants.

“The NRLA has made clear that more needs to be done to ensure the behaviour of anti-social tenants can be tackled effectively when Section 21 goes. We therefore welcome the minister’s acceptance of our proposal for a roundtable on the issue. It is vital that all key stakeholders representing landlords, tenants, the police and others can develop clear and workable plans to ensure neighbours and fellow tenants alike are not left at the mercy of nightmare tenants.”



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  1. Woodentop

    If landlords price their customers out of the market they won’t have any tenants, having said that neither should a landlord be providing at a loss, it’s an investment after all. Like anything once you hit the top of the market value, the market will settle down on its own accord. Its a free market which ever way you want to look at it, its not perfect but once you go down the route of onerous controls or seen to be, its counterproductive.

  2. Will2

    It is almost irrellavant as ministers change almost daily.  The Government is unlikely to be in power in a couple of years time and the policies will all change with even more toxic policies by the other political parties. Moreover, the Conservatives, with the backing of Shelter, Generation Rent etc., have put the country into the housing position it is in today with their unrelenting onslaught against the private rented sector.  They have ALL set the  scene that private landlords are not welcome; that the constant and ongoing attacks on rental property and landlords is likely to continue ad infinitum and that it is NOT the place to invest. In short they have jointly made it clear that you should not have confidence to invest in the Private Rented Sector.  That message they have sent will now be hard to reverse; even IF they wanted to.  The real harm is caused to tenants the very people they all claim to be helping.

    1. Woodentop

      Its not just the Conservatives, have look over the Welsh border where it is apparently in complete melt down by Labour control.

      1. Will2

        Woodentop I did acknowlegde this when I suggested “………the policies will all change with even more toxic policies by the other political parties.”  I guess easy to miss.  There is no landlord friendly political party out there that I know off unless someone knows different?

  3. Will2

    And what do we see:   The Government now intending to introduce a rent cap on social housing announce on the 17th November.  Can we really have any trust or faith in the Conservative or any other party come to that.  Next will of course it will be the PRS they will be rent capping.


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