Three out of five private landlords would sell up and leave the sector if the government introduced ‘rent controls’, according to a new survey.
Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds pledged earlier this week to combat rising living costs by introducing rent freezes for the duration of three-year tenancies, should Labour win May’s general election.
However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) conducted a poll of over 1,000 of its members which suggested that the majority of landlords wouldn’t stand for the Labour party’s plans to introduce rent caps.
RLA’s chairman, Alan Ward, also warned that rent controls will leave tenants worse off.
“These results blow a hole through the myth that rent controls would be good for tenants. At a time when tenants need more choice over where they live, state-controlled rents would choke off supply, increase rents and reduce quality. It would be history repeating itself,” said Mr Ward.
According to the survey, over 75% of landlords either froze or cut their rents in 2014 – and 65% intend to do so again this year.
The RLA says that rent controls in the social housing sector have seen rents “massively outstrip inflation.”
Between 2008/09 and 2012/13 social sector rents increased by over 25% – while PRS rents increased by just 6.5% over the same period – inflation over this period was around 16%.
“The reality is that rent controls would leave many tenants paying more than they do at the moment. Rather than coming up with ideologically-driven ideas, proponents of rent controls need to address the root issues, namely the need to boost the supply of homes to rent,” added Mr Ward.