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Labour demands powers to control private rents
London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has made a new call for power to cap private rents.
He’s claimed that rents in the capital could increase by almost 20 per cent over the next five years, unless he is given powers to control the market.
The forecast is based on his team’s analysis of a Savills prediction that London rents could rise 19 per cent by 2025; applying this forecast to the latest Rightmove figures for new tenancies, average asking rents could rise to £2,289 a month Khan claims.
He adds that even now Londoners are paying on average 35 per cent of their income on rent.
And he claims polling undertaken last year suggests one in four of London’s private renters were struggling to pay their rent during the pandemic or expecting to do so shortly.
Khan himself claims: “Nearly a third of Londoners are private renters, but all too often their calls for support and fairness on rents are overlooked by both landlords and the government.
“I was re-elected on a pledge to redress this balance and to stand up for London’s renters by transforming tenancy laws and wrestling back control of runaway rents. Todays’ analysis paints a stark picture of the next five years if landlords are allowed to increase prices unchecked.
“This is a matter of fairness, but also crucial to the future of our city. If we want the next generation of nurses, police officers, transport workers and key workers to train and work in the capital, we have no option but to keep a check on spiraling rents.”
In May’s election Khan argued for a London Private Rent Commission which would be responsible for designing and implementing rent controls. He wants powers to freeze private rents in the capital to protect renters from the ongoing financial impact of the pandemic.
Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, has spoken out in favour of giving Khan more power.
She says: “With housing costs already a huge driver of poverty and undermining the ability of even better-off renters to save for a deposit, I welcome the Mayor of London’s call for new powers to intervene in the private rented sector.
“With the Renters’ Rights Bill still to appear and government help for low income renters has been cut this summer, so without action there is a real risk that the pressure on renters will only increase, contributing to more hardship and more homelessness”