Labour’s Lisa Nandy rejects rent control pleas

Labour’s Lisa Nandy rejects rent control pleas

10:03 AM, 29th June 2023, About 8 months ago 6

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Lisa Nandy, Labour Party’s shadow housing secretary, has rejected calls for rent controls – despite saying at the Labour Party conference last autumn that she supported them.

Now, she believes that rent controls are a ‘sticking plaster on our deep-seated problems’.

Ms Nandy also expressed concerns that such a policy could result in increased homelessness.

Several Labour mayors, including Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham, have also recently called for rent freezes.

The calls have been made after news that tenants saw rents rising by 5% in the 12 months to May, according to the Office for National Statistics.

‘The debate has turned again to short term fixes’

At a housing conference in Manchester, Ms Nandy said “As the mortgage crisis deepens – for homeowners and renters alike – it is perhaps inevitable that the debate has turned again to short term fixes.

“And 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 added: “It might be politically easier to put a sticking plaster on our deep-seated problems, but if it is cowardice that got us here, it is never going to get us out.”

‘Rent controls would do nothing’

In response, Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association 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.”

He added: “Housing benefit rates should also be unfrozen without delay to support vulnerable tenants who are struggling to access the rental market.”

Rents should be frozen for the winter

Ms Nandy’s U-turn on rent controls comes after declaring at last year’s Labour conference that rents should be frozen for the winter to help struggling tenants.

Campaign groups, including Shelter and Generation Rent, are pushing for a temporary halt on rent increases to alleviate the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Earlier this year, Labour mayors from London, Manchester and Liverpool, showed their support for the cause by endorsing a rent freeze.

Despite his vocal support for rent control in London, Mr Khan is unable to execute it due to central government restrictions.

The end of a six-month rent freeze in April

Meanwhile, landlords in Scotland saw the end of a six-month rent freeze in April – though private rent hikes are capped at 3%.

In Wales, the Welsh government is mulling over the possibility of setting limits on what private landlords can charge for rent, but no concrete plans have been announced yet.

In contrast, England’s government stands firmly against rent control, citing potential deterioration in housing quality and decreased investment as major concerns.

‘Renters and mortgage holders are struggling’

A spokesperson for left-wing campaign group Momentum told The Independent: “Millions of renters and mortgage holders are struggling to make ends meet. With the Tory Government shrugging its shoulders, Labour has both the opportunity and the obligation to set out the decisive action needed.

“It beggars belief, then, that Lisa Nandy has criticised calls for rent controls, which she herself backed just months ago, and mortgage relief.

“Once again, policies supported by unions, Labour members and progressive Labour Mayors like Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham are rejected by a UK Labour Leadership which seems allergic to good, popular policy.”


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Comments

Juan Degales

9:44 AM, 29th June 2023, About 8 months ago

Looks like Lisa is on the way out,likely going to be replaced by Angie. Rent control then back on the agenda.

Old Mrs Landlord

11:07 AM, 29th June 2023, About 8 months ago

Sounds as though someone has educated Ms Nandy and she's had a reality check, making her realise that rent controls will undoubtedly do more harm than good. It would be just one more reason for landlords to join the rush for the exit.

Reluctant Landlord

11:21 AM, 29th June 2023, About 8 months ago

in, out, in , out shake it all about...oh the okey cokey......

Labours next cohesive party song....

Seething Landlord

11:57 AM, 29th June 2023, About 8 months ago

As we draw closer to the next General Election perhaps more of their less pragmatic policies will be quietly shelved.

Mick Roberts

15:50 PM, 29th June 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 29/06/2023 - 11:07
Well said Old Mrs

philip allen

17:18 PM, 1st July 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 29/06/2023 - 11:21
I wonder if that IS 'what life's all about'!

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