Sadiq Khan slammed over ‘well worn’ rent control calls

Sadiq Khan slammed over ‘well worn’ rent control calls

9:43 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago 9

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Like a jack-in-the-box that keeps reappearing with an unwanted message, Assembly Members on the London Assembly are fed up with Mayor Sadiq Khan’s calls to bring in rent controls for the capital’s private rented sector.

They say he is distracting attention away from his own poor performance in the capital and he doesn’t have a plan for what to do with rent controls should he get them.

In short, they complain that he pops up with the same message, creates a stir and looks good before vanishing to ignore the multitude of housing issues in London.

The call coincides with Mr Khan teaming up with Generation Rent to call again for rent controls with news that private rents in the capital could surpass £2,700.

‘Just a well-worn thing that Sadiq Khan does’

The deputy Conservative leader of the London Assembly, Emma Best, told Property118: “Calling for rent controls is just a well-worn thing that Sadiq Khan does.

“It seems to be the one thing that he can hang his hat on.”

She added: “It’s certainly a way of evading responsibility because it seems very unlikely that any Government of any pollical colour is going to give him the powers to do it.

“So, whenever anybody raises high rents with him, he can immediately just say, ‘Well, it’s somebody else’s fault’.”

‘What sort of rent controls he wants’

Emma continues: “It’s quite interesting as well that he’s never said what sort of rent controls he wants.

“It’s just this vague thing that he wants the power to introduce rent controls, but he won’t tell anybody what sort of rent control.

“Saying, I want rent controls and not actually providing any context to what you mean by that is a problem because we know there are a number of different areas and ways in which that could happen.

“He hasn’t actually said what he is asking for at all – so there’s no way someone can sensibly go away and try and have a look at what he is proposing.”

‘Data we have available to us from around the world’

It’s not just the lack of knowing what the mayor wants, Emma adds: “We can just look at the data we have available to us from around the world.

“And the latest data, including Scotland, shows we can say we haven’t seen a model for rent control that works yet.”

Emma says: “I thought it was interesting that Wales pointed to Scotland when the issue of rent controls there came up and they said, ‘Look, it’s not working there, so we shouldn’t try it here’.

“And what you’re seeing already is a market shift in Scotland where it’s getting increasingly harder to find a place to rent.”

Emma says that rent controls could also badly affect the renting sector in London leaving tenants with fewer homes to rent.

And that lack of supply would push rents up.

‘How high rents are in London’

Emma said: “The issue of rent controls always comes up when we talk about how high rents are in London.

“And the mayor has an immediate rebuttal of the fact he has been asking for rent controls, but we do need to talk about high rents that are pushing people out of the city.”

She stresses: “We would be happy to look at a rent control plan – even though rent controls have never worked, we are happy to look at a proposal.

“And with a proposal, we can discuss that with stakeholders and if it could work.”

Rent control research

In one recent Assembly meeting, Emma pointed to rent control research carried out by the London Assembly Housing Committee.

The research was commissioned in a bid to build a case for rent controls in the capital and researchers offered six scenarios.

In all of them, rent supply fell when compared with having no rent controls.

And in one recent Assembly meeting, Labour member Sakina Sheikh warned that rising rents in London are causing a mental health crisis and increasing homelessness – so intervention was necessary.

Emma told the meeting: “The research by our very own GLA [Greater London Authority] showed that if we were to bring in rent controls in London, then the number of homes available to rent in some cases fell by 62% by 2025.”

All landlords, investors and agents need to be aware there are no plans for rent controls in London other than a mayor making soundbites and he appears unwilling to offer a plan – and face down his own Assembly’s research of the disastrous effects should rent controls be brought in.

Watch Emma Best explain why rent controls don’t work – after a Labour member said there is no evidence for such controls not working – except, as Ms Best highlights, for the research commissioned by the London Assembly. Ms Best gets a round of applause as she brings this up.


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Comments

Mick Roberts

9:37 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

My notes on Khan's stupidity:

Sadiq Khan said was it 40% or 60% of Landlords haven't got a mortgage, in reference to his suggestion that Landlords should be charging cheap rents to tenants cause they can afford to.

So Mrs Marples has £100,000 to invest. She can put it in a bank and say get £5000 per year interest. No risk, no threat of going prison if tenant takes battery out smoke alarm, simple non punitive tax.
Or she can invest in house & say get £6000 per year.
So do we no now say Ooh she has no mortgage, she should do this cheap? Or free? She is not a charity here. She's saved up and took risks to get that money. Is she your Mum or sister? Why should she do you cheap rent? What you are referring to is a charity? Or a Council or Housing Association. She is human like you. Does Richard Branson let us live on his Necker Island or fly on his planes for free because he may paid one of them off? No, we pay the market rate required. If we don't like it, we go elsewhere.
If you say a house is a basic right. Well get the Council & Govt to supply that basic right then, it's not our individuals job to give u free cheap rights.

Aah right, let's all save up, go without for years, so we can then go buy house for someone to live in & let's not us receive what we want or need for that house.
Last time I checked, we din't buy these houses to be a charity & give them for free or at cost. Although many of us are ending up being a charity.

We not the charity, we not the Govt. We've not recieved free taxpayer handouts for this.
Many of us have lost out in the early stages.
On some houses in 2007 I was losing £200pm each house-Is Khan gonna' give me that back first?
One recently I was paying £900pm mortgage to get it over with quicker, & the rent was £550pm-Who's paying me for that loss? Am I not allowed to make a profit now after losing for so many years?

What Khan is referring to is called a Council or a charity.

Anyway, what we finding is, many of us end up better off with the MP's talk, as more Landlords sell, our current tenants treat us better as they see their mates can't get anywhere. And should we get one empty, we can charge the earth-And we need to cause we never know where next attack is coming from. Tenant loses again courtesy of Govt.

When Corbyn shouted for Rent Holiday in March 2020, tenants are severely paying for that now.
And when they called for Rent evictions in Covid times, tenants are much worse off now for that.

Let's all stop airlines charging what they like when they have to, to cover their losses times. If we do, there will be no airlines.

roger radford

9:53 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

What part of this famous quote does Khan not understand:
“‘My other piece of advice, Copperfield,’ said Mr. Micawber, ‘you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.”
David Copperfield (1850)

Darren Peters

10:03 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 08/08/2023 - 09:37
Mrs Marples could now get 6% and if she squirreled the £100,000 into an ISA over 5 years the interest would be tax free.

Only worry sticking money in the bank is the bank failing then the government removing the FSCS guarantee on some technicality.

Darren Peters

10:04 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by roger radford at 08/08/2023 - 09:53
Alas poor Mr Dickens hadn't considered the moral hazard where someone like Mr Khan can spend other people's money with no consequence to his rather nice salary.

Dave S

10:33 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

Rent controls and C24 are akin to a haulage/delivery company being told that they cannot offset their fuel costs (their biggest cost) against profits and they are restricted to how much they can charge their customer for delivery! I guess there would not be many of these companies left if this were to happen.

Mick Roberts

10:47 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 08/08/2023 - 10:03
Yes. And that too.

Mick Roberts

10:48 AM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave S at 08/08/2023 - 10:33
Yes,
Another great one of putting it, your words should be sent to Govt.

Bristol Landlord

14:26 PM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

I would like to point out there are effectively already rent controls in the UK with a median annual household disposable income of £32,300. That is £2,692 per month. If you limit spending on rent to perhaps no more than 35% then you can afford rent of only £942 per month.
And its way lower for low income households with a median disposable annual income for the poorest fifth of the population of £14,500.
These are the existing rent controls for UK landlords. As we get squeezed by rising interest rates, higher taxes, higher running costs and additional burdens of HMO licences and energy efficiency “improvements” etc combined with tenants inability to pay more rent then we naturally hit a “control” in our rent.
Actual rent controls as proposed by Sadiq Khan would then be a disaster for everyone.
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/bulletins/householddisposableincomeandinequality/financialyearending2022

Ian Narbeth

15:19 PM, 8th August 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bristol Landlord at 08/08/2023 - 14:26It is not as simple as that. If you study economics you will soon find that with some things, such as shelter and food, people will spend a higher percentage of their income and will forego non-essentials such as holidays and eating out or will put off replacing cars, furniture, clothes etc.
It is tough for tenants and landlords (and home owners with variable rate mortgages) at the moment.
What nobody mentions is all the quantitative easing ("printing money" which lead to inflation) and the cost of furlough. Sadly it has to be paid for.

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