London Mayor voices support for rent control

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to introduce rent controls for private tenants in the capital.

He claims arguments for the measure are ‘overwhelming’ in a letter leaked to Labour MP Karen Buck.

Buck is a leading property campaigner with a Private Members Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill set to make providing substandard private rented homes an offence from next year.

In his letter, Khan outlined that he felt overinflated rents in the capital were a major cause of the housing crisis in London.

“I agree with you that London needs a strategic approach to rent stabilisation and control,” Khan wrote in a letter to Buck, MP for Westminster North, released by The Guardian.

“I have long advocated such reforms; in 2013, I suggested reforms could give renters the right to longer-term tenancies and predictable rents. The housing crisis is now having such an effect on a generation of Londoners that the arguments in favour of rent stabilisation and control are becoming overwhelming.”

The letter is part of a campaign by Buck to scrap Section 21 no-fault evictions in England, which Khan agrees is one of the changes he wants to see for renters in London.

Khan promised to tackle the housing crisis in the capital as part of his election manifesto in 2016.

“I will fight for the mayor and London councils to have a greater say in strengthening renters’ rights over tenancy lengths, rent rises, and the quality of accommodation,” he said.

His vision for housing in the capital is expected to become clearer with his ‘London Model’, which is due for publication in spring 2019.

Rent controls were introduced to tackle housing shortages after World War one and scrapped some 50 years later as they were deemed to be a poor tool for managing rents and tenancies.

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