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Category: government and politics

Sir Keir Starmer is allegedly set to dismiss the London Mayor’s rent freeze proposal, instead focusing on tenant protection by creating a national landlord register, if elected.

In a recent development, Labour leader Sir Starmer plans to reject the demands put forth by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, for the implementation of rent controls in the capital, if Labour wins the next general election.

Despite a considerable rise in new tenancy payments of 17% over the past year, Starmer’s office has clarified that they would not be considering the introduction of national rent controls or the devolution of related powers to mayors.

Sadiq Khan has been vocal advocate for rent controls since his election in 2016. In a speech on 15th of May, he reiterated his commitment to fighting for the rights of renters, citing the need for a system that would provide much-needed relief.

However, Khan lacks the authority to implement rent controls, and the UK Conservative government has consistently rejected his calls.

London has witnessed a significant surge in rental prices, with the average monthly rent surpassing £2,000 for the first time, according to Hamptons Lettings Index.

In response, Khan proposed the establishment of a “rent controls commission”, which would bring together renters and property owners to devise a plan for gradually reducing existing rents and imposing limits on rent hikes between tenancies.

The commission would utilise a new register of landlords and rents to inform its decisions.

While Scotland already enforces a cap of 3% per year on rent increases in the private sector, the Scottish National Party has expressed its intention to extend this measure if required.

Advocates argue that tenants across the UK desperately need rent freezes to protect them from being priced out of their homes, while also emphasising the need for increased home construction to alleviate the housing crisis.

In parallel efforts to address the rental market, Housing Secretary Michael Gove is preparing to introduce Renters’ Reform Bill, which will abolish “no fault” evictions that allow landlords in England to remove tenants with only eight weeks’ notice and without providing an explanation.

However, property industry groups caution against implementing caps on rent increases, as they argue that such measures discourage investment and impede housebuilding.

The Scottish Property Federation recently stated that rent control measures by the Scottish government have deterred investors and redirected capital elsewhere.

While Starmer’s rejection of rent controls aligns with his departure from the policies of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, he has expressed a commitment to protecting tenants from “unscrupulous landlords”.

Starmer plans to establish a national register of landlords to safeguard tenants’ rights against exploitative property owners.

In an interview with the Mirror, he voiced his concern for the younger generation burdened by exorbitant rents, describing their dreams of homeownership as unattainable and unrealistic.

As the Labour Party continues to shape its stance on housing policies, the discussion surrounding rent controls, tenant protections, and the housing crisis gains further prominence.

With opinion polls indicating a potential Labour victory in the upcoming general election, the approach taken by Starmer’s party could play a significant role in shaping the future of the rental market and addressing the challenges faced by tenants across the UK.