Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miliband Cap on Rent Rises 'Risks Landlord Exodus'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miliband Cap on Rent Rises 'Risks Landlord Exodus'

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

ED MILIBAND put tackling London's soaring rents at the heart of his local elections campaign today but was immediately accused of risking an exodus of private landlords.

Labour's leader unveiled a signed "Cost of Living Contract" to give voters, containing previous promises to freeze energy bills plus a scheme to strengthen tenants' rights and cap rent rises.

But housing industry experts said there was a risk landlords would withdraw properties from the rental market if they were tied to less flexible terms.

David Butler, co-founder of Rentonomy.com, said it could drive up rents: "The big risk is that the supply of rented accommodation will dry up if landlords feel they won't have enough control over who is living in their property."

Past attempts to control rates saw the rental sector shrink between 1945 and 1991 to 7 per cent of the market.

Tories claimed Labour was split, highlighting a recent interview where housing spokesman Emma Reynolds flatly opposed rent controls. …

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