On a visit to a London constituency, Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds set out Labour’s plan of action for the private rented sector. They have proposed three-year tenancies, rental caps, and the banning of “rip-off” letting agent fees.
Campaign group Generation Rent claim there are now 10 million private renters in the UK, and it is towards this sizable demographic that the new proposals are aimed. They say they mean to give tenants greater protection against rogue landlords and make renting more affordable.
Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis heavily criticised the proposals, claiming that “their new flagship policy to help tenants would actually lead to higher rents.” The Conservatives, he said, would “invest in house building instead, which would lead to more affordable rents.”
The Residential Landlords Association have expressed concerns about rent controls driving investors out of the sector, meaning fewer homes available. They also questioned the need for three-year tenancies, as over a third of tenants stay in a property for less than a year, while less than a fifth stay for over five years.