Association News

ARLA Rents Comments

ARLA Comments on Labour Rent Control Announcement and Conservative Private Rented Pledges.

ARLA Propertymark, which claims to be the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for letting agents – representing over 9,000 members – has commented on proposals for rent controls put forward at the recent Labour Party Conference, and a Conservative Conference pledge to regulate private rented sector.

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark, says

“The Labour Party clearly hasn’t learnt the lessons of history. The last time rent controls existed the private rented sector went from housing 90 per cent of the population to just seven per cent. Whenever and wherever rent controls are introduced, the quantity of available housing reduces significantly, and the conditions in privately rented properties deteriorate dramatically. Landlords, agents, and successive Governments over the last 30 years have worked hard to improve the conditions of rented properties and this is like taking two steps backwards. Rent control is not the answer – to bring rent costs down we need a concerted house building effort to increase stock in line with ever-growing demand.”

However, commenting on Conservative pledges to regulate the private rented sector Cox says,

“After 20 years of our campaigning falling on deaf ears, we’re very pleased the Government has taken the decision to regulate the private rented sector. This will be the single greatest step forward in a generation, in terms of consumer protection for private tenants, and will do more to clean up the image of the industry than the hundreds of smaller laws and pieces of legislation introduced over the last 20 years. However, regulation can take different forms and we need to see the detail of proposal to be confident that it will be effective for tenants and landlords.”