The majority of landlords in London (60%) would sell one or more of their properties if a rent freeze was introduced, according to a new report.
The research was commissioned by the London Assembly Housing Committee and conducted by the Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research (CCHPR).
The CCHPR surveyed around 200 landlords, most of whom do not own many properties, and commercial built-to-rent investors.
Most London Landlords Would Sell if a Rent Freeze was Introduced
CCHPR presented the landlords with six potential scenarios of rent stabilisation, for example, a one-off rent freeze for three years or linking rent rises to wage increases.
The study revealed that the majority of landlords would continue as they are doing if rents could only be increased in line with inflation, however, 40% stated that they would sell some or all of their properties if this was introduced.
Additionally, most landlords said they were not keen to offer longer tenancies, but 52% would be more inclined to do so if tax incentives were available.
Chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee, Tom Copley, addresses the sector: “Much has been said from all sides about rent controls, but the debate has been sorely lacking in facts, so it’s incredibly useful to have these set out in this report.
“The choice is not simply between regulating rents and not regulating rents. There is no one size fits all system of rent control, with many cities around the world adopting different models. Each system has upsides and downsides. Our report seeks to find out what could work in London.”
He adds: “We need solutions that work for the millions of Londoners – especially families – in the rental sector. For families, the prospect of having to up sticks with very little notice often means disruption to many aspects of their lives, including schooling and employment.”1
David Smith, the Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), insists that the country will need more homes to rent if it is to solve the housing crisis.
He says: “This report reminds us of the dangers of rent controls, which would in fact reduce supply, thereby increasing rents. Rent controls would also severely reduce standards in rental housing as investment dries up.
“It would take us back to the bad old days of Rachman landlords, which we must prevent for the good of tenants.”1
The report was discussed yesterday (8th October 2015) by various parties, including Alan Benson, the Senior Manager of Housing Strategy at the Greater London Authority, John Bibby, the Policy Officer at Shelter, and Anna Clarke, one of the authors of the report and Senior Research Associate at CCHPR.