The introduction of rent control to the private rented sector (PRS) would only drive down housing standards and availability, said Propertymark, a leading professional body for letting agents in the UK.
The statement came in response to renewed calls by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to be given the power to introduce rent control measures, while similar calls were made in Bristol and Wales.
Propertymark insisted rent controls are not the answer for rising rent levels, and that any short-term benefit for tenants would be drastically outweighed by their long-term consequences on the private rented sector.
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“Rent controls … will backfire, drive down standards and reduce the number of properties available for rent,” Propertymark head of policy and campaigns Timothy Douglas said. “Ultimately, this will mean even less choice and increased costs for tenants in the long term.
“If our elected representatives are serious about supporting renters, then more must be done to increase supply and build housing across all tenures as well as supporting those agents and landlords who provide much needed homes for their residents.”
According to the body’s latest collected data, agents registered 118 new prospective tenants on average in January – a 140% increase from 49 in December – but took on an average of only six new properties the same month.