Tories call Labour's rent cap proposals a 'gimmick'
Personal Finance Editor
Thursday 01 May 2014
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has hit out at Labour proposals to help tenants by introducing rent controls.
Labour leader Ed Miliband made a promise that private landlords would face rent controls and longer tenancy agreements under a Labour government.
But Shapps said the Labour plan was a "short-term gimmick" and accused the opposition of "political tampering".
"The only way to raise people's living standards is to grow the economy, cut people's taxes and create more jobs,” he said.
The Conservatives also claimed that evidence from other countries suggested rent controls lead to "poorer quality accommodation, fewer homes being rented and ultimately higher rents".
Launching Labour’s local and European election campaign earlier in the day, Miliband set out sweeping reforms of the private rented housing sector. The changes, he said, would help millions of households caught in the cost-of-living crisis.
“A Labour government will ban letting agents from charging tenants. We will legislate to make three-year tenancies, not short-term tenancies, the standard for those who rent their homes in the private sector.”
He added: “These new longer-term tenancies will limit the amount by which rents can rise each year so tenants won’t face the shock of rents that go through the roof.”
The proposals were also slammed by the property industry. “Labour’s three-year tenancy proposals are unrealistic,” said Carole Charge of lettings specialist Leaders. “They do not appear to give landlords the right to terminate the tenancy agreement. Without the right to repossession most investment landlords would pull their property from the market.”
Graham Kinnear of eviction company Landlord Assist, said: “The proposals are simply unworkable. Capping rent increases will put people off investing in buy-to-let. This will lead to a reduction of available quality accommodation.”
But Chris Henry, an activist with Movement for Change from Home Sweet Home in Brighton & Hove said the reform is long overdue.
“Since last year, we’ve heard stories of young families being forced out of their homes by landlords who hike up prices, and evict at short notice,” he said. “We heard stories of students charged hundreds of pounds in fees by agents who don’t pick up the phone, or return emails, let alone do repairs.
“But there remains more work to be done to build a private rented sector that works for everyone.”
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream