Khan on rent control, short paragraph, big headlines

You’ve no doubt read the headlines. London Mayor pushes for rent caps. It’s an innocuous enough paragraph in a modest document, asking Government to provide powers for the Mayor to develop what he’s calling “The London Model”… a way of turning a dysfunctional private rental sector functional. Here’s the paragraph:
4.5.Security and affordability are related – a strong system of security of tenure would likely have a stabilising effect on rents, and would be needed to underpin measures to stabilise or control rents. The Mayor will therefore consider what measures would limit unacceptable rent increases without negatively impacting on housing supply, and how they could work in the capital, once the new London Model is complete.

The counter argument is… you can’t. You can’t introduce measures that take away a landlord’s ability to manage his/her business – particularly in an increasingly hostile tax environment for buy-to-let – without impacting housing supply. That’s not to say the discussion shouldn’t happen. Elsewhere in the document, an emphasis on quality control and tenants’ rights, and a push for open-ended tenancy agreements. If you want to read the document itself, go here.